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ISSUE 145 APRIL 2008

Contributors to this issue

ANDREW ADONIS is minister for schools

PHILIP BALL ’s novel The Sun and Moon Corrupted is forthcoming from Portobello

PETER BAZALGETTE is a former BBC news trainee

LEO BENEDICTUS is a writer for the Guardian

TOM CHATFIELD is assistant editor of Prospect

JONATHAN DERBYSHIRE is writing a book about philosophy in Britain in the 1950s

STEPHEN EVERSON is writing a book on metaphysics and the mind

KISHWER FALKNER is a Liberal Democrat peer. She is spokesman for justice

MISHA GLENNY is the author of McMafia: Crime Without Frontiers (Bodley Head)

DAVID GOODHART is editor of Prospect

GERSHOM GORENBERG is a senior correspondent for the American Prospect. He blogs at

AC GRAYLING ’s latest book is Towards the Light (Bloomsbury)

MARK HANNAM is chair of Fair Finance, a microfinance company in east London

PHILIP HENSHER ’s latest novel is The Northern Clemency (4th Estate)

HOWARD JACOBSON ’s novel The Act of Love is forthcoming from Jonathan Cape

MICHIO KAKU is a physics professor at City University of New York

JOHN KAY is an economist

MARTIN KETTLE is a Guardian columnist

MARK KITTO runs a caféé near Shanghai

STEPHEN KOTKIN is a professor of history at Princeton University

BEN LEWIS presents BBC4’s Art Safari

JOHN LLOYD is author of What the Media are Doing to our Politics (Constable)

ANNIE MACCOBY BERGLOF is an American writer living in London

ADAM MARS-JONES ’s new novel Pilcrow is published by Faber & Faber

HUGH MILES is a freelance journalist

BRUCE PALLING is a journalist

KATHARINE QUARMBY is a contributing editor to Prospect

MICHAEL REID is Americas editor of the Economist

IAN STEWART is the author of Why Beauty is Truth: The History of Symmetry (Basic)

ROSE TREMAIN is a writer and novelist

GEOFFREY WHEATCROFT is the author of Le Tour (Pocket)


Coverstory 26A liberal Israel lobby The power of the “Israel lobby”in the US is hard to measure exactly.But its hawkish positions do conflict with the views, and interests,of most American Jews.So why isn’t there a more dovish lobby to counter it,asks Gershom Gorenberg? One is, finally,about to be unveiled.


14A Liberal tragedy It’s no wonder that Herbert Asquith’s centenary is neglected. ANDREW ADONIS

15You broke it, you own it The EU made a complete dog’s breakfast of Kosovan independence. MISHA GLENNY

16The adman as artist Advertising may be experiencing its first revolution since the 1960s. LEO BENEDICTUS

18National derision The Goldsmith citizenship review was wrongly mocked. Britain needs it. DAVID GOODHART & KISHWER FALKNER

20The impossible made possible Most “impossibilities”in physics are really just difficult engineering problems. MICHIO KAKU

21¡Adióós, Hugo! Hugo Cháávez’s regime is in terminal decline. MICHAEL REID


32Writing the nation The “state of the nation”novel is back in fashion. But many of the recent books focus too closely on authentic period detail at the expense of convincing characters and stories. PHILIP HENSHER

38Myth of a new cold war Russia was not a liberal democracy under Yeltsin, and neither has it reverted to totalitarianism under Putin. But America’s concern about “losing”Russia is going through a revival. STEPHEN KOTKIN

46Bipolar nation A big shift in our understanding of mood disorders is under way, with many depressed people now being reclassified as bipolar. But is this just the latest diagnostic fad? ANNIE MACCOBY BERGLOF

My story

50A Cairo conversion I moved to Cairo and fell in love. To get married, Ihad to convert to Islam. Luckily it didn’t take long. HUGH MILES


54Muhammad Yunus The Bangladeshi economist is famous for pioneering microcredit. Now he has a new idea—social business—which he believes can eliminate world poverty. MARK HANNAM


58An Arabian fantasy Dubai has transformed itself into the leader of a resurgent Arab civilisation. But it is undemocratic, and relies on an underclass of immigrant labour. Can it continue to avoid internal strife? KATHARINE QUARMBY

4 Prospect APRIL2008 Special report

62Whispers in the desert It is conventional wisdom that there were no WMD in Iraq. Dissent can be easily dismissed, but we should not be complacent about the continuing threats from the region. TOM CHATFIELD


12China café é Fear and poverty in China. MARK KITTO

23Washington watch Puerto Rico has delegates and attitude. TUMBLER

24Matters of taste Wine prices are in a frenzy. BRUCE PALLING

45This sporting life Dreaming of the Gold Cup. GEOFFREY WHEATCROFT

57Lab report Hobbits found in Micronesia. PHILIP BALL

67Brussels diary Sarko’s Club Med. MANNEKEN PIS

88Between the lines My campaign for real blurbs. ADAM MARS-JONES


6Letters 8News & curiosities 10Grayling’s question AC GRAYLING 10Enigmas & puzzles IAN STEWART 82Classifieds 86The generalist 87The list


TIM BOUQUET on Lakshmi Mittal, Britain’s richest man

The return of Prospect ’s list of the top 100 world intellectuals, plus CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS on how the poll changed his life

PARAG KHANNA on the second world

The next issue of Prospect will be published on 24th April

online arts & books

Prospect online


Archives Every article from every issue of Prospect .

68Man in the water I’d be completely lost without my Jenny. Has Josiah Green the lighthouse-keeper been courting her? ROSE TREMAIN

Subscriptions Take out online or paper subscriptions.

Web exclusives Free, web-only content with weekly updates.


74Prada prostitutes The memoirs of high-class hookers show that we need a grown-up debate about sexuality. HOWARD JACOBSON

First draftsProspect ’s editorial blog, updated daily.

ShopProspect ’s new Politico’s bookshop. Plus, buy binders and back issues.

76Musical arguments Alex Ross’s history of 20th-century music fails to engage properly with difficult modernist works. STEPHEN EVERSON

77Borderline essays Too many histories of culture are stuck in the elegiac mode, but Stefan Collini avoids this trap. JONATHAN DERBYSHIRE

78Mucking out the media Nick Davies’s critique of journalism hits many of the right targets, but is marred by a radical’s complacency. JOHN LLOYD

80Puzzles of development Dani Rodrik’s thoughtful and modest book shows that there are many routes to economic development. JOHN KAY

Arts columns

71Private view Gormless Gormley. BEN LEWIS

72Performance notes Eugene Onegin’s a popular guy.


85Smallscreen Hooray for Five News . PETER BAZALGETTE

Web exclusives

DAN JONES rounds up recent developments in moral psychology

STEPHEN CHAN reports from the Zimbabwe elections

PICO IYER on his friend the Dalai Lama

Online archive Revisit our past coverage of some of the topics covered in this issue.


JOHN LLOYD on organised crime and the new class of Russians

DOUGLAS STEELE ran the Hungry Duck, the wildest club in Moscow

ANTHONY ROBINSON on Yukos and the fall of Khodorkovsky

Mental health

MAGNUS LINKLATER on his son’s battle with manic depression

LEWIS WOLPERT & PETER FONAGY debate psychoanalysis versus pills

CHERYLL BARRON assesses the drugs aimed at raising serotonin levels


KANAN MAKIYA on the future of Iraq

HASSAN M FATTAH sets up a newspaper

JONATHAN KAPLAN on Iraqi healthcare

BARTLE BULL at home with the Shias

TAMARA CHALABI on the constitution

JO TATCHELL reviews Saddam’s novels

NIBRAS KAZIMI ’s dispatches

Prospect APRIL2008 5