New Statesman
Is everyone really a critic?
By Andrew Harrison - 31 October 7:46

User-generated content is driving out expert or elite opinion and this is affecting the film reviewing trade in particular.

New Statesman
Who were the most extraordinary women of the fifties?
By Caroline Crampton - 31 October 6:56

Those who made dangerous choices when the only choice seemed to be "marry or die".

If you want to be an author, the worst thing you can do is get published
By Lionel Shriver - 25 October 13:00

The wholesale colonisation of one's day by auxiliary activities that haven’t a whit to do with the contemplative, hermetical job of a novelist, is now the norm for most professional writers.

New Statesman
Bloodbath before dawn: The last years of WWII were among the most brutal
By Richard J Evans - 24 October 13:50

Two books obsessed with human savagery.

New Statesman
Is America's influence "empire by invitation"?
By John Bew - 24 October 10:40

The suggestion that the United States behaves like an imperial power is something that still causes great sensitivity in a country founded in revolt against the British empire, and which has usually seen itself as a champion of the independence and self-d

New Statesman
Dave Eggers' new thriller: Beware of the IT crowd
By Talitha Stevenson - 24 October 9:41

Despite a climax involving a leadenly symbolic, Jurassic Park-style “feeding experiment” in the Circle’s aquariums, The Circle is the well-managed thriller Eggers plainly intended it to be.

New Statesman
Donna Tartt's latest novel is smart, in both senses of the word
By Jane Shilling - 24 October 9:31

Ravishingly beautiful writing from a rock-star novelist.

Books in brief: Robert Walser, Michael Ruse and Hans Küng
By Philip Maughan - 24 October 9:20

Three new books you may have missed.

New Statesman
Herodotus, "the father of history", and the benefit of doubt
By Peter Jones - 24 October 9:15

Herodotus was happy to report what he was told but felt “under no obligation to believe it entirely – something that is true for the whole of my narrative”. The man who loved “wonders” was committed to wondering whether they were real.

Anna Amalia library.
Books in brief: Ben Chu, Daljit Nagra and Philip Ball
By Philip Maughan - 21 October 15:00

Three new books you might have missed.

New Statesman
The memoirs of Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking: Evolution in the head
By Ian Stewart - 17 October 15:37

Two of the most visible of today’s scientists are Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins. Their autobiographies present an opportunity to find out how they became so visible in the first place.

New Statesman
The First Bohemians: Love and squalor
By Frances Wilson - 17 October 15:36

There was nothing affected about the lifestyle, if you can call it that, of these bohemians, many of whom were derelicts. There was no need to take your lobster for a walk, as the poet Gérard de Nerval did, or to wear a green carnation like Oscar Wilde.

New Statesman
Death from the skies
By Gary Sheffield - 17 October 15:35

Today, our apocalyptic visions are of terrorism and climate change, not the bomber or nuclear missile. In this respect, Europeans inhabit a rather different mental landscape from the one where they lived 70, 50 or even as recently as 30 years ago.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg.
In It Together by Matthew D'Ancona: The virus has proved treatable with doses of compromise and negotiation
By Rafael Behr - 17 October 15:32

This does not claim to be a book about class - but the theme sneaks up on the story and, by the end, threatens to usurp politics as the main subject.

New Statesman
The Kefahuchi Tract trilogy: A future without nostalgia
By John Gray - 17 October 15:30

Devising new identities with technologies of gene splicing, immersing themselves in virtual reality, Harrison's people are people with an overriding impulse to shape their lives even though they lack any clear idea of how they would like their lives to be

Hay Festival.
The problem with literary festivals
By Dolores Montenegro - 14 October 14:11

Most have big money sponsors but fail to pay authors - splurging on comedians and celebrity politicians instead. Scottish festivals set the best example, but will anyone listen?

Gordon Burn.
What Gordon Burn taught me: Write, write write, day and night
By Ben Myers - 14 October 11:40

The week before the first winner of the inaugural Gordon Burn Prize is announced, novelist Ben Myers remembers the pilgrimage he made to Burn's remote home in the Scottish borders.

Alice Munro.
Alice Munro awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature 2013
By Philip Maughan - 10 October 12:55

The Canadian "writer's writer" hailed by the committee as a "master of the contemporary short story".

New Statesman
The Last Full Measure: How soldiers die in battle by Michael Stephenson
By Patrick Hennessey - 10 October 10:58

In the light of the global focus on chemical weapons, policymakers would do well to take note of a conversation that Stephenson records between two First World War soldiers about the folly of ever imagining that there are such things as “clean, decent wea

New Statesman
Cycling through Middle Earth
By Rosemary Hill - 10 October 10:54

Has Graham Robb found the true site of Arthur’s court? Did Oxford have a mystic significance for the Celts?

New York City.
William B Heimreich and Sudhir Venkatesh: Failing to make sense of New York City
By Jonathan Dee - 10 October 10:30

There’s something entertaining about the reader’s gradual realisation that Helmreich is not just some walking data recorder but rather, quite possibly, the Whitest Man in the World.

Books in brief: The School of Life, Jonathan Franzen and Yasushi Inoue
By Philip Maughan - 10 October 8:00

Three new books you might have missed.

I blame Bridget Jones
By Clmence Sebag - 08 October 12:13

Bridget got me into this mess, and I’ve been waiting 14 years for her to get me out of it, writes Clémence Sebag.

Crap Towns: We can't fix our problems if we refuse to see them
By Sam Jordison - 07 October 12:28

Editor Sam Jordison says his book is not "an exercise in laughing at neglect" but a tough look at the nasty side of British capitalism written by the victims - for the victims.

New Statesman
Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields
By Roger Moorhouse - 03 October 11:01

It’s worth remembering here that many of those women who committed crimes could not resort to the time-worn excuse that they were “following orders”. They were not.

New Statesman
Music at Midnight: The Life and Poetry of George Herbert
By Jonathan Bate - 03 October 10:47

Donne is so damn sexy that he will always seem modern. Marvell is the greatest political poet in the language (always excepting Shakespeare). Yet Herbert lived a quiet life: born in 1593, he died far too prematurely, in 1633.

New Statesman
A Colossal Wreck: A Road Trip Through Political Scandal, Corruption and American Culture
By Nicholas Wapshott - 03 October 10:38

Like many “leftish” Brits who crossed the Atlantic to criticise imperial America from the belly of the beast, Cockburn soon discovered that America barely exists.

New Statesman
The Animals: Love Letters Between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy
By Olivia Laing - 03 October 10:23

Like many couples, they communicated in a private language, a sort of nursery camp in which they were cast as the “Animals”.

New Statesman
Understanding the national paranoia that led to the First World War
By Richard Overy - 03 October 10:15

“There are so many questions and as many answers again.”