Portraits

chiang ching kuo

Chiang Ching-kuo – dictator or democrat?

To Chiang’s backers, he was a well-intentioned autocrat who put in place the foundations for Taiwan’s democratic transition; to his critics he was a sometimes brutal dictator who acted as he did out of necessity to ensure the survival of his party and its hold on power.

German Chancellor Gustav Stresemann

Gustav Stresemann: The man who almost saved the world

Stresemann guided the Weimar Republic through its post-war crisis with agility and tenacity. The question of whether he might have been able to do the same following the Wall Street Crash and the ensuing chaos remains bitterly alluring.

Statue of Pittacus

Pittacus – the good tyrant

After unpromising beginnings and innumerable controversies, Pittacus, seventh-century ruler of Mytilene on Lesbos, should be remembered as one of the great leaders of his age.

Priaulx Rainier

Priaulx Rainier: Fearless and pioneering composer

This astonishingly inventive, often radical, composer and musician, Priaulx Rainier, whose influence, imagination, and friendship were cherished by her artistic contemporaries – Barbara Hepworth and Michael Tippett among them – deserves to be better remembered.

Raïssa Maritain: more than a mystic

Driven by a desire for intellectual and spiritual truth, Raïssa Maritain’s writings search for peace and justice – but are sadly forgotten in our own time.

Portrait of King Rene of Anjou

René of Anjou – an Arthurian king

‘Good King René’ is remembered for the chivalry of his words and deeds, despite his numerous setbacks in the cruel arena of medieval politics.

The poet Decimus Magnus Ausonius

The moderate life of Decimus Magnus Ausonius

The Bordeaux-born teacher and scholar, Decimus Magnus Ausonius, exemplified broad-mindedness. His life offers us a glimpse into the last days of the Roman Empire and the value of toleration in a polarised society.

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