New Orleans, Baby Worship, Nigel Farage, East Germany, English Countryside

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

Louisiana Is Disappearing Into The Sea

Nathaniel Rich | New Republic | 30th September 2014

Stunning piece of reporting. The wetlands of Plaquemines Parish "hug the Mississipi river, south of New Orleans", prey to flooding, erosion, hurricanes. Yet they are dense with coal and oil plants, encouraged by local politicians as a form of self-defence. The federal government will invest to protect industry, but not to protect poor people. "Five million barrels of oil have been placed in the direct path of future hurricanes on purpose" (6,280 words)

Parenting Is Killing The American Marriage

Astro Teller & Danielle Teller | Quartz | 30th September 2014

American parents venerate their children: "It has become totally unacceptable in our culture to say anything bad about our children, let alone admit that we don’t like them all of the time." But in doing so, parents neglect one another: "Once our gods have left us, we try to pick up the pieces of our long neglected marriages and find new purpose. Is it surprising that divorce rates are rising fastest for new empty nesters?" (1,000 words)

In Farageland

James Meek | London Review Of Books | 2nd October 2014

Fine essay explaining the rise of Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, by reference to the problems of Thanet, the south-coast town where Farage will stand for parliament. Local workers blame their problems on immigration; Farage blames immigration on the European Union. There's enough plausibility in both propositions to make the urbane Farage a wild card in British politics (7,500 words)

What Germany Owes The East

Dirk Kurbjuweit | Spiegel | 2nd October 2014

German reunification was generally expected to mean the takeover and obliteration of East Germany by West Germany. "West Germany will simply expand, and that will be that." In practice, however, East Germany has exerted a strong influence on the new country, mainly through Angela Merkel, who has moved the political centre to the left, and whose political style favours "the East German element of silence" over public debate (2,725 words)

The Blackberry Bush Reborn

Philip Hoare | New Statesman | 2nd October 2014

Mark Cocker's "glorious" and "gripping" collection of essays about the English countryside, Claxton, confirms his place among our noblest natural-history writers, the equal of Gilbert White. "There is an inbuilt melancholy to Claxton as it moves inexorably towards the year’s end. The cyclicality of the natural world challenges our mortality, and our hubris. We anthropomorphise it because of what it stirs in us" (830 words)

Video of the day: Inherent Vice

What to expect: Trailer for film, based on novel by Thomas Pynchon

Thought for the day

History is the science of what never happens twice
Paul Valéry (

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