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When I read news from the country of my birth, the emotions I experience (with rare exceptions) are disgust, horror, and despair. This last week, for example, saw the sentencing of the Woolwich killers. These two young men, English-born to Christian Nigerian parents, converts to Islam, ran down an off-duty British soldier in May last... Read More
Last week I took a trip back to England for a family event. It was my first time in the Old Country since 2008 (for a different family event). Family business took up most of my time; I had little opportunity for exploring. What follows are some random notes and observations. In a way, the... Read More
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is visiting us here in Manhattan this week. As I write this, she has just got through delivering an address to the U.N. General Assembly, 16 of whose member nations have her as their head of state. The speechwasn't anything very substantive, but then she's a constitutional monarch. Non-substantive speechifying... Read More
The Edwardians, by Roy Hattersley
I am not sure how much the title of this book means to an American reader, or what connotations the word "Edwardian" has over here. Edward VII, eldest son of Queen Victoria, ruled Britain and her empire from 1901 to 1910. In the common usage of British people, though, the Edwardian age is always taken... Read More
I visit the land of my birth.
Over to England to join a conference on anti-Americanism. Good conference: thought-provoking ideas from a roomful of conservatives, including some personal favorites: Roger Kimball, NR's own John O'Sullivan, Paul Hollander, and others. Some of the contributions, including mine, will probably be printed up in a forthcoming issue of that excellent magazine The New Criterion. They... Read More
That wonderful English cuisine.
Robert Browning, Rupert Brooke and Will Godwin's Australian miner notwithstanding, I don't think English people are much prone to homesickness. Quite a large number of English expatriates are glad to be out of the place. They will tell you what the sailor told George Borrow in Lavengro: "England was a hard mother to me, as... Read More
Britain's imported race problem.
"What's all this about race riots in England?" my American friends keep asking me. "Who are these 'Asians' that are throwing rocks at the police? What's their beef? Can you explain this?" You bet I can. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin. It is important to understand that England's race problem is nothing like... Read More
Britain's foot-and-mouth epidemic.
The roast beef of Old England doesn't look so appetizing nowadays. An outbreak of foot and mouth disease was diagnosed two weeks ago on some English farms. The disease is transmitted by a virus, the aphthovirus, which belongs to the same family as the rhinoviruses that cause the common cold in humans. It is lethal... Read More
I am old enough to remember when we Brits used to snigger at you Yanks about your obsession with race. The brains of white Americans, we used to murmur smugly to each other over buttered pikelets and a cup of Ty-phoo, had been addled with guilt. You just couldn't get over the fact that some... Read More
The Isles, by Norman Davies
Forty years ago the English comic-song duo of Michael Flanders and Donald Swann produced their "Song of Patriotic Prejudice," a sort of spoof English — as opposed to British — national anthem. After an introductory verse to set the theme ("The rottenest bits of these islands of ours / We've left in the hands of... Read More
A survey of some books on U.S. history
On the weekend of the Fourth one's thoughts turn naturally to the history of these United States, and to one's own lamentable failure to read as much history as a good citizen (or, in my case, intending citizen) should. But quality is a fair substitute for quantity, so here are some of the best from... Read More
John Derbyshire
About John Derbyshire

John Derbyshire writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. His most recent book, published by com is FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle).His writings are archived at