LRB Cover
Volume 38 Number 23
1 December 2016

LRB blog 5 December 2016

Thomas Jones
After Renzi

2 December 2016

Oscar Webb
The Gambians in Palermo

1 December 2016

Gwen Burnyeat
Peace in Colombia?


15 December 2016

Jonathan Lethem
Theatre of Injury

22 May 2014

Perry Anderson
The Italian Disaster

20 July 2006

Jeremy Waldron
Against Free Speech

In the next issue, which will be dated 15 December, Mark Bradley on the history of Vietnam.

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Jonathan Lethem

Theatre of Injury

I write out of disarray, from a field of compatriots in disarray. We’re drifting like astronauts, distantly tethered by emails like the one I just got from a friend: ‘i feel like he is making everyone sick, and bipolar./i feel like I am so incredibly ill-equipped to deal with any of this./i’m taking blind advice from all comers without feeling like anything is remotely adequate./ i feel nostalgic for all of life before Nov 8, 2016.’ More


David Runciman

A Failed State?

People voted for him because they didn’t believe him. They wanted change but they also had confidence in the basic durability and decency of America’s political institutions to protect them from the worst effects of that change. They wanted Trump to shake up a system that they also expected to shield them from the recklessness of a man like Trump. How else to explain that many people who reported themselves alarmed by the idea of a Trump presidency also voted for him? More

Jan-Werner Müller

The Populist Moment

Not everyone who criticises elites is a populist. Those who draw a lazy equivalence between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump fail to recognise that populists don’t stop at protesting against Wall Street or ‘globalism’. Rather, populists claim that they and they alone speak in the name of what they tend to call the ‘real people’ or the ‘silent majority’. This claim to a moral monopoly of representation has two consequences that are immediately deleterious for democracy. More

Frederick Wilmot-Smith

Brexit in Court

What is the proper distribution of power between Parliament and the executive? It’s a question raised by the recent High Court decision in Miller v. The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. Under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, a member state must ‘notify the European Council of its intention’ to leave, commencing a two-year period of negotiations on the terms of its withdrawal. But who has the power to speak for the state? More

Joanna Biggs

Zadie Smith

No other British writer of Smith’s generation (or since) has had her early, extreme fame. This has meant both that she has had to serve her novelistic apprenticeship in public, trying out ideas and seeing them fail or succeed in front of everyone, and that she has been protected from the hard knocks of a writing life, and so allowed to retain a certain childlike freshness in her relationship to the world. There is also a sense that we must protect her. More

Short Cuts
Christian Lorentzen


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