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The Spectre of Jihad

By John Thorne

Somewhere inside, a young man with explosives strapped around his midriff sat listening. He could hear the wails of sirens, the jeers of the crowd, the thudding of a police battering ram on the door below. He had heard the gunfire that morning, and the two claps of thunder when his friends left him. Now he had a choice to make. [more]

Morocco – a virtual democratisation

By Aboubakr Jamaï

The Moroccan regime of Mohammed VI has fully exploited the Bush administration’s desire to magnify and advertise the faintest sign of liberalisation in the Arab world. [subscribe]


Visions of a Liberal Future

By Helen Suzman

Although three of the key components of liberalism – a vigilant opposition in parliament, a pro-active civil society and a watchful press – are evident in South Africa, Professor Milton Shain’s concern that “a liberal consitution does not in itself ensure a democratic future” appears to be justified. [subscribe]


What’s Left to

do for Darfur?

By Stephen Twigg

The way forward is an oil trust fund. This would distribute oil revenues for the provision of education, health and development projects, and to the Government of South Sudan. The only purpose of the initiative would be to keep money away from the Sudanese military and Janjaweed. [subscribe]


Treatment Action Campaign

By Gillian Slovo &

Zackie Achmat

As a charity, a judicial and political pressure group, and a social movement with over 15,000 members, the TAC lobbies for treatment for HIV-positive South Africans; a country where over 5.5 million of the population is infected. [subscribe]


On Myth

By Marina Warner

Writers don’t make up myths; they take them over and recast them. Even Homer was telling stories that his audience already knew. If some individuals present weren’t acquainted with Odysseus’s wanderings or the Trojan War, they were aware that this was a common inheritance that belonged to everyone. [more]


Poetry and the English imagination

By Bryan Appleyard

No nation has produced better essayists than France, none has produced better composers than the Germans, better painters than the Italians, nor better novelists than the Russians. And the English? The English do poetry. [more]


The Public

By William Hazlitt

And what is the public? What is that great leviathan which is greater than kings, and wiser than philosophers, and more just than judges? Hath it any favourite vizier, or prime minister, or confidential valet, or kept mistress, whereby its ear may be slily gained and its favour indirectly purchased? [subscribe]


The Presidential Circus

By Simon Radford

Nothing typifies the Iowa primaries more than an ambitious politician discussing the intricacies of the Central American Free Trade Agreement while munhcing on a deep-fried twinky. [more]


Notes on Being a Black Feminist in Englewood, NJ

By Michele Wallace

I have never been an adequately representative voice because I never really bought into the premise of identity politics. [subscribe]


Israel at Middle Age

By Benny Morris

The problem, of course, is that while Israel as a society may have entered middle age, the situation (Jewish) Israelis live in, and, even more so, most likely face, is antediluvian, revolutionary and possibly apocalyptic. [subscribe]


In Praise of Somaliland

By Peter Tatchell

This year’s civil war in Somalia has killed thousands of people and created over half a million refugees. Somalia is a failed state that has failed its people. In contrast, the north-west breakaway region of the Republic of Somaliland is an oasis of peace, stability and progress in the Horn of Africa. [more]


The Paradox of Plenty

By Anatole Kaletsky

Why have almost no African countries managed to achieve the sustained economic development which has lifted billions of people out of extreme poverty in east Asia? There are three inter-connected explanations: war, corruption, and the curse of natural resources. [more]


The Islamist as Ironist

By TF Lane

Islamism does not, at first glance, seem a fertile ground for irony. Its literalist doctrine and joyless demeanour identify it as an creed of severe sincereity. And the movement is more than ever defined by Ayman al-Zawahiri's monotone earnestness. [more]


Salvation in the Sahara

By John Thorne

In the year that the American navy broke the back of Barbary slave trade and brought low the potentates of Tunis and Algiers, a shipwreck occurred on the coast of the Sahara desert that would contribute to the end of slavery in America. [subscribe]


Selective Rememberance

By James Walston

Parallel to the way in which the British view the trade as a precurser to the colonisation of Africa, the Americans see it, more correctly, as the condition for lynch mobs, Jim Crow laws and black ghettoes. [subscribe]


Letter from Ghana

By Nana Akua Anyidoho

Ghana celebrated 50 years of independence on March 6th. As a gift to the nation, the state electricity company promised an outage-free anniversary. Immediately after the fireworks, the country was returned to rationed darkness. [subscribe]


Peeling the Onion by Günter Grass

Review by Michael Hamburger

Savage Kingdom: Virginia and the Founding of English America by Benjamin Woolley

Review by Ronald Wright

The Good European by Iain Bamforth

Review by Hugh Tancred


Imposture by Benjamin Markovits

Review by Susanna Hislop

Virgin of the Flames by Chris Abani

Review by Nii Ayikwei Parkes


Talking to the Dead by Elaine Feinstein

Review by Fiona Sampson

Beasts of Nalunga by Jack Mapanje

Review by Niccoló Milanese


Ripening Time

By Olivia McCannon

Girl in the Refrigerator

By Etgar Keret


Inyoka Etshanini (Snake in the grass)

By Robert Fokkens


Reservoirs of Blood

By John Lennard


Zero Degrees for Collaboration

By Sarah Frater


Art Against the Inevitable in Sudan

By Niccoló Milanese


Out of Africa

By Catherine Bray



By Peter Richards



By Mark Daniel

Todoros Abulafia

That Girl Emerged

translated by Peter Cole

Yehuda Alharizi

Palindrome for a Patron; or, Caution: This Door Swings Both Ways

trans. Peter Cole

Nii Ayikwei Parkes


David Broadbridge

Rembrandt: David and Uriah

Carrie Etter


Dream of a Field

Günter Grass

Don't Turn Round

trans. Michael Hamburger

Yehuda Halevi

That Day While I Had Him

trans. Peter Cole

Shmu’el HaNagid

At the Treasury

Could Kings Right a People Gone Bad?

It’s Heart that Discerns

The Multiple Troubles of Man

all trans. Peter Cole

Sa’adia Ibn Danaan

Chiasmus for a Doe

trans. Peter Cole

Moshe Ibn Ezra

Weak with Wine

trans. Peter Cole

Shelomo Ibn Gabirol

And So It Came to Nothing

Heart’s Hollow

both trans. Peter Cole

Yosef Ibn Zabara

The Physician

My Ex

both trans. Peter Cole

Jack Mapanje

On David Constantine’s Poem

Ben Markovits

Casa de Pilatos

Fieldston Fall

Wasted Summer

Niccoló Milanese


Ben Morgan


Moshe Natan


trans. Peter Cole

Ruth Padel

The Cold Heap

Ian Parks

The Great Divide

Lucien Zell

Ode on the Death of Shelley