Issue

Prospect Magazine

Issue 155

Issue 155

February 2009

Contents

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Darwin the abolitionist

Adrian Desmond Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

The theory of evolution is regarded as a triumph of disinterested scientific reason. Yet new research reveals that Darwin was driven by a great moral cause

Public service narrowcasting

Peter Bazalgette
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Multi-channel television and the internet are killing public service broadcasting as we have known it. Instead, let's use the subsidy to turn Britain's remarkable creative and artistic talents into public service "narrowcasters"

Obama's moral majority

Jonathan Haidt Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

President Obama has a unique opportunity to unite Americans behind him and redefine liberalism.

The king and I

Michael Axworthy
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

The last Shah of Iran was bundled out of power in 1979 by one of the shaping events of modern history. Yet an engaging new biography by a monarchist insider is blind to its deepest causes and consequences

Rise of the red Tories

Phillip Blond Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

The crisis is an opportunity to sweep away the rotten postwar settlement of British politics. Labour is moribund. But David Cameron has a chance to develop a "red Tory" communitarianism, socially conservative but sceptical of neoliberal economics

Israel's phantom people

Adam LeBor
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

About 20 per cent of Israel's citizens are Arabs, and the violence in Gaza has further radicalised them. But the last thing they want is to become part of a Palestinian state

Anniversary blues in Iran

Christopher de Bellaigue Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

As Iran's Islamic Republic celebrates its 30th anniversary, its oil wealth is in decline and the confidence of the past decade looks increasingly brittle

Revolutionary roads

Dominic Sandbrook
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

What actually happened in 1979? And how does the Iranian revolution compare with 1789 and 1917?

The girls they left behind

Katharine Quarmby
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

I am the British love child of an Iranian sailor. I thought I would never meet my father: but, after almost 40 years, I did

The crisis: a reason to join the euro?

Willem Buiter
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Is Britain running the risk of a sterling crisis by staying out of the euro? Or would it have been in an even bigger financial mess had it already joined?

A crisis of pathology

Sue Armstrong
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Pathology is central to the fight against disease and used to be one of the most respected branches of medicine. But modern trends are making it harder to practise and since the Alder Hey scandal of missing baby organs it has been politically unpopular

Four legs good, two legs bad

Alexander Fiske-Harrison Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Mark Rowlands's book on what it meant to have a wolf as his constant companion is both a striking and a frustratingly limited work of philosophy

Clearing away dead Wood?

Daniel Miller Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

James Wood has been the king of the literary critics for almost a decade, and for good reason. But are the tides of opinion now turning against his realist proscriptions?

Israel's warring tribes

John Lloyd Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

The greatest threat Israel faces is from within

J Street's moment

Antony Lerman Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

It may not seem like it, but America's Jews are growing tired of Israel's wars. And now they have a new lobby to voice their dissent

The Arab power game

Paul Adrian Raymond Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

George Mitchell's task of negotiating peace between Israel and the Palestinians will be complicated by the rivalry of key Arab players

Kabila's big gamble

Ben Simon Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Laurent Nkunda may have been captured. But will Congo and its neighbours be able to trust each other enough to bring any lasting peace to the region?

In defence of Adam Smith

Kieron O'Hara Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Phillip Blond may regret the birth of the liberalism, but that does not mean he can ignore it

The perils of economic vandalism

Rupert Darwall Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Phillip Blond's arguments may be eloquent, but heavy-handed government meddling is not the answer. Breaking up Tesco would make the recession worse than it's already going to be

Frightening little communities

Catherine Fieschi Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

"Red Toryism" may claim to be progressive, but instead harks back to a time of fear, destitution and powerlessness. Rousseau would certainly have disapproved

In defence of liberal democracy

David Green Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

What is a Red Tory?

David Lindsay Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

The lesson of 1932

Graham Turner
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Banks are lending to other financial corporations but not to business. The Bank of England must buy bonds

The Obama peace deal

Bernard Avishai
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Israelis and Palestinians are at war with themselves, as well as each other. This is Obama's cue

The meaning of Huntington

E K Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Samuel Huntington died a pariah among America's intellectual elite. It's because he was normal

Moving pains

James Crabtree Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Obama's people are finding it hard to take his "movement" with them to Washington

Europe's pipe dream

Derek Brower
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Like it or not, Europe needs Russian gas

When we dead awaken

Tom Chatfield Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Has the first great novel of the 21st century just arrived from South America? Roberto Bolaño's last novel is something quite unexpected—a critically garlanded epic of conspicuous virtuosity that's funny, filthy, sometimes boring and obsessed with violent death

Relatively speaking

Michael Bywater
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

It's all very well respecting other people's beliefs. But—as a fine new book on moral relativism and its origins demonstrates—there are times when it's vital to be able to tell someone else they're wrong

The risible wizard of Oz

Kim Fletcher Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Murdoch: a manic deal maker, shrewd user of debt and monomaniac newspaper enthusiast

Not to be sniffed at

Tony Barnett
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Pandemic influenza is the greatest public health threat our society faces. Yet we're barely aware of the history of the great pandemic of 1918—which is why this new account is especially timely

Widescreen

Mark Cousins Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Film prizes are usually a bloated mess, and encourage vacuous criticism. Here's what we should really be celebrating from the last 12 months of film

Private view

Ben Lewis Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

The bursting of the contemporary art bubble has been a comedy of errors. But what will the market's collapse mean for museums and artists?

Performance notes

Martin Kettle Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Broadcasting opera shows live into cinemas is transforming the reach of the world's great opera houses. But opera will always be best savoured live

Smallscreen

Peter Bazalgette Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Dickens founded a tradition of ghostly Christmas stories that's still alive and well on our TV screens. Just don't let Jonathan Creek anywhere near it

Fungi

James Scudamore
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

After Tess died, Adam started to hate her family. Almost as much as he hated his own ability to cope

Crisis watch

Jonathan Ford Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

How many other Bernie Madoffs are the dozy regulators yet to uncover? Plus, why the Labour party should bring back clause four—and avoid zombies

Washington watch

Renegade Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Obama's foreign policy and economics teams contain a lot of big beasts—expect clashes. And the Woodrow Wilson Centre emerges as Obama's favourite think tank

This sporting life

David Goldblatt Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Can England's bid for the 2018 football World Cup succeed? Perhaps—if we tone down the triumphalism, draw on the richness of our culture and invite the world to our party

These islands

Terence Kealey Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

England's churches contain many topless female statues. We are uncomfortable with this today—so what made the nudity acceptable to worshippers in the past?

China café

Mark Kitto Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

My neighbour, who has just died, suffered in the cultural revolution. But no one ever tried to make amends. There's no truth and reconciliation commission in China

Previous convictions

Ehsan Masood Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

I used to be sure that Islam needed a rational reformation. Yet history has shown me that innovation and freedom have come from faith as much as reason

Lab report

Philip Ball Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

What can we expect from Obama's science team? Action on climate change and over-fishing, and perhaps a change in nuclear defence policy. Plus, when galaxies collide

Brussels diary

Manneken Pis Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

The Czechs may have botched the Russia-Ukraine energy crisis, but it will be the EU, not Russia, that wins in the long run. Plus, how a toilet sparked a diplomatic incident

Confessions

David Gaffney Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

For a long time, I thought I was doing good as a debt counsellor. But I have to face facts: I was coaching people on how to wallow in the warm swamp of indebtednesss

Editorial

David Goodhart Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Letters

prospect Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

News and curiosities

prospect Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Tom's words

Tom Chatfield Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

Grayling's Question

AC Grayling Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155

In fact

prospect Free entry
28th February 2009  —  Issue 155







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