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. 21 No. 10 · 13 May 1999

Search by issue:

Europe’s War

Jeremy Harding rather spoils his report on the situation in Macedonia and Albania (LRB, 29 April) with a concluding sentence accusing opponents of the war in the Balkans of wanting to keep ‘a clean conscience’ by staying out of what they regard as a barbarous region – ‘a kind of Africa in Europe’. In the first place, such prejudice is common enough among supporters of the war: consider John Keegan’s outrageous claim on Newsnight that the past decade of ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia is merely the latest instance of a pattern introduced into the Balkans by the Turks.

Secondly, the critical question that every citizen of the Nato countries must confront is this: is the Western military offensive achieving its primary stated objective of providing the Kosovan Albanians with personal security and political autonomy? The answer is, plainly, that it is not. Yet we are being asked by our governments to support yet more of a policy that has already produced such negative results: more bombing, increasingly directed against the civilian population and infrastructure of Serbia; and, if our vaingloriously hawkish Prime Minister gets his way, a ground offensive that could cause untold carnage and, assuming depleted uranium rounds are used as lavishly as they were in Iraq, leave behind it an appalling environmental legacy.

Thirdly, would a Western military victory benefit the Kosovars? Harding tell us that all those he met rejected ‘the suggestion that Nato is to blame for their flight from Kosovo’. Since it was Serb forces who expelled them, and since the Kosovars now appear to have the support of the greatest military power on earth, this is perfectly understandable. Nevertheless, any real friend of the Kosovo Albanians would say to them: don’t trust Nato. Harding suggests that the combined impact of Serb atrocities and Western intervention will be an increasingly militant and self-confident Kosovar nationalist movement. Far more likely is that the Kosovars will find themselves, like the Iraqi Kurds, encouraged, suppressed or ignored, depending on whether or not their national aspirations accord with the interests of the new Euro-American colonialism.

Alex Callinicos
University of York

I visited Macedonia twice during the Balkan wars, in 1994 and 1996. This little country – invariably described in recent British media reports as ‘fragile’ and ‘dirt-poor’ – was conspicuously affluent. Nowhere in Zagreb or Sofia could one see so many mobile phones, lycra shorts, new buildings, fancy cafés and brand-new Porsches with Swiss or German number-plates. Three reasons emerged for this unaccountable prosperity: sanctions-busting with Serbia; Western money spent by Unprofor troops and NGOs stationed in Macedonia through the Nineties; and economic ethnic cleansing. In 1991, non-Slavs were evicted from the state-run factories and large businesses. The purge was complete, bloodless and unreported. It became clear that Macedonian cities had an apartheid structure. On one side of the river was a prosperous and largely employed Macedonian ‘new town’: on the other, a poor and unemployed Albanian ‘old town’. Further along the road came a destitute Romany ghetto where city authorities did not even surface the roads or supply running water.

On the other hand, there have always been ‘anti-apartheid’ activists in Macedonia, people who believe that the whole meaning of the country is to be mixed. Many of them now support the aims of the Nato action against Milosevic, at some risk to their safety. In the mud of war, it was difficult for Jeremy Harding to find these people. But we must not see the two young men he encountered (Macedonian by ethnicity, ‘Serb’ by sympathy, Croat by destination) as representing the whole of Macedonia. In so doing we give credence to the big lie that the war against Milosevic has united all Slavs in a nationalist bloc.

Nor should we look for answers to the new Macedonian nationalist government or its Albanian junior partners. I find it strange that a government of former dissidents chose to call their party VMRO – Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation – with its fierce inheritance of assassination, terror and torture. it’s almost as strange as seeing these otherwise Western-leaning government ministers returning sealed trains of refugees or leaving them to die in muddy fields. Yet their actions are being condoned by the British government and media. Are they unaware of Macedonia’s apartheid, or do they (like Lords Owen and Hurd and their Foreign Office pals during the Bosnian wars) privately feel that ethnic separation is the route to stability?

Amanda Sebestyen
London NW1

An outraged Serbian Minister remonstrates with us: what would we think if the BBC was bombed by a foreign power? He is unaware, presumably, that this great TV-watching nation would retort angrily: what would he think if a ‘foreign’ army evicted his family and pulverised his home with heavy artillery? Which is what we, in our safety and comfort, have been watching his countrymen do on TV for months. To us this seems to be a hard fact and to send in our forces a hard moral obligation. But it is harder still to read Jeremy Harding’s account of the many reasonings, resentments and paranoias which crisscross the Balkans and to realise that, for us TV-watchers, to be all-seeing is not to be all-knowing. This is the price we have to pay for our sense of well-being – a small agony perhaps. A far greater agony would be to stop doing what we have thought was reasonable. This Serbian Minister is telling us something about delusion – and about television.

Joseph Nuttgens
High Wycombe, Bucks

John Sturrock (LRB, 29 April) might be interested to learn that one anagram of ‘London Review of Books’ is ‘no wind of rebel Kosovo’.

Paul Taylor
London N1

Among the Darwinians

Thomas Nagel writes (LRB, 1 April) à propos of the differences between poetry and science that ‘science satisfies a hunger for understanding, a hope for universal order and reduction of complex variety to simple elements, so that the relations between things become intellectually transparent.’ He adds that ‘this is not poetry – it is not like any art – and its effect on us does not require poetic forms of presentation.’ If Nagel turned to 16th and 17th-century Spanish and Italian poetry, and also some 17th-century English poetry such as Donne’s, he would see that, at its very best, poetry is nothing but an attempt to carry out the function that Nagel assigns exclusively to (modern) science, and to satisfy the hunger about which he speaks. And just as it was done, it was also theorised. The Spanish Jesuit Baltasar Gracián’s Agudeza y arte de ingenio of 1642 and 1648 is a systematic and persistent attempt to define and articulate how poetry can do this. His conclusions are uncannily similar to Nagel’s, but applied to poetry, not science, and seen, ultimately, as a justification of the ways of God to Man.

Daniel Waissbein

What’s going on?

Rebecca Loncraine (Letters, 15 April) speaks for me, too. I wrote to the LRB on the issue of non-representation of women shortly after becoming a regular reader, in August 1986. I still have my first issue, Caroline Forbes’s photograph of Vikram Seth on its cover. Looking at it again, I found that I’d marked up the instances of sexist language in Philippa Foot’s article on the usefulness of philosophers to modern medicine. So there has been one change at least: the LRB’s style of writing is now inclusive.

For its paltry number of articles by women I stopped reading the relatively new magazine Prospect, which boasts that it is ‘Britain’s intelligent conversation’. So what has kept me reading the LRB over the past 12 and a half years? As Loncraine says, it is interesting and stimulating and often the sheer quality of the writing has an emotional charge. But importantly, few though they are, the women who make it into the LRB’s pages do so with some regularity and great readability. And although Loncraine didn’t expect her letter to be published, it was. Twelve years ago mine was not.

My only quibble with Loncraine is that she doesn’t appear to have counted the poems. I’m astonished each fortnight that yet again no woman has managed to write a poem which the LRB considers worth publishing.

Moira Macdonald

I am a long-time subscriber to the LRB and I like it a lot. I particularly enjoyed that letter a while back from the woman who had nothing to say but to express a desire to be published. I have not looked in detail at my back copies – is Ms Loncraine the sort of academic who counts the incidence of certain words in Shakespeare? – but I strongly suspect that my countrymen, those with names seemingly devoid of vowels, who comprise a sizable minority in the UK, have been under-represented in your pages. Indeed the Poles seem to have been ousted by the Czechs in this respect. Is a long-term demographic analysis of LRB contributors pending?

Desia Kurtyanek
Mossman, Queensland

Bench Space

Dorothy Hodgkin may have had a ‘15-year absence from all committees’, as Mary Beard writes (LRB, 15 April), but she was very active at Pugwash Conferences, fought for three decades for unilateral nuclear disarmament and tirelessly campaigned for the Vietnamese in both the North and South during the war.

Jenny Hinton
Charlbury, Oxfordshire


Alan Hollinghurst treats Houston like a model displayed on an architect’s table (LRB, 18 March). The image is distant and sanitary, attractive and persuasive, but behind that image the place is a repellent monster. His Houston portrait creaks under the weight of Le Corbusier’s inhuman dream of a ‘living-machine’. Houston is not a livable place, and it is misleading to turn it into a readably-attractive one. Writers seem irresistibly tempted to work similar reverse magics on many cities in the American South-West: the Phoenix metropolitan area where I live, for example, which with its gleaming towers, multiple national sports franchises and stadia, and insane traffic aspires to Houstondom. Phoenix and Houston make a sweet pair. Each is an acceptable place to live because one can readily escape it to places one would prefer to be.

Robert Ostermann
Tempe, Arizona

I read with interest and homesickness Alan Hollinghurst's essay on his stay in Houston. As a temporarily displaced Houstonian, I found it accurately and perceptively described the city's many charms and idiosyncrasies. Not everyone can appreciate the city, but those who do are rewarded with an environment that is vital, cultured and engaging. Having now lived on both the East and West Coasts, I can safely say there's no place like it.

Leann Davis Alspaugh
Studio City, California


Alas, in my review of Rosemary Mahoney’s A Likely Story: One Summer with Lillian Hellman I mistranscribed the final line of Eileen Myles’s poem, ‘On the Death of Robert Lowell’ (LRB, 15 April). It should read ‘Fucking dead’, not ‘Fucking nuts’. My sincere apologies to Eileen Myles for this authorial flub.

Terry Castle
Stanford University

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.