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CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE
RUSHANARA ALI is associate director of the Young Foundation TASH AW’s
novel The Harmony Silk Factory won the Whitbread first novel award in 2005
Issue one hundred and twenty-two May 2006
PHILIP BALL’s most recent book is The Devil’s Doctor (Heinemann) SIMON BARON-COHEN
is director of the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University
is the author of The Little Black Book of Stories (Vintage) is an economic consultant
Divide and heal
is the author of The Story of Film (Pavilion Books) is a psychiatrist
ANTHONY DWORKIN is executive director of the Crimes of War project STEPHEN EVERSON
is writing a book on metaphysics and the mind is a freelance writer based in Bristol
is director of
DAVID HERMAN is a contributing editor to Prospect RW JOHNSON
Despite the imminent formation of a government of national unity, Iraq is splintering into its three historic provinces. The western powers and Iraqi nationalists must now accept that radical federalism is the only alternative to civil war.
is the southern Africa correspondent for the Sunday Times is a writer living in France
12 My mate MSG
28 Hammer and tickle
is the author of two historical novels for teenagers, Power and Stone and Shield of Fire (Penguin).
ALICE LEADER PHILIPPE LEGRAIN is the author of Open World: The Truth about Globalisation (Abacus) BEN LEWIS
Monosodium glutamate gets a terrible press, but without it there would be no Marmite.
Communism is the only political system to have created its own international brand of comedy. Even Stalin told some good jokes.
13 Councils in charge
34 Chastened hegemon
presents BBC4’s Art Safari is deputy
editor of Prospect
ALEX MCBRIDE is a criminal barrister working in London
British local authorities are starting to regain more power over their own budgets.
16 Their riots…
Neoconservatism is dead. And, as Francis Fukuyama’s latest book spells out, a new US foreign policy consensus is emerging.
is author of When The Rivers Run Dry (Eden Project Books)
FRED PEARCE RICHARD REEVES
is co-founder of Intelligence Agency, an ideas consultancy is a writer living in
Who governs France? Not parliament, trampled on by the street and the president.
38 Goodbye isiXhosa
17 …our riots
The South African constitution guarantees “parity of esteem” to no less than 11 languages. But English will soon crowd out the rest.
is a reader in middle east politics at Exeter University
Five years ago, the northern riots exposed Britain’s racial divides. Have things improved?
is professor of mathematics at Warwick University
44 Water, water, everywhere 18 Newspaper studies
ALICE LEADER FRED PEARCE
book A Royal Affair is published by Chatto and Windus
I couldn’t get my pupils interested in news—until I threatened to fail them.
Can desalination—the removal of salt from seawater to make it drinkable— solve the world’s water shortages?
4 PROSPECT May 2006
48 John Stuart Mill
Mill left no systematic legacy—there is no “Millism.” But 200 years after his birth, his liberalism is still relevant. And Britain’s greatest ever public intellectual was often surprisingly contrarian.
68 Can you get Lost?
Enlightenment philosophers, polar bears and pirate ships all feature in Lost—but it’s really about America.
69 A taste of the Wigmore
10 Tillyard’s tales
Ailing in Italy.
John Gilhooly’s ﬁrst season as artistic director of the Wigmore Hall will be a test of judgement, not personality.
20 Out of mind
ROBERT DRUMMOND & ALEXANDER LINKLATER
21 Washington watch
Time to rethink the 100-minute ﬁlm.
Can the Dems sweep the midterms? FICTION
71 Private view
43 Lab report
56 The American brick problem
The Serpentine supercurator.
What can we learn from the catastrophic Northwick drug trials?
My father learned about Malaysian rubber from me, and began burning it to make bricks.
72 Cultural tourist
An unknown heads up the Edinburgh festival. Plus Under the radar.
47 Inefﬁcient markets
Pascal Lamy must save Doha.
64 The science of belief 54 Brussels diary
MANNEKEN PIS AS BYATT
What went wrong with Green Wing?
How Eurosceptic is Gordon Brown?
80 Common law
Sceptics increasingly seek to explain faith as a product of nature. Lewis Wolpert’s new book suggests it is down to tool-making.
FORTHCOMING Yvonne Ndege on land reform in South Africa Steve Kelly on US soccer International symposium on Iran and the west Michael Lind on Richard Rodriguez
THE NEXT ISSUE OF PROSPECT IS PUBLISHED ON 25TH MAY
65 Global Shakespeare
6 Letters 8 News & Curiosities plus Enigmas & puzzles IAN STEWART 13 Numbers game THE CRUNCHER 73 Classiﬁeds 78 The generalist DIDYMUS 79 The list
Critics of the Globe Theatre have been proved wrong—it has some of the best Shakespeare in the country.
66 Learning to be ordinary
There are many books about autism, but few as original as Kamran Nazeer’s account.
PROSPECT May 2006 5