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CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE
RUSHANARA ALI is associate director at the Young Foundation MICHAEL AXWORTHY’s biography of Nader Shah is forthcoming PHILIP BALL’s most recent book is The Devil’s Doctor (Heinemann) CHERYLL BARRON
Issue one hundred and twenty March 2006
is writing a book about classical Indian thought and science writes for the International Herald Tribune is the author of The Story of Film (Pavilion Books)
A Damascene conversion
is writing a book on metaphysics and the mind
is a research fellow at the Young Foundation novel Juno & Juliet is published by Flamingo
was a member of Margaret Thatcher’s Downing Street policy unit is the editor of Emel is a writer on magazine
I had been living in Damascus for barely a month when my Norwegian friend Torbjørn, a theology student training to become a priest, told me he was on the verge of converting to Islam. Then the Danish cartoon row erupted.
AHMAD SAMIH KHALIDI
middle east affairs
is a writer living in France is a writer and journalist
22 A long voyage
ELENA LAPPIN BEN LEWIS
12 The angry east end
KATE GAVRON & RUSHANARA ALI
presents BBC4’s Art Safari
ANATOL LIEVEN’s America Right or Wrong is published by Element Books KENAN MALIK is a writer and broadcaster—www.kenanmalik.com ALEX MCBRIDE is a criminal barrister working in London KAMRAN NAZEER’s
The postwar white working class felt betrayed by immigration, new welfare rules and lack of consultation.
As in India, the maintenance of peace requires controls on free expression— especially where religion is concerned.
13 Spoiling the party
Send in the Idiots will be published by Bloomsbury in March is a writer
I gave David Cameron his ﬁrst job. I’m not impressed with his leadership.
24 Should Muslims turn a blind eye to the cartoons?
15 No deal—ever
AHMAD SAMIH KHALIDI
EDWARD SKIDELSKY IAN STEWART
Two British Muslims disagree about the appropriate response to the cartoon controversy.
is professor of mathematics at Warwick University
is working on a book about the role of religion in the lives of young people in the middle east
Instead of resolving the Arab-Israeli conﬂict, both sides now just want to contain it.
30 Realism rules (still)
book A Royal Affair is published by Chatto and Windus
20 A sense of awe
is the author of The Strange Death of Tory England (Penguin)
GEOFFREY WHEATCROFT TIM WINTER
Portrayals of the Prophet underestimate his grandeur, but they are not “banned.”
In America, realist ﬁction has been excoriated by postmodernists and literary critics. But realism is nothing like as naive as its critics claim.
34 No more heroes
is a lecturer in Islamic studies at Cambridge
21 Too much respect
is author of The Irresponsible Self: On Laughter and the Novel (Pimlico)
In democracies, it is both important and inevitable that we offend each other.
Leo Strauss is not the fascist of caricature. But neither is he a ﬁgure with whom democrats can feel comfortable. He believed in virtue.
4 PROSPECT March 2006
46 AJP Taylor
The historian AJP Taylor was one of the ﬁrst telly dons. But over the years, those of us who admired him have gradually been disabused.
70 Moral bombing?
50 The return of macroeconomics
Area bombing of German cities in the second world war was not a crime. Sometimes ends can justify means.
The monetary framework created in Britain after 1992 has enjoyed a long run of success. Will it still work in tougher economic times?
Englishness on screen. COLUMNS
64 Private view
10 Tillyard’s tales
Gilbert and George are truly awful.
We have become a football family.
72 Cultural tourist 17 Washington watch
Actors at the Olympics. Plus Under the radar. FICTION
Sport and politics become one.
56 The orphan and the mob 38 France profonde
TIM KING JULIAN GOUGH
77 Musical notes
A Royal socialist.
Were it not for the need to pee, Jude might discover the secret of his birth.
What Bartók gave to folk music. WEB EXCLUSIVES
54 Lab report
Is it relegation time for Pluto?
66 Reading Richard and Judy
Daniel Dennett and Richard Swinburne debate religion David B Green previews the Israeli election plus more at
55 Brussels diary
Cameron’s awkward bedfellows.
Borrowing the idea from Oprah Winfrey, a television book club has reshaped British ﬁction. What do publishers make of R&J’s choices?
80 Common law
68 India’s anti-diplomat
FORTHCOMING Richard Reeves on the meaning of John Stuart Mill Alun Anderson on Craig Venter Ehsan Masood talks to Tariq Ramadan about Islam and modernity
THE NEXT ISSUE OF PROSPECT IS PUBLISHED ON 23RD MARCH
Dressing for the dock.
6 Letters 8 News & Curiosities plus Enigmas & puzzles IAN STEWART 13 Numbers game THE CRUNCHER 73 Classiﬁeds 78 The generalist DIDYMUS 79 The list
One of India’s image management specialists has written a deeply unﬂattering portrayal of his own country—and been promoted for it.
69 The Lovelock apocalypse
The Gaia theorist has dire prophecies for the planet, but remains keen on nuclear power and attacking greens.
PROSPECT March 2006 5