Politics & Economics

Artwork by Anne Rothenstein.

What Remained of Trump

David Runciman

12 August 2021

Neither Trump nor the people around him were part of a sinister plot to subvert and ultimately take over the democratic institutions of the United States. They didn’t possess even the minimum competence for that. Trump’s presidency was a kind of vacuum of seriousness: the relationship between means and ends was practically non-existent.

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Spymasters

Charles Glass

12 August 2021

Alexander Cockburn​ blamed Ian Fleming for the creation of the CIA. Without Fleming, Cockburn wrote on the fiftieth anniversary of the first James Bond novel, ‘the Cold War would have ended . . .

Strewn with Loot

Adewale Maja-Pearce

12 August 2021

In​ February 1897, the year of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, a British expeditionary force sacked the ancient city of Benin. They exiled the oba, or ruler, Ovonramwen, and carted away more . . .

A Free Speech Agenda

Sophie Smith

12 August 2021

Within​ 24 hours of its launch on 13 June, some of the advertisers on GB News began pulling their ads. The Swedish cider brand Kopparberg was first, followed by a dozen others, including Ikea, Vodafone . . .

After the Assassination

Pooja Bhatia

17 July 2021

‘Cherie​, I’m in danger.’ On 8 July I woke up to a WhatsApp voice message from my Haitian friend M. She was hiding under the bed, the phone pressed close against her face . . .

Bolsonaro’s Brazil

Perry Anderson, 7 February 2019

By comparison with the scale of the upheaval through which Brazil has lived in the last five years, and the gravity of its possible outcome, the histrionics over Brexit in this country and the conniptions over Trump in America are close to much ado about nothing.

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Let Them Drown

Naomi Klein, 2 June 2016

Environmentalism might have looked like a bourgeois playground to Edward Said. The Israeli state has long coated its nation-building project in a green veneer.

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Where will we live? The Housing Disaster

James Meek, 9 January 2014

The government has stopped short of explicitly declaring war on the poor, but how different would the situation be if it had?

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What I Heard about Iraq: watch and listen

Eliot Weinberger, 3 February 2005

In 1992, a year after the first Gulf War, I heard Dick Cheney, then secretary of defense, say that the US had been wise not to invade Baghdad and get ‘bogged down in the problems of trying...

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Moderation or Death: Isaiah Berlin

Christopher Hitchens, 26 November 1998

In​ The Color of Truth*, the American scholar Kai Bird presents his study of McGeorge (‘Mac’) and William Bundy. These were the two dynastic technocrats who organised and...

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Why Fascism is the Wave of the Future

Edward Luttwak, 7 April 1994

That capitalism unobstructed by public regulations, cartels, monopolies, oligopolies, effective trade unions, cultural inhibitions or kinship obligations is the ultimate engine of economic growth...

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The Morning After

Edward Said, 21 October 1993

Now that some of the euphoria has lifted, it is possible to re-examine the Israeli-PLO agreement with the required common sense. What emerges from such scrutiny is a deal that is more flawed and,...

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Maastricht and All That

Wynne Godley, 8 October 1992

A lot of people throughout Europe have suddenly realised that they know hardly anything about the Maastricht Treaty while rightly sensing that it could make a huge difference to their lives....

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John Hume on the end of the Unionist veto in Ulster

John Hume, 2 February 1989

In recent times in Ireland we have been reminded of a lot of anniversaries. Remembering the past is something of an obsession here. The future, discussing it or shaping it, doesn’t seem...

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Diary: Young Hong Kongers

Simon Cartledge, 29 July 2021

Looking back at the Hong Kong protests now – especially at the hundreds of hours of video footage on YouTube and elsewhere – I find it hard not to marvel at what happened. I’m also shocked...

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Out Hunting: In Baltimore

Gary Younge, 29 July 2021

The demand of Black Lives Matter and others to ‘defund the police’ follows the logic that addressing the causes of crime – by funding housing, drug rehabilitation, education and mental...

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Particularly Anodyne: One bomb in London

Richard Norton-Taylor, 15 July 2021

Decades​ of resentment in Northern Ireland, ignored by Westminster, finally resulted in 1969 in what are known euphemistically as ‘the Troubles’. Almost three decades of violence...

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It shouldn’t be more important that the North Sea wind farms get built than that some of their towers are made by low-paid labourers working twelve-hour shifts, seven days a week; and yet the immense...

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Diary: Class 1H

Ian Jack, 15 July 2021

As names were called, children stood up from the benches and gathered at the front, until an entire class had been assembled. A, B, C, D, E and F were called, and I was still there, waiting with around...

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Short Cuts: Untilled Fields

Ferdinand Mount, 1 July 2021

‘This is certain – for I have noted it several times – some parts of England are becoming almost as lonesome as the African veld.’ This was Rider Haggard’s...

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Yanqui Imperialismo: Compañeras

Lucy Delap, 1 July 2021

The feminist campaigners of the interwar period set the terms for future activism by insisting that the language of human rights is inherently feminist. Their telegram diplomacy and ‘foot in the...

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Kagame has successfully deflected criticism, partly thanks to Western guilt over the genocide in Rwanda (a recent report commissioned by Macron said that France bears an ‘overwhelming responsibility’)...

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It is one thing to station military forces around the world to maintain your empire, but quite another to do so for someone else’s. It’s not a new observation that those in power in Britain...

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What most people in the US call an ‘embargo’ – meaning the sweeping trade restrictions first imposed in 1960 and ratcheted up many times since – is known in Cuba as el bloqueo,...

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In Tigray​ in northern Ethiopia a famine is unfolding in the dark. Reporters and aid workers have been unable to access large parts of the region since war broke out in November. Satellite imagery...

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Each rock has two names: In Nagorno-Karabakh

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, 17 June 2021

The war over the control of Nagorno-Karabakh is one of the only interstate conflicts in the world, a leftover from an age before the religious and sectarian contests of tribal militias which have turned...

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Short Cuts: Friend or Threat

William Davies, 17 June 2021

For much of the past fifteen months, hospitality has been either banned or strictly regulated. Once the state is involved in deciding whom we may eat or drink with, and even what counts as a shared ‘meal’...

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Short Cuts: Not all Scots

Rory Scothorne, 3 June 2021

In​ Stone Voices, Neal Ascherson wrote that ‘in the two centuries after about 1760 … no country in Europe, and perhaps no country on earth until the European explosion into the...

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Bullets in the Mail: After Khashoggi

Krithika Varagur, 3 June 2021

Mohammed bin Salman already wields immense power and he is only just beginning. As well as rewriting the royal family’s code of seniority and bringing most ministries under his direct control, he...

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The unlikely union between a Fascist leader and a Jewish American opera singer offers interesting perspectives on Fascism’s evolving attitudes to race, religion, culture, gender and so on, particularly...

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Ghosts in the Land

Adam Shatz, 3 June 2021

The violence that broke out inside Israel was ugly, a chaotic mixture of pogroms and score-settling; it is a threat to the delicate fabric of Arab-Jewish relations that no politician in Israel can afford...

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After Hartlepool

James Butler, 3 June 2021

Early​ results matter. They matter when TV pundits are required to fill hours of overnight election coverage, and they mattered especially during the 72-hour period that followed the UK-wide...

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