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Editor-in-chief Jason Cowley Deputy Editor Tom Gatti International Editor Jeremy Cliffe Managing Editor Will Dunn Political Editor Stephen Bush US Editor Emily Tamkin Associate Editor Michael Prodger Creative Editor Gerry Brakus Features Editor Kate Mossman Culture Editor Anna Leszkiewicz Special Projects Editor Alona Ferber Britain Editor Anoosh Chakelian Culture Assistant Ellen Peirson-Hagger Senior Online Editor George Eaton Commissioning Editor Gavin Jacobson Special Correspondents Harry Lambert Sophie McBain Political Correspondents Patrick Maguire Ailbhe Rea Head of Production Peter Williams Chief Sub-Editor Pippa Bailey Senior Sub-Editor Indra Warnes Social Media Editor Eleanor Peake Digital Culture Writer Sarah Manavis Editorial Assistant Emily Bootle

Contributing Writers John Bew Chris Deerin Matthew Engel Martin Fletcher John Gray Shiraz Maher Paul Mason Adrian Pabst David Reynolds Leo Robson Brendan Simms Ed Smith Amelia Tait Johanna Thomas-Corr Erica Wagner Rowan Williams Head of Marketing Charlotte Mullock 0808 284 9422 Marketing Manager Alfred Jahn

Commercial Director Dominic Rae 020 7406 6758

Contents Free thinking since 1913

Loss of liberty: women in the US prison system 44

Catastrophist: Mark O’Connell on JG Ballard the prophet 54

Up Front

5 Leader 12 Correspondence

Columns

9 Jason Cowley on the emerging political consensus and the night of the Great Applause 11 Dr Phil Whitaker on getting to know his enemy, Covid-19 21 Stephen Bush on finding sustenance in London’s parks 22 Emily Tamkin on why the US must stop talking about coronavirus in military terms 23 Jonathan Sacks writes this week’s Diary 29 Jeremy Cliffe on how coronavirus is forcing us to pay attention to the problems ahead 33 Tim Parks reports from lockdown in northern Italy 58 Megan Nolan on learning to live without other people

Observations

14 In the Picture 15 Trends: Jude Rogers on the power of song in hard times 16 Commons Confidential: Kevin Maguire The pick of the best gossip from Westminster 18 Encounter: Emily Bootle meets the American physician Sharon Moalem 19 First Thoughts: Peter Wilby on herd immunity and longing for the cricket season 20 Comment: Kristina Spohr and Faruk Ajeti on coronavirus and China’s new global diplomacy

Articles

24 John Gray on why the crisis is a turning point in history 30 Harry Lambert on why the UK was so poorly prepared for a pandemic 34 Helen Macdonald on what we can learn from birds 36 Patrick Maguire talks to Keir Starmer about his radical past and the future of the Labour Party 42 Andrew Hussey on Paris under lockdown

44 Sophie McBain on why the US criminal justice system is locking up so many women 50 Anthony Loyd reports from Afghanistan on a resurgent and emboldened Taliban 52 Tessa McWatt on race, identity, family and shame 54 Mark O’Connell on why we are living in JG Ballard’s world

The Critics: Books

66 Adam Tooze on Climate Change and the Nation State: The Realist Case by Anatol Lieven 69 The NS Poem “The Manor” by Simon Armitage 70 William Boyd on the wartime adventures of a schoolmaster turned spy 73 Alice Robb on why we struggle to pay attention 75 Amanda Craig selects the best children’s books for spring 76 Bernardine Evaristo “The White Man’s Liberation Front” – a new short story by the Booker Prize winner

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6 | NEW STATESMAN | 3-23 APRIL 2020

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