Andrew Davidson
©Andrew Davidson

The few and the many

Could the pursuit of equality be philosophically indefensible? Julian Baggini considers the arguments over the ‘1 per cent’

Ted Hughes with Sylvia Plath in 1958
©Black Star, courtesy of Mortimer Rare Book Ro

‘Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life’, by Jonathan Bate

An ‘unauthorised’ biography of the poet raises troubling questions, writes John Sutherland

Detail of Titian’s ‘The Flaying of Marsyas’ (c1570-1575)
©Erich Lessing/AKG-Images

‘Portraits: John Berger on Artists’

Jackie Wullschlager reviews a ‘volume whose breadth and depth bring it close to a definitive self-portrait of one of Britain’s most original thinkers’

Henry Kissinger, photographed in 1958
©Elliott Erwitt/Magnum

‘Kissinger’, by Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson builds a picture of the diplomat as a man driven by principle more than pragmatism. Review by Chris Patten

The Holocaust as history and warning

Historians are still finding new ways to understand the horror of the concentration camps

A roadblock operated by the Dwekh Nawsha Christian militia close to the frontline with Isis in Baqofa, northern Iraq, in June
©Peter van Agtmael/Magnum Photos

The rise of Isis

Edward Mortimer on the long history of the new jihadism — and how the west should respond

©Toby Whitebread

Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet

This tetralogy shines because of its vibrant, unflinching study of friendship, writes Claire Messud

French novelist Patrick Modiano in Paris in 1969
©Sophie Bassouls/Sygma/Corbis

The making of Patrick Modiano

The Nobel laureate’s newly translated works take us back to the beginning of his project to grapple with the dark years of Nazi rule, writes Tobias Grey

Jimi Hendrix performing at Woodstock in 1969
©Larry C Morris/The New York Times/Eyevine

The sound and fury of rock and pop

Popular music has packed a lot into its brief history, writes Peter Aspden

Diego Velázquez’s 1656 painting, ‘Las Meninas’
©The Gallery Collection/Corbis

Michael Jacobs’ pursuit of genius

Simon Schama on the writer’s unfinished voyage around Velázquez’s masterpiece ‘Las Meninas’