LRB Cover
Volume 36 No 14
17 July 2014

LRB blog 22 July 2014

Christian Lorentzen
Conspiracy of Errors

22 July 2014

Peter Pomerantsev
In Moscow

22 July 2014

Nadia Connor
Bridget Riley


31 July 2014

Mouin Rabbani
Israel mows the lawn

16 February 1984

Edward Said
Permission to narrate

10 October 2013

Pankaj Mishra
After Suharto

In the next issue, which will be dated 31 July, Marina Warner on dolls and other human replicas, Adam Shatz on Robbe-Grillet and Colin Burrow on Robert Herrick.


Wednesday 23 July at 7.00 P.M.

The Ranters: Nigel Smith in conversation with Stephen Sedley

Sunday 27 July at 2.00 P.M.

Sunday Poetry Salons: Annie Freud and Amy Key

Tuesday 29 July at 6.30 P.M.

Happy Hour

More Events...

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Mouin Rabbani

Israel mows the lawn

Netanyahu seized on the 12 June disappearance of three young Israelis in the West Bank like a drowning man thrown a lifebelt. Despite clear evidence presented to him by the Israeli security forces that the young men were already dead, and no evidence to date that Hamas was involved, he held Hamas directly responsible and launched a 'hostage rescue operation' throughout the West Bank. It was really an organised military rampage. More


David Runciman

World Cup Diary

Here comes the World Cup – and how nice it is to be able to contemplate a tournament where the focus will be on what happens on the pitch rather than in the dugout. During the club season just past, the cult of the football manager got out of hand. More

Judith Butler

The Death Penalty

‘Whence comes this bizarre, bizarre idea,’ Jacques Derrida asks, reading Nietzsche on debt in On the Genealogy of Morals, ‘this ancient, archaic idea, this so very deeply rooted, perhaps indestructible idea, of a possible equivalence between injury and pain? Whence comes this strange hypothesis or presumption of an equivalence between two such incommensurable things? What can a wrong and a suffering have in common?’ By way of an answer, he points out that ‘the origin of the legal subject, and notably of penal law, is commercial law.’ More

Patrick Cockburn

Battle for Baghdad

In early June, Abbas Saddam, a private soldier from a Shia district in Baghdad serving in the 11th Division of the Iraqi army, was transferred from Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province in western Iraq, to Mosul in the north. The fighting started not long after he got there. But on the morning of 10 June the commanding officer told his men to stop shooting, hand over their rifles to the insurgents, take off their uniforms and get out of the city. Before they could obey, their barracks were invaded by a crowd of civilians. More

Owen Bennett-Jones

In the Caliphate

In many respects Isis is a very modern organisation. The brochure detailing its 2012-13 activities is like a state of the art corporate report. The most striking page, with slick graphic design, has 15 silhouetted icons – time bombs, handcuffs, a car, a man running – with each representing a field of activity: roadside bombs, prisoner escapes, car bombs and the clearance of apostates’ homes. Next to a picture of a pistol is the word ‘assassinations’ and the number 1083: the number of targeted killings Isis claims to have pulled off in the year under review. More

Sheila Heti

How to Be an Asshole

There was a time when artists and writers flocked to inexpensive cities to allow themselves the trials of making art over the trials of making a living. In North America today, the main site of literary activity or literary business – which more and more amount to the same thing – is Brooklyn. Yet it’s probably one of the toughest places for a writer to live cheaply and noodle about, wearing rags. What happens when artists gravitate to places where they can make art only with great financial effort; where writers have to be journalists, adjunct professors, or work in cafés. More

Short Cuts
Thomas Jones

At the Movies
Michael Wood