Socialist Review issue

July / August 2019 #448

Are there too many people on the planet?


by Shaun Doherty
The stench of hypocrisy rising from the Tory leadership election is matched only by the bluster and evasion of Boris Johnson, the favourite to win it...
by Marisa Psaltakou
The women’s strike on 14 June 2019 will long remain in the history of the women’s and workers’ movement in Switzerland. More than half a million...


Martin Empson

Martin Empson unpicks the arguments of those who claim that population growth is to blame for the climate crisis.

Sue Caldwell

The shocking treatment of runner Caster Semenya raises questions about what is “fair” in top level sport, but it should also make us re-examine how girls and women are taught to feel about their...

Bethan Turner

Bethan Turner examines the toxic mix of mainstream politics, the alt-right and religious pronouncements that normalises bigotry.

John Smith

John Smith puts the Hong Kong protests of recent weeks into the broader contexts of Hong Kong’s development over the past few decades, its growing connections with the hugely important Pearl River...

Talat Ahmed

Harjeevan Gill speaks to author and historian Talat Ahmed about her new biography of Mohandas Gandhi, the battle over his legacy in India today and what Extinction Rebellion can learn from him....


Our writers recommend books, art, music and events for the holidays.


by Sabby Sagall
On 20 April 1968, leading Tory politician Enoch Powell made his infamous “rivers of blood” speech in which he attacked mass immigration from the Commonwealth. Quoting from the Latin poet Virgil, he...
by John Sinha
In June last year, sensing the growing chaos of Theresa May’s administration, the Heathrow lobby got the government to smuggle legislation through parliament to expand Heathrow airport. It only...


by Will Counsel
In his review of Writing the Lives of the English Poor, 1750s-1830s (June SR) Martin Empson mentions the difficulties people face today in getting the Personal Independence Payment (PIP). I...


by Kim Hunter

This new collection of articles brings coherence to the climate maelstrom. Reading it shifted me from depressed romanticism to a deeper understanding of humanity’s relationship with the rest of...

by Bob Light

There are some people (full disclosure: I am one) who regard Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate (1960) as the defining novel of the 20th century. So some celebration is called for because Grossman’s...

by Jeff Jackson

In his brilliant essay “The Storyteller” Walter Benjamin reflects on the work of the Russian writer Nikolai Leskov, concluding that “the storyteller is the figure in which the righteous man...

by Alistair Farrow

The Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017 was an atrocity waiting to happen and there were a thousand warning signs which were not acted on.

There were the obvious ones — members of the...

by Jane Bassett

John Lilburne spent much of his adult life in prison, often in appalling conditions. Punished in the late 1630s for his suspected involvement in printing and distributing subversive literature, he...

by Kevin McCaighy

I have long been wary of approaching the work of celebrity philosopher Alain Badiou. When even admirers of his work describe his prose as “turgid”, alarm bells ring instantly. But down the rabbit...

by Emma Davis

In this extract from her new book, A Rebel’s Guide to Alexandra Kollontai, Emma Davis sets out the Russian revolutionary’s views on sexuality and relationships under capitalism and beyond.

Art / Exhibitions
by Tim Sanders

The Art of Persuasion at the National Army Museum is a fascinating exhibition of Second World War posters produced by the incredibly prolific and inventive artist Abram Games (although artist is...

Art / Exhibitions
by Kate Hunter

The title of this exhibition, which spans Portuguese artist Paula Rego’s output from the 1960s to the present day, succinctly describes the tensions expressed in her complex work. Rego’s...

Art / Exhibitions
by Baindu Kallon

Somerset House is celebrating the past 50 years of Black creatives in Britain through its new exhibit Get Up, Stand Up Now. The exhibit provides snapshots into the Black British experience. It is...

by Abbie Head

Kathleen Hanna, who originally went into music with a mixture of experience in stripping and spoken word, shook up the grunge music scene of the 1990s with a unique perspective and vocal anger....

by Harjeevan Gill

The Brink follows far-right icon Steve Bannon and chronicles his activities for over a year. The film aims to see past the idea that Bannon is a complete mastermind, and it does this well, as it...

by Sally Campbell

Set amid the slate-filled landscape of mid-19th century Snowdonia, this gothic tale of black-hearted capitalism features powerful performances from Eleanor Worthington-Cox and Maxine Peake.

by Tokunbo Oke

This book is a neat corrective to the dominant narrative that Africans have been in control since direct colonialism ended about 60 years ago. Therefore, if Africa is still backward and...