PD Smith

Narcoland: The Mexican Drugs Lords and their Godfathers by Anabel Hernández – review

A brave and important book that charts the rise of one of the most successful drugs barons of all time and the shocking cost to MexicoJoaquín Guzmán Loera, aka El Chapo (Shorty), is one of the most successful drugs barons of all time and one of the worl

The Downfall of Money: Germany's Hyperinflation and the Destruction of the Middle Class by Frederick Taylor review

A powerful account of a frightening episode in European historyThe central question of Taylor's history of Weimar Germany is what happens when we lose confidence in our money? It's one he believes still resonates today, as Europe grapples with a crisis th

The Danube: A Journey Upriver from the Black Sea to the Black Forest by Nick Thorpe review

A vivid mix of geography, myths, natural history and human lives"You will be like the sturgeon", someone tells Nick Thorpe when he explains that he is following the Danube the wrong way, upriver, from the Black Sea to its origins in the suburban hills of

The Huguenots by Geoffrey Treasure review

PD Smith on a richly detailed study of the politics and personalities of a religious minority.

Englishness: Politics and Culture, 1880-1920, ed by Robert Colls and Philip Dodd review

This collection of essays first appeared in 1986 but it remains a relevant and fascinating exploration of the myths of a nationEnglishness is not a fixed quality but one that is periodically reinvented. As the contributors to this book argue, many of our

The Food History Reader review a rich celebration of our love of food through the ages

From Aztec etiquette to Victorian cookery books, food historian Ken Albala presents a truly global collection of recipes and writingAs the renowned food historian Ken Albala rightly says in the introduction to this remarkable collection, "everyone has to

Horace and Me: Life Lessons from an Ancient Poet by Harry Eyres review

Drawn to Horace by a mutual love of wine and poetry, Eyres celebrates the importance of poetry in an age that, like Horace's own, values money above all elseAs a schoolboy at Eton, Harry Eyres didn't warm to the Roman poet Horace. He was "too suave, too c

The Appian Way review an evocative history of Europe's first great road

The classicist Robert Kaster is a knowledgable and engaging guide as he journeys along the queen of Roman roadsThe via Appia was hailed as the "regina viarum", the queen of roads, by the Roman poet Statius in the first century. For the classicist Robert K

Sherlock Holmes edited by Tom Ue and Jonathan Cranfield review

A fascinating volume of interviews and essays about the reinvention of Sherlock HolmesThis well-designed collection of interviews and essays is part of the Fan Phenomena series, which explores how icons of popular culture have been reinvented by their fan

Euro Noir by Barry Forshaw review

Euro Noir offers an exhilarating, whistle-stop tour of Europe viewed through its crime fiction.