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Truth Vanquishing Falsehood; Alfred Stevens, 1867-8 USA 

More truth in fiction in Trump’s America

I have been in America to give some talks about the state of the West. Arriving at New York’s JFK airport, I’m at the end of a queue of several hundred people snaking back from the passport hall. Behind me, an enterprising Englishman detects an ambiguity in the instruction to stay in this queue rather than the other one where the number of people is zero. “Shall we give this a try?” he asks me, and we sprint past the hundreds standing patiently in line. I reach the passport official…

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islands Britain Israel USA 

Three islands of exceptionalism in west’s darkest hour

On a plane to New York this week, I watched the movie Darkest Hour for the second time. If it packed a punch the first time, on second showing it seemed even more apposite to our current nail-biting era. The movie is about the traumatic period in May 1940 when, as the Nazis swept across Europe, Britain was staring at the prospect of defeat and invasion. Darkest Hour points out the catastrophic error of trying to negotiate with a regime whose agenda brooks no compromise. Britain didn’t acknowledge this until…

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