Issue

Prospect Magazine

Issue 132

March 2007

Contents

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What happened to the Windies?

Ed Smith
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

The West Indies dominated cricket in the 1970s and 1980s, then fell into steep decline. As the islands prepare to host the one-day cricket World Cup, an English cricketer tries to find out what went wrong

Darfur—the crisis explained

Alex De Waal
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

The collapse last year of African Union-led talks aimed at resolving the Darfur crisis leaves a solution as far away as ever. A Sudan expert who advised the AU during the talks explains the background to the conflict and asks whether it constitutes genocide

Putin's patrimony

Robert Skidelsky
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Russia's economy is more dependent on natural resources than in Soviet times. This "oil curse" means a brittle economy and an unstable political system based on the fusion of power and property. Watch out for the coming Putin succession crisis

The poor bloody infantry

Lewis Page
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

The lives of British soldiers are being sacrificed to save jobs in an inefficient domestic arms industry. We should buy more "off the shelf" equipment from the US and thereby also reduce the excessive influence of BAE Systems on our politics

The future of proof

Ian Stewart
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

The use of computers means that modern mathematical proofs can run to millions of pages. Such proofs can never be fully verified by humans alone. Does this mean, as some argue, the death of proof?

When the music stopped

Norman Lebrecht
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Classical recording did more than just capture musical sound forever—it gave rise to a whole culture of appreciation based on common ownership of records and CDs. That culture is dying as major labels slash recordings and the internet returns music, once more, to the ether

Pervez Musharraf

Jonathan Power
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

The president and military strongman of Pakistan discusses the war in Afghanistan, a possible resolution to the Kashmir dispute—and becomes the first leader to back the idea of western governments buying up Afghanistan's poppy crop

The big question

prospect
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

We asked 100 writers and thinkers to answer the following question: Left and right defined the 20th century. What's next? The pessimism of their responses is striking: almost nobody expects the world to get better in the coming decades, and many think it will get worse

The big question

prospect
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Left and right defined the 20th century. What's next?

The big question

prospect
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Left and right defined the 20th century. What's next?

The big question

prospect
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Left and right defined the 20th century. What's next?

Barack Obama

James Crabtree
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

His unusual background and his ability to use it to articulate a hopeful version of the American dream have turned Barack Obama into a political star. But is the US ready for its first black president?

Darfur—the crisis explained

Alex De Waal
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

The collapse last year of African Union-led talks aimed at resolving the Darfur crisis leaves a solution as far away as ever. A Sudan expert who advised the AU during the talks explains the background to the conflict and asks whether it constitutes genocide

Pervez Musharraf, interviewed

Jonathan Power
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

The president and military strongman of Pakistan discusses the war in Afghanistan, a possible resolution to the Kashmir dispute—and becomes the first leader to back the idea of western governments buying up Afghanistan's poppy crop

Putin's patrimony

Robert Skidelsky
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Russia's economy is more dependent on natural resources than in Soviet times. This "oil curse" means a brittle economy and an unstable political system based on the fusion of power and property. Watch out for the coming Putin succession crisis.

The big question

prospect
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Left and right defined the 20th century. What's next?

Renton's Oysters Rockefeller

Alex Renton Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

A recipe for a treat from New Orleans

Labours of love

Dan Kuper Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

After being sacked from the tube, Prospect's diarist begins a new life above ground—on a building site

The power of Orfeo

Stephen Pettitt Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

As the world's first great opera celebrates its 400th birthday, its new-found popularity may signal a welcome expansion of opera companies' repertoires

Diana's jury

Ian Caplin Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Last week's surprising high court ruling on the Diana inquest could have implications that extend way beyond one case

The sheikh's birthday

Tom Chatfield Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Fifty years young today, and we have a wonderful birthday surprise for our leader

Reclaiming the placebo

Margaret McCartney Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Alternative medicine is bunk, but makes good use of the placebo effect. Orthodox practitioners should be allowed to do the same

Illiberal lefts

David Clark
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Nick Cohen is right to criticise leftists for tolerating tyrants, but haven't parts of the left always been illiberal?

Reasonable extremist

Bella Thomas
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a strident defender of the rights of Muslim women—so why do so many liberals attack her?

House proud

Peter Bazalgette
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Big Brother has often played an important role in challenging stereotypes—the most recent series was no exception

Liberal adoption

Ronald Dworkin Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Letting Catholics follow their convictions over gay adoption is not the same as endorsing discrimination

Numbers games

John Kay
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

A new bill proposes independence for the Office for National Statistics—but it doesn't mean what it says

The nannyish state

Jim Holt
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Even well-informed people make choices against their own interests. Should the government help them help themselves?

Widescreen

Mark Cousins Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Rumours of cinema's death are much exaggerated. Digitisation is bringing film's history back to life and may revive cinema-going too. Plus, great films are being made all over the world

Private view

Ben Lewis Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Andreas Gursky's photographs are famous mainly because of their massive price tags. But what's really important about them is the revolutionary idea of photography they embody

Between the lines

Jason Cowley Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Zadie Smith is the closest we have to a literary celebrity, but her unwillingness to appear in public means we know little about her. Of course, this merely enhances her appeal

Smallscreen

Christopher Hird Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Broadcasters are increasingly unwilling to fund programmes that are in the public interest but may lose money. The answer? Copy the US model of obtaining funding from outside television

Raine's sterile thunder

Terry Eagleton
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

TS Eliot's greatness as a poet is established beyond all doubt. So why do critics feel the need to defend him against all charges of misogyny and antisemitism?

Irony and genius

Philip Oltermann
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Daniel Kehlmann's bestselling novel offers a comic view of some of Germany's great thinkers. In doing so, it mocks the very idea of German high culture

The art of conversation

Margaret Drabble
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

A camp Capote, a comic Vonnegut and a magisterial Bellow all feature in this collection of Paris Review interviews. But the most moving character of all is the little-known octogenarian poet Jack Gilbert

A French force

Charles Grant
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Nicolas Sarkozy has star appeal. But to judge from his political testimony, he lacks a coherent political philosophy and has few ideas about how to arrest France's decline

The woman at the window

James Lasdun
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

An Englishman in New York shows that chivalry is not dead, though the woman he saves has other ideas

Inefficient markets

Michael Prest Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Close scrutiny of the supercasino applications reveals that the mooted benefits of job creation and regeneration may not be quite so clear as they seem

Letter from Argentina

Nick Pearce Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

The use of the corpse as a political weapon has a long history in Argentina. The body has become political because of the country's arrested political development

Confessions

Lucy Kellaway Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Most newspaper confession columns are completely phoney, including my own. I do have a juicy secret and I'm sure you would like to hear about it—except there's no way in the world I'm going to reveal it here

Washington watch

Tumbler Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Dick Morris has a plan to keep his old nemesis Hillary Clinton from returning to the White House. But with the country "dying to elect a Democrat," can anyone stop her? Barack Obama will do his best. But what about Al Gore?

Rivers of Babylon

Nibras Kazimi Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Iraq is now home to several messianic Shia cults, all awaiting the return of the twelfth Shia imam, or Mahdi. In his name they carry out endless reprisal killings, many using their latest weapon of choice—the electric drill

Lab report

Philip Ball Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

The dwindling brigade of climate change sceptics, up against an overwhelming scientific consensus, are now turning to economics. How long can they hold out?

Matters of taste

Alex Renton Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

At last, France's notoriously stubborn wine producers are considering a shake-up of their outmoded classification system. Plus, the perfect recipe for a cooked oyster

Brussels diary

Manneken Pis Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Why does the once combative commission appear to be abandoning the consumer and siding with big business? Plus, Spain sides with Russia over the new plan for Kosovo

Speculations

Geoffrey Miller Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Why have we not encountered intelligent extraterrestrial life? We used to assume that the aliens had blown themselves up. But perhaps they just got addicted to computer games

News & curiosities

Aarathi Prasad Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Will's words

William Skidelsky Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Grayling's little question

AC Grayling Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Enigmas & puzzles

Ian Stewart Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

In fact

prospect Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Editorial

David Goodhart Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132

Letters

prospect Free entry
22nd March 2007  —  Issue 132







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