LRB Cover
Volume 36 Number 22
20 November 2014

LRB blog 21 November 2014

Glen Newey
Subliminal Falsehood

21 November 2014

Conrad Landin
Royal Mail’s Managed Decline

20 November 2014

Roxana Badin
My Great-Uncle Tony


4 December 2014

Jacqueline Rose
An Object Lesson in Masculinity

10 June 1999

W.G. Runciman
The Meme Machine by Susan Blackmore

27 April 2000

Jerry Coyne
There’s more to life than DNA

In the next issue, which will be dated 4 December, T.J. Clark on Rembrandt; Charles Hope: Battle over the Warburg.


Monday 24 November at 7.00 P.M.

An Evening with James Ellroy

Tuesday 25 November at 6.00 P.M.

Christmas Customer Evening: Belgian Beer and Bites

Thursday 27 November at 7.00 P.M.

After Sebald

More Events...

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Jacqueline Rose

At the Donmar

In the latest Coors Light Ice Bar cinema advertisement, Jean-Claude Van Damme slices through enormous ice blocks with his bare hands and shatters them with a single thrust of his legs. Perhaps it was because I saw the ad within 24 hours of Phyllida Lloyd’s extraordinary all-female production of Shakespeare’s Henry IV that the play struck me as an object lesson in masculinity for our times. More

Ross McKibbin

Labour Vanishes

The Labour Party may be the largest party after the next election, and it may even secure a majority, but it could also do very badly. These alternatives show Labour’s decline since the first couple of years of the coalition, when a Labour victory in 2015 was (more or less) confidently predicted. The change is reflected in the party’s mood: in the nerviness, the timidity and the stress-induced gaffes. Ed Miliband has lost authority as he has lost the courage of his convictions. It’s clear that he never had the political self-confidence to impose his authority on the neo-Blairites who surround him. More

Bee Wilson

Punk Counterpunk

Some time in 1979, after the death of Sid Vicious and before the enthronement of Margaret Thatcher, Vivienne Westwood ‘lost interest’ in punk. She and her lover Malcolm McLaren had been at the heart of the British version: they had dreamed up much of the look, the attitude and the lyrics, though not the sound. A full year before David Bowie adopted the same hair style, Westwood had her hair bleached blonde and cut ‘coupe-sauvage’ style: tufty, asymmetrical and barmy-looking. She went to America and dressed the New York Dolls. More

Seamus Perry

Dylan Thomas’s Moment

Dylan Thomas’s foredoomed premature death feels intrinsic to his late romanticism, part of what made him the ‘Rimbaud of Cwmdonkin Drive’, as he labelled himself. But he could have escaped the legend to which he had devoted such energies. As Paul Ferris’s excellent biography established some time back, while Thomas was certainly in a bad way, his death was down to a medical blunder. He wasn’t martyred by the barbarians of the Inland Revenue: by the time he died Thomas was on the verge of being what he had never been before – a success. More

Adam Shatz

Breivik & Co

Before he went on his mass killing spree in 2011, Anders Behring Breivik was a regular at the Palace Grill in Oslo West. He looked harmless: another blond man trying to chat up women at the bar. ‘He came across as someone with a business degree,’ one woman recalled, ‘one of those West End boys in very conservative clothes.’ Indeed he had tried his hand at business, though he’d never completed a degree, or much of anything else. And he was a West End boy, a diplomat’s son. Yet there was the book he said he was writing, a ‘masterwork’ in a ‘genre the world has never seen before’. More

At the Movies
Michael Wood

Short Cuts
Jeremy Harding