The new French royalty

©Luis Grañena

‘In a nod to modernity, the peasants in their exurbs are now allowed to elect the monarch, whose title is “president’’’

©Luis Grañena

How to live to 100 and be happy

‘Many young people are working out how they want to spend the next seven or so decades’

Illustration by Luis Grañena of a man moving out of London
©Luis Grañena

The psychic cost of leaving London

‘Find a mate, then leg it before you’re sharing your bedroom with a baby’

England captain Bobby Moore holds the Jules Rimet trophy
©Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images

How England won the World Cup in 1966

Was it down to stamina, ability or good luck? And why has it never happened again?

Satisfaction v populism

‘The dominant western political mood is, “Things are OK really, not that I care much” ’

Illustration by Luis Grañena of a pig using a computer
©Luis Grañena

The simple truths of language

‘Impenetrable language thrives best in zones where people have an incentive to bore the public away’

©Luis Grañena

Football managers: a career of two halves

‘It’s hard to be a pioneer twice, especially when you have to win a match every three days’

Illustration by Luis Grañena
©Luis Grañena

Why we’re reliving the 1970s

‘The 1970s analogy gives us reason to hope. Back then, the centre held — as it has so far today, after eight years of economic misery’

How cosmopolitans can win the argument

‘Nationalists clash with cosmopolitans. The cosmopolitans cite facts. The nationalists pay no attention and sail blithely on’

Leicester fans gather outside the King Power Stadium
©Brian Doherty

Leicester — the city that made the club

The unglamorous Midlands city steps into the spotlight thanks to the sudden success of its football team

From Cambridge spies to Isis jihadis

‘The story of Soviet agent Guy Burgess and his generation may foretell the path of today’s Isis recruits’

Cruyff, the man who remade football, dies

1970s Ajax, Barcelona and Holland playmaker was the lightbulb and Edison in one

Why Merkel dreams in black and white

‘Asked once on TV what the word “Germany” inspired in her, she replied: “Pretty, airtight windows”’

The deadly human factor

‘In 2014, for the first time in 60 years, guns killed about as many Americans as cars did’

Journalists need to get out more

‘Sending educated young people to the countryside may sound like a Maoist re-education campaign but the media need a shake-up’

What’s wrong with sports officials?

‘Most global sports federations enjoyed a degree of “self-regulation” that bankers just dreamt of’

How to buy a foreign election

‘US campaigns have become so pricey that donors now see better returns on investment in smaller economies’

Lessons in listening

‘If someone tells you something like, “I’m thinking of murdering my husband,” show no surprise and just nod understandingly’

Fear and lunching in Paris

‘Eating is still much of the point of Paris, so you sit there instinctively calculating where you’d run if gunmen walked in’

Passivity to fixers threatens fair play

Internet gambling makes it easier for punters to bet on any event, writes Simon Kuper

ABOUT SIMON

Simon KuperSimon Kuper joined the Financial Times in 1994. He wrote the daily currencies column, before leaving the FT in 1998. He returned in 2002 as a sports columnist and has been there ever since. Nowadays he writes a general column for the Weekend FT on all manner of topics from politics to books, and on cities including London, Paris, Johannesburg and Miami.

Simon was born in Uganda and grew up in London, the Netherlands, the US, Sweden and Jamaica. He studied at Oxford, Harvard and the Technische Universität of West Berlin. He now lives with his family in Paris. His first book, Football Against the Enemy (1994), set him on a path of writing about the world with an anthropologist’s eye.

E-mail simon.kuper@ft.com

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