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Hocus pocus: props on the Harry Potter set at the Warner Bros Studio Tour London. Photo: Gettty
Magic effect: how Harry Potter has influenced the political values of the Millennial generation
By Anthony Gierzynski - 19 August 10:56

Reading the books correlated with higher political tolerance, less predisposition to authoritarianism, greater support for equality, and greater opposition to the use of violence and torture.

Chinese relations with the Soviets shaped the communist world during "de-Stalinisation", shaping too Kadare's period in Moscow
“A treacherous climate”: Ismail Kadare’s cold years in Moscow
By Robert Macquarie - 19 August 10:00

With a new translation of Twilight of the Eastern Gods, Ismail Kadare is finally receiving the recognition he deserves in the English-speaking world.

Get your geek on: crowds on the way into San Diego Comic-Con 2013. Photo: Getty
Where’s Wonder Woman? How comic book diversity has failed to translate to the big screen
By Karen Yossman - 18 August 16:38

With over 75 years of history, comics boast a multitude of inspirational female, black and even disabled characters. Superman is, at its heart, an immigrant tale, while X-Men is an allegory of the fight against fascism. 

A local train in Japan: Murakami's new novel concerns a malaise-filled Japanese railway engineer. Photo: Getty
Strange, stark and sentimental: Haruki Murakami’s winning fictional formula
By Randy Boyagoda - 18 August 15:07

Although it won’t finally rank among his most accomplished works Murakami’s new novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, will be happily consumed by his fervent readers.

Bill Clinton at a rally in 1996, the year he declared that “The era of big government is over”. Photo: Getty
Honey, I shrunk the government: a paean to the virtues of the small state
By George Eaton - 18 August 11:39

The authors argue that the west has no choice but to unfurl the banner of revolution again. The fiscal crisis and demographic changes have left treasuries creaking under the weight of debt. 

First World War Hero
By Danny Abse - 18 August 10:54

A new poem for the New Statesman by Danny Abse

Igor Stravinsky walking down a London street, between rehearsals with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1964. Photo: Getty
Time out of mind: recollections from Stravinsky’s childhood
By Antonia Quirke - 18 August 10:00

His parents opposed the idea of him becoming a composer, pushing him bullishly towards the law. 

Robin Williams in 1998, after receiving an Academy Award for Good Will Hunting. Photo: Getty
Using art to understand life: not everything you can imagine is real
By Oliver Farry - 15 August 16:41

From Robin Williams’s death to the Arab Spring, we have to resist the urge to impose simple storylines on complex events.

In the Frame: Boris Johnson in “The Man with Two Farces”
By Tom Humberstone - 15 August 12:56

Tom Humberstone’s weekly comic.

England captain Alastair Cook (R) and teammate James Anderson walk off the pitch after defeating India in the fourth Test match between England and India, 9 August. Photo: Getty
The true meaning of success – and why we should never listen to the impatient mob
By Ed Smith - 15 August 11:07

After England’s defeat by India in the second Test at Lord’s, almost every leading voice in English cricket called for Alastair Cook to be sacked as captain. 

The Rover.
Sun, sand and sadism: The Rover by David Michôd
By Ryan Gilbey - 15 August 11:00

Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson star in David Michôd’s distopian thriller The Rover: a film with an uncertain mission at its core, like a post-apocalyptic Dude, Where’s My Car?

Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan in Masters of Sex. Photo: Showtime
Masters of Sex: a drama of sex, ambiguity and darkness
By Caroline Crampton - 14 August 16:25

This US cable drama about William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the American sex researchers who pioneered physiological study of human sexuality, just keeps getting better and better.

Stony-faced and sober: in the US in the 1900s the Anti-Saloon League made Prohibition a powerful force
Demon drink: how the hangover of prohibition lingers in Quebec
By Nina Caplan - 14 August 10:00

To this day, you can only buy wine in French Canada from the government-run outlets of the SAQ: the Société des alcools du Québec.

Pond life: a grey heron in a park in Ealing, west London. Photo: Getty
The silence of the larks: Britain’s mysterious disappearing birds
By Mark Cocker - 14 August 10:00

Britain’s avian population is the most watched in the world – but new studies show nature in retreat.

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