ELIZABETH BARTHOLET is a Harvard Law School professor

JOHN CARR is a management consultant

JEREMY CLARKE is a freelance writer

DEREK COOMBS is chairman of Prospect

DAVID EDGERTON is the author of Science, Technology and the British Industrial"Decline” 1870-1970 (Cambridge University Press)

DUNCAN FALLOWELL is a travel writer. This is an edited version of an article that will appear next year in the American Scholar

JAMES FORDER is a lecturer in the economics of European integration at St Peter’s College, Oxford

AIDAN FOSTER-CARTER is director of the Leeds University Korea Project

AC GRAYLING is a lecturer in philosophy at Birkbeck College, London

ERNST GOMBRICH is an art historian and author of The Story of Art

ANTONY GORMLEY is a sculptor

SIMON HEAD is a New York based writer on economics and foreign affairs

NICHOLAS LEMANN is a journalist on the Atlantic Monthly, where his article first appeared in April

JOHN LLOYD is associate editor of the New Statesman

JOHN MADDOX is former editor of Nature

NOEL MALCOLM is a writer living in London. His latest book is Bosnia: A Short History

ALAN MUNRO was British ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1989-93. He is the author of An Arabian Affair (Brassey’s)

JOHN O’FARRELL is a native of Dublin and editor of the Belfast based Fortnight magazine

TONY PARSONS is a Daily Mirror columnist

NERYS PATTERSON is an ESRC research fellow at the University of Wales, Bangor

PETER POPHAM writes for the Independent

MICHAEL PREST is a journalist who worked for the World Bank from 1990-95

FREDERIC RAPHAEL is a novelist

ALFRED SHERMAN was co-founder of the Centre For Policy Studies

BELLA THOMAS is a journalist

CHRISTOPHER TOOKEY is Daily Mail film critic

MARIO VARGAS LLOSA is a writer. This story is extracted from Making Waves (Faber)

MARTIN WALKER is the Washington based correspondent for the Guardian

PETER WAYNE is serving 13 years for robbery at Stocken prison, Leicestershire

CLIVE WILMER is a poet and critic

SOPHIE ZEMAN is a neuroscientist working at the Mental Health Foundation

2 PROSPECT August/September 1996


OPINIONS 8 VENETIAN BLIND DUNCAN FALLOWELL has never been to Venice, but knows that he prefers St Petersburg.

10 BANKING ON POLITICS JAMES FORDER contests the dogmatic consensus for central bank independence.

Happy couple. Page 10

12 THE WORD MOUNTAIN NOEL MALCOLM regrets the uncontrollable flood of academic books and articles. 14 THE SINGLE ISSUE DEREK COOMBS fears that conflict over the Euro could break the European union.

16 ANTI-SOCIAL CAPITAL NICHOLAS LEMANN asserts that Americans are still a nation of joiners.

Issue eleven August/September 1996

18 DEBATE: BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD? NERYS PATTERSON AND ELIZABETH BARTHOLET An adopter and an adoptee on the rights and wrongs of adoption. 21 LAND AND FREEDOM ALFRED SHERMAN says Britain should free surplus agricultural land for housing.

ESSAYS 22 THE CASE FOR CLINTON MARTIN WALKER Clinton has not been a great president but he has dealt with momentous changes at home and abroad. Better a Slick Willie who delivers than an honourable bungler like Jimmy Carter.

High science. Page 28

28 MYTHS OF DECLINE DAVID EDGERTON supports British science against the attacks of Correlli Barnett and the theorists of decline. They should examine the facts. 32 ENTENTE ISLAMIQUE ALAN MUNRO challenges Samuel Huntington's clash of civilisations thesis. He believes that the west and Islam can prosper together.