Giraffe Edition 38

Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

Isis Consolidates

Patrick Cockburn | London Review Of Books | 7th August 2014

The Isis Caliphate is bigger than Great Britain and encompasses at least six million people. This "new and terrifying state" constitutes "the most radical change to the political geography of the Middle East since the Sykes-Picot Agreement was implemented in the aftermath of the First World War". America and Britain confront an enemy "a hundred times bigger and much better organised than the al-Qaida of Osama bin Laden" (3,240 words)

David Ben-Gurion: Prophet In The Wilderness

New Statesman | 10th December 1955

From the archives. A 1955 profile of David Ben-Gurion, prime minister of Israel and, with Chaim Weizmann, the country's founding father. "If it had not been for Ben-Gurion’s obsession with the Negev, the Jewish armies might have cleared the hills of Samaria and removed that bulge which nearly divides Israel. Instead he insisted on pushing south to conquer a desert which never figured in pre-Israel maps of Palestine" (1,590 words)

A Cure Worse Than The Disease

Epicurean Dealmaker | 10th August 2014

An investment banker explains why, if you really want to sell your company, it is worth hiring an investment banker to do the job, even at two per cent of transaction value. "It is our job and embedded in the way you pay us to do everything in our power to close your transaction, including beating you up if you’re backsliding, procrastinating, or otherwise doing anything unreasonable and likely to derail a potential sale" (2,600 words)

Putin’s War And The Hitler Thing

John Schindler | The 20 Committee | 9th August 2014

It's a good rule never to draw analogies with Hitler. But for Putin the comparison is instructive. "In both cases, you’ve got a kinda-elected dictator who has successfully stoked powerful ethno-nationalism to remain popular, while bringing the economy back from the dead after a huge national defeat, and focusing attention on the fate of your co-nationals who have been cruelly left outside your borders by the last war" (2,270 words)

A Brahms Revelation Happened Last Night

Richard Brody | New Yorker | 8th August 2014

Review of orchestral concert which succeeds thrillingly in bringing the music to life: "Vogt slammed the keyboard like a man possessed, capturing the nearly demonic element of Brahms’s inner world — a Lisztian wildness without the cackle. Passages of powerful abandon never lost their rocking rhythmic snap, and lyrical passages maintained a firm intellectual command of Brahms’s compositional filigree" (1,250 words)

Video of the day: Nixon Prepares To Resign

What to expect: Harry Shearer re-enacts the scene

Thought for the day

"We must believe in free will. We have no choice"
— Isaac Bashevis Singer

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