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28 December 2023

The New Statesman’s most read of 2023

Our pick of the best writing and biggest moments from the past year.

By New Statesman

Join us as we delve into a selection of the top New Statesman articles from the past year.

The UK housing crash is just beginning
By Will Dunn
In the second quarter of this year Britain’s rentier economy quietly arrived at a turning point: the end of the buy-to-let property market. For the first time since 2007, mortgage rates moved the returns on a typical new buy-to-let into negative territory. The small landlord business is dead.

Christopher Nolan: the last Tory
By Will Lloyd
Christopher Nolan is an auteur who claims to be a craftsman, an engineer who despises new technology, a starkly conservative Englishman who lives and works in the most liberal city in the United States. Above all, Nolan is a mass entertainer with an elitist disdain for the masses. In his films, order and hierarchy reign supreme.

Richard Osman’s bland Britain
By Anna Leszkiewicz
In Richard Osman’s twee and pleasant land, farm shops and delis are nestled between dappled hedgerows and golf courses. It is a portrait that is neither utopian nor satirical, but hangs limply in-between, existing to provoke a mild chuckle of recognition from middle-class readers. How did the TV presenter’s terminally twee stories of death and Waitrose become the bestselling novels in the UK?

The realists were right
By Lily Lynch
Eighteen months into the war in Ukraine the breathless hype that characterised early media coverage has curdled into doom. As the much-hyped counteroffensive against Russian forces stalls, the West is asking hard questions about the war in Ukraine.

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How Saudi Arabia is buying the world
By Quinn Slobodian
As the kingdom’s model of capitalism without democracy thrives, the prospect of a Saudi century has consequences for us all.

Why biological sex matters
By Richard Dawkins
We asked two thinkers to address one of the most vexed questions of our time: “What is a woman?” Here, Richard Dawkins argues that biological sex represents a “true binary”. Some argue that lived experience and personal choice trump biology – but Dawkins believes they are wrong. See here for Jacqueline Rose on why that binary should be challenged.

Simon McDonald: “It’s the end of the game for Britain”
By Harry Lambert
An interview with the former head of the Foreign Office on the UK’s decline, why we should not “make an enemy” of China and how he brought down Boris Johnson. Simon McDonald spent 40 years in the Foreign Office, but he will be publicly remembered for one act: helping to oust the former prime minister.

Noam Chomsky: Russia is fighting more humanely than the US did in Iraq
By Ido Vock
At 94 years old, Noam Chomsky is as vocal as ever. In this interview, the US linguist discussed the war in Ukraine, how the West is provoking China and why the UK is “not an independent country anymore”.

The rise of Waterstones Dad
By Gavin Jacobson
Waterstones Dad is more despondent, politically confused, curious yet overwhelmed by choice, drained by hopes raised and dashed, but lashed to the mast of a career, a good house, and the comforts of family life. Gavin Jacobson looks at how the self-made man got lost in the marketplace of ideas.

The curse of the cool girl novelist
By Charlotte Stroud
Her prose is bare, her characters are depressed and alienated. This literary trend has coagulated into parody.

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