LRB Cover
Volume 36 Number 21
6 November 2014

LRB blog 30 October 2014

Anna Aslanyan
Energy Rights

27 October 2014

Ben Jackson
Mais non, monsieur

24 October 2014

Inigo Thomas
Fungal Forays


8 November 2012

Andrew O’Hagan
Our Paedophile Culture

20 March 2008

Hilary Mantel
Story: ‘Offences against the Person’

8 May 1986

Richard Rorty
The Contingency of Selfhood

In the next issue, which will be dated 20 November, Seamus Perry on Dylan Thomas.


Friday 31 October at 7.00 P.M.

Tomás González

Tuesday 4 November at 7.00 P.M.

Some Luck: Jane Smiley

Wednesday 5 November at 6.00 P.M.

November Customer Evening

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Patrick Cockburn

The Battle for Kobani

Over the summer Isis – the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – defeated the Iraqi army, the Syrian army, the Syrian rebels and the Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga; it established a state stretching from Baghdad to Aleppo and from Syria’s northern border to the deserts of Iraq in the south. Ethnic and religious groups of which the world had barely heard – including the Yazidis of Sinjar and the Chaldean Christians of Mosul – became victims of Isis cruelty and sectarian bigotry. In September, Isis turned its attention to the two and a half million Syrian Kurds who had gained de facto autonomy in three cantons just south of the Turkish border. More

James Salter

Those Magnificent Men

The age of flight had barely begun in 1914 – the Wright brothers flew at Kitty Hawk in 1903 – but it had developed swiftly. The Wrights’ airplane – in the shape of a big box kite, made of spruce and muslin – flew at a speed of about seven miles an hour, not much faster than a man walking briskly beside it. By 1908 an improved version went forty miles an hour, and a year after that Blériot, in a plane of his own design, flew across the English Channel. When the war broke out airplanes were being used primarily for reconnaissance, but soon started firing at one another with small arms, and then progressively machine guns appeared. More

Iain Sinclair

London’s Lost Cinemas

While trying to ignore my seventieth birthday I was offered an unexpected gift, which was also a challenge: the chance to nominate seventy films that would be shown in orthodox and unorthodox venues across London. I didn’t want to play the listing game of best or worst or personal favourite. And it didn’t work, in Dillinger fashion, to isolate one film for every year of my life; the big clusters came in the 1960s and there were plenty of desert epochs during which I saw practically nothing. I scanned my published books, in reverse order, and assembled a catalogue of films referenced. I wrote brief notes on all of them, realising that there were unexpected connections and overlaps. More

Frederick Wilmot-Smith

Legal Aid

In the 12th and 13th centuries, judges would be sent out from Westminster every seven years to adjudicate on any disputes that had come about since their last sojourn. In 1292, in Shropshire, Alice Knotte complained that Thomas Champeneys ‘detaineth from her seven shillings in money and a surcoat of the value of three shillings’. ‘Alice can get no justice at all,’ she protested, ‘seeing that she is poor and that this Thomas is rich.’ She implored the judge: ‘I have none to help me save God and you.’ Alice then might be Alice today. What should she do? She cannot simply take the seven shillings from Thomas.  Not only does the law forbid it, Thomas’s wealth means he probably has the power to take it back. More

Short Cuts
David Runciman

At the RA
John-Paul Stonard

At Tate Modern
Anne Wagner


Robert Wade

The Economic Occupation of the West Bank

The restrictions are so pervasive and systematic that it almost seems as if the Israeli state has mapped the entire Palestinian economy in terms of input-output relations, right down to the capillary level of the individual, the household, the small firm, the large firm, the school, the university, so as to find all possible choke points, which Israeli officials can tighten or loosen at will. Under these circumstances – which I’m happy to say I have never encountered elsewhere – political and economic development is barely possible. More


25 September 2003

Stuart Kerr
On Trial in Turkey

20 February 1997

David McDowall

23 September 2010

James Davidson
Greek Names