In the latest issue:

Real Men Go to Tehran

Adam Shatz

What Trump doesn’t know about Iran

Patrick Cockburn

Kaiser Karl V

Thomas Penn

The Hostile Environment

Catherine Hall

Social Mobilities

Adam Swift

Short Cuts: So much for England

Tariq Ali

What the jihadis left behind

Nelly Lahoud

Ray Strachey

Francesca Wade

C.J. Sansom

Malcolm Gaskill

At the British Museum: ‘Troy: Myth and Reality’

James Davidson

Poem: ‘The Lion Tree’

Jamie McKendrick

SurrogacyTM

Jenny Turner

Boys in Motion

Nicholas Penny

‘Trick Mirror’

Lauren Oyler

Diary: What really happened in Yancheng?

Long Ling

Close

Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions of use refer to the London Review of Books and the London Review Bookshop website (www.lrb.co.uk — hereafter ‘LRB Website’). These terms and conditions apply to all users of the LRB Website ("you"), including individual subscribers to the print edition of the LRB who wish to take advantage of our free 'subscriber only' access to archived material ("individual users") and users who are authorised to access the LRB Website by subscribing institutions ("institutional users").

Each time you use the LRB Website you signify your acceptance of these terms and conditions. If you do not agree, or are not comfortable with any part of this document, your only remedy is not to use the LRB Website.


  1. By registering for access to the LRB Website and/or entering the LRB Website by whatever route of access, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions currently prevailing.
  2. The London Review of Books ("LRB") reserves the right to change these terms and conditions at any time and you should check for any alterations regularly. Continued usage of the LRB Website subsequent to a change in the terms and conditions constitutes acceptance of the current terms and conditions.
  3. The terms and conditions of any subscription agreements which educational and other institutions have entered into with the LRB apply in addition to these terms and conditions.
  4. You undertake to indemnify the LRB fully for all losses damages and costs incurred as a result of your breaching these terms and conditions.
  5. The information you supply on registration to the LRB Website shall be accurate and complete. You will notify the LRB promptly of any changes of relevant details by emailing the registrar. You will not assist a non-registered person to gain access to the LRB Website by supplying them with your password. In the event that the LRB considers that you have breached the requirements governing registration, that you are in breach of these terms and conditions or that your or your institution's subscription to the LRB lapses, your registration to the LRB Website will be terminated.
  6. Each individual subscriber to the LRB (whether a person or organisation) is entitled to the registration of one person to use the 'subscriber only' content on the web site. This user is an 'individual user'.
  7. The London Review of Books operates a ‘no questions asked’ cancellation policy in accordance with UK legislation. Please contact us to cancel your subscription and receive a full refund for the cost of all unposted issues.
  8. Use of the 'subscriber only' content on the LRB Website is strictly for the personal use of each individual user who may read the content on the screen, download, store or print single copies for their own personal private non-commercial use only, and is not to be made available to or used by any other person for any purpose.
  9. Each institution which subscribes to the LRB is entitled to grant access to persons to register on and use the 'subscriber only' content on the web site under the terms and conditions of its subscription agreement with the LRB. These users are 'institutional users'.
  10. Each institutional user of the LRB may access and search the LRB database and view its entire contents, and may also reproduce insubstantial extracts from individual articles or other works in the database to which their institution's subscription provides access, including in academic assignments and theses, online and/or in print. All quotations must be credited to the author and the LRB. Institutional users are not permitted to reproduce any entire article or other work, or to make any commercial use of any LRB material (including sale, licensing or publication) without the LRB's prior written permission. Institutions may notify institutional users of any additional or different conditions of use which they have agreed with the LRB.
  11. Users may use any one computer to access the LRB web site 'subscriber only' content at any time, so long as that connection does not allow any other computer, networked or otherwise connected, to access 'subscriber only' content.
  12. The LRB Website and its contents are protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. You acknowledge that all intellectual property rights including copyright in the LRB Website and its contents belong to or have been licensed to the LRB or are otherwise used by the LRB as permitted by applicable law.
  13. All intellectual property rights in articles, reviews and essays originally published in the print edition of the LRB and subsequently included on the LRB Website belong to or have been licensed to the LRB. This material is made available to you for use as set out in paragraph 8 (if you are an individual user) or paragraph 10 (if you are an institutional user) only. Save for such permitted use, you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, post, reproduce, translate or adapt such material in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the LRB. To obtain such permission and the terms and conditions applying, contact the Rights and Permissions department.
  14. All intellectual property rights in images on the LRB Website are owned by the LRB except where another copyright holder is specifically attributed or credited. Save for such material taken for permitted use set out above, you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, post, reproduce, translate or adapt LRB’s images in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the LRB. To obtain such permission and the terms and conditions applying, contact the Rights and Permissions department. Where another copyright holder is specifically attributed or credited you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, reproduce or translate such images in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the copyright holder. The LRB will not undertake to supply contact details of any attributed or credited copyright holder.
  15. The LRB Website is provided on an 'as is' basis and the LRB gives no warranty that the LRB Website will be accessible by any particular browser, operating system or device.
  16. The LRB makes no express or implied representation and gives no warranty of any kind in relation to any content available on the LRB Website including as to the accuracy or reliability of any information either in its articles, essays and reviews or in the letters printed in its letter page or material supplied by third parties. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability of any kind (including liability for any losses, damages or costs) arising from the publication of any materials on the LRB Website or incurred as a consequence of using or relying on such materials.
  17. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability of any kind (including liability for any losses, damages or costs) for any legal or other consequences (including infringement of third party rights) of any links made to the LRB Website.
  18. The LRB is not responsible for the content of any material you encounter after leaving the LRB Website site via a link in it or otherwise. The LRB gives no warranty as to the accuracy or reliability of any such material and to the fullest extent permitted by law excludes all liability that may arise in respect of or as a consequence of using or relying on such material.
  19. This site may be used only for lawful purposes and in a manner which does not infringe the rights of, or restrict the use and enjoyment of the site by, any third party. In the event of a chat room, message board, forum and/or news group being set up on the LRB Website, the LRB will not undertake to monitor any material supplied and will give no warranty as to its accuracy, reliability, originality or decency. By posting any material you agree that you are solely responsible for ensuring that it is accurate and not obscene, defamatory, plagiarised or in breach of copyright, confidentiality or any other right of any person, and you undertake to indemnify the LRB against all claims, losses, damages and costs incurred in consequence of your posting of such material. The LRB will reserve the right to remove any such material posted at any time and without notice or explanation. The LRB will reserve the right to disclose the provenance of such material, republish it in any form it deems fit or edit or censor it. The LRB will reserve the right to terminate the registration of any person it considers to abuse access to any chat room, message board, forum or news group provided by the LRB.
  20. Any e-mail services supplied via the LRB Website are subject to these terms and conditions.
  21. You will not knowingly transmit any virus, malware, trojan or other harmful matter to the LRB Website. The LRB gives no warranty that the LRB Website is free from contaminating matter, viruses or other malicious software and to the fullest extent permitted by law disclaims all liability of any kind including liability for any damages, losses or costs resulting from damage to your computer or other property arising from access to the LRB Website, use of it or downloading material from it.
  22. The LRB does not warrant that the use of the LRB Website will be uninterrupted, and disclaims all liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any damages, losses or costs incurred as a result of access to the LRB Website being interrupted, modified or discontinued.
  23. The LRB Website contains advertisements and promotional links to websites and other resources operated by third parties. While we would never knowingly link to a site which we believed to be trading in bad faith, the LRB makes no express or implied representations or warranties of any kind in respect of any third party websites or resources or their contents, and we take no responsibility for the content, privacy practices, goods or services offered by these websites and resources. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability for any damages or losses arising from access to such websites and resources. Any transaction effected with such a third party contacted via the LRB Website are subject to the terms and conditions imposed by the third party involved and the LRB accepts no responsibility or liability resulting from such transactions.
  24. The LRB disclaims liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any damages, losses or costs incurred for unauthorised access or alterations of transmissions or data by third parties as consequence of visit to the LRB Website.
  25. While 'subscriber only' content on the LRB Website is currently provided free to subscribers to the print edition of the LRB, the LRB reserves the right to impose a charge for access to some or all areas of the LRB Website without notice.
  26. These terms and conditions are governed by and will be interpreted in accordance with English law and any disputes relating to these terms and conditions will be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
  27. The various provisions of these terms and conditions are severable and if any provision is held to be invalid or unenforceable by any court of competent jurisdiction then such invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect the remaining provisions.
  28. If these terms and conditions are not accepted in full, use of the LRB Website must be terminated immediately.
Close

One of my many accomplishments is to lecture without notes and standing up. I began this practice when I was an Assistant Lecturer at Manchester University some half a century ago. I reflected that both I and my audience would find my lectures unendurably tedious if I had read them half a dozen times already. I also felt that it was more courteous to stand up when giving a lecture, rather than to sit at a table reading a text written out beforehand. I have stuck to these practices all my working life.

It took me a long time to arrive on the television screen as a lecturer. The high authorities of television insisted that lectures on television were out of the question, and those given without notes still more so. I cannot remember when I won the battle. I would guess some time in the Sixties. After that I had some misfortunes – especially that of being knocked down by a motor-car in Old Compton Street, which put me into hospital for two months or more, and provoked an outbreak of Parkinson’s Disease which refuses to leave me. It has taken my mind two or three years to work properly, and even longer for me to recover the ability to stand up with confidence before a camera.

Now I am running freely once more. I gave the first of six television lectures on ‘how wars end’ a few weeks ago.* The lectures seemed quite all right to me. And what do I find in the Observer? A television critic who writes that the old boy should be allowed to sit down. I do not need to sit down and can do much better standing up. Even if I was wheeled on stage in a bath-chair I should leap up when I began to lecture. However, I suppose I should show some gratitude for the critic’s solicitude about me. I shall still lecture standing up when my next turn comes in a week or so.

The cinema offers few clowns nowadays. I am the more grateful that the BBC is putting out a series of Buster Keaton at his best. We have already had two: Go west, which is about driving cattle across a continent, and Our Hospitality, which presents a hostile family pursuing Keaton across a countryside much given to waterfalls up which Keaton climbs with great ingenuity. We are promised more, and I could watch one every week. I look back to Keaton’s earlier works. The General is a historical film of great virtue – probably the best film made about the American Civil War. Even more remarkable is the film made at the request of the Canadian Pacific Railway when Keaton was approaching old age. He set out across the Canadian continent in an open wagon. The highest spot came when Keaton insisted on taking his breakfast when he was crossing a river on a high precarious bridge. At the climax he insisted on standing up in the open to read a newspaper, which blew open and encompassed him. The production crew were most alarmed, Keaton not at all. I suppose he is dead now, but his spirit certainly lives on. I used to think Chaplin greatest of them all. Now I am not so sure until I see a Chaplin again. And now I think about the matter the name of W.C. Fields comes into my head. However you look at it, the entertainment provided fifty years ago was on a much higher level than it is now. Moral: I never go to the cinema under any circumstances.

I suppose that Enver Hoxha was the last of the last-war heroes. He started by fighting the Germans and kept up a running conflict with everyone else. Albania, his state, is still in a state of war with Great Britain. He found no difficulty in standing up to Stalin. Indeed he stood up to most Communist states and ignored most non-Communist states. I know very little about the principles on which he ran Albania, or indeed anything. But he was a teacher in an elementary school, from which he rose to supreme power, which he held onto for over half a century. I wonder what, if anything, he did for Albania. I wonder what he was like. Did he have any conversation? Will he be remembered in the history of his country for time immemorial? Or are the Albanians dancing in the streets now that they have seen the last of him? Altogether a rather curious episode in world history.

Recently my reputation has been vindicated. Here is the story. In 1943 the British commanders in Italy had a fantasy that they soon would break into Hungary and penetrate the Axis position from behind. The Political Warfare Executive took upon itself the production of a handbook for the guidance of the occupying forces. I was instructed to write a short history of Hungary. I consulted Michael Karolyi, who was then living in London. He duly supplied a short history with a firm left-wing outlook, and with that my labours were finished – or so I thought. Any product of PWE had to be submitted to the Foreign Office, which was dominated by members who had an outlook on Hungary very different from mine. One was a former ambassador, Sir Owen O’Malley, who had served in Hungary and was devoted to Admiral Horthy. The other was Macartney, a pseudo-professor who was also devoted to Admiral Horthy. The two of them tore my handbook to pieces and submitted long passages of their own.

I forgot all this at the time. It disturbed me later when Hungarian researchers accused me of sharing the views of O’Malley and Macartney. When the Hungarians looked further, they discovered my version, much mauled, but still in existence. A curious way to be vindicated forty years afterwards but vindicated all the same. I reread the surviving passages of my handbook and found them rather good.

This was not my last affair with PWE. I was set to write another handbook dealing with the history of Weimar Germany. I was told that my product held out little hope for the establishment of a democratic Germany in the near future. My manuscript was returned to me. Still the episode was a stroke of luck all the same. I offered the manuscript to Hamish Hamilton as the beginning of a history of Germany. He accepted the draft at once and there was my first ambitious work of history. It became The Course of German History and is still selling. But my days with PWE were over – not that I regretted this.

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

letters@lrb.co.uk

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.