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. 25 No. 13 · 10 July 2003

Search by issue:

Strange Brew

In the days before she ‘entered the world of tea buffery’, Jenny Diski tells us (LRB, 19 June), her preferred kind of tea was hot, strong and syrupy. She compares it to ‘Jewish opium’. You can tell she drank it long, like most of us. I’d like to recommend the even stronger short tea (a kind of Muslim speed) found in some of the less civilised countries we may soon be obliged to subdue because of the threat they pose to us, if not now then within, say, 45 minutes of your having read this letter. Mauritania, for instance, where green tea is rendered through prolonged boiling with mint and sugar into a bittersweet viscous substance – the equivalent of a ristretto coffee – which is said to quench the thirst and keep the drinker awake. A real tea buff should get down to Nouakchott before we declare pre-emptive war in that part of the Muslim world.

Marjorie Enders
Richmond, Surrey

Eloquent Silence

Pace James Hamilton-Paterson (LRB, 19 June), I doubt Joseph Roth did get it right when he said that people from the remote German forests typically spoke in ‘half sentences and stunted sounds’ because of their poverty. They were refugees in Berlin around 1920 and were probably laconic because they were stunned by gruelling ordeals and their arrival in a wholly unknown place. When I stayed at the Relax Inn in Winnipeg in the summer of 1988, the hotel rooms and nearby streets were full of speechless Native Americans. The worst forest fires on record had driven them from their home grounds and they had been given temporary accommodation in the city centre. At breakfast they often ate nothing; one evening I saw a man in his seventies staring numbly at an untouched knickerbocker glory. Ten days later the fires had burned out and I shared a railway buffet car with dozens of Cree and Swampy Cree travelling north from Thomson to Hudson Bay. Relieved to be going home, they chattered almost continuously. To assume the inarticulacy of a people is almost always wrong.

David Craig

The Cowbells of Kitale

It was not just the Masai and the Suk (Pokot) who were cleared from their ancestral lands in Kenya: the same fate befell the Kikuyu people. In 1953, nearly twenty years after the Selwyn case about which Patrick Collinson writes (LRB, 5 June), Jomo Kenyatta, the Kikuyu leader and future president of Kenya, was tried near Kitale, charged with having organised the Mau Mau insurgency. My parents, visiting from Uganda, attended the proceedings. The anthropologist Lewis Leakey acted, for a time, as interpreter. A fluent Swahili speaker, Leakey had been giving talks to the white settlers about the Kikuyu people, and my mother was appalled by what he told her about the white farmers’ ignorance of their African employees and African culture – this less than a decade before independence.

Sarah Hutton
Middlesex University

Patrick Collinson must have been writing before the new Government of Moi Kibaki made primary school education free in Kenya: the children living in the Selwyns’ former farmstead are now no longer ‘too poor’ to go to school.

S. Daniel
Gilhoc, France

Reactionary Danger

I don’t know why Ian Birchall (Letters, 5 June) thinks I was being ‘dismissive’ in calling Victor Serge’s muffled deviations from the Comintern line on Germany ‘ultra-leftist’ – nothing wrong with that in my view. But he is right to qualify the tendency. Serge, I wrote, had been sent by the Comintern to analyse the German Revolution, but what follows – ‘which he did often, from an ultra-left perspective’ – should have read ‘which he did, often from an ultra-left perspective’. And Birchall of all people should agree, since he writes, in his introduction to the texts collected in Witness to the German Revolution: ‘It is also possible to detect a certain ultra-leftism in Serge’s account, perhaps deriving from his anarchist past, but also reflecting a continuing weakness of the German revolutionary tradition.’

Birchall’s second claim, that Serge retained faith in the working class to the end, I would dispute more strongly. Of course he ‘still saw himself as an active member of the anti-Stalinist Left’, but this does not mean he still regarded the working class as the anointed agent of historical change. In November 1944 he wrote in his diary: ‘The events of 1917-18 cannot repeat themselves at the end of this war. The old opposition between socialist revolution and capitalist reaction has been replaced by a civil war between Stalinist totalitarianism and democratic socialism. Conservatism and neo-Fascisms are the beneficiaries of this tragedy.’ Such an analysis recurs in many of Serge’s political writings, even before the war, as well as in the late fiction. Note, by contrast, the consistency of his scepticism towards social democracy.

Lorna Scott Fox

Key Image

Andrew O’Hagan’s piece about the Peter Saville show at the Design Museum was illustrated by the cover image of New Order’s ‘True Faith’ (LRB, 19 June). O’Hagan didn’t mention that the photograph was by Trevor Key, who was also responsible in 1973 for the album cover of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells.

Garth Eaglesfield
Richmond, Surrey

She, He, She

Michael Dibdin (Letters, 19 June) should be aware that female accountants have often had to contend with a good deal more than ‘laddish ridicule’ in their struggle for equal footing with their male counterparts. This female accountant applauds Donald Mackenzie’s choice of gender for his hypothetical ethnoaccountant (LRB, 22 May). He is also right to call for more research into the processes that give rise to the all-important numbers that accountancy generates, and into the social consequences of the decisions based on those numbers. This type of research is, however, difficult for accounting academics to undertake and get published, especially in the US.

Laura Spira
Oxford Brookes University

Do your homework

In my letter about Slavoj Žižek’s essay on biogenetics (Letters, 19 June), editorial changes inadvertently caused me to say something I didn’t say (and which is not true), effectively reinforcing one of Žižek’s inaccurate claims: ‘In Huntington’s chorea, the existence of a “typographical error" tells us that we will definitely develop the disease.’ While the genetic correlation for Huntington’s is far higher than for Alzheimer’s, it is not absolutely predictive. In fact, the research to which Žižek alludes found a minority of subjects who have the relevant genetic glitch yet remain asymptomatic at an advanced age, including one 95-year-old man.

Roger Lancaster
Fairfax, Virginia

Aids and the Polio Vaccine

David Seddon (Letters, 5 June) wants to know how Ghislane Courtois knew the titre of the vaccine used in the Ruzizi mass vaccination trial in 1958. The titration was done in Philadelphia and Courtois was told to dilute the material sixty-fold in order to reach the desired dose. Paul Osterrieth (Letters, 8 May) is correct in stating that the titre could not be ascertained in Stanleyville.

Stanley Plotkin
Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Paul Osterrieth, Stanley Plotkin and Hilary Koprowski (Letters, 8 May), all of whom were intimately involved with the trials of the CHAT polio vaccine in Central Africa, continue to insist that this vaccine was never prepared in chimpanzee cells, and thus to deny any connection between the CHAT vaccination of about a million Africans in 1957-60 and the emergence of Aids in the same towns and villages between ten and twenty years later.

Osterrieth dismisses the memories of African technicians by saying that one was a ‘low-level employee’, while the testimony of the other ‘isn’t of any value’. He adds that he has already denied these claims in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. In that article, he contradicted some of his own previous statements (concerning, for instance, to which American institutions he sent chimpanzee kidneys), while remaining tight-lipped about other crucial details. He insisted that CHAT vaccine was never handled in his virology department at the Laboratoire Médical de Stanleyville (LMS), and that it ‘could not have been prepared’ there. Numerous witnesses from North America, Europe and Africa (not just the two I cited) disagree with Osterrieth on these two points, and some state that he prepared the vaccine himself.

But in which cells? Plotkin says that baboon kidneys were used for tissue culture, but the LMS annual reports record only a relatively tiny quantity of cells cultured from (at most) two baboons in 1958. Plotkin claims that ‘when chimpanzees were used’ for any work, this was ‘readily acknowledged’. In the annual reports, however, references to the CHAT testing programme and the vaccination trials are obscure and minimal, and there is no information as to what activities necessitated the use of more than four hundred chimpanzees between 1956 and 1960. Several witnesses recall that Osterrieth handled tissue, cells and sera from chimpanzees throughout this period.

Finally, Plotkin complains that most of what I claim to be early Aids cases from Africa are unconfirmed. Nine of my 39 cases were confirmed serologically; the others were diagnosed as probable Aids cases by experienced Africa-based physicians. For both the full series and the subset of confirmed cases, the statistical correlations with the CHAT vaccination sites are highly significant.

Edward Hooper
Bridgwater, Somerset

Pick of the Pops

Michael Wood (LRB, 5 June) is right that ‘Personality’, indeed not a lovely song, dates from the 1950s. It had a very curious Dutch translation. ‘’Cause you’ve got personality’ became: ‘Je bent zo leuk in je spijkerbroek’ (‘You’re so smart in your blue jeans’).

Jan van Luxemburg
Haarlem, Netherlands

Short Memory

In his Short Cuts about the invasion of Iraq (LRB, 19 June), John Sturrock writes: ‘What has tended to go unsaid is that if these weapons did exist, they posed, most obviously, a threat exclusively to the not so distant Israel.’ Sturrock has a very short memory. It was only a decade ago that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq invaded Kuwait and subsequently unleashed missiles against Saudi Arabia as well as Israel.

George Kramer

Armageddon Now

I am less sure than John Sutherland that Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins’s Left Behind is a ‘rip-off’ of Stephen King’s ‘The Langoliers’ (LRB, 5 June). The idea of passengers disappearing mid-flight has been in the air for some time. In Millennium (1984) John Varley portrayed a genetically ravaged human race raiding doomed planes for spare parts. Varley may or may not have been inspired by the Troughton-era ‘Doctor Who and the Faceless Ones’ (1967).

Marc Hudson

Perhaps if the entire Christian Right were ‘instantaneously teleported into Heaven’, as John Sutherland puts it, the rest of us might avoid Armageddon. Roll on the end times!

Rachel Foxley

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.