Anna Blundy

Interviews by Anna Blundy

The best books on Gender Politics, recommended by Bidisha

The 21st century has seen an explosion of feminist activism, with movements like #MeToo and the Women’s March. Accompanying this heightened attention to the lived experience of women, several extraordinary books have been published. Writer, feminist, critic and broadcaster Bidisha selects the best ones.

The Best Speeches of All Time, recommended by Clarence B Jones

Which were the best speeches ever made? Clarence B Jones, lawyer, friend and adviser to Martin Luther King Jr—and contributor to the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech—chooses his top five, and explains what is that makes these famous speeches so good.

The best books on Africa, recommended by Michela Wrong

Long-time foreign correspondent Michaela Wrong, the author of books on Zaire, Eritrea, Kenya and Rwanda, tells us where to turn for engaging foreign perspectives on Africa. She recommends five of her favourite books on Africa, by anthropologists, journalists and one US president.

The Best Political Satire Books, recommended by P. J. O’Rourke

Satire is humour used for a moral purpose, explains American political satirist P.J. O’Rourke—though it doesn’t have to be particularly funny and can be quite dark. Here, he chooses five classic works of political satire, books that lay bare the shortcomings of not only communism and fascism but also the two-party system and the quest for a perfect society where everyone is happy.

The Best Tales of Soviet Russia, recommended by Robert Chandler

Robert Chandler, one of the best known translators of Russian literature, recommends some of his favourite tales of Soviet Russia. There’s the one about a dog in space and the one about the Soviet café which stocked nothing but champagne and Mars bars…

The best books on Ancient Rome, recommended by Harry Sidebottom

From the first book he recommends to students coming up to Oxford to read ancient history, to a short, popular book that weaves together all the scholarly research on the fall of the Roman Empire and the terrible things that happened as Rome was sacked by the Vandals, Oxford historian Harry Sidebottom talks us through five must-read books on Ancient Rome.

The Best Chase Stories, recommended by Louise Bagshawe

Everyone’s on the run from something in their life. Bestselling author Louise Bagshawe recommends some of her favourite chase stories, a world of jailbreaks, secret documents, beautiful heroines, honour, revenge, death and glory.

Georgina Godwin on Memoirs of Zimbabwe

Via five engrossing memoirs, the Zimbabwe-born journalist Georgina Godwin talks wistfully about her country; amongst the older generation, she says, there is a feeling that Rhodesia was sold down the river by Britain and things needn’t have turned out the way they did.