Editor's Letter

Once in a while we do 'special issues' on particular countries or issues. In the past they've proved extremely popular with readers, and I hope this week's does too. We take an insiders' look at Burma, at the generals' grip on power and the resistance led by Aung Sang Suu Kyi. You may remember that a couple of months back she was the overwhelming winner of our 'Heroes of Our Time' competition. But this isn't just about the politics. We have very strong pieces on life in Burma, its recent history and its demographics, along with something on Burmese rappers and ... a recipe for snake curry!

The Lebanon crisis continues, to all our horror. I'm very grateful for the extremely favourable feedback to the piece I wrote the week before about the culpability of the British government. This week we have a very strong piece from Lindsey Hilsum, who's been in Israel and Gaza, about what she calls 'the forgotten front' in the war. Look also at a remarkable guest political column by Kitty Ussher, MP, very New Labour but also very intelligent, and her take on Blair's handling of the crisis, and at Mark Lynas' column on the environmental damage caused.

Elsewhere, Julian Clary usurps Jeremy Paxman as Britain's top interview (well, not really); we have a diary from the Edinburgh festival, colourful pieces on Prokofiev and on American cinema classification, and read Rachel Cooke's account of Matthew Parris versus Christopher Hitchens on Radio 4.

Enjoy...