Why are the best historians all rightwing? I mean, of course, all the good historians writing at the moment. The opposite used to be true – if you wanted to read some really imaginative, bold historical writing several years ago, you would turn to Marxists like EP Thompson, and . These writers belonged to a radical school of British historians who interpreted Marx in creative, subtle ways, and who were all fascinated by the nature of culture and disinclined to use crude models of base and superstructure. Today, the running is being made by the royalists and Tories and even the defenders of empire – the really clever, provocative history books are by the likes of David Starkey, and above all .