'By miles the most brilliant journalist of our age' Lynn Barber 'A golden writer' Andrew Marr A. A. Gill was rightly hailed as one of the greatest journalists of our time. This selection of some of his recent pieces, which he made himself before his untimely death, spans the last five years from all corners of the world. It shows him at his most perceptive, brilliant and funny. His subjects range from the controversial - fur - to the heartfelt - a fantastic crystallisation of what it means to be European. He tackles life drawing, designs his own tweed, considers boyhood through the prism of the Museum of Childhood, and spends a day at Donald Trump's university. In his final two articles he wrote with characteristic wit and courage about his cancer diagnosis - 'the full English - and the limits of the NHS. But more than any other subject, a recurring theme emerges in the overwhelming story of our times: the refugee crisis. In the last few years A. A. Gill wrote with compassion and anger about the refugees' story, giving us both its human face and its appalling context. The resulting articles are journalism at its finest and fiercest.
The finest TV critic of our time talks about Sport, Sitcoms, News, the Weather, Children's programmes and 'Reality Television'. A.A. Gill has been the must-read television critic in the SUNDAY TIMES 'Culture' section for more than ten years. This collection of some of the best writing from his columns is broken down into themes - Sport, Costume Drama, Detectives, Children's Television, and News. And now it's over to A.A. Gill: 'Those who complain, usually from the Parnassian heights of print journalism, that TV is dumbed-down and peddles dross to the lowest common denominator, citing Big Brother or Celibate Love Island, miss the point... In barely a generation, the information from television has changed the way we see the world and everyone in it. That's no small achievement. Television really does make a difference... It can bring down walls, save lives and right wrongs. It can also tell you how to put a water feature on your patio...'
The Anglo-French Struggle for the Middle East, 1914–1948
Author: James Barr
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
“A provocative history . . . helps us to understand why the Arab spring is so important and valuable.”—David Ignatius, National Interest In the twentieth century, while fighting a common enemy in Europe, Britain and France were locked in a clandestine struggle for power in the Middle East. From the first agreement to divide the region between them to the birth of Israel, A Line in the Sand is a gripping narrative of the last gasp of imperialism, with tales of unscrupulous double-dealing, cynical manipulation, and all-too-frequent violence that continues to the present day.
In a village on the Suffolk coast Frank Perry waits for his past to arrive. A decade before, he spied for the government on the Iranian chemical and biological weapons installations. The information he provided damaged the Iranians' killing capacity for years. Now Iran will have its revenge, and has despatched its most lethal assassin to fulfil the task. Code-named the Anvil, he will move with stealth and deadly commitment towards his chosen objective, unless Perry's protectors can reach him and stop him first. As he draws near, the ring of steel protecting Perry grows tighter. But against a faceless adversary, and with the job fatally compromised by the stifling bureaucracy surrounding it, there seems little chance that the past will not have its day once more...
A Collection of America's Finest Personal Journalism
Author: Walt Harrington
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Great journalists, at one time or another, have all been characters in their own stories: people with personalities that shaped what they saw and reported, and were touched and changed by the experiences about which they wrote; and innovators who borrowed the storytelling techniques of fiction. The Beholder’s Eye showcases the very best of an increasing trend toward personal narrative: Mike Sager stalking Marlon Brando in the Tahitian jungle; J. R. Moehringer’s quest to discover the true identity of an old boxer; Bill Plaschke’s story about a woman with cerebral palsy who runs an obscure Los Angeles Dodgers Web site; Scott Anderson’s story of his lifetime of covering war after war; Harrington’s own tale of his interracial family’s struggle to persevere; and many others. Written by reporters who were willing to reveal themselves in order to bring readers insights that were deeper than supposedly objective third-person stories, their articles are an invaluable resource for aspiring journalists, students, and teachers of the craft of writing, and any reader with an appreciation for masterful storytelling.
In late February and early March of 1836, the Mexican Army under the command of General Antonio López de Santa Anna besieged a small force of Anglo and Tejano rebels at a mission known as the Alamo. The defenders of the Alamo were in an impossible situation. They knew very little of the events taking place outside the mission walls. They did not have much of an understanding of Santa Anna or of his government in Mexico City. They sent out contradictory messages, they received contradictory communications, they moved blindly and planned in the dark. And in the dark early morning of March 6, they died. In that brief, confusing, and deadly encounter, one of America's most potent symbols was born. The story of the last stand at the Alamo grew from a Texas rallying cry, to a national slogan, to a phenomenon of popular culture and presidential politics. Yet it has been a hotly contested symbol from the first. Questions remain about what really happened: Did William Travis really draw a line in the sand? Did Davy Crockett die fighting, surrounded by the bodies of two dozen of the enemy? And what of the participants' motives and purposes? Were the Texans justified in their rebellion? Were they sincere patriots making a last stand for freedom and liberty, or were they a ragtag collection of greedy men-on-the-make, washed-up politicians, and backwoods bullies, Americans bent on extending American slavery into a foreign land? The full story of the Alamo -- from the weeks and months that led up to the fateful encounter to the movies and speeches that continue to remember it today -- is a quintessential story of America's past and a fascinating window into our collective memory. In A Line in the Sand, acclaimed historians Randy Roberts and James Olson use a wealth of archival sources, including the diary of José Enrique de la Peña, along with important and little-used Mexican documents, to retell the story of the Alamo for a new generation of Americans. They explain what happened from the perspective of all parties, not just Anglo and Mexican soldiers, but also Tejano allies and bystanders. They delve anew into the mysteries of Crockett's final hours and Travis's famous rhetoric. Finally, they show how preservationists, television and movie producers, historians, and politicians have become the Alamo's major interpreters. Walt Disney, John Wayne, and scores of journalists and cultural critics have used the Alamo to contest the very meaning of America, and thereby helped us all to "remember the Alamo."
For over twenty years, people turned to A. A. Gill's columns every Sunday - for his fearlessness, his perception, and the laughter-and-tear-provoking one-liners - but mostly because he was the best. 'By miles the most brilliant journalist of our age', as Lynn Barber put it. This is the definitive collection of a voice that was silenced too early but that can still make us look at the world in new and surprising ways. In the words of Andrew Marr, A.. A. Gill was 'a golden writer'. There was nothing that he couldn't illuminate with his dazzling prose. Wherever he was - at home or abroad - he found the human story, brought it to vivid life, and rendered it with fierce honesty and bracing compassion. And he was just as truthful about himself. There have been various collections of A. A. Gill's journalism - individual compilations of his restaurant and TV criticism, of his travel writing and his extraordinary feature articles. This book showcasesthe very best of his work: the peerlessly funny criticism, the extraordinarily knowledgeable food writing, assignments throughout the world, and reflections on life, love, and death. Drawn from a range of publications, including the Sunday Times, Vanity Fair, Tatler and Australian Gourmet Traveller, The Ivy Cookbook and his books on England and America, it is by turns hilarious, uplifting, controversial, unflinching, sad, funny and furious.
A collection of dazzling travel pieces from SUNDAY TIMES journalist and critic A. A. GILL. From the moment he joined the SUNDAY TIMES, A.A. Gill has wanted to interview places - to discover the personality of a place as if it were a person, to listen and talk to it. A. A. GILL IS FURTHER AWAY is a wonderfully insightful and funny compendium of travel writing taken mostly from the SUNDAY TIMES, but also from GQ, TATLER and CONDE NAST TRAVELLER. Gill writes with a clarity and acerbity that conveys the intensity of his experiences in his travels around the world. His book includes essays on Sudan, India, Cuba, Germany and California. In each piece, there is a central image Gill uses as the key to unlocking the personality of a place.
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An Epic Tale Of Massacre And Survival In The Sahara
Author: Michael Asher
Publisher: Hachette UK
Desert explorer Michael Asher investigates the most disastrous exploration mission in the history of the Sahara In December 1880 a French expedition attempted to map a route for a railway that would stretch from their colony in Algeria right across the Sahara desert to reach their territories in West Africa. 'Paris to Timbuctoo in Six Days' was the slogan. It would do for the French colonies what the American railways were doing in the western states at the same time. No native opposition was expected. As one of the expedition's organizers said, 'A hundred uncivilized tribesmen armed with old-fashioned spears: what is that against the might of France?' Four months later, a handful of emaciated survivors staggered into a remote outpost on the edge of the desert. Although armed with modern rifles, the column had been lured to destruction by the self-styled 'lords of the desert', the Tuareg. At this, the highpoint of European colonialism in Africa, this story of treachery, massacre, torture and even cannibalism made headlines around the world. Attacked by the Tuareg in their remote heartland, the survivors had been pursued for weeks on end, driven into the waterless desert to die. The desperate lengths they resorted to shocked Victorian sensibilities. They do not make easy reading now. This grisly story, told by our greatest living desert explorer reveals what happened when the conceit of western colonialism met the equally arrogant Tuareg, who had dominated this remote region, and anyone trying to cross it, for a thousand years.