Trump’s War on America

Adam Shatz

George Floyd has rapidly achieved the status of an international martyr, a symbol of racial injustice like the Scottsboro Boys, wrongfully imprisoned for raping a white woman, or Emmett Till, the 14-year-old lynched in 1955 after allegedly whistling at a white woman. After 9/11, Le Monde declared: ‘Nous sommes tous américains.’ The headline is unimaginable today – who would want to be American now? – but America’s drift has only made Floyd’s killing reverberate more strongly. Holding posters of George Floyd, twenty thousand people marched against police brutality in Paris. Floyd’s image has been displayed in Iraq, Syria and Palestine – countries that have experienced first-hand the ruthlessness of American power. ‘We are the muthafuckin world,’ someone posted on Instagram. This remarkable demonstration of American soft power, which looked as if it had evaporated under Trump, belongs almost entirely to black America.

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The Inequality Engine

Geoff Mann

WithParis still vibrating in the aftermath of the Commune, Emile Boutmy and a group of intellectuals founded the École Libre des Sciences Politiques in 1872. The school was a direct response to the Commune, to France’s humiliation in the Franco-Prussian War, and to a sense that its ruling class was bereft of talent, industry and imagination, its imperial and cultural mission a...


Ruin it your own way

Susan Pedersen

When​ Shelagh Delaney, all of 19, started writing A Taste of Honey, it had only two characters: Jo, the 15-year-old Salford school-leaver whose choices and chances structure the story, and her forty-year-old often skint but always cadging mother, Helen. Other characters were added later. Peter, the louche businessman with a ‘wallet full of reasons’ to lure Helen offstage and into...


Drain the Swamps

Steven Shapin

Itstarts with bone-shivering chills, which give way to a high fever. The attacks last between six and twelve hours, and end in profuse sweating. When the chills and fever subside, they leave behind an enveloping fatigue. But the relief may not last long. The symptoms can cycle back again, sometimes returning like clockwork every day, and sometimes every second or third day. If you’re...

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From the blog

Not the 1960s

Erin Pineda

5 June 2020

However much the media and public officials love to describe contemporary events – whatever they may be – as ‘unprecedented’, when it comes to protest in America there is exactly one precedent: the civil rights movement. That has proven true yet again this week.

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Good to Think With

Helen Pfeifer

Injune 1599, with just six months to go until the apocalypse, the Dominican friar Tommaso Campanella and his friends plotted a revolt against Spanish rule in southern Italy. Their plan depended on an agreement with the grand admiral of the Ottoman navy, Ciğalazade Yusuf Sinan Pasha, a convert to Islam who was himself of Italian origin (he had last been seen about a year earlier, visiting...

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Diverted Traffic

A newsletter and online collection from the LRB, featuring one piece from our archive per day, chosen for its compulsive, immersive and escapist qualities, and also for its total lack of references to plague, pandemics or quarantine.

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Coetzee Makes a Leap

Christopher Tayler

Let’simagine that after this life, or perhaps before it, perhaps as a step in an endless transmigration of souls, we arrive by ship in a new land. Our memories of a previous existence are washed away. A beneficent but impersonal bureaucracy assigns us names and ages – the ages are apparently chosen by guesswork on the basis of how old we look – and arranges for us...

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Talking Politics: History of Ideas

After each episode of the new Talking Politics podcast, brought to you in partnership with the London Review of Books, continue your exploration of the history of ideas in our unrivalled archive of essays and reviews, films and podcasts.

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LRB Books: Collections and Selections

Rediscover classic pieces, recurring themes, and the dash the London Review of Books has cut through the history of ideas, for the past 40 years, with LRB Collections and now LRB Selections: two new series of collectible books.

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Notice from Bury Place:

Like most other businesses, we have taken the decision to close both the London Review Bookshop and the Cake Shop until further notice. All events and late shopping evenings due to be held in the spring have been postponed indefinitely, but we’ve recorded a few of them as podcasts, and we’ve also launched LRB Screen at Home, a new, free series of online film events: join us on the bookshop’s YouTube channel every Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. A selection of books and book boxes curated by our booksellers is also now available for online purchase. Stay tuned for news of our plans for reopening, and many thanks for your support.

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.

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