Tariq Ali is a polymath. Age 80 he was born in Lahore, British India. He studied in Oxford.
He has written many history and political books on many topics. His works demonstrate a good command of the sources.
His recommendations on books are perceptive.
In his latest book, Winston Churchill His Times, His Crimes (paperback 2023) he has this to say of some books-
Russia and the West under Lenin and Stalin by George F Kennan (1961) best describes the static political views of Western leaders on Russia since 1917 as “we are good, they are bad”. (p 153)
Mark Elvin ‘s The Pattern of the Chinese Past  remains the finest social and economic history of China in English. (p 210)
Herbert Bix’s Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan published in 2000 remains the best book on Hirohito. (p 219)
The best biography on Winston Churchill is Clive Ponting’s Churchill published 1994. (p 420).
I agree with him having read these books myself.