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Karl Sabbagh

Karl Sabbagh is a writer and TV producer whose book The Riemann Hypothesis is just out in paperback from Farrar, Straus in the US. He is completing a history of Palestine, to be published by Atlantic.

“Louis de Branges’s paper was slipped onto the internet without a fuss. There is no evidence that, so far, any mathematician has read it: de Branges and his proof appear to have been ostracised by the profession. I have talked to a number of mathematicians about him and his work over the last few years and it seems that the profession has come to the view that nothing he does in this area will ever bear fruit and therefore his work can be safely ignored. It may be that that a possible solution to one of the most important problems in mathematics is never investigated because no one likes the solution’s author.”

Letter

There is another way

13 September 2018

Emma Barnes writes that Keynes would have found unrealistic ‘the idea that governments might impose hairshirt policies on citizens (especially when there was no guarantee that other governments would do the same) or that individuals themselves would choose to reduce their consumption dramatically (again, with no guarantee that others would do the same)’ (Letters, 22 November). It’s...
Letter
One of the cadavers from which samples of Spanish flu virus have been taken was that of Sir Mark Sykes, who along with Georges-Picot reorganised the Middle East after the First World War. Sykes was exhumed in 2008, and his lungs and brain supplied 17 samples of the virus for research.
Letter
Stephen Sedley writes that it is difficult to track events that failed to take place because of pressure to abandon events critical of Israel, ‘or for fear of it’ (LRB, 4 May). Well here is just one example. Last autumn Skyscraper, of which I am managing director, published a book called State of Terror, about the regular and systematic use of terror attacks by Jewish gangs against British,...
Letter
Tom Crewe writes that A.C. Benson’s diary was the ‘longest known to be in existence’ (LRB, 20 April). In fact, at four million words, it was merely on the nursery slopes. The American poet Arthur Crew Inman’s diaries ran to 17 million words and generated a play and an opera. Inman died in 1963. A severely abridged version in two volumes, edited by Daniel Aaron, was published...
Letter

Gaza

29 January 2009

Henry Siegman says that he isn’t aware of a single major American TV channel whose coverage of the assault on Gaza questioned the Israeli line. He must have missed the extraordinary exchange broadcast live on CNN, after the station decided to fact-check the allegation made by the Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti that Israel, not Hamas, had broken the truce.The exchange began with the...
Letter
Ferdinand Mount mentions Balfour’s forgetfulness about names (LRB, 20 March). That wasn’t the only indication of his poor memory. J.M.N. Jeffries, a Daily Mail journalist with very good sources in Whitehall, told the following story in Palestine: The Reality (1939):Once during 1919, in Paris, after an important meeting of the Council of Ten, next morning [Balfour] was shown by a secretary...

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