Ian Thomson first wrote for the Guardian under the literary editorship of Richard Gott. Founded in 1821, the paper was known as the Manchester Guardian until 1959. Here is a selection of Ian Thomson’s more recent contributions.


My grandfather in Rangoon, 1935. Story of John Wilson Thomson’s death from TB.

25 April 2015


Should Bob Marley’s name be used to sell marijuana?
22 November 2014  – A new brand of cannabis, to be legally sold in the US, carries the late reggae singer’s name. His estate will benefit, but does ‘Marley Natural’ tarnish his legacy?


The Almost Nearly Perfect People: The Truth About the Nordic Miracle by Michael Booth – review

22 Jan 2014 – Is Scandinavia a social democratic paradise?


Italo Calvino: Letters, 1941-1985 – review – The Guardian

29 May 2013 – Italo Calvino’s letters shed light on the politics of book publishing and his struggle to succeed as a writer in post-fascist Italy.


Soldaten by Sonke Neitzel and Harald Welzer – review

25 Jan 2013 -Soldaten, drawing on secretly recorded conversations among SS…


Sugar in the Blood: A Family’s Story of Slavery and Empire

20 Jul 2012 -Ian Thomson on an absorbing but uneven family memoir taking in both sides the Barbadian slave trade and its legacy.


Il Duce and His Women by Roberto Olla – review | Books

13 Jan 2012 – Sex was at the centre of the Italian dictator’s image.


Death and the Dolce Vita by Stephen Gundle – review …

22 Jul 2011 – Ian Thomson fascinated by a book that reveals the real-life scandal behind Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita.


The Sugar Barons by Matthew Parker – review – The Guardian

1 Apr 2011 – Ian Thomson on how the cane fields of the West Indies hid a corrupt society.


Are We Related?: The New Granta Book of the Family …

18 Dec 2009 – A varied collection of writings on family ties impresses Ian Thomson.


Ian Thomson on Donald Hinds’s Journey to an Illusion

28 Aug 2009 – Here to stay. Donald Hinds came from Jamaica to work on the buses in the 1950s. His groundbreaking book captured the plight of West Indian immigrants in London.


Ian Thomson on Primo Levi’s Journey | Books | The Guardian

14 Oct 2006 – Ian Thomson assesses a film about Levi’s epic railroad journey home to Italy after the war.


Doors of no return – The Guardian

11 Aug 2006 – William St Clair illuminates the African side of the British slave trade in his dignified analysis, The Grand Slave Emporium, says 2.


Review: War Variations by Amelia Rosselli – The Guardian

18 Nov 2005 – Ian Thomson is impressed by War Variations, the collected poems of the Italian anti-fascist, Amelia Rosselli.


Stage | Books | The Guardian

2 Apr 2005 – Ian Thomson on Antony Sher’s Primo Time, a diary that tells us nothing we need to know.


Profile: James Hamilton-Paterson | Books | The Guardian

4 Jun 2004 – Ian Thomson reports on the literary loner James Hamilton-Paterson.


Review: In Search of a Beginning by Yvonne Cloetta | Books

16 Apr 2004 – Ian Thomson welcomes Yvonne Cloetta’s In Search of a Beginning, a life of Graham Greene that is faithful to the person, not the gossip.


Review: A Book of Lands and Peoples edited by Eric Newby

5 Dec 2003 – Ian Thomson admires A Book of Lands and Peoples, an anthology of travellers’ tales from the golden age of exploration, edited by Eric Newby.


Review: The Tomb in Seville by Norman Lewis – The Guardian

21 Nov 2003 – Norman Lewis’s last book, The Tomb in Seville, confirms him as one of the greatest English writers of the 20th century.


Profile: Henning Mankell | Books | The Guardian

31 Oct 2003 – Ian Thomson reports on the Swedish crime writer.


Review: A Writer’s World by Jan Morris | Books | The Guardian

27 Sep 2003 – Jan Morris, a matchless commentator, says she has written her last book. Ian Thomson assesses her collected journalism.


Profile: Jaan Kross | Books | The Guardian

4 Jul 2003 – Ian Thomson reports on the Estonian novelist.