Philip Hoare

Philip Hoare is a writer and cultural historian.

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Me and my Spyder

Rebel, The Life and Legend of James Dean by Donald Spoto HarperCollins, pounds 18; James Dean yearned for love, but courted dislike.

Obituary : Michael Wishart

With his sonorous monotone drawl, floridly handsome features and quiet erudition, Michael Wishart could have been taken for a rather urbane landowner, or perhaps a bookish squire. Anyone eavesdropping on the artist lunching at the Travellers' Club might therefore have been surprised to hear Wishart report that preparation for his last art lecture in Normandy consisted of two very dry Martinis and "a little amphetamine".

Unbuttoning the master

Philip Hoare's intimate life of Noel Coward is out this week. Here, he describes the joys and frustrations of separating the man from the legend

Obituary: Bert Lister

Bert Lister's colourful life assures him of a small place in theatrical history. As dresser, valet, stage manager and chauffeur, he performed his services with no degree of servility whatsoever. Noel Coward nicknamed him "Nanny", an appellation Lister once took literally, answering a summons by the Master in full nurse's uniform.

The new world disorder

THE WAR THAT NEVER WAS: The Fall of the Soviet Empire 1985-1991 David Pryce-Jones Weidenfeld & Nicolson pounds 22 THE RETURN OF THE STRONG: The Drift to Global Disorder Robert Harvey Macmillan pounds 20; Godfrey Hodgson asks how the world has changed since the Cold War ended

The worst of friends

FITZGERALD AND HEMINGWAY: A Dangerous Friendship Matthew J Bruccoli Andre Deutsch, pounds 14.99

They also served

ANOTHER VIEW

NED ROREM by Philip Hoare

HEROES & VILLAINS
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A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried