LRB Cover
Volume 38 Number 4
18 February 2016

LRB blog 11 February 2016

Jon Day
Mechanical Doping

11 February 2016

Gillian Darley
Los Niños de Guernica

10 February 2016

Aaron Bastani
Bernie Sanders


23 March 2006

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt
The Israel Lobby

7 February 2008

Frank Close
Gravitational Waves

5 August 2004

Edward Said
A Lecture

In the next issue, which will be dated 3 March, Frances Stonor Saunders on borders, the second of this year’s LRB Winter Lectures. Christian Lorentzen will report from New Hampshire.


Thursday 25 February at 7.00 P.M.

Fortress Europe: Matthew Carr and Jeremy Harding

Tuesday 1 March at 7.00 P.M.

'The Lonely City': Olivia Laing and Brian Dillon

Wednesday 2 March at 6.00 P.M.

March Late Night Shopping

More Events...

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James Meek

Robin Hood in a Time of Austerity

The wealthiest and most powerful in Europe, Australasia and North America have turned the myth to their advantage. In this version of Robin Hood the traditional poor – the unemployed, the disabled, refugees – have been put into the conceptual box where the rich used to be. It is they, the social category previously labelled ‘poor’, who are accused of living in big houses, wallowing in luxury and not needing to work, while those previously considered rich are redesignated as the ones who work terribly hard for fair reward or less, forced to support this new category of poor-who-are-considered-rich. More

Tim Parks

Skulduggery in the Vatican

‘Most blessed Father,’ five international auditors wrote to Pope Francis on 27 June 2013, three months into his papacy, ‘there is an almost total lack of clarity in the accounts of both the Holy See and the Governorate.’ The letter goes on: ‘This lack of clarity makes it impossible to establish a proper estimate of the real financial position of the Vatican, whether as a whole or with regard to the single elements of which it is made up. It also means that no one can really consider themselves responsible for its financial management. All we know is that the data we examined indicates a seriously negative trend.’ More

Sheila Fitzpatrick

Julian Barnes

The two great preoccupations of Barnes’s Shostakovich are his own character weaknesses and his relationship to the Soviet regime (‘Power’). The women in his life get some attention, his male friends less. The interior monologue is written in the third person, and occasionally reads as if it might be a translation from the Russian, which is all to the good, since one doesn’t want one’s foreign protagonists sounding too English. The prevailing tone is ironic, a form of self-protection Shostakovich hopes ‘might enable you to preserve what you valued, even as the noise of time became loud enough to knock out window-panes.’ More

Adam Shatz

Israel’s Putinisation

Ahmad Tibi, a long-standing Arab member of the Knesset, once remarked that ‘Israel is democratic towards Jews, and Jewish towards Arabs.’ For many years, that soundbite nicely captured the contradictions of ‘Jewish democracy’: fair elections, press freedom, cantankerous debate and due process for some; land theft, administrative detention, curfews, assassinations and ‘muscular interrogations’ for others. Tibi meant to call attention to the hypocrisy of Israel’s claims to be a democratic state, but as he effectively admitted, Jewish democracy did work for Jews – even Jews radically opposed to the occupation. More

At the Design Museum
Brian Dillon

Short Cuts
Daniel Soar

At the Movies
Michael Wood