Simon Schama

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Democratic presidential nominee  Joe Biden and US president Donald Trump. Each side is convinced that the victory of the other spells the end of the republic, so the contest turns into a competition of terminal nightmares. Photographs: Angela Weiss and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

A moment of truth is at hand. Or perhaps a trial of strength, not just between two mutually and grievously hostile political tribes, but of the fortit(...)

Book lovers  waiting to enter the Secret Garden venue at last year’s  Dalkey Book Festival. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Later today, well over 100,000 people will congregate at Slane and Malahide to hear, respectively, the venerable sounds of Metallica and the even more(...)

The author Colm Tóibín is among a group of 30 writers, historians and Nobel laureates who  declared in a manifesto published in several newspapers  that Europe as an idea was “coming apart before our eyes”. File Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Liberal values in Europe face a challenge “not seen since the 1930s”, leading intellectuals from 21 countries have said, as the UK lurches towards Bre(...)

Dermot Bannon

Watching Simon Schama extol the wonders of both the Italian Renaissance and the art of the great Mogul emperors on BBC Two’s Civilisations this week, (...)

‘Billions’ returns for a third season.

Russian Spy Assassins: The Salisbury Attack Monday, Channel 4, 10pm Matt Frei explores the poisoning of Russian Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yuli(...)

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones take another twirl on their  endlessly twirling money-magnet. Photograph: Reuters/Kimimasa Mayama

The oldest musical instrument in the world is a 42,000-year-old bone flute found in southwestern Germany. This week I watched a similar instrument bei(...)

David Olusoga, Mary Beard and Simon Schama. Photograph: BBC

Perhaps it is because it seems so primitive that a red outline of a human hand from 40,000 years ago inspires such an immediate tingle of connection. (...)

Diane Abbott: something doesn’t add up. Photograph: Hannah McKay/Reuters

Last week Diane Abbott showed on live radio that she could not do simple division, did not understand place value and was an all-round dunce at maths.(...)

Leonard Cohen after  receiving the 2011 Prince of Asturias Award for Letters  in Oviedo, Spain. Photograph: J.L. Cereijido/EPA

‘Now, you know of my deep association and confraternity with the poet Federico Garcia Lorca. I could say that when I was a young man, an adolescent, a(...)

In Russia Garry Kasparov, former world champion turned vocal opponent of Vladimir Putin, tweeted simply: ‘Winter is here.’ Photograph: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Around the world some far-right and rightwing nationalist leaders have been reacting with glee to Donald Trump’s election as US president, while other(...)

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