LRB Cover
Volume 37 Number 8
23 April 2015

LRB blog 27 April 2015

John Lanchester
Episode 14: The Buy-to-Let Racket

27 April 2015

Fatema Ahmed
In Brent Cross

24 April 2015

John Lanchester
Episode 13: Nudge, Nudge


30 April 2009

Colin Burrow
Wolf Hall

5 February 2015

Rosemary Hill
Death in Belgravia

15 December 2011

Mohammed el Gorani and Jérôme Tubiana

In the next issue, which will be dated 7 May, a short story by Hilary Mantel; Jenny Turner and Dawn Foster on education under the Tories; Neal Ascherson on Erich Maria Remarque’s last book.


Monday 27 April at 7.00 P.M.

After the Election: A Debate

Tuesday 28 April at 7.00 P.M.

Yonatan Mendel on the State of Israel

Wednesday 29 April at 7.00 P.M.

Curiosity: Alberto Manguel and John Sutherland

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John Lanchester’s Election Diary: Episode 14

More than 200 MPs – that’s a third of Parliament – own buy-to-let properties. More than 100 of them own buy-to-let properties in London. They do that because they know very well just how rigged the system is. More


James Meek

Who owns Grimsby?

I’d come to Grimsby to see why, after seventy years of voting Labour, the town was flirting with the United Kingdom Independence Party. After a while I began wondering what had happened to make Grimsby a wild and lonely enough place for the sandpiper to feel at home. It turns out the reason is the same. Someone, or something, abdicated power in Grimsby, leaving swathes of it to rot. But who, or what? And what will the succession be? People tell you in Grimsby there was only one power: that fish was king, and that it didn’t abdicate, it was overthrown by foreigners. More

Richard Seymour

Bye Bye Labour

Ed Miliband sacks his shadow attorney general, Emily Thornberry, for conveying a ‘sense of disrespect’ towards the owner of a white van. Ed Balls, having given up his brief attempt at an attack on the coalition’s austerity policy, courts respectability by pledging to honour all the coalition government’s spending cuts. Rachel Reeves gratuitously alienates the unemployed and welfare recipients – groups she treats as identical, although the majority of people who receive benefits are in work – by insisting that Labour ‘is not the party to represent those who are out of work’. More

Katherine Rundell

Night Climbing

In the last few years, I have fallen in love with brick. I carry in my head a taxonomy of drainpipes and cement and scaffolding; I’ve become, in the last decade, a night climber. A while ago I climbed up the side of Battersea Power Station, up the great smoke stacks, to look at the world as it lay below. It’s the largest brick building in Europe, and I wanted to see it before it disappeared. It’s easier than you would think to get onto the walls of Battersea. You shin up a lamppost and drop down over a wall and there’s the power station, huge and already part dismantled, lying like an upended dinosaur. More

Christopher Clark

Wilhelm II

In January 1904, King Leopold II of Belgium was invited to Berlin to attend a birthday dinner for Kaiser Wilhelm II. The two monarchs were seated next to each other and everything was going nicely until the Kaiser suddenly brought up the question of a possible future French attack on Germany. In the event of a war between Germany and France, Wilhelm explained, he would expect the Belgians to side with Germany. So long as they agreed, he would see to it personally that Belgium was rewarded after the conclusion of hostilities with territories annexed from northern France. More

Short Cuts
Thomas Jones

In Fife
Kathleen Jamie

At Tate Liverpool
Alice Spawls