Close

Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions of use refer to the London Review of Books and the London Review Bookshop website (www.lrb.co.uk — hereafter ‘LRB Website’). These terms and conditions apply to all users of the LRB Website ("you"), including individual subscribers to the print edition of the LRB who wish to take advantage of our free 'subscriber only' access to archived material ("individual users") and users who are authorised to access the LRB Website by subscribing institutions ("institutional users").

Each time you use the LRB Website you signify your acceptance of these terms and conditions. If you do not agree, or are not comfortable with any part of this document, your only remedy is not to use the LRB Website.


  1. By registering for access to the LRB Website and/or entering the LRB Website by whatever route of access, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions currently prevailing.
  2. The London Review of Books ("LRB") reserves the right to change these terms and conditions at any time and you should check for any alterations regularly. Continued usage of the LRB Website subsequent to a change in the terms and conditions constitutes acceptance of the current terms and conditions.
  3. The terms and conditions of any subscription agreements which educational and other institutions have entered into with the LRB apply in addition to these terms and conditions.
  4. You undertake to indemnify the LRB fully for all losses damages and costs incurred as a result of your breaching these terms and conditions.
  5. The information you supply on registration to the LRB Website shall be accurate and complete. You will notify the LRB promptly of any changes of relevant details by emailing the registrar. You will not assist a non-registered person to gain access to the LRB Website by supplying them with your password. In the event that the LRB considers that you have breached the requirements governing registration, that you are in breach of these terms and conditions or that your or your institution's subscription to the LRB lapses, your registration to the LRB Website will be terminated.
  6. Each individual subscriber to the LRB (whether a person or organisation) is entitled to the registration of one person to use the 'subscriber only' content on the web site. This user is an 'individual user'.
  7. The London Review of Books operates a ‘no questions asked’ cancellation policy in accordance with UK legislation. Please contact us to cancel your subscription and receive a full refund for the cost of all unposted issues.
  8. Use of the 'subscriber only' content on the LRB Website is strictly for the personal use of each individual user who may read the content on the screen, download, store or print single copies for their own personal private non-commercial use only, and is not to be made available to or used by any other person for any purpose.
  9. Each institution which subscribes to the LRB is entitled to grant access to persons to register on and use the 'subscriber only' content on the web site under the terms and conditions of its subscription agreement with the LRB. These users are 'institutional users'.
  10. Each institutional user of the LRB may access and search the LRB database and view its entire contents, and may also reproduce insubstantial extracts from individual articles or other works in the database to which their institution's subscription provides access, including in academic assignments and theses, online and/or in print. All quotations must be credited to the author and the LRB. Institutional users are not permitted to reproduce any entire article or other work, or to make any commercial use of any LRB material (including sale, licensing or publication) without the LRB's prior written permission. Institutions may notify institutional users of any additional or different conditions of use which they have agreed with the LRB.
  11. Users may use any one computer to access the LRB web site 'subscriber only' content at any time, so long as that connection does not allow any other computer, networked or otherwise connected, to access 'subscriber only' content.
  12. The LRB Website and its contents are protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. You acknowledge that all intellectual property rights including copyright in the LRB Website and its contents belong to or have been licensed to the LRB or are otherwise used by the LRB as permitted by applicable law.
  13. All intellectual property rights in articles, reviews and essays originally published in the print edition of the LRB and subsequently included on the LRB Website belong to or have been licensed to the LRB. This material is made available to you for use as set out in paragraph 8 (if you are an individual user) or paragraph 10 (if you are an institutional user) only. Save for such permitted use, you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, post, reproduce, translate or adapt such material in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the LRB. To obtain such permission and the terms and conditions applying, contact the Rights and Permissions department.
  14. All intellectual property rights in images on the LRB Website are owned by the LRB except where another copyright holder is specifically attributed or credited. Save for such material taken for permitted use set out above, you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, post, reproduce, translate or adapt LRB’s images in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the LRB. To obtain such permission and the terms and conditions applying, contact the Rights and Permissions department. Where another copyright holder is specifically attributed or credited you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, reproduce or translate such images in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the copyright holder. The LRB will not undertake to supply contact details of any attributed or credited copyright holder.
  15. The LRB Website is provided on an 'as is' basis and the LRB gives no warranty that the LRB Website will be accessible by any particular browser, operating system or device.
  16. The LRB makes no express or implied representation and gives no warranty of any kind in relation to any content available on the LRB Website including as to the accuracy or reliability of any information either in its articles, essays and reviews or in the letters printed in its letter page or material supplied by third parties. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability of any kind (including liability for any losses, damages or costs) arising from the publication of any materials on the LRB Website or incurred as a consequence of using or relying on such materials.
  17. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability of any kind (including liability for any losses, damages or costs) for any legal or other consequences (including infringement of third party rights) of any links made to the LRB Website.
  18. The LRB is not responsible for the content of any material you encounter after leaving the LRB Website site via a link in it or otherwise. The LRB gives no warranty as to the accuracy or reliability of any such material and to the fullest extent permitted by law excludes all liability that may arise in respect of or as a consequence of using or relying on such material.
  19. This site may be used only for lawful purposes and in a manner which does not infringe the rights of, or restrict the use and enjoyment of the site by, any third party. In the event of a chat room, message board, forum and/or news group being set up on the LRB Website, the LRB will not undertake to monitor any material supplied and will give no warranty as to its accuracy, reliability, originality or decency. By posting any material you agree that you are solely responsible for ensuring that it is accurate and not obscene, defamatory, plagiarised or in breach of copyright, confidentiality or any other right of any person, and you undertake to indemnify the LRB against all claims, losses, damages and costs incurred in consequence of your posting of such material. The LRB will reserve the right to remove any such material posted at any time and without notice or explanation. The LRB will reserve the right to disclose the provenance of such material, republish it in any form it deems fit or edit or censor it. The LRB will reserve the right to terminate the registration of any person it considers to abuse access to any chat room, message board, forum or news group provided by the LRB.
  20. Any e-mail services supplied via the LRB Website are subject to these terms and conditions.
  21. You will not knowingly transmit any virus, malware, trojan or other harmful matter to the LRB Website. The LRB gives no warranty that the LRB Website is free from contaminating matter, viruses or other malicious software and to the fullest extent permitted by law disclaims all liability of any kind including liability for any damages, losses or costs resulting from damage to your computer or other property arising from access to the LRB Website, use of it or downloading material from it.
  22. The LRB does not warrant that the use of the LRB Website will be uninterrupted, and disclaims all liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any damages, losses or costs incurred as a result of access to the LRB Website being interrupted, modified or discontinued.
  23. The LRB Website contains advertisements and promotional links to websites and other resources operated by third parties. While we would never knowingly link to a site which we believed to be trading in bad faith, the LRB makes no express or implied representations or warranties of any kind in respect of any third party websites or resources or their contents, and we take no responsibility for the content, privacy practices, goods or services offered by these websites and resources. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability for any damages or losses arising from access to such websites and resources. Any transaction effected with such a third party contacted via the LRB Website are subject to the terms and conditions imposed by the third party involved and the LRB accepts no responsibility or liability resulting from such transactions.
  24. The LRB disclaims liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any damages, losses or costs incurred for unauthorised access or alterations of transmissions or data by third parties as consequence of visit to the LRB Website.
  25. While 'subscriber only' content on the LRB Website is currently provided free to subscribers to the print edition of the LRB, the LRB reserves the right to impose a charge for access to some or all areas of the LRB Website without notice.
  26. These terms and conditions are governed by and will be interpreted in accordance with English law and any disputes relating to these terms and conditions will be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
  27. The various provisions of these terms and conditions are severable and if any provision is held to be invalid or unenforceable by any court of competent jurisdiction then such invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect the remaining provisions.
  28. If these terms and conditions are not accepted in full, use of the LRB Website must be terminated immediately.
Close

Letters

Vol. 32 No. 12 · 24 June 2010

Search by issue:

We say hello to one another

In his account of Egypt’s decline under Hosni Mubarak, Adam Shatz understandably concentrates on the country’s relationship with the US and Israel (LRB, 27 May). But there is another international player with growing influence in Egypt: China.

Seventeen thousand Chinese are now officially resident in Egypt and the volume of trade between the two countries has gone from $635 million in 1999 to more than $5.86 billion in 2009. Besides granite and marble, China imports Egyptian cotton, oil, carpets and kitchen sinks. English is the main language of business, but around the Free Trade Zones, cheap manufacturing bases close to European markets with very few export restrictions, most of the road signs are in Chinese. According to Egypt’s General Authority for Investment, there are 1038 Chinese companies operating in Egypt, representing a total investment of $311 million.

‘Before the Chinese arrived everyone was leaving this neighbourhood,’ I was told recently by an estate agent in the Cairo suburb of New Maadi. ‘Nowadays you see more Chinese round here than Egyptians. They’re here for this.’ He tapped the granite counter. ‘After the first wave came all kinds of small businesses to service the community, like gyms, restaurants and shops. Then a second wave came to work for Huawei when it replaced Siemens and Alcatel as Etisalat’s main contractor in Egypt.’ Huawei Technologies is the second largest telecoms company in the world. Last November Wen Jiabao opened its $20 million new training centre in Cairo’s Smart Village. ‘We have a business relationship,’ the estate agent said. ‘They don’t care for football or religion. All they think about is business, except when they are drinking tea and playing cards. But there are no problems and we say hello to one another when we pass each other in the street.’

The Chinese Embassy has gone on a charm offensive of film festivals, photo exhibitions and, last February in Rihab City on Cairo’s eastern outskirts, a cultural week showcasing martial arts, Chinese music and tea art. Two Confucius institutes have been established and last year China Central Television launched a new Arabic-language satellite TV channel.

The love-in appears to be reciprocal. From 1999 to 2009 Egypt’s exports to China grew from $15 million to $989 million, creating thousands of new jobs. In the last six years, five Egyptian universities have opened Chinese departments and Chinese goods are a familiar part of everyday life. A new character has made an appearance in Egyptian soap operas: the Arabic-speaking Chinese saleswoman going from door to door, offering cheap consumer goods, bootleg DVDs and snappy haircuts. Egyptians joke about the quality of the imports and grumble that the Chinese never spend any money. Their fathers used to grumble about the Soviets for the same reason.

China’s relationship with the Arabs dates back to the Silk Road, but modern relations can be traced to 30 May 1956 when Nasser defied the US policy of containment to become the first Arab or African country to establish diplomatic ties with the Communist state. (Later that year Chinese newspapers celebrated the nationalisation of the Suez Canal.) Mubarak himself has been to China at least seven times. In 1999 he signed a key strategic agreement in Beijing and since then co-operation has deepened to include infrastructure building, training, energy and defence. There are goodwill politburo visits every few months and at the start of May Egypt’s Oil Ministry signed a memorandum of understanding with China National Petroleum Corp to build Egypt’s biggest ever oil refinery in a contract worth $2 billion. ‘Things are going perfectly,’ according to Zhijie Zeng, the director of the China Development Bank. ‘We are eager to deepen the co-operation. Africa and China have a win-win relationship.’

But the press has spoken of China’s ‘commercial attack’ on Egypt, and there have been accusations of Chinese products being dumped in Egypt at below cost price. In January a Chinese ship accidentally destroyed coral reefs in South Sinai. And in the second half of last year China abruptly halted trade shipments to Egypt. The official reason was to combat smuggling but the move sent the price of some commodities shooting up 40 per cent.

Hugh Miles
Cairo

Dreyfus in Our Times

Jacqueline Rose seriously underestimates the deep roots of Zola’s intervention in the Dreyfus affair in his own earlier career (LRB, 10 June). Zola had experienced something akin to racism as a child; his family moved between Paris and Aix-en-Provence and he was mocked by his schoolmates as an outsider in both cities. His Pour les Juifs (1896) predated his involvement with Dreyfus, and was indeed the reason he was first approached to intervene in the case. This important article anticipated in some ways the arguments of Sartre’s Réflexions sur la question juive. Well before this, in L’Argent (1891), Zola had put a powerful attack on anti-semitism into the mouth of the character of Mme Caroline. He had also long held strongly anti-militarist views, as shown in the remarkable short story ‘Le Capitaine Burle’ (1882).

These attitudes sharply distinguished Zola from most of his literary contemporaries, among whom anti-semitism was rife. Virtually every member of the Académie française was anti-Dreyfus.

Ian Birchall
London N9

The End of the UK

David Runciman is wide of the mark when he suggests that the decline in the SNP’s vote in the Westminster election was due to al-Megrahi’s release (LRB, 27 May). There is a far more prosaic reason: namely, Scottish voters’ visceral dislike of the Conservative Party and in particular of Margaret Thatcher, who continues to be reviled. Labour’s campaign in Scotland – ‘we are the only ones who can keep the Tories out’ – thus resonated more than the ‘Scottish Champions’ message of the SNP, which the Scottish electorate understands has a minimal part to play at Westminster. Whether Labour will carry this momentum into next year’s Scottish elections is open to question though, for several reasons.

First, there is no reason to ‘keep the Tories out’ of Holyrood: they will not form the next Scottish government. (It is ironic that the reason the Conservatives have any significant presence in Scotland is due to devolution and a PR voting system, both of which they were against.) Second, there is a lack of big hitters in the current bloc of Scottish Labour MSPs. Iain Gray consistently fails to land any significant blows on Alex Salmond, and Labour’s raison d’être seems to be to despise and oppose the Nationalists.

Third, Scottish voters have shown themselves to be adept at distinguishing between different political systems, and adapting their vote accordingly. Westminster has always been a bunfight between Labour and Conservatives, but at Holyrood, PR has proved successful in reflecting the prevailing wind, with the result that the Parliament has had a different composition in each of its three terms (I’d argue this is a strength of the system). In the last election, in 2007, voters were apparently comfortable trying out an SNP administration, reasoning that a vote for the SNP was not a vote for independence per se, as the separation question would always have to be put to a referendum. (Most polls suggest support for independence is running at under 30 per cent, but this doesn’t seem to have dented the likelihood of the SNP gaining a second term, and there is speculation that they might pick up disgruntled Lib Dem voters.)

More broadly, it is clear that further devolution of power to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is inevitable. The question for England is how it can cater for its own requirements in this set-up; I find the English reluctance to consider alternatives to the Westminster system baffling. Devolution continues to be condescended to, not least because, as David Runciman says, ‘the gulf between news coverage north and south of the border means that we barely speak the same political language anymore.’ Yet devolution has delivered a modern and responsive Parliament in Scotland which makes Westminster look antiquated, self-important and aloof.

Allan Tanner
Edinburgh

Unforgiven

Peter Connolly makes the case for Ralph Nader’s responsibility for the Democrats’ loss in the 2000 US presidential election (Letters, 13 May). He neglects to mention that more Florida Democrats defected to the Republicans that year than to Ralph Nader. Or that Al Gore failed to win his home state (no president has ever won office without taking his home state). Or that he failed to win New Hampshire, which voted Democrat in 1992, 1996, 2004 and 2008. Either state would have won Gore the election without Florida. Furthermore, Connolly claims that the Republicans’ slim 500-odd vote majority in Florida is proof that they weren’t engaged in ‘“wholesale" fraud’, or they would have done a better job, a claim with no basis in fact or logic. The fraud is well documented. The recount having been killed by the Republican-dominated federal Supreme Court, we will never know its true extent, but the slimness of the majority is not proof it didn’t happen, only that the Republicans didn’t know how much fraud would be needed and carried out as much as they thought they could get away with. Finally, we should recall that George W. Bush’s brother Jeb, the Republican governor of Florida, called out the state police to set up roadblocks in black and other heavily Democratic neighbourhoods in Florida cities to delay and turn away as many Gore supporters as possible on their way to the polls. And yet Ralph Nader is responsible!

M. Rozenkranz
Montreal

Jackson Lears wants to ‘complicate the explanation for Gore’s loss, beyond a simple demonisation of Nader’, but the complications he cites – fraud by Republicans preventing 8000 people from voting and the Supreme Court decision halting the recount – would, in the first case, not have mattered, and in the second not have taken place, if Nader hadn’t run (Letters, 27 May). Nader received 97, 488 votes in Florida. Simple demonisation of Nader is indeed in order.

Janet Malcolm
New York

I too was there

So that’s who Francis Newton, the author of The Jazz Scene (1959), is: the famous Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm (LRB, 27 May). Two things he gets wrong in his Diary: the original Ronnie Scott club was in a basement not in Lisle Street but in Gerrard Street. I heard Ben Webster there in, I think, 1959. Second, I, too, was a habitué of the Downbeat, dropping in generally at lunchtime but on the occasional evening when I didn’t have a gig, or wasn’t in the Establishment Club enjoying the Dudley Moore Trio. It was in the Downbeat that I persuaded the drummer Allan Ganley – to his immense amusement – to dep for me in a gig for the Billy Cotton Band Show in 1961. There was certainly music in the Downbeat in the evenings – was it Brian Lemon at the piano? I also heard Annie Ross sing there.

Brian Innes
Montgaillard, France

For those who are old enough to remember but whose memory is failing, Brian Innes was the leader of the Temperance Seven from 1955 to 1965.

Editor, ‘London Review’

Mistake

In my Short Cuts about the BP oil disaster, I said the drilling went ‘a mile under the earth’s crust beneath six miles of water’ (LRB, 27 May). A more nearly correct figure would have been ‘three and a half miles under the earth’s crust, beneath a mile of water’.

David Bromwich
New Haven, Connecticut

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.