Deborah Friedell

Deborah Friedell is a contributing editor at the LRB.


Deborah Friedell, 4 July 2024

Robert F. Kennedy Jr​ was nine years old on 22 November 1963 when his mother told him that ‘a bad man shot Uncle Jack.’ He was fourteen, asleep at boarding school, when his father was assassinated at a hotel in Los Angeles. He became used to the sound of people weeping everywhere he went, no matter what he did. He looked so much like his father that ‘even fifty years after...

In​ 1867, Mark Twain went to Europe aboard the Quaker City, the ‘first luxury cruise in American history’. He was underwhelmed by the Titians in the Doge’s Palace – ‘there is nothing tangible about these imaginary portraits, nothing that I can grasp and take a living interest in’ – but awestruck by his tour guide. The man appeared to be – was...

Virginia Woolf​ wasn’t sure what she felt when she heard that Katherine Mansfield was dead. The cook, ‘in her sensational way’, had broken the news to her at breakfast: ‘Mrs Murry’s dead! It says so in the paper!’

At that one feels – what? A shock of relief? – a rival the less? Then confusion at feeling so little – then, gradually,...

From The Blog
29 December 2023

Not just anybody can be president of the United States. You have to be at least 35 years old, a ‘natural born citizen’ and a resident of the country for at least fourteen years. You can’t have already served two full terms as president. And, according to Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, written just after the end of the American Civil War and ratified in 1868:

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.

Short Cuts: The Freedom Caucus

Deborah Friedell, 16 November 2023

In​ 2013, Mark Meadows was a new congressman from North Carolina. He’d owned a restaurant, then worked in real estate, but felt the call to rescue his country from godless socialism. He’d made a promise to his constituents: if they sent him to Washington, he would send ‘Mr Obama home, to Kenya or wherever it is’. The Republicans controlled the House of Representatives...

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