Are the rumours of human sacrifice in Bolivia true?

La Paz One summer a few years ago, I joined a group of miners in Potosí, Bolivia, to toast the Andean Mother Earth. I had just moved to La Paz, the country’s political capital, to try my hand as a journalist. As we chatted, a cup of warm beer and shots of spirits were handed around the circle. Before drinking, we had to pour a little on the earth and a little on the head of the white llama that was trussed up between us. My notebook from that day is specked with brownish stains. After we’d finished passing around the spirits, the llama was held down and its throat

The revival of the blacksmith’s craft — a new generation goes at it hammer and tongs

At Intelligent Life, the Economist magazine where I worked for some years, it was easy to feel intellectually challenged. Even the interns all seemed to have Oxbridge Firsts. What a breath of fresh air, then, when the deputy editor’s son decided he didn’t want to go to university, and would instead apprentice as a blacksmith. During the industrial revolution, Alex Pole tells us in this eccentric and enchanting book, there were 25,000 smiths working in the UK. Now, there are fewer than 2,000. As Ronald Blythe noted more than 50 years ago in Akenfield, far more villages have a cottage called The Olde Forge than a blacksmith. But numbers are