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27 December 2018updated 28 Dec 2018 4:19pm

The best of the New Statesman 2018: Long Reads

From warring generations to amateur scientists. 

By New Statesman

The New Statesman delivered an eclectic mix of in-depth coverage throughout 2018, covering everything from the evolution of the Corbyn project to an in-depth look at our guts. Here’s a selection of some of the New Statesman’s top long reads over the last year.

Boomers vs millennials: the defining schism in UK politics

From housing to Brexit to wages, the fault lines underlying Britain in 2018 seem more numerous than ever. Underpinning it all is a yawning gap between the experiences and expectations of those born in the years after the Second World War, and the lives of those entering adulthood in the 21st century. George Eaton explores the factors and circumstances that has pitted the UK’s generations against each other.

To truly remember the Holocaust, we must stay alert to prejudice

Arguments over the Labour Party’s handling of anti-Semitism dominated much of the summer. Here, novelist Howard Jacobson examines the wider context in which hatred of Jews lives on long after the Holocaust, and how honouring the past requires us to challenge prejudice in the present.

Sex and death in the classical world

Historian and broadcaster Mary Beard unearths what the art of the Romans and Greeks tells us about how they lived, died and loved.

Corbyn’s capital: the story of how London became a Labour city

Despite its status as the UK’s richest city, London has steadily become a Labour stronghold. In 2017 it came out strongly for the party’s most radical leader in a generation with even leafy Kensington retuning a Labour MP. George Eaton lays out shifts that have turned the nation’s capital away from the Tories.

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Keeping up with the Kims: North Korea’s communist monarchy

Under the rule of the Kim dynasty, North Korea has remained both one of the world’s most closed societies and a constant concern for the rest of the world. Gavin Jacobson charts how one family has maintained an iron grip from the end of the Korean War to the present day.

A close encounter with British Isis jihadis

Anthony Loyd recounts his meeting with Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, the Isis executioners who were part of the infamous “Beatles” who murdered journalist James Foley and others.

The death of Don Draper

Advertising has transformed from the creative industry lionised in Mad Men into a data-driven business tailored by algorithms and delivered over the web. Ian Leslie unpicks its implications not just for consumers, but democracy itself.

Jeremy Seabrook: Blackburn, the town that stopped working

In 1971 Jeremy Seabrook recorded a series of programmes for the BBC about Blackburn and its place at the forefront of deindustrialisation. Fifty years later he returns to find a city still struggling to adapt to wide-ranging economic and cultural change.

How to teach happiness

Psychologist Laurie Santos has designed an experimental new course on how to be happy for students at Yale University. Sophie McBain asks, can you really learn how to feel better?

England rising

Jason Cowley explores how a summer of footballing success helped reawaken a sense of progressive English nationalism that had long lain dormant.

The great schism that could pull the EU apart

The forces pulling Europe apart are bigger than Brexit, with liberalism’s defenders in the west and north of the union increasingly pitted against more authoritarian forces in its south and east. Timothy Lees lays out the central challenge threatening unity on the continent.

How Britain’s political conversation turned toxic

A combination of political divides, public disillusionment, and digital platforms has poisoned discourse, turning important debates into vicious and often personal attacks. Helen Lewis looks at how we got here, and what, if anything, we can do about it.

Did the end of the Great War come too soon?

100 years after the end of World War One, David Reynolds asks how the 20th century might have been different if Armistice Day had come in 1919.

Elif Shafak: Why the novel matters in the age of anger

In the 2018 New Statesman/Goldsmiths Prize lecture, Elif Shafak explains why – in a world ruled by fear and division – novelists no longer have the luxury of being apolitical.

Corbynism 2.0: the radical ideas shaping Labour’s future

George Eaton charts the evolution of Labour’s policy programme from the social democratic traditions under which it fought the 2017 general election to a new, more radical and forward thinking platform.  

What the gut knows

Naomi Alderman explores the visceral relationship between our digestive systems and our minds.

How the right’s Brexit dream died

The wrangling over Theresa May’s Brexit deal continues but the hopes of its free market backers are increasingly receding. George Eaton details how their plans to impose a new economic model on the turned to dust.

The amateur scientists tackling the global energy crisis

Will Dunn meets the dedicated band of amateurs pursuing the dream of nuclear fusion.

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