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. 27 No. 7 · 31 March 2005

Search by issue:

Say no to pokies

I find Ross McKibbin’s remarks on gambling in Australia inadequate (LRB, 3 March). The country itself is a gamble: its existence displays the human inclination to take risks, to attempt new ventures, to explore. But it’s a far cry from these healthy forms of gambling when hundreds of thousands of people spend solitary hours at pokies – fruit machines. The money spent is ill-afforded (most Australian households are in debt), and the profits that go to big proprietors and the few winners far outweigh those that go to clubs. Gamblers in Victoria alone lose over $4 billion a year, and that in a state of five million people. The working classes lose most because they see no other means to economic mobility, and have few if any other legal ways to experience the excitements of risk-taking. State governments now rely on this form of taxing the poor to avoid raising taxes on the rich; meanwhile, programmes for problem gamblers provide livelihoods for the middle class.

Valerie Yule
Mount Waverley, Australia

A liberal writes

Is Sheila Fitzpatrick sure of what she means when she talks about ‘the Bukharin/Darkness at Noon model of confessing everything, no matter how bizarre the accusations, “for the good of the cause"’ (LRB, 17 March)? That was indeed what Koestler’s fictional Old Bolshevik did, but it wasn’t what Bukharin did. Bukharin confessed because his family was threatened. So the confidently inserted forward slash is a mark of falsification, not punctuation.

There are more falsification marks in Slavoj Žižek’s piece in the same issue. Telling us how ‘the “pure" liberal attitude’ of finding Fascism and Communism ‘both bad’ is ‘a priori false’, he leaves, to those of us who think that they were indeed both bad, the task of fighting off the imputation that we are either impure liberals or that liberalism is impure in itself. He should be encouraged to put away his inverted commas until he can use them responsibly. In his very next sentence he even uses them against himself: ‘It is necessary to take sides and proclaim Fascism fundamentally “worse" than Communism.’ Unless ‘worse’ means worse, the sentence means nothing. If it means what it would mean without the inverted commas, then there is a simple answer: it isn’t necessary. Without the slightest bow to Ernst Nolte, you can take sides against both of the totalitarianisms put together. In fact you can’t be a liberal if you don’t.

No kind of liberal, whether pure or impure, needs to waste time deciding which had the harder surface, the hammer or the anvil. As the German Social Democrats of the 1930s discovered when they were caught between them, all that mattered was the impact. Those who survived gave much of the impetus to the ‘postwar European identity’ that Žižek touchingly believes is based solely on ‘anti-Fascist unity’. So that’s what the Bundeswehr was doing: warding off the return of the Nazis.

The Bolsheviks did indeed release all kinds of constructive energies, as did the Nazis in their turn. But in both cases the destructive energies were released simultaneously, and eventually the poison settled the fate of everything that grew. The disturbing thing for liberals now is that there are still so many gauchiste intellectuals who persist in believing that the roots of injustice might be found in liberal democracy itself, and the roots of justice in some version of unlimited, self-perpetuating power. Generously ready to concede that the second thing might sometimes go wrong, they nevertheless earn their living from reminding the first thing that freedom is an illusion. They are free to do so, and will never be short of evidence; but their position is false, and their marks of falsification are the tip-off.

Clive James

Wrapped Gap

Hal Foster says that Christo wrapped or decorated a ‘Colorado valley’ (LRB, 3 March). That isn’t quite right. In 1972, a curtain designed by Christo was put across the Rifle Gap. The curtain didn’t last long: the wind all but blew it away.

Jeremy Bernstein
Aspen, Colorado

Resisting the Patriarchs

David Gilmour defends the progressive role of the British Empire in shaping gender relations in India against the opposition of the conservative Hindu subject population (LRB, 3 March). From Gilmour’s account, it would appear that Indians were either hostile to such reforms or passive recipients of lofty progressive legislation. Gilmour ignores Indian reformers and their role in organising resistance to patriarchal practices, even though a number of Indian activists – ranging from Pandita Ramabai, Ranade and Gokhale, in the Bombay Presidency, to Ram Mohan Roy, members of the Young Bengal movement and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in Bengal – played a critical role in orchestrating debates, discussions and social movements demanding the prohibition of these practices. Indeed, the imperial bureaucracy after the rebellion of 1857 was far more sympathetic to ‘conservative Indians’ than to Indian social critics and reformers.

Subho Basu
Normal, Illinois

Wrong Step

Christopher Prendergast’s memory of grasping his drunk father by the collar of his coat ‘on the escalator at Tufnell Park’ is curious (LRB, 17 March). There is no escalator at Tufnell Park nor any room for one.

Gerard McBurney
London N7

Which 78 per cent?

‘Having accepted that 78 per cent of Mandate Palestine is irrevocably part of Israel, no Palestinian leader could win majority support for agreeing to cede any of the remaining 22 per cent,’ Rashid Khalidi writes (LRB, 3 February). However, Mandate Palestine included not only Israel and the Palestinian areas, but also what is now Jordan. The intention of the British government, according to the Balfour Declaration, was to establish a national home for the Jewish people in their ancient homeland. In 1921, Britain subdivided Mandate Palestine, drawing a line along the Jordan River to the Gulf of Akaba. The eastern portion, known as Transjordan, was renamed Jordan and became independent in 1946. This state was carved out of almost 78 per cent of Mandate Palestine. Thus, it is the nation of Jordan – not Israel – that comprises 78 per cent of the land of Mandate Palestine.

Myron Kaplan
Rockland, Massachusetts

Obstacles to Seeking Asylum

Katharine Fletcher’s account of the ‘obstacles to seeking asylum’ in Britain is misleading in important ways and places (LRB, 17 March). We know there is torture and persecution going on in the world. We know the victims find their way to Britain – and we are proud that they see it as a place of refuge. This pride turns to shame when we think of them spending months on minimal benefits trying to convince a cynical bureaucracy of their suffering. They deserve better.

But saying they deserve better is different from saying that making it harder for them to qualify for benefits, or increasing the burden of proof, are likely to stop them applying. And yet the striking effect of these changes over the last couple of years has been not on how many claims or appeals succeed but on how many applications are made in the first place.

If the policy is taken at face value, as motivated by a genuine desire to reduce unfounded claims rather than merely to buy off the right-wing media, then rather than being ‘self-defeating’ it actually looks like a success. Moreover, rather than being a mere ‘political strategy’ it looks like a government doing what governments are obliged to do: ensure the law is applied and taxpayers’ money is going to the people who are entitled to it.

Similarly, the distinctions between bogus/ genuine or honest/dishonest asylum seekers cannot be dismissed as mere ‘media designations’. True, there are different shades of ‘dishonesty’ here. They range from, at one extreme, the pretty disgraceful practice of claiming asylum benefits in two EU states simultaneously, or claiming them in one state having been granted refugee status in another; to, at the other, the much more excusable practice of claiming asylum without benefits purely to buy some breathing space to find illegal work.

You wouldn’t guess from the right-wing media that it is the second rather than the first kind which is typical. But in trying to correct this impression we shouldn’t imply that the second kind of case is completely harmless. True, these are not bad people. At bottom they are trying to do what governments around the world exhort young people to do – seek out opportunities and work to better their lot. They are not spongers: often they don’t even apply for the benefits they are entitled to. If they don’t pay tax either, this is usually down to their employer. Overall they probably make a positive contribution to the economy, working in jobs which are hard, often dangerous and badly paid.

But their admirable motives and hard work can’t justify ignoring the fact that they are seeking an unfair advantage over those who apply to come here legally, that they are freeloading by using public services without paying taxes, and most important, that they are abusing the immigration system. Now, many who criticise asylum policy from the left would like to see that wider system relaxed. But conflating that question with the question of whether, until that happens, the current laws should be enforced, is wrong both in principle and in practice. A more sophisticated tack would be to concede that the government’s reforms are not just about stinginess or pandering to the mob but are motivated at least partly by the entirely proper desire to eliminate injustice, but then argue that the price of doing so is to create a greater injustice, that of genuine refugees being turned away.

There must be some kind of trade-off between ensuring genuine refugees are given protection, and eliminating abuse of the system. Fletcher’s case studies remind us of the individual cost of changes in policy or its application, but by their nature cannot tell us anything about the aggregate effects for which governments are rightly held responsible. We need some sense of the numbers, and here Fletcher lets us down. How, for example, are we supposed to square her claim that ‘the system is constructed on the false premise that a very large number of asylum seekers are “abusing the system"’ with her acknowledgment that ‘it is clearly the case that a proportion of asylum seekers are economic migrants.’ Are we simply meant to infer that this ‘proportion’ does not count as ‘very large’?

When she does give us numbers, too often they are out of context. She believes immigration officials are being overzealous in applying the new law against destroying travel documents and passports before claiming asylum. Fletcher cites the 170 people charged in the first four months – but fails to put this in context of the thousands who could potentially have been charged. A prosecution rate of 5 per cent is not by itself evidence that the law is being applied unreasonably. Similarly, she takes her figures on the time asylum seekers are detained – between 129 and 165 days – from the organisation Bail for Immigration Detainees, who naturally concentrate on those detained the longest. In fact, only 10 to 20 per cent of asylum seekers are detained for the kind of time Fletcher presents as typical.

Matt Cavanagh
Former Government Adviser on Asylum and Immigration, London SW1


In my letter (Letters, 17 March) the word ‘Negro’ is printed with a lower case ‘n’. This distinction was conventionally regarded as the difference between a noun and an adjective, but it became an ideological issue some forty or fifty years ago and I always use the upper case; the lower case was not mine.

J.R. Pole

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.