British reinforcements moving up towards Martinpuich September 1916
©©IWM Q_000187.

Stories of the Somme

A century on, historians are beginning to unpick the mythology of the battle

Do central banks cause crises?

Philip Augar on three books that question the institutions at the heart of the financial system

Music in the age of the algorithm

We now have instant access to almost any song. Could our tastes be narrowing as a result?

Honoré Daumier’s ‘Don Quixote’ (c1865-70)
©Neue Pinakothek, Munich

‘Don Quixote’ then and now

Four centuries after Cervantes’ death, we can see the novel as a response to a media revolution that in some ways mirrors our own

The battle for Europe

As Britain prepares to vote on EU membership, both friends and enemies of the project agree that it is in trouble

The race to save the information age

We are producing more knowledge than ever before but preserving only a fraction of it. How much will be left for future generations?

‘What is our life?’, by Sir Walter Raleigh

From ‘English Renaissance Poetry: A Collection of Shorter Poems’

Two views of near-identical streets in St Petersburg in 2015, taken from the book ‘Schema’ by Alexander Gronsky and Ksenia Babushkina (
©Alexander Gronsky and Ksenia Babushkina

Svetlana Alexievich on communism’s demise

The Belarusian author addresses the complex feelings left by the collapse of the Soviet Union

The inverted ziggurat of Birmingham Central Library, which is currently in the process of being demolished
©Robert Low

The revival of Brutalism

Edwin Heathcote on how a maligned movement made a comeback

China’s Cultural Revolution

Two contrasting accounts explore a period of upheaval that the country is yet to reckon with