LRB Cover
Volume 39 Number 20
19 October 2017

LRB blog 17 October 2017

Jeremy Bernstein
Heavy Water

14 October 2017

Mike Davis
El Diablo in Wine Country

13 October 2017

Warwick Mansell
The Education Business

MOST READ

30 March 2017

Robert Baird
‘Lincoln in the Bardo’

17 August 2017

John Lanchester
It Zucks!

19 April 2001

Colm Tóibín
Oscar Wilde

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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FROM THE NEXT ISSUE

Lucy Prebble

Thoughts on Harvey Weinstein

Powerful abusers are often strangers to consequence. Everybody knows. Nobody speaks. It is only because Weinstein’s influence has waned that women felt able to voice the truth without fearing for their livelihoods. And it is now that we can hear the unusual silence of men. Shamefully, it has never occurred to me to expect male colleagues to say or do anything about their friends’ more shabby behaviour. I have never seen that happen, not once, in my entire life. More

FROM THE LATEST ISSUE

Jenny Turner

Kathy Acker’s Ashes

What matters most, as Chris Kraus said recently, is ‘how history speaks to the present’. So what is it that Kathy Acker is saying, to us, right now? When I first read I Love Dick, it gave me the strangest sullen feeling, as if it had thrust me straight back to school: yes, yes, the feeling said, I know you’re thinking it’s all going on a bit, but actually, it’s performative philosophy. It’s rigorously crafted and precise. It was tracing that feeling back, to my younger self as a reader in the 1980s, that made me realise how much Acker there is curled up inside that book. Tedious mess or rigorous experiment? Art or ranting? What if the really great thing Acker’s work is saying is that it can be both? 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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