Issue: December 2020 / January 2021

Concreting over the countryside

‘The reality is that, under this government’s stewardship, a plethora of damaging developments have been unleashed in the countryside. Historic hedgerows are being grubbed up. Ancient woodlands are being bulldozed’

The trouble with idealism

Why do people with the best of intentions so often create the worst of outcomes? They come up against reality

A lost paradise of purity

Terror and transcendence in the late masterpieces of Schubert

Doubts and certainties

It has been a year of doubts and uncertainties: fluctuating infection and death rates, empty promises and political false starts, civil unrest, social injustice, abject diplomacy

Minds of their own

Contagious curiosity about the way consciousness works

Testing positivism

"The Murder of Professor Schlick" brilliantly illuminates an ambitious movement in philosophy

Twin terrors

Laurence Rees tries his best to cut through much of the mythology that infuses our collective memory of Hitler and Stalin

Quality not quantity

Those who call Kubrick the greatest director in the history of cinema really do have a point

The great communicator

Barack Obama was a political superstar who overcame astronomical odds, but he was also the product of a ruthlessly professional operation

Can we reverse the “long march”?

‘After a long time people are finally beginning to wake up to “the long march through the institutions”—the idea that left-wing “progressives” have to infiltrate public bodies in order to push through their ideologies. The long march is now well underway’

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"