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Preview: London Review of Books

London Review of Books



Literary review publishing essay-length book reviews and topical articles on politics, literature, history, philosophy, science and the arts by leading writers and thinkers



Copyright: © LRB Limited 2017
 



William Carter: The Case of the Missing Barrels

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000

Tripoli was dangerous – not as dangerous as Benghazi but still dangerous. Random, lethal violence was to be expected. There were no police officers, no official law enforcement of any kind – only tribal militia, who ruled the roost. He told me to be careful of ambushes while being driven around the city. ‘What should I do if I get ambushed?’ I asked. ‘Well, standard operating procedure in the army is to shoot your way out. Don’t be static. Push on, fight back.’ I pointed out to him that I was an unarmed middle-aged lawyer who would be sitting in the back of a rickety saloon car when the moment came. He shrugged.



Neal Ascherson: Gorbachev’s Dispensation

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000

Not many people change the world. Fewer still are thanked for it. Adolf Hitler changed the world on 22 June 1941: by invading the Soviet Union, he delivered ‘Hitler’s Europe’, the divided continent we lived in until 1989. We were not grateful for that. Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev changed the world, as so many adoring millions saw it at the time, by ending the threat of their extermination by nuclear war and by allowing Europe’s ‘captive nations’ to liberate themselves. But then, a Samson already blinded by his enemies, he brought down the gigantic temple of the Soviet Union on his own head, and his own power perished with it.



Jean McNicol: Harriet Harman

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000

Harman was first elected to the shadow cabinet in 1992 and her account of her difficulties in her first job, as shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Gordon Brown’s deputy, are typical of the descriptions she gives of her ministerial career as a whole. She stresses her own inadequacy and failure in a way it’s almost impossible to imagine a man’s political memoir doing.



Eric Foner: After Hamilton

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000

One political leader who apparently tried to act on the idea of establishing a new nation in the heart of North America was Aaron Burr. ‘Apparently’, because the exact scope and intentions of what came to be known as the Burr Conspiracy of 1805-7 remain murky at best. Until recently, Burr was really known for one thing: killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel in 1804.



Katherine Rundell: Harry Potter

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000




Rory Scothorne: Class before Nation

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000




Nick Richardson: From a Distant Solar System

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000




Letters

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000

The letters page from London Review of Books Vol. 39 No. 24 (14 December 2017)



Table of contents

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000

Table of contents from London Review of Books Vol. 39 No. 24 (14 December 2017)