LRB Cover
Volume 39 Number 20
19 October 2017

LRB blog 20 October 2017

Frederick Wilmot-Smith
Sovereignty or Power

18 October 2017

Eleanor Fellowes
Pentonville Stays Open

17 October 2017

Jeremy Bernstein
Heavy Water

MOST READ

7 April 1994

Edward Luttwak
Why Fascism is the Wave of the Future

27 May 1993

Wendy Steiner
When you die you’ll go to hell

8 July 2010

Jenny Turner
The Institute of Ideas

In the next issue, which will be dated 3 November, Piero Gleijeses on the Cuban revolution, Madeleine Schwartz on Christina Stead, Michael Kulikowski on the mapping of Rome.

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Patricia Lockwood

Carson McCullers

In The Square Root of Wonderful, her stand-in Phillip cries out: ‘Don’t understand my writing. Understand me.’ The writing is what we have, though, and the real genius of it is something that would see through the sordidness of her adult life in an instant. It is something intact and childlike that watches from an unmoving corner in the still Southern air. It is deforming to be a prodigy, but for someone like McCullers, it is perhaps more deforming to stop being one. Her work turns on the moment when the prodigy must leave the inner room and go out into the world. More


Carolyn Steedman

A New World for Women

In my summer birdcage of reading and rereading I only cried once. It wasn’t the novels that provoked tears, but a government report. I am used to crying over government reports. Various 19th-century commissions of inquiry into child labour in libraries around the country are stained with my tears. I cried over the Robbins Report because I found for the first time something I had always known: ‘The trials that their parents had to undergo are in themselves sufficient reason for the country to exert itself to meet the needs of their children.’ A government report compiled in the spirit of social justice! I love the state because it has loved me. My tears were tears of acknowledgment. More

Patrick Cockburn

Underground in Raqqa

Tactical agility won’t be enough to save the caliphate, which is now being overwhelmed on multiple fronts. Islamic State’s great strength came from the way it combined religious cult and war machine; its weakness was that it saw the whole world as its enemy, which meant that it would always be outnumbered and outgunned. Without allies and dealing only in violence, it led an unlikely alliance of states normally hostile to one another to find common cause against it, and engage in a degree of reluctant co-operation. As IS comes close to losing its power, old rivalries and divisions are beginning to re-emerge – but in a political landscape significantly reshaped by the war with IS. More

Short Cuts
Tom Crewe

At the British Museum
Nick Richardson


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