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29 December 2018

The best of the New Statesman 2018: interviews and profiles

From millennial novelists to polite extremists.

By New Statesman

The New Stateman spent 2018 profiling and interviewing some of the most interesting cultural, intellectual and political public figures. Here’s a selection of some of the highlights. 

Who is the real John McDonnell?

The journey from Marxist ideologue to shadow chancellor has been a long one, but now faced with the prospect of power, Jeremy Corbyn’s closest ally is turning his passion to pragmatism.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: “The hate that begins with Jews never ends with Jews”

In an incendiary interview that sparked headlines around the world, the UK’s former chief rabbi talked about outsourcing morality, peace between Israel and Palestine, and why Jews feel threatened by Corbyn.

Francis Fukuyama interview: “Socialism ought to come back”

The End of History author on the return of socialism, threats to democracy, and what his critics get wrong about his most famous book.

Sally Rooney on sex, power and the art of being normal

The Booker-nominated author has been hailed as the voice of the Millennial generation, with exhaustive attention to the minute details of human interaction. She talks lasting relationships, literary prizes, and being “normal”.

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Sean Bean: “Jeremy Corbyn does actually believe in what he stands for”

The Medici and Game of Thrones actor talks Thersa May, sword fighting, and checking scripts to see if he ends up dead.

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Even in old age, philosopher Bryan Magee remains wonderstruck by the ultimate questions

Once a broadcaster, politician, author and poet, in old age the renowned philosopher lives in one room in a nursing hospital. And yet Jason Cowley finds a mind that still roams restlessly free.

The polite extremist: Jacob Rees-Mogg’s seemingly unstoppable rise

The eccentric Brexiteer figurehead has ridden the post-referendum wave to become one of the most high-profile Tory MPs and even a potential prime minister. Martin Fletcher asks, how dangerous is he?

The rapid rise of Laura Pidcock – the Labour MP tipped as a possible successor to Corbyn

Tipped as a future Labour leadership contender, the shadow labour minister and Corbyn loyalist loathes “the exoticisation of the working class” in politics. She talks to Anoosh Chakelian about Lexit, deselection and why she won’t be friends with Tories.  

The Banana Republic of Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson’s opportunistic backing of the campaign to leave the EU put him into one of the great offices of state, only to see him resign over Brexit negotiations after becoming a laughing stock for gaffes and perceived incompetence.Martin Fletcher picks apart a very British charlatan.  

What the rise of Piers Morgan tells us about modern Britain

As a precocious tabloid editor, bullish presenter, friend of Trump and Twitter provocateur, Morgan has found the fame he dreamed of. But, asks Tanya Gold, is there anything beneath the oily exterior?

Why Antonio Gramsci is the Marxist thinker for our times

More than 80 years after his death, the Italian Marxist’s theories of hegemony have proved startlingly prescient. George Eaton assesses his legacy.