Adam Shatz

Adam Shatz is the LRB’s US editor. He is the author of Writers and Missionaries: Essays on the Radical Imagination, which includes many pieces from the paper, and The Rebel’s Clinic: The Revolutionary Lives of Frantz Fanon. He has written for the LRB on subjects including the war in Gaza, Fanon, France’s war in Algeria, mass incarceration in America and Deleuze and Guattari. His LRB podcast series, Human Conditions, considers revolutionary thought in the 20th century through conversations with Judith Butler, Pankaj Mishra and Brent Hayes Edwards. Sign up here.

Vengeful Pathologies

Adam Shatz, 2 November 2023

On 16 October​, Sabrina Tavernise, the host of the New York Times podcast The Daily, spoke to two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. ‘So, Abdallah,’ Tavernise said to Abdallah Hasaneen, a resident of Rafah, near the Egyptian border, who was only able to get a signal from his balcony, ‘we’ve been talking about all of the air strikes that have been...

Albert Camus​ hated travelling. ‘Fear is the price of travel,’ he wrote in his journal of an unhappy trip through Central Europe in the summer of 1935, where he found himself gripped by ‘an instinctive desire to regain the shelter of old habits’. For Camus, who had tuberculosis, travel abroad raised the prospect not only of psychic unease but of illness: ‘We are...

On Ming Smith

Adam Shatz, 2 March 2023

When​ you first look at this photograph by Ming Smith, it’s not clear what it is you’re seeing. In the left background is a figure – black pants and white sneakers – drowning in light; the face is invisible, gender indeterminate. To the right, closer to the viewer, is another figure, also of indeterminate gender, also bathed in white light, performing an acrobatic...

Kaminsky bought chemistry books from bouquinistes along the Seine and taught himself to make explosives. But when a man known as Penguin (aka Marc Hamon) recruited him for the Resistance, he wasn’t interested in his knowledge of explosives so much as his knowledge of dyes. The Resistance needed papers for passeurs at the border, for members parachuting in from the UK and for Jews at risk of deportation. Kaminsky proved remarkably resourceful and inventive.

Why were​ supporters of the Democrats – including seasoned election-watchers – so easily persuaded by Republican triumphalism? The polls were one reason, of course. But susceptibility to Republican hype is more directly a result of the Trump years. There is every reason to fear that Trump, or rather Trumpism, might return. It’s easy to mock MSNBC-watching liberals who rapidly resort to analogies with Germany in the 1930s (especially when analogies with episodes in American history, such as Reconstruction and the McCarthy era, are closer to hand and more illuminating). But there is little doubt that the United States has become more vulnerable to authoritarian challenges thanks to the deterioration of its democracy over the last two decades. The reasons for this decline are many but include the absence of limits on campaign finance and the overwhelming influence of corporate money, the right-wing assault on black enfranchisement and the descent of some quarters of red America into conspiratorial culture-war fanaticism.

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