Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown
©Rex Features

Britain vs the banks

How financial hubris and excess gave way to crisis, scandal – and an uncertain future. Philip Augar reviews books by Ian Fraser, Hugh Pym and Alex Brummer

Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President George Bush during the G7 summit in London in 1991

The final days of the Soviet Union

The roles of Mikhail Gorbachev, George HW Bush, Boris Yeltsin and Ukraine in the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Review by John Lloyd

Feminism reinvented

Don’t expect a uniform message in the latest wave of feminist literature

Ebooks v paper

Which do our brains prefer? Research is forcing us to rethink how we respond to the written word. By Julian Baggini

Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York City during winter storm Nemo, February 2013

Paternity on the page

Why male writers are increasingly giving voice to the food-stained, lonely, sometimes epiphanic experience of caring for children

USA. Fort Myers, Fla. October 2008. Foreclosed house.
©Bruce Gilden/Magnum Photos

Lawrence Summers on ‘House of Debt’

The former US Treasury secretary on what ‘could be the most important economics book to come out of the 2008 crisis’

Chen Guang
©New York Times/Eyevine

China’s secret histories

Twenty-five years on from the Tiananmen Square massacre, Jonathan Fenby reviews three new books about China now

White Earth Valley, northeast of Tioga, North Dakota
©Eugene Richards

The fracking debate

Energy sector miracle or environmental disaster? Ed Crooks, US industry and energy editor, on the arguments over shale energy

Graffiti in northwest London
©Alex Ellison

The word on the street

Slang shows us how language is always changing – and how some would rather it did not

Captain Carlos Alberto, on the front fire truck and followed by the rest of the Brazilian team, parades the World Cup in Brasília in 1970

The ugly side of Brazilian football

The beautiful game that shaped the country’s national identity also holds a mirror to its problems