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60How Merck made a killing Stockmarket pressure to find “blockbuster”drugs has forced drug companies to push products to market ever more aggressively. In the case of Merck’s painkiller Vioxx, this had disastrous and lethal results. This is the story of how a blockbuster backfired. JIM GILES
10Washington watch Who’d be in Obama’s cabinet? TUMBLER
20Common law Caught red-handed. ALEX McBRIDE
37China café é The churlish Chinese. MARK KITTO
43This sporting life Palestinian autosports. DAVID GOLDBLATT
52Lab report The state of British physics. PHILIP BALL
66Brussels diary Is the EU having a good crisis? MANNEKEN PIS
88The prisoner Irather like this new prison. CAR HILLS
4Letters 6News & curiosities 8Grayling’s question AC GRAYLING 8Enigmas & puzzles IAN STEWART 86The generalist 87The list
JONATHAN FORD profiles Mikhail Fridman
GEOFF MULGAN asks if Charles Murray’s new book is immoral
JONATHAN POWER interviews Paul McCartney
ANTONIA QUIRKE’ s tour of shopping malls
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68Shadow of candles flickering red Music helped Chen Wei to survive the cultural revolution. But it also brought him an unexpected lesson in desire. JONATHAN TEL
74An Asian whitewash Ziauddin Sardar’s latest book touches on many of the most troubling questions of British Asian identity. But his blinkered adherence to the politics of resentment means it contains few useful answers. KAMRAN NAZEER
76Heaven scent An extraordinary new book shows that behind the marketing clichéés, perfume can still be an art of pure beauty. MICHAEL BYWATER
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BECKY HOGGE replies to Peter Bazalgette on digital privacy DAVID HANNAY and PHILIP BOBBITT debate whether there should be a League of Democracies
JOSHUA KURLANTZICK on how the US’s financial loss is China’s gain
PETER BERGEN replies to Jason Burke
77Two cheers for democracy In his study of Britain’s democratic traditions, David Marquand offers a history that is also a masterclass in politics. MICHAEL KENNY
Revisit our past coverage of some of the topics covered in this issue.
78The peaceful xenophobes Two new works on empire and nationalism should make us think again about conflating xenophobia, nationalism and aggression. ERIC KAUFMANN
71Private view The art of an imaginary island.
72Widescreen Stanley Donen’s dark direction.
DAVID RIEFF argues that the UN faces irrelevance In reply, EDWARD MORTIMER asks if Rieff has a better idea
DAVID HANNAY reviews Boutros Boutros-Ghali’s memoirs
The pharmaceutical industry
RICHARD HORTON on the fall of big pharma SHEREEN EL FEKI looked at how to get medicines to the world’s poor ANNIE MACCOBY BERGLOF on drugs and bipolar disorder
80Performance notes The Brahms enigma. MARTIN KETTLE
85Smallscreen There’s nothing real about reality television any more. PETER BAZALGETTE
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER makes the case for reparations for slavery
EDWARD SMITH meets the ghetto cricketers of Los Angeles
CAROL M SWAIN surveys the state of post-Katrina black America
Prospect NOVEMBER2008 3