LRB Cover
Volume 39 Number 16
17 August 2017

LRB blog 23 August 2017

Naomi Grant
Teaching ‘Of Mice and Men’

22 August 2017

Nick Holdstock
China, CUP and ‘Academic Freedom’

21 August 2017

Louis Allday
A British Ambassador’s View of Castro

MOST READ

16 July 1998

John Sturrock
The Social Text Hoax

22 March 2007

John Sturrock
Don't Bother to Read

17 December 1992

John Sturrock
The Paris Strangler

In the next issue, which will be dated 7 September, Amia Srinivasan on octopuses, Ferdinand Mount on the conquest of India, Rosemary Hill on Charles and Camilla.

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John Lanchester

It Zucks!

I am scared of Facebook. The company’s ambition, its ruthlessness, and its lack of a moral compass scare me. It goes back to that moment of its creation, Zuckerberg at his keyboard after a few drinks creating a website to compare people’s appearance, not for any real reason other than that he was able to do it. That’s the crucial thing about Facebook, the main thing which isn’t understood about its motivation: it does things because it can. That’s why the impulse to growth has been so fundamental to the company, which is in many respects more like a virus than it is like a business. Grow and multiply and monetise. Why? There is no why. Because. More

Marina Warner

The Liveliness of the Dead

The dead are hard to think about – and, in many ways, to read about. Unlike animals, which Lévi-Strauss declared were not only good to eat but bon à penser, too, I found that I averted my eyes, so to speak, several times as I was reading this book. Not because of the infinite and irreversible sadness of mortality, or because of the grue, the fetor, the decay, the pervasive morbidity, but because the dead present an enigma that can’t be grasped: they are always there in mind, they come back in dreams, live in memory, and if they don’t, if they’re forgotten as so many millions of them must be, that is even more disturbing, somehow reprehensible. More


Neal Ascherson

The Unusual History of Heligoland

Konrad Adenauer said that ‘peaceful Heligoland, set in the seas between Germany and Britain, will be in future a symbol of the will to peace and friendship of both nations.’ Few Britons now know where the place is. Still fewer know that it was once a British colony, a tiny offshore reminder that Britain is as much a European nation as it was ever a global power. More

Tom Crewe

The New Deal

‘Post-truth’ is a faulty concept because it presupposes the existence of shared, accepted ‘truths’ which are actually, you know, true. But also because it implies the existence of a ‘pre-truth’ period, a lawless Wild West of unmeaning and misunderstanding that was at some point tamed by the self-discipline and integrity of politicians and the media. This second assumption is equally misguided. More

At Tate Modern
Jeremy Harding

In for the Kill
Inigo Thomas

At the Movies
Michael Wood


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