LRB Cover
Volume 41 Number 17
12 September 2019

LRB blog 13 September 2019

Liam Shaw
A sharp crack and a heavy explosion

11 September 2019

Matthew Bennett
‘Eliminate the teachers’

10 September 2019

James Butler
Empty Houses


26 September 2019

Christian Lorentzen
Edward Snowden’s Education

8 July 2010

Jenny Turner
The Institute of Ideas

18 July 2019

William Davies
Reasons to be Cheerful

In the next issue, which will be dated 26 September, Eliot Weinberger's 'One Summer in America'.

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Christian Lorentzen

Edward Snowden’s Education

The boy sat on his father’s lap and watched him pilot a helicopter in the living room: he was playing the flight simulator game Choplifter! Six-year-old Eddie Snowden received a Nintendo Entertainment System for Christmas in 1989, and his ‘real education’ began. He learned about the ‘invisible wall’, the rule that prevents a player of Super Mario Bros from going backwards in a game that moves, like words on a page, strictly from left to right. There is no reversing time. The leaker of government documents can’t go home again. More


Stephen Sedley

In Time of Meltdown

After six years as a judge – and, going by some of his judgments, a good judge too – Jonathan Sumption has returned to the theme of the deference owed by law to politics. It is his bad luck to have done so at a moment when the UK’s political process, both in and outside Parliament, has been in functional meltdown and moral decline, while both his own court and the lower courts have remained a source of constitutional principle and political stability. More

Julian Barnes

The Morisot Sisters

Many artists live with a shadow version of themselves: an awareness of how things might have been if they had done this and not that, if life had made this choice for them rather than that. The road not taken remains at the back of the mind. For some their shadow is an external presence, for others an inner haunting. Few can have experienced it more precisely, with more emotional complexity, than Berthe Morisot. More

Richard J. Evans

Michael Gove

Gove, like Johnson, has never worried about inconsistency. In March, for example, he declared firmly: ‘We didn’t vote to leave without a deal. That wasn’t the message of the campaign I helped lead.’ He seems to approach every subject with the mentality of an Oxford Union debater: no matter what you’ve said before, the main thing is to trounce whoever happens to be in front of you at the time. More

Lynne Vallone

The original Siamese twins

In 1824, a Scottish merchant called Robert Hunter was sailing down the Mekong when he saw a ‘two-headed Hydra-like creature’ climbing into a dinghy. On closer inspection, Hunter discovered ‘not some amphibious reptile’ but two identical young boys connected at the chest by a thick band of flesh. He had been on the lookout for new ways to make money in Siam; that summer’s day, he found one in the body of the 13-year-old twins. More

At the Movies
Michael Wood

Short Cuts
Benjamin Kunkel


VIDEO Bishop v. Gunn

Colm Tóibín

Colm Tóibín listens to Elizabeth Bishop and Thom Gunn reading their poetry. Watch  »

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AUDIO These Etonians

James Wood on Eton

James Wood recalls his time at school with Boris Johnson, David Cameron etc. Listen  »

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