In this compelling and essential book, Jason Cowley examines contemporary England through a handful of the key news stories of recent times to reveal what they tell us about the state of the nation and to answer the question Who Are We Now?
March 31 2022 / Picador - Pan Macmillan
A decade of dogma has left Labour a rotten shell
December 15 2019 / The Sunday Times
The soft power of sport
November 14 2019 / Spear's Magazine
The irrationality of fandom
September 23 2019 / Spear's Magazine
Lost by the Caspian Sea
August 9 2019 / Spear's Magazine
Why 1989 was the hinge year in English football’s modernisation
May 2 2019 / New Statesman/Spear's Magazine
Why I backed Woods to win another Major
February 5 2019 / Spear's Magazine
You cannot be an innovator twice
December 1 2018 / Spear's Magazine
Ed Smith is getting a lot right - for now
October 1 2018 / Spear's Magazine
The last great emigre publisher in London
February 22 2018 / New Statesman
There is something rotten in the culture of Arsenal football club
September 1 2017 / Evening Standard
Very much in the image of their manager, Roy Hodgson, England were well organised, disciplined, lacking in flair, modestly artisan and resilient.
June 12 2012 / Evening Standard
[Patrick] French’s [authorised biography of V S Naipaul, The World Is What It Is] is the finest book of its kind I have read. He shows us Naipaul as he really is: tortured, brilliant, harsh, contradictory, cruel, unforgiving, fearless, sexually tormented.
December 18 2008 / New Statesman
When I used to think of nature writing, or indeed the nature writer, I would picture a certain kind of man, and it would always be a man: bearded, badly dressed, ascetic, misanthropic.
July 2008 / Granta, 102
[Granta] had vitality and was engaging with the present moment in ways that so many other British publications were not. It had none of the parochialism, self-satisfaction and introversion one would have expected of a literary magazine.
April 2008 / Granta, 101
Collected New Statesman articles 1999-2007.
December 2007 / New Statesman
Last week, the chairman of the Booker Prize judges complained about the nepotistic world of book reviews. But he missed a far greater problem besetting the modern publishing industry.
October 21 2007 / The Observer
Jason Cowley gave up his golfing ambitions 20 years ago. Now he’s back on the course, but finds his biggest challenge is not in the lie of the ball - it’s in the lies he told himself about his game. And he’s not getting any younger either.
July 1 2007 / The Observer
I thought of the writers by whom I would most like to read a new novel - Roth, JM Coetzee, Ian McEwan, Milan Kundera, Zadie Smith - I never thought of [Cormac] McCarthy. Then I read The Road, his latest, and astounding, novel.
June 2007 / Prospect
A former hippy hangout in a remote corner of Western Australia, Margaret River has matured into a charming enclave of fine wines and food.
April 15 2007 / The Observer
As the ragga music blared and the tills rang at the open-air bars in Rodney Bay, Jason Cowley bumped into New Zealand and England cricketers intent on a good night out. Then the World Cup darkened into tragedy.
April 1 2007 / The Observer
There is something far too conventional about the way books are reviewed and discussed in our newspapers and cultural magazines.
December 2006 / Prospect
Robert Harris may be one of Britain’s best rewarded popular novelists, but he remains a victim of literary snobbery, or so he thinks.
October 2006 / Prospect
After the match, his final defeat as England manager, Sven-Goran Eriksson seemed somehow reduced and much smaller as he prepared to take questions from his tormentors in the press.
July 2 2006 / The Observer
Argentina’s playmaker sometimes seems to be playing a game beyond his peers.
June 18 2006 / The Observer
Last weekend, Arsenal played their final league match at Highbury, an occasion that was at once a celebration and a long goodbye. No one seemed to be living more intensely through those last moments at the venerable stadium in north London than Arsène Wenger.
May 14 2006 / The Observer
A hero of our time: where indeed shall we find one?
April 3 2006 / New Statesman
I have seldom met a writer who has been satisfied with a film adaptation of one of his or her novels or indeed a reader who feels that a favourite book has been well served by its transition from page to screen.
March 2006 / www.waterstones.co.uk
For me… pleasure is increasingly less about a heightening of self through intoxication, as I used to think, than a kind of release from self.
February 12 2006 / The Observer
In the early weeks of February as our high street shops become cluttered with the paraphernalia and ephemera of the love industry, we are forced, often reluctantly, to confront the question of love.
February 2006 / www.waterstones.co.uk
Jason Cowley on how some novelists want to be characters in their own books.
October 2005 / www.waterstones.co.uk
The best commentators weren’t just experts - they were eloquent, writes Jason Cowley.
July 11 2005 / New Statesman
While Beijing looks set to be gigantic, the UK capital should offer a vision that is true to the modesty and spirit of the original Games.
July 10 2005 / The Observer
The Arsenal captain’s on-off move to Real Madrid last summer led to a season of frustration and lost form. As his side’s last chance for a trophy, the FA Cup final, approaches, Jason Cowley speaks to Patrick Vieira, his friends and confidants, to discover how deeply the Spanish saga has affected him.
May 8 2005 / The Observer
In March 2005, the journalist and literary critic Jason Cowley travelled to New York to meet David Sylvian for an article published in the Observer on 10 April. Their conversation continued over email.
March 2005 / An interview with David Sylvian
Apartheid, not the ruling regime, brought race into South African cricket, writes Jason Cowley.
February 7 2005 / New Statesman
You get better gossip in the match press box than in the Westminster lobby, writes Jason Cowley.
January 17 2005 / New Statesman
Jason Cowley on how the mysterious Fijian Vijay Singh became the world’s best player.
November 28 2004 / The Observer
It was a fortnight of tears in Athens, writes Jason Cowley. Matthew Pinsent wept with joy; Hicham El Guerrouj collapsed in tears after breaking his Olympic hoodoo in the 1,500m; and, of course, there was Paula Radcliffe, her hopes dashed on the road from Marathon.
September 5 2004 / The Observer
Jason Cowley celebrates Andrew Flintoff, the exuberant and irresistible England all-rounder.
September 5 2004 / The Observer
After a stellar career on the track - and an equally speedy rise in politics - Sebastian Coe now heads London’s bid for the 2012 Olympics. But with his team lying third on the last lap, can he once again kick to the finish?
August 8 2004 / The Observer
Cricket in Zimbabwe has no future because it is almost wholly a white game, writes Jason Cowley.
May 17 2004 / New Statesman
Waugh is over: in praise of the man who transformed Test cricket.
January 12 2004 / New Statesman
Cherish English footballers while you can; they are dying out, writes Jason Cowley.
June 16 2003 / New Statesman
Cast out by the cricket establishment, cursed by failed relationships and traumatised by the death of his mother: small wonder Phil Tufnell agreed to bug-eating in the bush. Jason Cowley meets the nation’s favourite Jack-the-lad.
June 7 2003 / The Observer
He spent his final days in the second XI. Yet Robert Bailey was a hero. By Jason Cowley.
August 12 2002 / New Statesman
Football has become rich and cosmopolitan and at the heart of our entertainment culture. But what about the footballers themselves?
June 2002 / Prospect, Issue 75
That World Cup win and that swinging summer created a benchmark against which we will always be measured, and always found wanting.