Featuring Lara Pawson’s In the Name of the People, Kerry Brown’s The New Emperors, Hugh Trevor-Roper’s The Secret World, and John Hopkin’s The White Nile Diaries.
Still only November, but contributors to the Spectator have spoken – The New Emperors, In the Name of the People, The Secret World and The White Nile Diaries have been included in their books of the year.
Reflecting on Kerry Brown’s study of power in China, The New Emperors, Jonathan Mirsky said: ‘Kerry Brown… has written the best study I know of the ‘ruthlessly successful multinational corporation’ that is the Communist party of China, and its leaders, whose money, contacts, relatives and women have propelled them to the top.’
Unfolding the forgotten events of Angola’s forgotten massacre in 1977, when a small demonstration against the MPLA – the ruling party of Angola – led to the slaughter of thousands, Michela Wrong describes Lara Pawson’s In the Name of the People as ‘a fascinating examination of how societies which try to lock away their traumas remain haunted by ghosts rattling their chains.’
On Hugh Trevor-Roper’s The Secret World, which includes a memoir of his recruitment into the Secret Intelligence Service, Richard Davenport-Hines calls it ‘pre-eminently sane and deliciously funny, with cool, ironical wisdom playing over subjects that make other writers overheated.’
John Hopkin’s The White Nile Diaries, written in the 1960s but only published this year, detailing the journey by motorbike of two friends from Munich to Kenya, was described by Piers Paul Read as ‘a beautiful spare narrative… an excellent portrait of the fag-end of British rule in East Africa.’
Visit the Spectator‘s website to read the article in full. ■