Sam Leith

The Book Club

James Holland: Brothers In Arms

In this week’s Book Club podcast Sam is joined by the historian James Holland to talk about his fascinating new book Brothers In Arms: One Legendary Tank Regiment’s Bloody War from D-Day to V-E Day. James’s story follows the Sherwood Rangers from El Alamein to the D-Day Landings, and on through the last push through Europe […]

By Sam Leith

The Book Club

Chuck Palahniuk: Greener Pastures

Chuck Palahniuk — best known as the author of Fight Club — has just announced that he’s publishing his next novel not with a mainstream publisher but through the online subscription service Substack. He joins me on this week’s Book Club podcast to tell me why; and to talk about how 9/11 changed literature, why […]

By Sam Leith

The Book Club

Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen: Freud’s Patients

In this week’s Book Club podcast I’m joined by Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, a historian of psychoanalysis whose latest book is Freud’s Patients: A Book of Lives. Mikkel has sifted through the archives to discover the real stories anonymized in the case studies on which Sigmund Freud based his theories, and the lives of the patients who […]

By Sam Leith

The Book Club

Frederick Forsyth: The Day of the Jackal at 50

My guest in this week’s Book Club podcast is Frederick Forsyth, whose classic thriller The Day of the Jackal has been in print for 50 years this summer. He tells me about banging it out in a few weeks on a typewriter with a bullet hole in it, the shady characters who informed his research […]

By Sam Leith

The Book Club

Anne Sebba: A Cold War Tragedy

In this week’s Book Club podcast my guest is Anne Sebba — whose Ethel Rosenberg: A Cold War Tragedy tells the story of the first woman in US history to be executed for a crime other than murder. She tells me how attitudes to this notorious espionage case changed over the years; and why, while […]

By Sam Leith

Education

How to kill the English language

Modifying clauses, modal verbs, adjectives, shifts of voice — these are all just objects in the toolkit

By Sam Leith

The Book Club

Laura Thompson: Life in a Cold Climate

This week’s Book Club podcast celebrates the 75th anniversary of the publication of Nancy Mitford’s breakthrough novel The Pursuit of Love. Laura Thompson, author of the biography Life In A Cold Climate, joins me to talk about the way the book was written, how it helped create the Mitford myth — and how it shaped […]

By Sam Leith

The Book Club

Nicholas Shakespeare: remembering John Le Carré

In this week’s Book Club podcast, we remember the great John Le Carré. I’m joined by one of the late writer’s longest standing friends, the novelist Nicholas Shakespeare. He tells me about Le Carré’s disdain for — and debt to — Ian Fleming, his intensely secretive and controlling personality, his magnetic charm, his thwarted hopes […]

By Sam Leith

Art

The best video games to buy for Christmas

With the latest generation of consoles comes some great new games

By Sam Leith

Books

Feline intelligence: the complicated world of Mary Gaitskill

In a simplifying age, Mary Gaitskill writes about complex relationships — as well as fashion, fiction, sex and cats

By Sam Leith

Books

Barack Obama is the centrist dad’s centrist dad

A Promised Land by Barack Obama reviewed

By Sam Leith

In defense of wokeness

The culture wars are now being conducted almost entirely through sneering — and as long as they are, they will remain unwinnable

By Sam Leith

Home

She was just a damn cat — and I loved her

In recent months she grew thinner. You could feel her bones through her fur, and that fur sat less smoothly on her skin

By Sam Leith

Books

Tom Holland on Christianity’s enduring influence

Is secularism Christianity by other means?

By Sam Leith

Politics

How do you enforce anarchy?

The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone is a very interesting experiment

By Sam Leith

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