Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions of use refer to the London Review of Books and the London Review Bookshop website ( — 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.


Vol. 15 No. 15 · 5 August 1993

Search by issue:

The British Library will survive

I am not sure whether Professor Sutherland’s discussion of the British Library’s Strategic Objectives (LRB, 22 July) was meant to be anything more than an amusing side-swipe at an over-designed and oddly-presented document; as a serious analysis of the content of the document, it surely does the Library a disservice. Professor Sutherland manages to repeat some old chestnuts (no one ever suggested the mobile shelving was compacting its contents into waste paper – and doesn’t Professor Sutherland want the Library to ensure that the new building’s fittings are adequate for their purpose?); some unjustified accusations (‘the Codex would seem to be BL 2000’s dirty little secret’); and a series of insinuations against the Library for matters which are, regrettably, outside its control, such as the Treasury’s crass desire to sell off the remaining land at St Pancras.

Professor Sutherland makes great play of BL’s Human Resources Review and many of us would join him in wishing that management-speak had been avoided. But when he attacks, as he seems to do, the policy statements, I am frankly baffled: are we to assume that the Library is wrong to wish to ensure that its staff structure is appropriate for its service goals, and that a ‘long-term manpower planning policy’ is a bad thing? Professor Sutherland finds it ‘sinister’ that the Library’s statement of purpose mentions scholarship, research and ‘enterprise’ – the latter is apparently another dirty word. The fact is, however, that the British Library is a major supplier of information to the worlds of industry and commerce; that function was built into its constitution more than twenty years ago and the Library’s ability to continue to supply services to the academic community depends in no small measure on the profitability of its charged-for services to those customers who can and do pay.

As for the alleged reluctance shown in the Strategic Objectives to acknowledge the Library’s continuing obligations to maintain and develop its collections of printed literature, I can only respond by pointing out that the longest chapter in the document is devoted to Collections, and gives explicit recognition of the Library’s archival role. I have heard as much criticism of the plan on the grounds of too much attention to printed literature and the humanities as I have of too much attention to electronic media, charged-for services and the sciences. I suspect that the Library has actually got the balance about right. Professor Sutherland does raise one issue on which many of us would agree, and that is his worry about overcrowding when St Pancras opens. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to open new library buildings know that they tend to attract increased use, and if that is true of a provincial university library it will be many times more true of the national library. But Professor Sutherland seems to imply that somehow this is the fault of the Library’s management, something which I believe to be quite untrue; he also seems to think it is the excuse that will be used to impose charges on entry to St Pancras, something which, if it happens, is again unlikely to be at the wish of the Library’s managers. The fact is, as Professor Sutherland points out, that the first phase of the St Pancras building will rapidly fill up, with both books and readers, and that is why we should all be doing what we can to persuade the Government that the whole of the site should be reserved for further building. The issue of charging is a separate one, and one on which the Library’s user community is itself divided. Some of the most eloquent arguments in favour of charges that I have heard come from some of Professor Sutherland’s academic colleagues on the British Library Advisory Council, and some of the most persuasive arguments against from the librarian members.

There is similar room for argument on the access question. I would certainly be very disappointed if the Library debarred all undergraduates from entry when they needed it; equally, it seems to me inevitable that there has to be some attempt to dissuade the many thousands of them within easy reach of St Pancras from using the British Library simply as a convenient and comfortable place to work. As a university librarian, I am only too well aware of the inability of most university and college libraries to cope with the huge increases in student numbers that we have seen in recent years, but surely the answer has to be to provide more reading and study places on campus, rather than seeking to subvert the use of a national research library to cover our failure to fund universities properly? In any event, the Library’s managers have, on this issue, taken a considerably more liberal line than some of their users.

Professor Sutherland rightly sounds a warning on the familiar tendency to believe that all the problems of libraries will be solved by some magical electronic solution. Librarians share his concern about the difficulties we already face over copyright, the heavy capital costs to produce the communications infrastructure that will be needed to allow home delivery of information, and the myth of the cheap option. In my reading of the British Library document, however, I see a recognition of many of these problems, and a commitment to finding solutions. Moreover, it is, as Professor Sutherland points out, doubtful whether the present government will back the Library in its attempt to secure legal deposit for electronic media – but we cannot both criticise the Library for trying and at the same time blame the Library (as Professor Sutherland seems to want to do) for a collection of such media ‘unworthy’ of one of the world’s great libraries.

Knocking the British Library is a fashionable sport and one in which librarians have often indulged with as much enthusiasm as some of the Library’s London users. The difficulty with this game is that while we are busy poking fun at the Library, or fighting old battles about the merits of the move to St Pancras, the Library is not getting the support and the constructive comment that Brian Lang and his colleagues both need and expect. If St Pancras cannot cope with the demand, that will not be due to a lack of vision on the Library’s part, but rather because all of us failed to make our voices heard during the years when Government was steadily eroding the original scheme. Like Professor Sutherland, I believe the British Library will survive; and no doubt he, too, is anxious that it should; it is disappointing that mockery should take the place of a serious critique of the Library’s important (and somewhat overdue) statement of purpose.

Brian Burch

Criminal Justice

Ronan Bennett is to be congratulated for a thoroughly impressive piece of journalism, scholarship and self-control (LRB, 24 June). It is not rare nowadays to be moved to shock and anger by a story of inequities in our so-called justice system; what is rare is to be moved beyond shock and anger – to hope – by the scrupulosity with which such a story is told.

Anne Carson
McGill University, Montreal

One wonders what sense of moral or political pressure induced you to allocate roughly ten pages to Ronan Bennett’s essay. A good essay would not deserve the space given and this piece, tendentious and obsessive, is not good. While not doubting that malpractice took place I found Bennett’s reasoning and use of evidence as question-begging as the other side’s. I do not have the inclination to enumerate the objections to his case (my principal purpose is to object to the amount of space wasted) but no doubt you have that catalogue from other readers. I hope you will take note of the objections and the distaste for being bored at such inordinate length.

David Sandblom
Gweru, Zimbabwe


It is understandable that Phillip Knightley (LRB, 8 July) should be resentful of Deadly Illusions because the documentation from the KGB archive on which it is based sweeps away the previous works on the Cambridge Five, his included. But it is irresponsible and unhistorical to dismiss this first declassification of Soviet intelligence records as ‘disinformation’. Especially galling to Mr Knightley, no doubt, is that he failed to take into account the adage that old men forget when he interviewed Kim Philby in 1988. What the KGB Philby file in Moscow reveals is that the vast sums paid for Mr Knightley’s interview and subsequent biography promoted geriatric confusions and even personal deception.

Significantly, Mr Knightley does not dispute the veracity of the material that Oleg Tsarev and I used to write our book. Our disagreement over the role of Arnold Deutsch is a matter of interpretation. This turns on Deutsch’s history of the London residentura, in which he specifically credits Orlov with the idea of getting Philby to recruit his friends Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess. What cannot be disputed is that Orlov’s contemporary reports to Moscow in the KGB archives refer not only to his very personal involvement with Philby, but also to his direction of Maclean and his decision to recruit Burgess, whose flagrant homosexuality offended the more fastidious chiefs in Moscow.

Not surprisingly, Mr Knightley’s self-serveing digression into his heroic efforts to avoid falling into a KGB trap neglects certain crucial facts. If the truth be told he must concede that he repeatedly tried to get access to the mother-lode of Soviet intelligence files through consultancy agreements with a number of Western publishers who signed up memoirs from former members of the KGB and their associates. But as they and Mr Knightley soon discovered, Messrs Prelin, Kalugin, Modin and Borovik could not obtain any of the still-classified archives which were inherited intact by the Russian Intelligence Service. That I had been able to obtain documentation from the KGB files was serendipitous and unusual, but what aspect of the last three years of Russian history is not? Also in contrast to a journalist such as your reviewer who would have tried to keep his access exclusive, a historian has a large obligation. It is a matter of public record that I assisted the Russian Intelligence Service to establish a partnership with a major American publishing house that has brought other scholars into a project which will draw on the KGB archives to write the intelligence history of the Cold War.

However uncomfortable for Mr Knightley, the truth is that he tried to get exclusive access to former First Chief Directorate records. Now that he has failed, he is retaliating by attempting to disparage the first book based on KGB archival files. While authors must anticipate some of this childish fury from their competitors, Mr Knightley takes his to the extreme by directing his spleen at the US Government. His aside that the CIA is co-sponsoring this research is worse than absurd: it is stupid. What possible public-relations benefit could the CIA obtain from the story of a man who deceived the US investigative services for nearly twenty years? The American intelligence veterans, whom I consulted, were fascinated by the Orlov case. But there was no escaping that its revelations were also painful to them.

Mr Knightley carps about typographical and editorial errors, but he omits to state that they appeared in an uncorrected manuscript which he was shown by a Sunday newspaper for whom he acts as an adviser on intelligence matters. A more diligent reviewer ought to have taken the trouble to read the published edition of Deadly Illusions, where we did note (page 467) the death of Lona Cohen (Helen Kroger) on 29 December 1992.

John Costello
New York

Phillip Knightley writes: I did not dismiss Mr Costello’s book as ‘disinformation’. The heading was put on the piece by the LRB and there is more than one way of thinking about its meaning. I did, however, say that there had to be something in this publishing venture for the KGB. Mr Costello himself is well aware of this because he says that his former CIA contacts warned him ‘that the KGB never acted without having an operational objective.’ I reflected on what the objective might be in this case. For example, Mr Costello used to believe that any suggestion that Philby was an ideological convert was a KGB-promoted myth. Mr Costello’s access to the KGB files has changed his mind and Philby is now ‘the ideologically-driven young Englishman’. Could achieving this public about-face by a well-known Western historian have been one of the KGB’s objectives? In short, if Mr Costello believes that the KGB’s motive for opening some of its files is purely altruistic, then he will believe anything.

The meaning of Mr Costello’s sentence about ‘vast sums paid for Mr Knightley’s interview’ with Philby is unclear. If he thinks that I paid Philby for my interview in 1988 then I can only repeat what I have said many times: Philby did not ask for any money and I paid him not a penny. Not do I have a consultancy agreement with any publisher. I wrote an introduction to George Blake’s autobiography. I helped Oleg Kalugin write an outline for his proposed autobiography. I may write an introduction to a new biography of Philby.

I did not try to get exclusive access to the former First Chief Directorate records. My dealings with the KGB have been as I set out in my review. I did not approach it. It contacted me.

I was not shown an uncorrected manuscript of Mr Costello’s book. The Los Angeles Times sent me a bound proof copy, the LRB provided the British published edition. Mr Costello is correct about the death Lona Cohen – a late insertion in the source notes, but not the main text, of his book. The other errors, repetitions and infelicities I noted in my review are all to be found in the published edition of the book.


There may in fact be a fairly simple premise upon which Rupert Thomson has constructed his novel Air and Fire (LRB, 8 July). On Baja California’s east coast, in the town of Santa Rosalia, founded by French mining interests in 1885 to process copper ore discovered in the nearby hills in the 1870s, there exists a curious church, Iglesia Santa Rosalia. Constructed of large sheets of galvanised iron, this prefabricated church was thought to have been designed by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923) for display at a world’s fair held in the United States in the early 1890s. How it made its way to Santa Rosalia is conjecture.

David Rosenthal
Rectortown, Virginia

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.