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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 2018

Deborah Friedell: Death, in a Nutshell

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000

Gavin Francis: The Spanish Flu

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000

It is estimated that five hundred million people contracted it, and that between fifty and a hundred million of them died. Asians were thirty times more likely to die than Europeans. The pandemic had some influence on the lives of everyone alive today. Donald Trump’s grandfather Friedrich died from it in New York City. He was 49. His early death meant that his fortune passed to his son Fred, who used it to start a New York property empire.

Colin Kidd: About Last Year

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000

Postmodern Britain lies well beyond Orwell’s imagining, a country where superannuated teenagers in certain walks of middle-class life, including journalism and politics, stay in a condition of more or less permanent adolescence from puberty to retirement. Surely it’s time for the authentically middle-aged – we know who we are: square, clapped out, disillusioned and cardiganed – to take charge before the inheritance is squandered?

Lorna Finlayson: Can the law be feminist?

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000

The difference between Catharine MacKinnon and a typical pro-war American feminist is that MacKinnon has a far bleaker view of the condition of women in Western countries. As she sees it, they need more than top-level representation – in the form of a female president, for example – to perfect their equality. They are systemically brutalised in a society that refuses even to recognise what is going on. This raises the question of whether America, too, might be a legitimate target of humanitarian intervention. But that doesn’t seem to be what MacKinnon has in mind when she asks: ‘Will the marines never land for them?’

T.J. Clark: Cezanne’s Portraits

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000

Hands, in this world without faces, do an enormous amount of work. They are a fulcrum for the bodies – the ‘persons’ – they belong to: around them the body opens, exfoliates, puts on show its basic structure, displays its duality (following the hands left and right) or its multiplicity (since the hands themselves lose edges, flip from concave to convex and back, clench, disintegrate, weigh a ton, unfold into corrugations or diamond facets). They challenge the viewer to see them as part of the body they terminate. Maybe hands are where ‘character’ hides in Cézanne, in the carnal unconscious, however hard an individual or a culture tries to suppress it.

Donald MacKenzie: Wall Street’s Fear Gauge

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000

Michael Wood: At the Movies

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000


Thu, 25 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000

The letters page from London Review of Books Vol. 40 No. 2 (25 January 2018)

Table of contents

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000

Table of contents from London Review of Books Vol. 40 No. 2 (25 January 2018)