LRB Cover
Volume 41 Number 14
18 July 2019

LRB blog 16 July 2019

Frederic Wehrey
In Tripoli

15 July 2019

Ahdaf Soueif
On Resigning from the British Museum’s Board of Trustees

12 July 2019

Chris Larkin
Who’s watching the cricket?


6 July 2006

Graham Robb
The history of the bicycle

6 June 2019

Richard J. Evans
Nazi Journalists

8 October 2015

Colm Tóibín
Sex Lives of the Castrati

In the next issue, which will be dated 1 August, James Meek will write about the incomparable Jacob Rees-Mogg.

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John Lanchester

Universal Basic Income

Will people be content with the current winner takes all version of capitalism? Will we be fine with the rich taking a bigger and bigger share of total income, until the end of time, as the world drowns and burns and starves? Will we succumb to what’s now being called ‘climate apartheid’, with the rich world cutting itself off from the poor and entrenching itself behind barriers and walls, and letting the poor world die? On current form, you would have to say that is not an unlikely version of future events. If we are to avoid going down that route, we will need to have some different, better ideas; we will need to have some ideas about shared responsibility, shared security and shared prosperity. The left will need a new toolkit. It will need to have done its intellectual prep. That, more than anything, is what this new wave of work on UBI represents. More

Adam Tooze

Germany Divided

There is much to admire about German democracy. It is flexible, open, constantly changing. The six parties it is now made up of broadly reflect the divisions of German society. The complexity is a reflection of reality. But can it produce leadership? The answer matters for Europe as well as Germany itself. A clear German position is needed on issues ranging from Brexit and the development of the Eurozone to climate change and security policy in the age of Trump. A strategic window of opportunity closed in 2017 when Emmanuel Macron waited in vain for an answer from Berlin for his Sorbonne vision of Europe’s future. Europe can ill afford further delay. It is possible that a reconfiguration of politics in Berlin will eventually produce a more decisive, more pro-European government. But that is speculation. And how long will it take? More

Seamus Perry

W.S. Graham

He began to try, in the poems he wrote in the 1940s, to make the difficulty of communication the whole point, transmuting his defensive belligerence into an extraordinary private language – the elements of which appear the same as those of the language we all use, so that it has a tantalising sense of something familiar but on investigation is completely elusive. They are the sort of poems you call hard. I don’t really know what to do with them, so I start playing games, like ‘spot the verb’. More

Clare Bucknell

Nose, no nose

‘When I came to Louisa’s, I felt myself stout and well, and most courageously did I plunge into the fount of love, and had vast pleasure,’ James Boswell wrote in his diary on a winter’s night in 1763, after an assignation with a beautiful Covent Garden actress. But the next day ‘came sorrow. Too, too plain was Signor Gonorrhoea.’ The arrival of the Signor was heralded by ‘damned twinges’, ‘scalding heat’ and the excrescence of ‘deep-tinged loathsome matter’. More

At the Grand Palais
Andrew O’Hagan

Short Cuts
William Davies

At Tate Liverpool
Eleanor Nairne


AUDIO Heaney Overheard

Seamus Heaney

Seamus Perry and Mark Ford discuss the work of the Nobel laureate. Listen  »

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AUDIO This place is pryson

Mary Wellesley

Mary Wellesley enters an anchorite’s cell. Listen  »

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