A line drawing of a group of disapproving men on a black background

from Masterminds of the right

The tactics, and at times, the sheer genius, of the conservative lobby came most sharply into focus during the 1986 divorce referendum. Here was an issue that which was not as clear-cut as abortion. … the tactics used were those of the marketing guru. Points of psychological vulnerability were isolated and played upon. The fear […]

from The Wild Places

So few wild creatures, relatively, remain in Britain and Ireland: so few, relatively, in the world. Pursuing our project of civilisation, we have pushed thousands of species towards the brink of disappearance, and many thousands more over that edge. The loss, after it is theirs, is ours. Wild animals, like wild places, are invaluable to […]

from Alone in Berlin

He might be right: whether their act was big or small, no one could risk more than his life. Each according to his strength and abilities, but the main thing was, you fought back. Hans Fallada – Alone in Berlin, c.1947, 2009

from The book of Joan

If we look at history – those of us who study it, who can remember it – we understand the reason why those who come to power swiftly, amid extreme national crises, are so dangerous: during such crises, we all turn into children aching for a good father. And the truth is, in our fear […]

part of the cover image to Why dinosaurs matter by Kenneth J. Lacovara. A pixelated dinosaur on a reg background

from Why dinosaurs matter

That sounds crazy, you might be thinking. Indeed it does, but that’s why we have science. As history demonstrates, common sense is a poor guide to understanding the structure and complexity of the universe. Kenneth J. Lacovara – Why Dinosaurs Matter. c2017

part of the cover image to Why dinosaurs matter by Kenneth J. Lacovara. A pixelated dinosaur on a reg background

from Why dinosaurs matter

The most damning misconception about dinosaurs is the idea that their extinction, except for the birds (more on that later), represents their own failure to adapt to changing conditions. Until relatively recently, the idea seemed patently true. If only they weren’t such dim-witted, sluggish, stuck-in-the-mud, ponderous creatures, maybe they could have survived and hung on […]

from Gnomon

How many harmless young black men have been injured or killed in modern cities in white countries this year, for the crime of exciting someone else’s racism? Too many, and it must end. Harkaway, Nick, Gnomon (William Heinemann, 2017)