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

Letters

Vol. 13 No. 18 · 26 September 1991

Search by issue:

In defence of Intelligence

Phillip Knightley (LRB, 11 July) relishes the terrible career of CIA counter-intelligence chief James Jesus Angleton as proof of some of his own particular theories about spy agencies, somewhat tendentiously aired. Angleton was no more and no less ‘raw’ than many amateurs drawn into the intelligence community in World War Two. By all accounts, his work for ‘X-2’ (American counter-intelligence) in Italy was quite effective. Similarly, Knightley appears to have little knowledge of General Donovan’s ambitious plans for the OSS (the CIA’s predecessor). He indulges in British nostalgia if he thinks Donovan’s scope was restricted to a copy of the ‘Baker Street irregulars’ or SOE. Further into the review Knightley appears to forget that Angleton did indeed ‘serve in the front lines’ both during the Italian campaign and subsequently in the first post-war American covert operations, launched in Italy to defeat the efforts of the Italian Communist Party.

More generally, Knightley lacks any historiographical sense. Mangold’s book, on which he draws for his account of Angleton, is not the first, nor will it be the last book on the subject. Given the difficulties of documentary research into contemporary Intelligence, it is all the more important to weigh the findings of works largely based, as Mangold’s is, on oral interviews with other explorations. Knightley makes no reference to David Martin’s book on Angleton, Wilderness of Mirrors, nor to Robin Wink’s excellent study of the Yale intelligence generation in Cloak and Gown. He is, it appears, content with his own theories.

This confirms my own sense that Knightley simply does not know what Intelligence is about in historical terms, or what its roots are in the contemporary world. The futility of his appeal that intelligence agencies should be abolished in the democratic world does not strike him. The formula for their existence is simple, though the implications are complex. Intelligence agencies are designed, at least in the West, to provide one channel for vital information to governments about the ever-changing shape of the global political environment. The post-war need for them was understood to rest on the desirability of avoiding what one American journalist called future ‘atomic Pearl Harbors’. This is not to deny that intelligence agencies make repeated mistakes, terrible and costly ones, or that they are, in their very clandestinity, a standing infringement of ideal civil liberties, or that they employ paranoiacs. But the logical conclusion is not a desire for blindness, for intelligence agencies have stood, like it or not, as the eyes and ears of the state since Antiquity. Knightley’s dislike of such a state of affairs, revealed in the rather tasteless title of his own study, The Second Oldest Profession, does not change the reality, or in any way help in understanding or ameliorating the effects of Intelligence in the modern world.

Wesley Wark
University of Toronto

Serial Killers

Paul Seabright (Letters, 15 August) writes that ‘armies, police forces and secret services around the world employ serial killers in large numbers.’ True: and what else is new? The actions Dr Seabright writes about – ‘the bombing of Dresden or the “elimination" of terrorist suspects’ – have been usefully described as ‘crimes of obedience’. The prevalence of this type of crime has been one of the salient aspects of the 20th century, but the psychological processes involved are known, familiar ones involving the deliberate cultivation by military institutions of diminished affect and automatic obedience. Every army in the world sets out in its training procedures to produce something very like the ‘mental detachment’ Dr Seabright notices in his ‘routine and bureaucratic’ killers. (Though there is some evidence that this inculcated detachment can wear off: witness the truly astounding fact that more Vietnam veterans committed suicide after that war than GIs were killed during it.) There still seem to me to be some contentful distinctions to be made between a tail-gunner on a plane that participated in the bombing of Dresden and Geoffrey Dahmer, Milwaukee’s cannibal-murderer.

John Lanchester
London SW11

Bloom Unbound

Your readers deserve a better appraisal of Harold Bloom’s The Book of J than Donald Davie’s fear and trembling over alternatives to the King James Version (LRB, 13 June). Davie sounds like the hillbilly who didn’t see why his kids should study a foreign language: ‘If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for me!’

The fraud of David Rosenberg’s translation and Harold Bloom’s commentary has to be seen to be believed. For example, Rosenberg’s translates Genesis 3.14 (my italics):

‘Since you did this,’ said Yahweh to the snake, ‘you are bound apart from flocks, from any creature of the field, bound to the ground … I make you an enemy to woman, enmity bound between your seed and hers … ’

As an example of Rosenberg’s excellence, Bloom cites his version of the Tower of Babel:

‘If we bring ourselves together,’ they said, ‘we can build a city and tower, its top touching the sky – to arrive at fame. Without a name we’re unbound, scattered over the face of the earth.’ Yahweh came down to watch the city and tower the sons of man were bound to build. ‘They are one people, with the same tongue,’ said Yahweh. ‘They conceive this between them, and it leads until no boundary exists to what they will touch. Between us, let’s descend, baffle their tongue until each is scatterbrain to his friend.’

From there Yahweh scattered them over the whole face of the earth; the city became unbound.

Bloom comments: ‘J plays incessantly, in these passages and elsewhere, upon the Hebrew stem ’rr, which means “to restrain or bind, as by a magical spell". In J, ’rr is not quite a curse, but does constitute an antithesis to the Blessing of Yahweh, in which time loses its boundaries. My penultimate section in this book, “The Blessing: Exiles, Boundaries, Jealousies", deals in part with this complex.’

In the snake passage, the prime root ARAR does occur, but only once, not three times; God does indeed curse the snake. In the Tower of Babel passage ARAR is not the verb in any of the phrases in which Rosenberg translates ‘bound’ – the verbs in question may be transliterated PEN-NAFUTS, BANU and LIVNOT (same verb), and LO YIBBATSAR.

Amusingly, I think we can see how this sorry cheat came about. Rosenberg looked up ‘cursed’ (ARUR) in the snake passage in the great Hebrew and English Lexicon by Brown, Driver and Briggs, where ARAR (sic) is defined as ‘curse’. But, oh dear, he saw that the Hebrew is related to the Assyrian and Babylonian for ‘bind’. (The word no more means ‘bind’ in Hebrew than ‘jolly’ means ‘beautiful’ in English because it comes from Old French joli.) Bloom read Rosenberg’s ‘bound’ and knee-jerked to William Blake’s god Urizen, who is the ‘bound or outward circumference of Energy’ in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

James Hoyle
Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan

Outsider

I am sorry that the words ‘patriotic German’ applied to Michael Hamburger’s father (who won the Iron Cross in World War One) should seem offensive (Letters, 12 September). Perhaps ‘good German’ would have been more acceptable, though it has a slightly canting sound I dislike.

‘An outsider’: the point is that from adolescence Hamburger was an outsider in England who wanted to become an insider – hence the charm of Soho drinking. Yet as his book makes clear, he was never, by temperament, one of the boys. This ambivalence gives his book (which is more autobiographical than he seems to think) its particular flavour and interest.

Julian Symons
Deal, Kent

Defending the indefensible

Unfortunately, Lawrence Beyer (Letters, 9 May) raises questions about his own alertness to ethical difficulties when he associates journalists who pretend sympathy to extract disclosures from those they interview with George Bush and women who are cock-teasers. For Beyer, Bush figures as the wimpy male who is monstrously feminised. He is at once the seductive female like Salome or the demon Barber of Fleet Street, ‘slinking behind a veil of verbal hair-splitting’, and the seductive male who, after ‘stimulating Iraqi rebels’ hopes for military assistance’, keeps his weapons to himself. The attack on Bush soon gives way to an attack on the woman who, ‘after knowingly arousing sexual expectations with blatant innuendo and body language, indignantly defends her refusal to meet these expectations with disingenuous assertions of innocence’.

Beyer, who asserts that Lynn Barber is being defensive in defending journalists, is himself defensive, claiming to be infallible while being at once quick to take offence and covertly aggressive. Is there really no ethical difficulty to worry about when Beyer so self-righteously assumes that interpretations of what constitutes ‘blatant innuendo and body language’ are not themselves open to question, or that the feeling of sexual arousal can so easily be correlated with seductive behaviour on the part of the person who is herself more properly the object of sexual attack? Can innuendo be blatant and remain, all the same, innuendo? Fortunately, sexual exchanges are more various than military ones, and having spoken softly ought not to prohibit a woman from defending herself against someone who thinks she ought to ‘meet’ his expectations because he carries a big stick.

Janet Gezari
Connecticut College,

Roy MacGregor-Hastie sends a postcard home

Shortly after the failed left-wing putsch in Moscow, I was married to the (Japanese) mother of my three beautiful daughters. A nervous bishop asked me what else had made my life happy, apart from not having had to live in England for long. I had no hesitation in saying: the birth and rebirth of the miniskirt, and the death of Communism. When the funeral ceremonies are over, I expect to see your list of contributors largely renewed, and an apology by them for having misled readers for so long. Perhaps another badge? Or several? ‘I faked Korean Air timetables for R.W. Johnson’; ‘I kept Tam Dalyell up to scratch about the Belgrano’; ‘Fiona gave me a blow-job in Kiev’; ‘Groucho, not Karl’. Have a nice neo-modernist, capitalist day.

Roy MacGregor-Hastie
Osaka Gakuin University, Japan

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.