Culture Wars is the reviews website of the Institute of Ideas. In keeping with the IoI’s aim of shaping the future through debate, we review books, films, theatre, art and talk events, with a view to understanding how political and other ideas filter through the culture, and how the arts in turn influence politics and culture more generally. We also publish essays, interviews and other articles on the arts, culture and society.
‘Culture’ is often presented as a vast accumulation of commodities to be browsed and consumed by passive audiences. In this view, the role of the critic is banal. Critics trawl through the marketplace and advise us, as the annoying phrase has it, ‘what’s hot and what’s not’. Culture Wars is different. We want to engage with cultural life, to discuss it, and argue over it. And we want to encourage others to join in.
'Turn That Racket Off' [Opens in new window]
"The 2006 Battle of Ideas did what it said on the tin: prejudices were punctured, common wisdom was questioned and original thinking honoured. The saying was coined in Texas, but I suggest that the Battle of Ideas adopts it as the conference motto: ‘sacred cows make the best burgers."
George Brock, Saturday Editor, The Times