For twenty years Jonathan wrote long essays and columns for Encounter and Prospect magazines. All together there were about 70 such articles on subjects ranging from the rise of Lula in Brazil to an interview with Manmohan Singh, prime minister of India, to a portrait of the peace women in Northern Ireland to a study of the search for the Swedish soul.
Jonathan's articles for Prospect Magazine can be found online. A few are listed below. For more, please visit Prospect Magazine's website.
A political Paul: an interview with Paul McCartney
I went to school with Paul McCartney in Liverpool nearly 50 years ago, and we have remained friends, albeit distant, ever since. I joined the school a few months after most of the boys in my class. Alan Durband, our form master, asked Paul to make me feel at home. And he did just that. It was an act of kindness I remembered long after. I knew how boys could be. The Liverpool Institute High School for Boys was then the city’s top state grammar school, drawing some middle class but, in the main, the brightest of the working class and lower middle class—one of our old boys, Charles Glover Barkla, won the Nobel prize for physics.
In Search of the Swedish Soul
An examination of the Swedish soul must begin, I’m afraid, with sex. Not Volvo, not IKEA, not Alfa Laval nor H&M. Not Strindberg nor Dagerman nor even Astrid Lindgren and Pippi Longstocking. Not the welfare state, not income equality nor criminal justice. Not the Lutheran Church nor collective bargaining. Not the Vikings nor 200 years without war. It’s that three letter word—and the half-myth about Swedish promiscuity—that is our starting point.
When the pope turned his back
With his focus on economic justice, Pope Francis is still riding a wave of adulation three years into his job. And perhaps it’s deserved, but as leader of the Jesuits and then as bishop and archbishop in Argentina, he failed to publicly denounce the abuses of the military junta. Jonathan Power compares the pope’s silence to the courage of Brazil’s church hierarchy, which stood up to dictatorship. Power urges the pope to explain exactly what went on and how the Argentine church erred. The pope’s admission, Powers argues, would inspire his followers to think more profoundly about moral dilemmas and, perhaps, even help them be braver in the face of evil.
The air is hot here in the busy market town of Awka in the far backyard of Nigeria. So is the talk, as happens at election time. Olusegun Obasanjo, the retiring president, and his chosen, would-be successor, Umaru Yar’Adua, are on a podium, surrounded by banner-waving enthusiasts. The crowd has been bussed in by the local churches, even though Yar’Adua is a devout Muslim from one of the ruling families of the north. Indeed, he is younger brother of the late Shehu Yar’Adua, a northern power-broker and deputy to Obasanjo when the latter was briefly military ruler in the late 1970s.