Geoffrey Wheatcroft

Geoffrey Wheatcroft’s Churchill’s Shadow is out now.

A Little Holiday: Ben Hecht’s Cause

Geoffrey Wheatcroft, 23 September 2021

Inthe early 1920s, Herman J. Mankiewicz (‘Mank’) and Ben Hecht were not very successful writers in New York. Then Mank ventured west, the first of what was to become an exodus of literary talent to the Hollywood movie studios. In 1925, Mank summoned Hecht to join him with an offer of $300 a week to write for Paramount Pictures: ‘Millions are to be grabbed out here and...

The Finchley Factor: Thatcher in Israel

Geoffrey Wheatcroft, 13 September 2018

A short book​ could be written about British prime ministers and Zionism. It might begin in 1840, when Lord Palmerston, foreign secretary and prime minister-to-be, received a letter from his stepson-in-law Lord Ashley, an MP better known later as Lord Shaftesbury, the Tory philanthropist commemorated by the statue of Eros at Piccadilly Circus. Palmerston ‘had been chosen by...

The First New War: Crimea

Geoffrey Wheatcroft, 25 August 2011

At its high tide under Suleiman the Magnificent and his immediate successors, the Ottoman Empire stretched from the Persian Gulf in the south to the Balkans in the north and reached the gates of Vienna in 1683. Then came the long ebb, as the Turks retreated from Europe and others competed to replace them. One power in particular had grown rapidly in importance. The small medieval principality...

Lucky Lad: Harold Evans

Geoffrey Wheatcroft, 17 December 2009

As the 19th century turned into the 20th, the English press was diverse and vigorous. Apart from the Times, whose threepenny price marked it as the newspaper of record for the ruling class, London had a clutch of what were conveniently known as penny papers. On one side were the Tory Morning Post, Daily Telegraph and Standard, on the other, the Liberal Daily News and Daily Chronicle,...

On Trying to Be Portugal: Zionist Terrorism

Geoffrey Wheatcroft, 6 August 2009

Why should the conflict between the state of Israel and the Palestinians absorb the attention of the world, as it does? It makes no sense when you look objectively at the Holy Land (a convenient term to describe the territory between Jordan and the sea: British Mandatory Palestine from 1920 to 1948 and controlled by Israel one way or another since 1967), which is about the size of New...

Murder in the Cathedral

Anthony Howard, 7 December 1989

The most revealing moment at the recent meeting of the Church of England’s General Synod occurred during an impromptu speech by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Dr Robert Runcie was speaking...

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Painting the map red

William Boyd, 5 September 1985

The story of the South African gold and diamond fields and of the men who rose to wealth and notoriety as a result of their exploitation has stimulated writers since the 1870s, when diamonds were...

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