With anti-war sentiment growing—if still passive—in the US, how will Democrats use their recapture of Congress? Mike Davis analyses likely outcomes on the questions—Iraq, corruption, economic insecurity—that confront a Party leadership hooked on corporate dollars, and myopically gazing towards 2008.
Robert Brenner reads the US mid-term results against deeper structural shifts in the American polity. The rise of the Republican right seen in the context of the long downturn and dismantling of the liberal compact: from New Deal and Great Society to the capitalist offensive under Reagan, Clinton and Bush.
Göran Therborn offers a panoramic survey of left social theory since the fall of Communism. The vicissitudes of modernity as contested temporal narrative, and the divergent thematic paths—religion, Utopia, class, sexuality, networks, world-systems—that are emerging in the new landscape.
Tom Nairn on Michael Fry, The Union. Revisiting the circumstances of the UK’s founding pact, amid non-celebrations of the 1707 Treaty of Union and a groundswell of support for Scottish independence.
Duncan McCargo on Paul Handley, The King Never Smiles. Taboo-breaking biography of the world’s longest-serving monarch, Thailand’s Bhumibol Adulyadej. Is the throne’s mystique, carefully reconsolidated in the 20th century, now threatened by the lottery of primogeniture?
Christopher Prendergast on Ruth Scurr, Fatal Purity. The life, career and death of Robespierre, permeated by tensions between ends and means, terror and virtue; and the polemical furies that have clouded his legacy.