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Britain’s London Problem  

June 24 On June 23 the UK voted to leave the European Union after thirty years of a halting, sometimes noble, often messy experiment in international cooperation. In my circles—professional, well-educated, Cambridge and London—the principal reaction was incredulity. How could …





Self-Destructive Prophet  

Was F.R. Leavis Britain’s New York Intellectual? Though not Jewish himself, his wife and constant collaborator, Queenie Roth Leavis, was; and he was often taken for a Jew, described by one Cambridge undergraduate as dressing and speaking “like a member …



A Popular Front of the Mind?  

Just under ten years ago, a group of socialist and liberal intellectuals in London, fed up with the left-wing splits that had given Margaret Thatcher a hammerlock on power with barely 40 percent of the vote, got together to produce …



Letter From London  

A few years ago, pundits on both sides of the water were pleased to announce the imminent convergence of British and American politics. There were said to be international forces at work too powerful for merely national political cultures to …





Written by Candlelight  

There is a powerful current in English political writing that is simultaneously radical and traditional. It is radical because harshly critical of the revolutionary impact of capitalism on the everyday life of the common people. It is traditional because it …



The Last Cold War Novel  

THE SYKAOS PAPERS by E. P. Thompson. Pantheon Books, 1988. 490 pp. $19.95. An alien, Oi Paz, from the ultrarational, computer-directed society of the planet Oitar, crash-lands on Earth. Here he becomes a pawn in a cold war power struggle, …



The “Double Life” in Academia  

Some thirty years ago in these pages, William L. Neumann registered an eloquent protest against the acquiescence of American academics to the conservative temper of their time. “Today’s American historian probably reflects his age more completely than in any previous …



British Labour, Troubles, and Ideas  

In the United States, the relationship between socialists—often economic and cultural outsiders—and a more “American” working class has generally been problematic. For much of this century, however, Britain has provided an alluring counterexample. The British Labour party seemed to have …