In the end, the great spy novelist remained an enigma even to himself.
December 12 2020 / Salt Publishing (republished New Statesman)
Orwell wrote Animal Farm at a time of global crisis as a warning about oppressive state power. Its message is as relevant as ever, says the New Statesman editor in a new introduction to the seminal book.
December 4 2020 / Macmilln Publishers
Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling and the rise of the activist super-player
June 24 2020 / New Statesman
A summer without cricket
June 6 2020 / New Statesman
The possibility of post-traumatic growth
April 29 2020 / New Statesman
Can you teach the art of leadership?
February 2020 / New Statesman
It is of vital importance to determine what England is before deciding what role England can play in the huge events that are happening
November 27 2019 / New Statesman
A musician of extraordinary depths
February 27 2019 / New Statesman
Not since Conrad had a novelist so completely absorbed himself in the shifting complexities of his age, or written more sharply about the dark places of the world.
August 13 2018 / New Statesman
How the World Cup and Gareth Southgate’s young, diverse team reawakened a sense of progressive English nationalism
July 4 2018 / New Statesman
The three men had been drinking for several hours by the time they arrived at The Stow shopping centre in Harlow. It was approaching midnight on a warm bank holiday weekend towards the end of August. What happened next would reverberate around the world ...
April 1 2018 / Granta
Corbyn, Orwell and the spirit of England
June 2 2017 / New Statesman
Richard Beard seeks to uncover the truth behind a long-ago family tragedy
May 11 2017 / New Statesman
How it all went wrong for Labour’s best and brightest
September 15 2016 / New Statesman
The dominant tone of English discourse is one of regret
August 20 2016 / Financial Times
Was it more fun being young in the 1980s?
June 13 2016 / The Times
The private anguish, and public success of David Cornwell.
October 31 2015 / The Financial Times
If Labour are ever again to win an absolute majority, it must start by winning back working-class voters in constituencies like Harlow.
April 30 2015 / New Statesman
The English writer is revealed in all his fierce integrity in a new collection of journalism.
December 6 2014 / Financial Times
If Britain cannot work out how to stay together when so much unites us – language, culture, shared sacrifice, blood – the portents for the 21st century are dark indeed.
September 13 2014 / New Statesman
It shouldn’t be a question of either you support Israel, no matter what it does, or you are on the side of the Islamists.
July 28 2014 / New Statesman
As a student, her urgent writing about her generation had already reached a wider audience. Her death, days after graduation, lends her words extra power.
June 20 2014 / Financial Times
Football is a supreme instrument of soft power and can unite people as little else can. But allegations of Fifa corruption have tarnished the image of the beautiful game. Can anything be done to save it?
June 13 2014 / New Statesman
New Statesman editor Jason Cowley speaks to Anthony Little, headmaster of Eton College, about the role of public schools, the new crop of Etonians ruling public life and Gove’s education reforms.
May 8 2013 / New Statesman
We are missing a British writer to whom we can turn and learn from at moments of national consequence or crisis.
April 19 2013 / Financial Times
As he enters his eighties, could the man regarded as America’s greatest living novelist yet win the prize he really wants?
March 16 2013 / Financial Times
Reporting from Tel Aviv and Ramallah as the latest rash of violence began to sweep Israel, Jason Cowley finds a nation implacably set on a course of war . . . and increasingly disconnected from the world.
November 22 2012 / New Statesman
After the war, Harlow was supposed to offer east Londoners the chance of a fresh start and a stab at the good life. This month, it became the place where a suspicious fire killed six members of a Muslim family.
October 25 2012 / New Statesman
The Prime Minister’s lack of originality.
July 4 2012 / New Statesman
American novelists have never been afraid to tackle sport. But will British authors ever take it seriously?
January 21 2012 / Financial Times
The editor of the New Statesman reflects on the life and legacy of Christopher Hitchens.
January 2 2012 / New Statesman
Will Christopher Hitchens, who has died at the age of 62, be remembered as a great writer or as a great orator and intellectual entertainer?
December 16 2011 / The Daily Beast
John le Carré’s classic novel, now adapted for the big screen, is much more than a cold war whodunnit.
September 22 2011 / New Statesman
Male rivalry – especially between writers – is a recurrent theme in Amis’s fiction.
April 2011 / From The Good of the Novel, Faber & Faber
There was a time, in the days of Lloyd George and then Attlee, when land reform was a convulsive policy. It could be again, says New Statesman editor Jason Cowley.
October 19 2010 / New Statesman
As Jude Law brings a touch of Hollywood to the role of Hamlet, Jason Cowley draws parallels between.
June 11 2009 / New Statesman
New Statesman editor Jason Cowley introduces a special issue on the year that saw the Berlin Wall come down.
March 12 2009 / New Statesman
More than any other sport, cricket was once imbued with an ethic of fair play; it was a game that revealed moral character.
November 2 2008 / The Observer
Dubai wants to be the ultimate sporting city. And, says Jason Cowley, it’s not such a ridiculous idea.
May 4 2008 / The Observer
For years, Charles Hills was a figure in London literary circles. He was a magazine editor who dreamed of publishing glory but had difficulty escaping a troubled life. But what drove him to the brink of murder? His friend, Granta editor Jason Cowley, traces the story of Hills’s mental and spiritual decline, from gifted youth to Oxford student and finally to his cell in Belmarsh prison.
February 3 2008 / The Observer
Brutal and spare, Cormac McCarthy’s work is also full of beauty and love. He is one of the greatest living novelists, argues Jason Cowley.
January 12 2008 / The Guardian
Where to locate the music of David Sylvian? His journey from the centre of planet pop to the margins of the avant-garde is certainly one of the most unusual in contemporary music.
September 2007 / The World is Everything tour brochure
The Blair decade began with an exuberant rush of energy and sense of possibility. How can politics recapture the ability to inspire us? Hard action and clear choices?
May 14 2007 / New Statesman
Brutalised, war-ravaged and drugged-up, the child soldiers of Sierra Leone and Sudan have become a shocking symbol of today’s violent world.
April 29 2007 / The Observer
Michael Jackson has won 240 of them. Frank Gehry has bagged 130. The culture of prize-giving has gone mad. We enjoy the glamour of a Booker or an Oscar night, but we lose something too in this orgy of awards, says Jason Cowley.
October 22 2006 / The Observer
Authors are ideally placed to give us a true view of terrorism, says Jason Cowley.
August 13 2006 / The Observer
Dresden was not chosen to host a single World Cup game, even though the stated intention of the organising committee, at least when it was bidding for the World Cup, was to incorporate the east so that it became a tournament for the whole country.
June 25 2006 / The Observer
It unites continents, is watched by billions and its stars are treated as living gods. No contest can touch it for suspense or despair. Jason Cowley celebrates sport’s premier competition.
June 11 2006 / The Observer
We have just rented out our house in the quiet market town of Bishop’s Stortford to a South African family. They arrived one morning in a friend’s car, suitcases packed high on the back seat, resembling nothing so much as refugees fleeing a war zone.
April 16 2006 / The Observer
After 9/11, writers feared that the new age of terror would overwhelm their ability to reflect the world. But it has only heightened their powers. As the Booker panel prepares to announce its longlist, a former judge argues that this is the best year yet for British fiction since the prize began.
August 7 2005 / The Observer
Its publication caused a scandal and it has seduced generations. As Les Liaisons Dangereuses becomes a ballet, Jason Cowley looks at its many incarnations.
July 16 2005 / The Guardian
The Oscar-nominated Hotel Rwanda is one of several movies and novels about the genocide. But is it fair to reduce events of such magnitude to a single dramatic entertainment? Can telling a story ever be the same as telling the truth?
February 27 2005 / The Observer
George Orwell was troubled by the way in which boys’ weeklies evaded the problems of contemporary society, seeing it as a form of covert political control. But we didn’t read comics for realism, writes Jason Cowley. We read them to be inspired.
August 23 2004 / New Statesman
Jason Cowley travels to Rwanda with Hilary Benn, the International Development Secretary, and finds that the perpetrators of genocide, though visible everywhere, are neither abused nor shunned.
April 19 2004 / New Statesman
What do we mean by multiculturalism? In Britain, it once meant embracing the diverse traditions of the old empire, but the wider migration of recent years has changed all that. Jason Cowley explores the implications and canvasses the views of leading thinkers.
March 29 2004 / New Statesman
Some find true freedom when they are confined; others, like Saddam Hussein, meet their nemesis. From Dickens through Dostoevsky to Beckett, the hole in literature has become a metaphor for isolation, a place of safety or danger, a sanctuary or a prison.
January 12 2004 / New Statesman
Despite a Booker nomination and a Nobel Prize, these writers, unheard in their own land, feel oppressed by emptiness. The white South African novelist profiled by Jason Cowley.
October 13 2003 / New Statesman
Throughout its 35-year history, the Booker Prize has never failed to generate controversy, gossip and scandal-and that is precisely its purpose. Jason Cowley on what remains the publishing event of the year.
August 25 2003 / New Statesman
Visions of apocalypse, once confined to science fiction, now dominate mainstream films and novels.
July 21 2003 / New Statesman
It is 20 years since The Smiths’ first hit transformed the British music scene. Jason Cowley on pop’s antidote to early Thatcherism - intriguing front man Morrissey.
June 2 2003 / New Statesman
Jason Cowley visits Europe’s nearest approximation to a classless society, and asks what secrets lurk in the dark.
December 16 2002 / New Statesman
Dr Bloch had an interesting story to tell. He had known Hitler at first hand; nearly forty years before he had been the Hitler family’s doctor.
October 1 2002 / Granta, 79
MPs say that Britain’s new towns are failing after decades of neglect. So what went wrong? Jason Cowley returns to Harlow, where he was brought up, to find out.
August 1 2002 / The Guardian
The bomb in a nightclub in the Austrian town of Linz summons up the terrible ghosts of the past.
July 30 2002 / The Guardian
Those who voted for Le Pen belong to a generation which, in the words of one writer, “knows that pleasure is the opposite of happiness”. Jason Cowley on a nation’s cultural emptiness.
June 5 2002 / New Statesman
Much has been written about the suffering that the Nazis inflicted during world war two. But who remembers the two million Germans who died after hostilities ended? Jason Cowley reports on a country reassessing its past.
March 27 2002 / The Guardian
Interpreting the US terrorist attacks through Immanuel Kant, Francis Fukuyama and Tony Blair.
October 15 2001 / New Statesman
No writer had been more adept at exploiting postmodern ideas of the instability of the self and the slippage between autobiography and fiction, but this time it seemed as though Roth had reached a terminus, the point at which his stylised self-obsession had become a poetics of despair.
July 2001 / Atlantic Monthly; Prospect, Issue 65
Perhaps only Trieste, the cosmopolitan port on the shadowy, disputed borderlands between Italy and the former Yugoslavia, and Lisbon, with its brooding sense of an empire lost, have quite the same atmosphere as Cyprus: the same sense of vivid ghostliness.
March 11 2001 / The Independent
In 1977, the forces of Conservatism and punk were agitating to transform Britain.
October 30 2000 / New Statesman
It used to be said that if you wanted to discover someone’s religion in Glasgow, you simply asked which football team they supported.
August 27 2000 / The Independent
There is something mysterious and unaccountable about Trieste, a certain kind of vivid ghostliness that has struck many visitors to the cosmopolitan Adriatic port.
June 25 2000 / The Independent
Many books deserve better than simply to fade out of print: but what’s to be done in an industry obsessed with novelty? Jason Cowley discovers that he’s not the only one who treasures lost literary gems.
March 30 2000 / The Times
The new bridge uniting Sweden and Denmark is a towering icon of science and modernity; it is also a powerful symbol of the onward march to a borderless Europe.
January 31 2000 / New Statesman
In Moscow’s Hungry Duck, everyone dances on the bar. Soon, you feel, there will be a cleansing, apocalyptic fire.
January 1 1999 / New Statesman
The Great War lives on vividly in poems now the 80th anniversary of the armistice has triggered a new publishing boom. But do books bring us closer to the truth, asks Jason Cowley.
November 8 1998 / The Sunday Times
The Russian Booker Prize has galvanised writers to produce controversial winners. Jason Cowley reports.
December 11 1997 / The Times
Francis Stuart, one of Ireland’s finest living writers, spent the last war in Berlin writing scripts for Lord Haw Haw. Jason Cowley visits the 94 year old writer in his Dublin bungalow and considers the relationship between great art and brutal politics in the lives of Stuart, Céline and Knut Hamsun.