This blog accompanies David Goodhart’s review of Prospect’s first 15 years—click here to read that piece
Influence and public noise is not everything, but every political publication wants to feel that it is shaping the argument. These are the ten pieces that have done so most powerfully for Prospect:
1. Too Diverse? My essay caused a big and useful argument about multiculturalism when reprinted in the Guardian.
2. Adair Turner’s roundtable/interview on the financial crisis. His comments on “socially useless activity” in the City and a Tobin tax dominated the news for days.
3. Michael Lind on the Israel Lobby, pushed back the boundaries of what it was possible to say on the subject without causing serious offence. (The piece inspired the more controversial, but no more insightful, analysis by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in the LRB.)
4. Shiv Malik on Mohammed Sidique Khan and 7/7. The best journalistic overview of the man behind 7/7, widely read in the security services on both sides of the Atlantic.
5. The letter exchange between Christopher and Peter Hitchens about the legacy of the 1960s, was a great piece of box-office and helped to define the magazine’s character in the early days.
6. Rodric Braithwaite on the end of the special relationship. A respected and influential ex-diplomat on why a central pillar of British foreign policy had ceased to work.
7. Bartle Bull on mission accomplished in Iraq. Long before it became the conventional wisdom Bull pointed out that all the big questions had been resolved: remaining one country, embracing democracy and avoiding all-out civil war.
8. Jonathan Ford’s piece on why the financial sector is too profitable.
9. Alison Wolf on the rise of the professional woman and the decline of female altruism and what that means for public service.
10. Phillip Blond’s Red Toryism, an essay that opened a new strand in British political debate.
Now for a few lists and pieces that I want to doff my hat to, in addition to those mentioned above and in my web exclusive. The list is inevitably partial and a bit haphazard and apologies to many of those deserving writers who do not get a mention (do write to complain!). In no particular order: Richard Reeves on character. Anatol Lieven on the second fall. Ben Lewis on communist jokes. Richard Dowden, educating Akello. Robert Colls on Shearer’s paradox. Ernest Gellner on post-Soviet blues. Mark Kitto, China nicked my company. Tristram Hunt on Prince Charles. Aatish Taseer on feudal Pakistan. Simon Blackburn on Richard Rorty. Stella Tillyard on Germaine Greer. Rory Stewart on losing Iraq’s south. Mark Cousins on Asian cinema. Eric Kaufmann, on the death of secularism in Europe. Geoffrey Wheatcroft on 1997. Amy Chua on dominant minorities.
David Rieff on Band Aid. Michael Fry, why Scotland should go it alone. Steven Lukes interview with Isaiah Berlin. Lewis Page on Britain’s disastrous defence industry. Ivan Krastev on Eastern Europe’s new elite. David Herman on the fall of arts television. Ian Buruma interviews Eric Hobsbawm. Richard Hoggart, searching for mother. Julian Gough on comic novels. Paul Barker on moving Britain’s capital up north. Andrew Marr on politics and the English language. Tim King on French corruption. Adair Turner on John Gray. Richard Jenkyns on the Harry Potter books. James Buchan on is Britain bust? John Lloyd on his stepfather. Edward Docx’s portrait of Peter Mandelson. Alexander Fiske Harrison on bullfighting. Kamran Nazeer on being haunted. Wendell Steavenson on Georgia’s secret philanthropist. James Crabtree on who are the Liberal Democrats?
William Skidelsky on the decline and fall of the book review. Christopher de Bellaigue on the struggle for Iran’s soul. Nic Dunlop’s Cambodian executioner. Michael Collings on the quiet disaffection of the south east working class. Rowan Moore on Norman Foster. Martin Wolf’s excoriating review of Naomi Klein. John Keegan on war graves. Sally Laird on Danish porridge. Edward Luttwak on why the middle east doesn’t matter. Alex Linklater on Christopher Hitchens. Safraz Manzoor on young Muslims in Luton. Faisal Islam’s bluffers guide to quantitative easing. And, finally, Timothy Garton-Ash on the Euro.
To read David Goodhart’s review of Prospect’s first 15 years, click here