New Humanist Summer 2014

Get six months of New Humanist for just £1! (UK readers only. See below for further details.)

The Summer 2014 issue of New Humanist is on sale now in High St branches of WH Smith and selected independent newsagents around the UK.

Highlights include:

  • Jonathan Ree assesses the legacy of Bertrand Russell, Britain’s greatest pacifist. Are wars a product of human selfishness, as Russell appeared to believe? Or is it a misguided altruism that drives people to such extremes?

Bertrand Russell must be one of the most celebrated public intellectuals of all time. Early in the 20th century he won international fame for his contributions to mathematical logic and advocacy of “scientific method in philosophy”. Later he stirred up storms of controversy with pamphlets denouncing Christianity and traditional sexual morality. But in the 1960s he became even more famous on account of his activism in the cause of nuclear disarmament and peace: the issue, as far as he was concerned, was not just human welfare, but “has man a future?” Right at the end of his life (he died in 1970, at the age of 97) he described his philosophical legacy as “trivial” and unworthy of scholarly attention, “at least”, as he put it, “compared with the continued existence of the human race”.

  • With the Muslim Brotherhood shattered and secular democrats sidelined, Egypt’s military is consolidating control. Rachel Aspden reports from Cairo
  • Without God, is there something missing in our lives? Peter Watson, author of a new history of atheism, examines a recent trend among philosophers who argue there is
  • Mark Fisher on Lena Dunham’s "Girls", the hit comedy-drama that depicts a white, educated, middle-class America in the midst of its own demise
  • Peter Tatchell, one of Britain’s best known human rights campaigners, talks about the legalisation of same sex marriage and why the battle isn’t over
  • To understand the origins of the First World War, we must understand imperial rivalries and the racism that underpinned them, says Kenan Malik, in a provocative historical essay
  • Should the law protect children from emotional neglect? Alex Stevenson examines proposals for a British "Cinderella Law"
  • Agata Pyzik unpicks the "anti-ethics" of director Lars von Trier
  • Fatema Ahmed explores the imaginative world - online and offline - of novelist Teju Cole
  • Josie Long talks politics, panel shows, and changing the world with Ariane Sherine
  • Vron Ware looks at two new books on the military and asks how the army is more popular than ever, despite a decade of conflict overseas
  • The story of Noah's ark is considered a cuddly story appropriate for children. Myra Zepf argues that this tale of “genocidal tantrum” is anything but

PLUS: Book reviews, new poetry and columns by Owen Hatherley, Laurie Taylor, Juliet Jacques, Marcus Chown, Fady Joudah and Will Wiles

Get six months of New Humanist for just £1! UK customers, direct debit only. After six months your subscription will continue at the annual rate of £27. You can cancel at any time. Overseas readers can subscribe for £27 a year or take out a digital-only subscription for £10.