‘The mantra of politeness is robust and important’

Many people dislike references to Thomas Jefferson because he is, to quote that ubiquitous word, “problematic”. He was a polymath, draftsman of the US(...)

Grow your own: Michelle Obama took a spade to the White House’s South Lawn in 2009 to make a kitchen garden

Now that the Trump administration is ensconced in Washington, the question of whether the famous White House kitchen garden championed by Michelle Ob(...)

US president Donald Trump points to his wife, first lady Melania Trump, during a campaign rally on Saturday in Melbourne, Florida. Photograph: Chris O’Meara/AP

US president Donald Trump returned to campaign mode on Saturday in front of a 9,000-strong crowd in Florida, accusing the media of working to undermi(...)

 President Donald Trump and Melania Trump stand together during a rally at Orlando Melbourne International Airport on Saturday. Photograph: Getty

In late September 2016, Donald Trump held a rally in Melbourne, Florida, where he railed against the media and bragged about the size of the crowd. F(...)

Bucharest, Romania: Anti-government protesters wear T-shirts emblazoned with  a quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson: “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty”. Photograph: Dan McLaughlin

Radu Dinescu was already in bed when Romanian media broke the news. “When I heard what the government had done I got up, got dressed and came straigh(...)

Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon and senior aide Kellyanne Conway speak at meeting hosted by the US president with cyber security experts in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on January 31st. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

US president Donald Trump loves to set the day’s narrative at dawn, but the deeper story of his White House is best told at night. Aides confer in the(...)

Barack Obama as he is sworn in on January 20th, 2009, as US president, on the same Bible used to swear in Abraham Lincoln. Photograph: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Abraham Lincoln: the 16th president of the United States

Donald J Trump will on Friday ascend the steps of Capitol Hill and utter an oath first sworn by George Washington in 1789. “I do solemnly swear that (...)

The yellow flowers of mahonia. Very few people seem to know that this ultra-fashionable plant was named after an Irish man, Bernard McMahon. Photograph: Richard Johnston

It looks like a very posh holly. Garden designers love it for the structural statement it makes in a border; the rest of us enjoy the clumps of yellow(...)

Stephen Colbert  Photograph: Reuters/Jim Bourg

“Reality has a well-known liberal bias,” as US comedian Stephen Colbert once put it, lampooning George W Bush, who was sitting just a few feet away at(...)

 Ossian, the legendary Scottish bard, may not even have existed. Image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A Scottish bard named Ossian who is said to have inspired French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte, English poet William Wordsworth and former US pre(...)

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