This section includes biographies on notorious pirates such as Blackbeard, Sir Francis Drake, Jean Lafitte and others.
Van Buren was the first ethnic president – he wasn’t of Anglo-Saxon decent like his predecessors, but was Dutch (and was a native Dutch speaker). Also the first president from New York, he was the person who introduced the phrase “okay” into common American vernacular. Van Buren was a shrewd politician – he basically invented the complicated party politics we have today - but his strengths became weaknesses, and his weaknesses caught up with him. His presidency was unsuccessful, and only lasted one term.
Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects
S wing Time, like her previous novel NW (2012), is about two female friends raised on the kind of housing estates where Smith herself started out. Both are mixed race, their “shade of brown exactly the same”, but Smith has an Austen-like sensitivity to social gradations; it matters very much that the narrator is the posher of the two. Satisfying and thoughtful; what satire there is feels sombre and controlled. JW
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Graeme Fowler's autobiography is an anarchic, hilarious and insightful look back at 40 years in professional cricket.
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