LRB Cover
Volume 41 Number 8
18 April 2019

LRB blog 23 April 2019

Mary Wellesley
Margaret the Dragon Slayer

19 April 2019

Anna Aslanyan
On Waterloo Bridge

18 April 2019

Alex de Waal
Sudan after Bashir


8 July 2010

Jenny Turner
The Institute of Ideas

15 November 2001

Jenny Turner
The Hobbit Habit

4 April 2019

Jon Day
Pigeon Intelligence

In the next issue, which will be dated 9 May, Jenny Turner on Mark Fisher.

follow the London Review of Books on Twitter
Follow us on Twitter


Adewale Maja-Pearce

‘Make Nigeria Great Again’

On one side was the incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the 76-year-old former military dictator who had overthrown a democratically-elected government in the mid-1980s and was himself ousted in a palace coup two years later. On the other was the 72-year-old Atiku Abubakar, the only candidate – and there were dozens – who had any hope of unseating him. Like Buhari, Atiku is a Muslim, but less obviously devout. His personal fortune is reckoned to be $1.4 billion. The source of his wealth is the subject of speculation. More


Adam Shatz

Trump’s America, Netanyahu’s Israel

Today Israelis see no need to conceal, much less extenuate themselves for, their country’s militarism or racism. In the 1960s and 1970s, Western tourists went to Israel to take part in collective farming on kibbutzim. Police officers and soldiers now go to learn new methods of collective punishment and surveillance. For Europe’s greatest internal victims to have refined the repression of another people into a science is now regarded as an advantage rather than an embarrassing secret, or indeed a tragedy. And with Trump’s help, Zionism’s id has been emancipated from its superego. More


Colm Tóibín

‘It’s curable,’ he said

Soon a routine began. A sleeping pill every night gave me rest from about 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. I woke knowing it wouldn’t be long before I heard noises in the corridor; a nurse would come to check my blood pressure and take my temperature. Then someone – often a very glamorous Asian woman – would arrive to take blood that would go to the laboratory. Then – usually between 6.30 and 7 – the oncologist would arrive, turn on the light, and ask me in a soft voice how I was. Early on, I decided that unless I was fully falling apart, I would tell him I was well. I enjoyed adding that there were ‘no issues’. I had never used the word ‘issues’ before. I had heard it used most memorably by an English novelist at a foreign literary festival when he told his publisher that he ‘had issues’ with his bedroom. Now, I could use it every morning if I wanted. It was one of the small compensations for having cancer. More

Robert Crawford

Was Eliot a Swell?

Very few people will read through all these thousands of pages, and their publication risks making Eliot seem more daunting than ever. While this vast hoard offers scholars all sorts of opportunities, the problem for most common readers is to work out what that word ‘Eliot’ now means. Is ‘Eliot’ still the slim volume of poetry that can be slipped inside a coat pocket? Or does the name now unavoidably bring with it this vast body of letters, plays, poems and prose that can be transported only by fork-lift truck and accessed in full only via a computer in addition to a printed library? Just what the name ‘Eliot’ conjures up has always been a problem. More

Susan Pedersen

What on earth was he doing?

Was Eric Hobsbawm interested in himself? Not, I think, so very much. He had a more than healthy ego and enough self-knowledge to admit it, but all his curiosity was turned outward – towards problems, politics, literatures, languages, landscapes. Never without a book, whether bound for a tutorial or the local A&E, for decades he disappeared off for tramping holidays or conferences anywhere from Catalonia to Cuba the moment term ended. One friend, on holiday in southern Italy in 1957, saw two men in a field and said to her husband: ‘But look, it’s Eric!’ And, she recalled, ‘it really was Eric, with a peasant. He was interviewing the peasant.’ More

Short Cuts
David Bromwich

At Tate Britain
Jeremy Harding

Consider the Golden Mole
Katherine Rundell


AUDIO The State of... the Nation

State of the Internet

William Davies and Lorna Finlayson join Joanna Biggs and Tom Crewe to discuss the state of the UK in the age of Brexit. Listen  »

More audio »

VIDEO Defying Gravity

Adam Tooze

In his LRB Winter Lecture, Adam Tooze examines an alternative, counterintuitive vision of America. Watch  »

More video »