I've written for a wide variety of publications over the past fifteen years -- The Spectator, The Times Literary Supplement, The Article, The Boston Globe, The Literary Review of Canada, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Globe and Mail, The Walrus -- as well as for my own blogs and online journals. The following is a selection of recent and older pieces.
The "global epic" style of environmental storytelling favoured by outlets like the BBC has its place, but Mark Cocker's collection of daily field notes, which span a year in the interconnected natural life of a small community in England, demonstrate that to understand nature properly you need to start with a sense of focus -- and a simple, personal desire to observe.
This spring's killing of the young Northern Irish journalist Lyra McKee by the New IRA prompted a wave of public condemnation. But the province's history -- and that of other states afflicted by civil strife -- indicates that majority support for violence is never a requirement for the resumption of conflict. The province's politicians have work to do to consolidate the peace.
Mastery of the oceans has long held fascination for grand strategists, yet its impact on the political development of the states that pursue it has rarely been plumbed. By studying maritime states like England, Venice, and the Dutch Republic, historian Andrew Lambert builds his case that sea power and political freedom uniquely bolstered each other. His case is not entirely convincing, however.