Browsing All posts tagged under »france«

The beneficial side effects of a Napoleon complex

April 6, 2011


It used to be that the French were shirkers of duty. If you ask those US navy personnel at the fifth fleet base in Bahrain eating their breakfast, they’ll tell you that. They only eat Freedom toast, not French toast. Anything else would be insulting. But strangely the French now are leading incursions on two […]

How 1884 Berlin affected 2010 Africa

January 21, 2011


The following is the first of several excerpts from my new book, African Lions, published in February: The Berlin Conference held in 1884 was a grand meeting of old imperial hands. Chargés d’affaires from Europe’s leading colonial powers gathered in long drawing rooms to sit around impossibly large tables, a phalanx of wallflower advisors backing […]

Nicholas Mahut and John Isner

June 23, 2010


This was Herculean. Sport suffers badly at the hands of hyperbole: the average becomes excellent and the indifferent is engaging. We go through it every time the England football team take to the pitch; when our rugby team underperform heads are called for and answers demanded. It’s a world where our natural leaning is towards […]