Boyd Tonkin

Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.

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The Interview cancelled: From supporting the Ku Klux Klan to appeasing the Nazis, Hollywood has a rich history of caving in

Stars like Rob Lowe condemning Sony for cowardice need to look into their industry's past

Vncent Van Gogh. Ever Yours: The Essential Letters, edited by Leo Jansen, Hans Luijten and Nienke Bakker, book review

Boyd Tonkin discovers that the remarkable artist was also an avid reader and an accomplished writer
Watkins as Christopher Jefferies in Peter Morgan's ITV drama

The fate of Christopher Jefferies shows that it can still be dangerous to be different

In an age of stifling consensus, is there a place for eccentricity?

Circa 1940: Stefan Zweig (1881 - 1942) the writer, poet and translator of Ben Johnson. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig at the End of the World by George Prochnik, book review: Mitteleuropa’s tragic symbol

Stefan Zweig died in despair, but his  legacy helped heal a wounded world

George Osborne's Bond issue brings out the secret agent in us all

James Bond is fantasy. Osborne’s 10-year “consolidation” may prove an equal fiction.

Books of the year 2014: Fiction in translation

It has been a strong year for fresh versions of the classics

Buy from Amazon and Apple and it’s you that ends up owned

The physical ownership of forbidden books has marched hand in hand with enlightenment. That tradition is now being torn to shreds

Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently

Is criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Pumeza Matshikiza

Pumeza Matshikiza on soprano megastardom, her township education and why the ANC is a stuck record

She is the leading light of a generation of opera stars to have burst out of the townships post-Apartheid. But the superstar soprano Pumeza Matshikiza has little faith that the ANC is making it any easier for ambitious young South Africans to call their own tune

Football needs its Martin Luther moment, and soon

In England, traditional football was no more perfect than the Early Church idealised by the Protestant forefather

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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas