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【LRB】Berezovsky's Last Days

2013.04.19

 

London Review of Books newsletter  
  VOL. 35 NO. 8 Visit lrb.co.uk >  
 
 
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Berezovsky’s Last Days

Peter Pomerantsev

I was in Moscow the day Berezovsky died, and it was a tribute to his reputation that people asked: ‘What new stunt is this? Why did he do it? Was he killed? Was it the Kremlin? Did he fake his death?’ Even the name the body was officially identified as belonging to wasn’t his own: since being granted British citizenship the name on Berezovsky’s passport was Platon Elenin, after the hero of a film, Oligarch, based on his life, in which the oligarch Elenin fakes his own death to take revenge on a Kremlin out to destroy him. More

Who benefits?

Ross McKibbin

People believe that 41 per cent of the welfare budget is spent on the unemployed: the figure is actually 3 per cent. They believe that 27 per cent of the welfare budget is claimed fraudulently: the government estimates it is 0.7 per cent. Immigrants are big net contributors to the country’s finances and are less likely to claim housing or unemployment benefit. What characterises the welfare state, in fact, is the increasing dependence of working households on child and housing benefit. More

Khomeini rises

Adam Shatz

At the end of the Second World War, an anonymous pamphlet surfaced in the seminaries of Qom. The Unveiling of Secrets accused Iran’s monarchy of treason: ‘In your European hats, you strolled the boulevards, ogling the naked girls, and thought yourselves fine fellows, unaware that foreigners were carting off the country’s patrimony and resources.’ It’s unlikely that anyone outside Qom read The Unveiling of Secrets, but just three decades later its author, Ruhollah Khomeini, led a revolution against the monarchy and established himself as Iran’s supreme leader, with powers even the shah would have envied. More

Stalking James Lasdun

Nick Richardson

Stalking, a kind of crime passionnel, confuses our sympathies: how do you feel about someone who loves you but wants to ‘ruin’ you; who massages your ego as she damages your career; who has read your books more attentively than anyone else, but slates them on Amazon; who can be sickeningly offensive one day, and the next write: ‘James, you should marry me and I’ll support all of the Lasduns.’ Or: ‘I’m still in love, so much in love. Can we have coffee?’ More

 

Also in this issue

Short Cuts

Tariq Ali

In the Library

Inigo Thomas

Letters

Subscribers can also read:

James Meek: Nikolai Leskov
David Runciman: The New Deal
Ian Donaldson: Sidney’s Letters
Adam Mars-Jones: Rupert Thomson
John Burnside: A Winter Mind
Lidija Haas: Jane Bowles
Peter Green: Alcibiades the Vandal
Terry Eagleton: Bishop Berkeley
Rosemary Hill: Roy Strong’s Vanities
Karl Miller: On Thatcher
Poems by Matthew SweeneyAnge Mlinkoand Anne Carson

Events at the London Review Bookshop
 

Kaya Genç in conversation with Maureen Freely

Friday 19 April
at 7 p.m.

 

Ben Marcus in conversation with Christian Lorentzen

Tuesday 23 April
at 7 p.m.

 

You’re Human Like the Rest of Them
The Films of B.S. Johnson

Thursday 25 April
at 7 p.m.

 

Chloe Aridjis in conversation with Tom McCarthy

Tuesday 7 May
at 7 p.m.

 

Darian Leader: Strictly Bipolar

Thursday 9 May
at 7 p.m.

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