Books

We need a system where books that publishers really love, where it’s not mere puff, get a special sticker on the front, says John Self

Jeremy Black says McMeekin’s account provides tough reading for anybody endorsing the Guardian’s view of history

The Happy Traitor tells Blake’s story in a witty and sophisticated way, fully alert to its complexities and ironies

Nick Cohen on the ill-starred but seductive love affair between writers and alcohol

Paul du Quenoy learns how this enclave for the American elite shifted from swamp to swank in Russell Kelley’s: An Illustrated History of Palm Beach

Dan Hicks, The Brutish Museums: The Benin Bronzes, Cultural Violence and Cultural Restitution (Pluto Press)

Hamilton first delivered this to his publishers 80 years ago in March 1941. What does a re-read of it tell us about the time that produced it?

This biography on Sir Stanley Rous and sport in the twentieth century is scholarly, balanced and well-written, says Lincoln Allison

Do we really need another biography about Francis Bacon? The answer is emphatically yes, says Christopher Bray

The rambling and discursive nature of the writing lends Rupert Everett’s book an enjoyable appeal