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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

Andrew Bacevich: Presidents v. Generals

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0100

At no time during the sixty-plus years since General MacArthur’s downfall have existing civil-military arrangements worked as advertised. That is to say, never has the interaction of military and civilian leaders, conducted in an atmosphere of honesty and mutual respect, privileging the national interest rather than personal ambition and institutional agendas, yielded consistently enlightened policies. This remains one of the dirty little secrets the American elite is reluctant to own up to. In that respect, the clash between Truman and MacArthur represents not the resolution of a problem but a harbinger of problems to come.

Sheila Fitzpatrick: Good Communist Homes

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0100

The extraordinarily detailed information on the households and the complexity of their domestic relations is one of the remarkable and unique aspects of this book. Nobody knew what a good communist home ought to be like, Yuri Slezkine remarks, but on the basis of House of Government data it looks strikingly non-nuclear. Partnerships shifted, not always rancorously, so that an ex-wife plus children might be living down the hall from the new wife plus children, with the husband dividing his time between the flats.

Bee Wilson: Gef the Talking Mongoose

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0100

The possibility of Gef’s existence was first reported in the Manchester Daily Dispatch in January 1932. A reporter claimed he had visited the Irving household to investigate the ‘animal story’ that had been the talk of the island for several months. On arrival at the farmhouse, he heard ‘a voice which I should never have imagined could issue from a human throat’. The Irvings told him that it was an animal, something like a stoat, weasel or ferret, except that it spoke and sang songs and on occasion offered betting tips.

Charles Hope: Raphael’s Drawings

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0100

Rosemary Hill: What Writers Wear

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0100


Thu, 27 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0100

The letters page from London Review of Books Vol. 39 No. 15 (27 July 2017)

Table of contents

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0100

Table of contents from London Review of Books Vol. 39 No. 15 (27 July 2017)