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|[May 31] From Monthly Review, a review of A People's History of the World by Chris Harman. Robert J. Shiller on the myth of "superstar cities". A review of Bound Together: How Traders, Preachers, Adventurers, and Warriors Shaped Globalization by Nayan Chanda. Will Robert Zoellick be able to get the World Bank back on its feet after the failed presidency of Paul Wolfowitz? Kenneth Rogoff investigates (more from Financial Times and more from The Economist and more). From Newsweek, why another face-off between Washington and Moscow isn’t as impossible as you might think. From Foreign Affairs, Barack Obama on Renewing American Leadership and Mitt Romney on Rising to a New Generation of Global Challenges. Henry A. Kissinger on the lessons of Vietnam: Iraq desperately needs a political solution in the short term to make the war more manageable for the next president. Fred Kaplan on Bush's failed campaign to rebrand America: The administration believes public relations is a synonym for diplomacy. A look at what Bush and America have in common with another overreaching hegemonic power: The New York Yankees. From The Guardian, America was in uproar last week when Jimmy Carter described George Bush's foreign policy as the worst in history. He broke an unwritten rule: Past presidents don't attack incumbents. Gaby Wood finds him unrepentant. Democrats beware: Attacking the incompetence of the Bush administration is too easy. Republicans have no answer to such criticisms, but they do not need one. Presidential Scouting Reports: A libertarian fan's guide to the World Series of politics. As America's presidential campaigns seek fresh sources of finance, hedge fund and private equity executives are finding their political voice. The thespian's new clothes: Actor Fred Thompson's bid for the Republican presidential candidacy has supporters deluded into believing he is the next Ronald Reagan. If you promise not to squeal to his bosses, Andrew Glass will tell you how to run for vice president. From Rolling Stone, an interview with Grover Norquist. Jonathan Chait on white-collar crooks, dictatorships, and other conservative causes. Can conservatism be realistic about its own popularity too? George Will investigates. John Berlau on why Rush Limbaugh should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. And now that Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter has presented him with a grandson, maybe it's time for Grandpa to join PFLAG||[May 31] A review of The Messenger: The Meanings of the Life of Muhammad by Tariq Ramadan. Middle class, mainstream, murderous? Cathy Young on what the polls tell us about American Muslims. The evolution of daft ideas: Islamic creationism is growing and the movement is now repackaging ideas from reactionary American Christian groups. Senator Sam Brownback on what he thinks about evolution. An interview with Peter Irons, author of God on Trial: Dispatches from America's Religious Battlefields. Signs From God: Doree Shafrir on the curious history of church marquees. From Skeptic, an elemental impulse: Religion is so powerful that even Soviet antireligious policy failed. A review of The Atheist Manifesto by Michel Onfray. More and more and more on God is Not Great. Christopher Hitchens debates Chris Hedges in a battle of wits and faith over the meaning of religion in our lives and politics today. A review of Forbidden Fruit: Sex & Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers. A review of Jon Savage's Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture. Who Cares? Why young progressives should embrace charity. Why is the stock market still bullish? You can thank leveraged buyouts and corporate buy-backs of stock -- and understand that this can't last. Is Wal-Mart too cheap for its own good? A confidential report concludes that the chain’s reputation for discounts has worked against its efforts to move upscale. More on Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole by Benjamin R. Barber. A review of Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage by Daniel C. Esty and Andrew S. Winston. A review of Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future By Bill McKibben. Two billion cups are sold daily in a Ł40bn global industry, but now a controversial documentary showing the plight of growers asks whether there is such a thing as ethical coffee. Combining libertarianism with green values might be a pragmatic way to convince some of the worst polluters to cut back by essentially bribing them with cash. Clive Hamilton in Scorcher: the dirty politics of climate change says that Australia rather than the US is the major stumbling block to a more effective Kyoto Protocol. Energy Incrementalism: An article on a good (but not great) alternative fuel policy. A Full Tank of Hypocrisy: Higher gas prices may be the best way to slow global warming. And George Monbiot on Alexander Cockburn and the corruption of science||[May 31] From The New Atlantis, Adam Keiper on The Trouble With Nanoethics; Leon Kass on The Right to Life and Human Dignity; and an essay on Brave New World at 75. A new issue of Edge is out. A review of From Epicurus to Epictetus: Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy by A. A. Long. A review of A Theory of Virtue: Excellence in Being for the Good by Robert Merrihew Adams. A review of Appearances of the Good: An Essay on the Nature of Practical Reason by Sergio Tenenbaum. A review of The Ethical Imagination: journeys of the human spirit by Margaret Somerville. A review of The Flight from Reality in the Human Sciences by Ian Shapiro. From Seed, if we're serious about building a society that makes scientifically informed decisions, then science needs to figure out a way to get its message across effectively. From Salon, Inside the Creation Museum: Adam and Eve frolic amid the dinosaurs in the new $27 million museum that demonstrates Darwin has nothing on the Book of Genesis. Travelling via the US is a bit of a trial for Richard Dawkins, thanks to security gone mad. But later, he goes on to encounter another, lovely, kind of booby - and a terrific eco-friendly sports car. A review of The Richness of Life: The Essential Stephen Jay Gould. A review of Wild: An Elemental Journey by Jay Griffiths. A review of A Guinea Pig's History of Biology: the Plants and Animals who Taught us the Facts of Life by Jim Endersby (and more). Life decisions separate "hawk" from "dove": The way animals decide how to live their lives, and when to reproduce, may control their "personalities", according to a new model. Animals differ strikingly in character and temperament. Yet only recently has it become evident that personalities are a widespread phenomenon in the animal kingdom. Research finds children can perform approximate math without arithmetic instruction. A review of The Poincare Conjecture by Donal O'Shea. A review of Flat Earth: the History of an Infamous Idea by Christine Garwood (and more). Thomas Fleming reviews Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors by Nicholas Wade. Evidence from ancient European graves raises questions about ritual human sacrifice. A review of The Great Pyramid by John Romer. And a review of Scenting Salvation: Ancient Christianity and the Olfactory Imagination|
[May 30] From Japan Focus,
Reins of Liberation: An article on geopolitics and
ethnopolitics of China, Central Asia and the Asia Pacific. They loom,
desolately incandescent, over the city that was.
Glowing spikes claw at the
sky, reaching ever upward, wilfully ignorant of what lies beneath.
This is modern Shanghai. From Defense News,
an essay on US and Chinese nuclear and missile
development, and the risk of
accidental nuclear war. Why Japan won't save the whales: The Japanese
expanding its whale catches
and winning international support with
pseudoscience. It's all about me: Have today's
Japanese lost their
empathy? Thomas Palley on how Japan fuels global
financial instability. Buy American! China does. The Saudis too.
Loaded with dollars, they are buying U.S.
assets. Is that good? A review
of The Emerging Markets Century by
Antoine van Agtmael. Design that solves problems
for the world’s poor: The Cooper-Hewitt
National Design Museum is honoring inventors
dedicated to helping the billions of people
living on less than $2 a day. "Food
Force", the world’s first
humanitarian video game for children, is celebrating the launch of
three new language versions. From The
Economist, a question of life and death: The
struggle between “pro-choice”
and “pro-life” forces around the world.
Johann Hari on the tricky question of Gordon
Brown's God. The New Alliance, a new
political party challenging
the role of religion in public life, has been an instant hit in
Denmark. The pope's half-hearted apology to indigenous groups
in the Americas shows he has a long way to go in
understanding history. For a man with such
strong convictions, Pope Benedict has shown a surprising penchant for verbal missteps.
Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to expand permission to
use the pre-1960s Latin Mass will be hyped beyond all recognition, because doing so serves the purposes of both conservatives and liberals within the church, as well as the press.
Full Circle: Death and Resurrection in Canadian Conservative Politics
by Bob Plamondon (and an excerpt)
pdf. An article on the perfect slogan for
Toronto, coined by a citizen genius. They Came, They Toured, They
Offended: It may be time to retire the term
"ugly American". When it comes to tourists, bad manners may
be a global phenomenon. To many critics, US
embassies are like the US itself: remote, foreboding and impenetrable.
Andrew J. Bacevich lost
his son to a war he opposes. They were both doing our duty. From Public Opinion Pros,
a special issue on terrorism
and the media. A review
of If They Only Listened to Us: What Women Voters Want Politicians to Hear
by Melinda Henneberger. Hillary
Clinton’s competence based campaign has
been stealthily making progress. But two bios
put her persona back in the spotlight. From New
York, five teams compete to make
Governors Island an urban paradise. Only one
will survive; and The Vandalism Vandal: Who’s
been splashing the city’s most prized
graffiti? The hunt for the radical, young and
possibly lovelorn conceptual-Marxist
street-art supervillain. Howard Kurtz on Celeb
Rag Shocker: Us's Exposé Exposé!
And look out Paris, Britney: Perez is watching you
[May 29] From Ovi, an article on Levinas' challenge to the modern European identity (and part 2 and part 3). From Eurozine, an essay on the city as stage for social upheaval; and on fish 'n' freedom fries: On regeneration and other London Olympic myths. The French Correction Christopher Hitchens on how Bernard Kouchner, the principled new foreign minister, shows how much France has changed of late. From Logos, a series of articles on the Sudan crisis, including essays by Stephen Eric Bronner, Alex de Waal, and Douglas H. Johnson. Forget the handwringing over "genocide" in Darfur. What's happening in southern Sudan is enmeshed in a fight to control Sub-Saharan Africa's oil riches. Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka argues passionately for an end to fence-sitting over Darfur. A dearth of politics in booming Dubai: Rapid change, emphasis on business overshadow concerns on rights. A review of The Khyber Pass: A History of Empire and Invasion by Paddy Docherty. An interview with Sonali Kolhatkar, author of Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence. A review of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini and The Kabul Beauty School: the art of friendship and freedom by Deborah Rodriguez. From the Journal of International Affairs, the untold story of the Iranian revolution is the slow economic decline of the country. A country that once boasted per capita income levels akin to Spain, now ranks ninety-seventh on the United Nations 2006 Human Development Index. Shirin Ebadi and Muhammad Sahimi on the follies of Bush's policy toward Iran. An interview with Benjamin Netanyahu on dealing with Iran. An interview with Ed Husain, author of The Islamist: Why I Joined Radical Islam in Britain, What I Saw Inside and Why I Left. A review of City of Oranges: An Intimate History of Arabs and Jews in Jaffa. A review of Law, Violence and Sovereignty Among West Bank Palestinians. Struggling with Zionism: Can a nationalist people be a light among the nations? A review of The Struggle of Democracy Against Terrorism: Lessons From the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel. A review of The Power of Israel in the United States by James Petras. A review of The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace. Gathering the Tribes: U.S. field commanders are finally beginning to tap the traditional networks that helped Saddam to stay in power. Laura Rozen on Kurdistan's man in Washington: Q ubad Talabani is one of those cultural anomalies who somehow seem like natural creatures of Washington. From GQ, War, A Love Story: Falling in love across enemy lines. It sounds like something out of a fairy tale. But nothing in war is simple. As this American soldier and his Iraqi wife found out, love in a war zone is difficult, it’s dangerous, and it really pisses off the brass. From Slate, Suffer the Children: Now that Bush has talked about our kids, can we ask about his? Bush the Neoliberal: George W. Bush is more liberal than you might think. From National Journal, a public's right to know? Recent political campaigns have had their share of mudslinging, but it is only going to get worse as the Internet and dirty politics collide. Noam Scheiber on populist poseur Fred Thompson. The conservative Free Republic purges Giuliani supporters from its website. And on The Paul Paradox: Can a libertarian only win by losing?
[May 28] From The Wilson Quarterly, Sam Rich on Africa's Village of Dreams: Sauri must be the luckiest village in Africa. "I thought I was lucky because I escaped": An impassioned talk by Mary Kayitesi Blewitt, the charity founder whose family was killed in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. A review of The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS and 28 Stories of AIDS in Africa. From Reset, “Let Tariq Ramadan speak”: An interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali; an article on Ian Buruma, Euroislam and the Enlightenment fundamentalists: An international debate; an interview with Augustus Richard Norton, author of Hezbollah: A History; and Nixon in Egypt: If Richard Nixon were still President of the United States, would he enter into dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood? An excerpt from Islamic Imperialism: A History. From Reason, an article on Liberal Lebanon: Worth saving, or the hell with it? A review of Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life by Sari Nusseibeh. From New Statesman, an article on Gaza, the jailed state: The world cannot afford to stand by while the Israeli army and Palestinian militias fight their unwinnable and bloody war. Already, al-Qaeda is exploiting any power vacuum. A review of Peace in the Promised Land: A Realist Scenario, ed. by Srdja Trifkovic. Israel's wasted victory: Six days of war followed by 40 years of misery. How can it ever end? From Logos, is there a new anti-Semitism? An interview with Raul Hilberg; and Lawrence Davidson on Israel's Palestine: Apartheid not Peace. A review of Resurrection and the Restoration of Israel: The Ultimate Victory of the God of Life. An essay on Turkey, Islam and Pope Benedict. Where every generation is first-generation: As Turks long established in Germany continue to find and marry spouses from the old country, assimilation and modernity are thwarted. Is this the making of a social crisis? The heirs of Turkey’s great secularist couldn’t join Europe. But Muslim reformers may. Europe must let Turkey in: It is in everyone's interest to welcome Ankara into the stagnant club of the EU. In Sarkoland: William Pfaff on the New France; and how long will Kouchner stay in his post? Is his appointment just a move by Sarkozy to destabilise the left ahead of parliamentary elections? Bernard-Henri Levy investigates. Switzerland's reputation as a haven of tolerance for immigrants has been undermined in recent weeks by calls for a ban on new minarets, a mysterious synagogue blaze and neo-Nazi threats. A review of A Tragedy of Errors: The government and misgovernment of Northern Ireland. And after Tony Blair's flawed mission to save the globe, a new pragmatism will dictate Gordon Brown's approach to war and terror
[Weekend] From The Economist, anxiously watching a different world: Climate and other changes draw new interest and new misunderstandings to the Canadian north. Global warming's boom town: A town in Greenland attracts rich green globetrotters. Mexico's arid north -- 54% of the nation's land surface -- is drying out and blowing away in the wind at an alarming rate as desertification transforms this always-hardscrabble terrain into an American Sahara. Fission: A look at how small states the Caribbean get smaller still. From TAP, for a Global FDA: If we're going to globalize the food we eat and wish to be safe, we need to get serious. A review of The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy. North Korea as the world's worst holiday destination: All the misery of Maoism with none of the redeeming features. A review of Charm Offensive: How China’s Soft Power Is Transforming the World, by Joshua Kurlantzick. An article on the language of Chinese soft power in the US. How can Americans understand China as it is — not as politicians and pundits prefer to depict it? (and part 2 and part 3 and part 4). A look at why Washington needs to embrace a new diplomatic geometry with China. A review of The China Fantasy: How Our Leaders Explain Away Chinese Repression and Charm Offensive: How China's Soft Power Is Transforming the World. From Desicritics, an article on Deconstructing Martha Nussbaum: The Hindu Right Revisited. From Open Democracy, Western variants of multiculturalism and secularism are being challenged by religious demands for public recognition of faith. Instead of reinventing the wheel, the world should learn from India. Europeans have gone cold on the idea of a European Constitution. Could they learn something from that other Asian peninsula? Gandhi’s ideals a model for Europe. Constitutional conundrums: The battle over the EU constitution is likely to be won by the minimalists. The argument for a written constitution in the United Kingdom in 2007 requires a sense of history and of the scale of the challenge. From The Spectator, Boris Johnson on the pursuit of happiness: "The real trouble is that our rulers are Puritans". The Soviet occupation of Austria, 1945-1955: While Austria did not fall within the direct sphere of Soviet influence during the postwar period, it was earmarked for heavy economic exploitation. Siegfried Beer summarizes new perspectives gained after the opening up of the Russian state archives. An interview with Tatiana Tolstaya, the great-grandniece of Leo Tolstoy, and one of Russia's most popular novelists and TV hosts: "Democracy has nearly disappeared in Russia". Whose side can we be on? The real story of the Chechen war defies simple good-versus-bad explanations. And judging from the tabloids, you can barely rollerskate along Miami Beach without tripping over a Russian pop star
[May 25] From Guernica, an interview with Stephen Kinzer, author of Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change; and first victims of freedom: An interview with Iraqi feminist Yanar Mohammed; an interview with Ali Allawi, author of The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace. An interview with Yanar Mohammed, founder of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, on how Iraq is into “an Afghanistan under the Taliban, where oppression and discrimination of women is institutionalized". Who says American feminists have ignored the plight of Muslim women? Katha Pollitt wants to know. From The Nation, The Secret Air War in Iraq: Bombs from American planes are killing tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, and no one in the mainstream media is talking about it; and Iraq has prompted the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world, and it's threatening to destabilize the entire region. From The Washington Monthly, Democrats are right to push for an end to the Iraq war. But don't expect the troops to be grateful. "How a Democrat Can Get My Vote": Advice from seven recent war veterans. The Deja Vu to Avoid on Iraq: If any of the domestic political elements that led us to go into Iraq influence the fight over getting out of it, we're in trouble. From The Weekly Standard, liberal hawks, an endangered species: What Iraq has done to the interventionists of the Democratic party (and a response by Jon Chait). Ron Paul had a point: Non-interventionists have been remarkably prescient. So why are they still shunted to the fringe? From TNR, she may be a witless fool. She may be a partisan hack. But Monica Goodling gave the best testimony yet about the U.S. attorney firings. Corleones of the Right: Bush's choice for Consumer Product Safety Commission chief is from a family of right-wing hustlers. Wanted: A Liberal Dick Cheney: Why a progressive vice president should follow the Cheney model. Dancing With Ghosts: American politics plays with the dangers of permanent opposition. Our unfinished Constitution: After 220 years of the electoral college, it's time for Americans to elect their president directly. Thumpin' to Conclusions: Republicans are drawing all the wrong lessons from their midterm loss. An article on the surprising relevance of Ron Paul, the GOP's libertarian gadfly. The Ron Paul campaign hopes "Reading for Rudy" will educate Giuliani. A look at how missionary work trains Mormons to stump for Mitt. Can John McCain tell a joke? Michelle Cottle investigates. From GQ, an article on the Honorable, Enraged Man from Virginia, Senator Jim Webb: It’s been a busy few months for the straightest talker in DC. An interview with Bay Buchanan, author of The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton. A review of A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton by Carl Bernstein and Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton by Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr. And you do what, exactly? If Hillary wins the White House, Bill becomes "First Gentleman". An expert on First Ladies explains just how that would work. A review of No Excuses: Concessions of a Serial Campaigner by Robert Shrum. And The Candidate Killers: There is one question that haunts every campaign. This is it
[May 24] Anil Hira (Simon Fraser): The World Is Round: A Real Plan to Solve Global Problems in this Generation. From TAP, the costs of UN peacekeeping missions across the globe have ballooned -- and, along with them, so have America's arrears. A vast swath of the Pacific, twice the size of Texas, is full of a plastic stew that is entering the food chain. Scientists say these toxins are causing obesity, infertility and worse. While the developed world deals with a "birth dearth," populations are exploding in developing nations. What the first world should do to help. Cracks in the Financial Foundation: The World Bank, the IMF and the WTO are now facing questions about their relevance in a global economy. How should the new and growing phenomenon of outward FDI from the South be assessed? Should South-South investment be promoted as an alternative to North-South investment flows? The Asian Development Bank has told itself it needs to change but can its slow-moving bureaucracy respond? A review of Aid Effectiveness in Africa: Developing Trust between Donors and Governments. From American Diplomacy, more on Dangerous Nation, by Robert Kagan. The most troublesome Mideast state has signaled its desire to deal with us. How should America respond to Iran. Whenever the administration shifts toward engagement, one figure is there to stop it. How Dick Cheney ensures diplomatic failure with Tehran. Resistance, not terror: An interview with the Grand Ayatollah Ahmed Alhasani al-Baghdadi of Iraq. Exit Stage Right: Phillip Carter on a step-by-step plan for withdrawing from Iraq. We have to stay in Iraq for a decade: Here's how to do it. The Politics of Intelligence: Bush made a dramatic announcement about bin Laden plans to attack the US. But some counterterrorism experts say it was just another selective leak, designed to bolster support for the war in Iraq. From TNR, Bob Shrum v. John Edwards: No one comes in for rougher treatment in the famed political consultant's forthcoming memoir, No Excuses, than his former client. No Democratic nominee will be immune to all of the GOP’s attacks. But it’s worth asking whether John Edwards is vulnerable to too many of them. If not money or looks, what else pre-determine the likelihood of success for a candidate attempting to woo today’s voters? Power to the people, 2.0: Barack Obama and John Edwards are boldly abandoning me-first campaigns for online "political movements". Howard Dean, anyone? John Zogby on Gore, Gingrich, Bloomberg scenarios in '08. And from The Politico, a look at why a Bloomberg run could matter, and why the Bloomberg fantasy won't come true
[May 23] From Prospect, there are worrying signs that the International Criminal Court's approach to justice may be jeopardising peace in Africa. Index on Censorship: Slavery 2007 is a salutary reminder of the presence of slavery. A review of The Door of No return: The History of Cape Coast Castle and the Atlantic Slave Trade. From National Geographic, the Niger Delta holds some of the world's richest oil deposits, yet Nigerians living there are poorer than ever, violence is rampant, and the land and water are fouled. What went wrong?; as Mumbai booms, the poor of its notorious Dharavi slum find themselves living in some of India's hottest real estate; how one supercharged province in China cranks out lightbulbs, buttons, and bra rings, as well as instant cities for the factory workers; and fences may make good neighbors, but the barriers dividing the U.S. and Mexico are proving much more complicated. From Vanity Fair, an excerpt from Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America. Give me back my legions! Cullen Murphy on Rome's most humiliating defeat -- and a lesson for America. From The Potomac, must we become the darkness? Don Thompson reminds us of Cicero's rules of law, and the very foundation of civilization so recently corrupted by Bush; Barry Frye on America's Cult of Simplification; and if one of us were to read "Stupidity Street" to President Bush today, he would first of all apply it to other nations and not to the US. Why Bush hasn't been impeached: Congress, the media and most of the American people have yet to turn decisively against Bush because to do so would be to turn against some part of themselves. Britain is losing Blair, but America is stuck with Bush, and that's because the British system is much better at getting rid of a discredited chief executive. From Government Executive, an article on how government's personnel issues are more complicated than they look. From Governing, the disability dilemma: Police officers and firefighters injured in the line of duty receive generous benefits. Can localities afford to keep paying for them? Protect government watchdogs from politics: Washington's in-house inspectors general often fall victim to the officials they investigate. Daniel Gross on the silly effort to stop senators and bureaucrats from trading on their inside knowledge. How can politics recapture the ability to inspire us? Hard action and clear choices? Polling the populace: Citizen surveys are an increasingly popular tool for soliciting feedback on policies, programs and priorities. From Public Opinion Pros, an excerpt from Questions & Answers in Attitude Surveys: Experiments on Question Form, Wording, and Context, by Howard Schuman and Stanley Presser; the public's lack of confidence in the press appears to be related to a superficial dissatisfaction with current political events, not a deep disaffection; and is the internet a boon for or a bane to democracy? Changes in the internet’s audience indicate that, contrary to the dark murmurings of some, this new technology may be a welcome development. And a political device goes corporate: Political veterans increasingly are taking their mastery of sophisticated new campaign techniques into the corporate world, though not all techniques will translate smoothly
[May 22] From H-Net, a review of The 'War on Terror' and the Framework of International Law. A review of Bad Men: Guantanamo Bay and the secret prisons. A review of Dangerous Nation by Robert Kagan. America, the world's arms pusher: No one is paying much attention to it, but our top export is the deadliest. The world as Shakespearean tragedy: Judging by the body count, modern global politics look headed for the bloody final act of a Bard tragedy. A review of The Atomic Bazaar: The Rise of the Nuclear Poor by William Langewiesche (and more and more and more and more and more and an excerpt). From Jewcy, should we bomb Iran? Michael Freund and Justin Raimondo hash it out. Across the divide: Iran, in its effort to become a regional and global power, is reaching out across the Sunni-Shi'ite divide, exhorting Muslims worldwide to tolerate their differences -- and march under one Islamic banner. David Remnick on why the Six-Day War is still being fought: A review of books. The professed goals of terrorists -- aspirations for equality or justice, for example -- may well be legitimate. However, the fact that terrorists act in isolation may actually set back their cause. A Shining Model of Wealth Without Liberty: The Iraq war isn't over, but one thing's already clear: China won. A review of The Occupation to Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace by Ali A. Allawi. Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute of the Army will now oversee operations in Iraq and Afghanistan — the so-called war czar. But is it a title worth having? America wants progress reports. What’s lacking in Iraq is good information. Soldiers’ Stories: What fires up the journalists at Military Times is the vulnerability of the community they cover. Online, GOP is playing catch-up, as Democrats get an edge on the Web (and more by Jeff Jarvis). Hello, I’m a Democrat: Meet the netroots activists who have moved online and into political office. A review of The Thumpin': How Rahm Emanuel and the Democrats Learned to Be Ruthless and Ended the Republican Revolution by Neftali Bendavid. A review of No Retreat, No Surrender by Tom DeLay. From The Politico, here a user's guide to Gore fever. Another book, another slide show, another global rock concert — another run? Al Gore has big plans. Where are you, Dream Candidate? Dream candidates always look, well, dreamy. Until they decide to run. Nader Redux: Should Dems fear Mike Gravel? Thirty years ago, he put the Pentagon Papers into the Senate record. Now he's back with a presidential campaign—and a bid to end the war before the election. Should the libertarian Republican Ron Paul be kept out of the presidential debates? What Ron Paul said in this week's debate is utterly uncontroversial and true. If he was "blaming the victim" then he is in the company of many, many conservative pundits and intellectuals. And Land of the Giants: In the race for president, do the little people still matter?
[May 21] From Canada, the agony of the executioner: How a Parkdale man became the country's first official hangman – and was destroyed by it; and how come this great product is so hard to brand? Spacing magazine's Leah Sandals weighs in on slogans for selling Toronto. Though Hackney is officially the worst place to live in Britain, the people of Albion Drive are riding a property rollercoaster. A review of Littlejohn's Britain by Richard Littlejohnm and more on Loudmouth with an instinct for the jugular, and home truths. From LRB, Andrew O’Hagan on the garbage of England and the things we throw away. As the Labour party prepares to change leaders, David Kynaston traces its evolution from post-second world war austerity and alleged disconnection with ’ordinary people’ to the populism of Tony Blair. A review of Austerity Britain 1945-51 (and more). In his new book, A History of Modern Britain, Andrew Marr turns his own idiosyncratic eye on the quests and quirks that have shaped the nation (and more and more). Paul Johnson on London as the epicenter of capitalism. From CJR, Superiority Complex: An article on why the Brits think they’re better. For Better or Worse: Eric Rauchway on the special relationship, reconsidered. A review of By Hook or by Crook: a journey in search of English, by David Crystal. ˇViva el espańol! The Spanish language may soon have more native speakers than English. A review of Mixed Signals: U.S. Human Rights Policy and Latin America. How concrete channelled the American dream: A review of Panama Fever by Matthew Parker. Tourism or cocaine? Caribbean economies depend on tourism. So why aren't the nations to the north encouraging an honest way to make a buck? From The Nation, if we are ever to solve the Israel/Palestinian conflict, learning each other's historical narratives is surely the place to begin. Israel is facing a challenge it never expected when it captured East Jerusalem and reunited the city in the 1967 war: each year, Jerusalem’s population is becoming more Arab and less Jewish. An excerpt from Dark Hope Working for Peace in Israel and Palestine by David Shulman. Whose Israel question?A review of My Israel Question by Antony Loewenstein. The writing cure Living in a war zone, Israeli writer David Grossman turned away from recording the conflict in his work. But after his son was killed in the army, he found it was the only way to come to terms with his grief.The introduction to On Suicide Bombing by Talal Asad. More on Buda's Wagon: A Brief History of the Car Bomb. Are we likely to get terrorism betting markets anytime soon? If we really wanted to know the score on terrorism, we’d listen to the experts. And regicide's risk: Killing a leader doesn't always work
[Weekend 2e] From Frontline, a review of Masks of Empire. Is imperial liquidation possible for America? Chalmers Johnson on the Evil Empire. From National Journal, is the American era over? The sun hasn't set on the American era, but a surprising number of foreign affairs experts see the United States in a fading light; and Jonathan Rauch on how President Bush is resolute about the war, but he's delusional about how long America is willing to wait for that outcome. From Harper's, an interview with Marc Lynch on Iraq, the surge, and Al Qaeda. There is no insurgency in Iraq: The United States has been trying to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis. Iraq expert Stephen Biddle says that is the wrong strategy. There is no insurgency, he says. Instead, we need to focus on ending the civil war. A review of Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq. If Iraq has taught us anything, it is that facts are slippery little creatures, even when published in The New York Times. From Foreign Service Journal, many in the Foreign Service may hope that things will get back to "normal" once the Iraq War is over. Don't count on it. What do Dick Cheney and Jimmy Carter have in common? Redeeming Cheney: How can Vice President Dick Cheney salvage his historical legacy? From Slate, the Icing is Iglesias: His firing is reason alone for Congress to impeach Gonzales. When special interests talk, politicians listen and the rest of us suffer. But why do politicians listen? "Special-interest" legislation is popular. Was Henry Kissinger right when he said, “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac”? Dems are bringing sexy back. Thomas Schaller on why single women a sleeping giant for Democratic Party. Could an independent Bloomberg-Hagel presidential ticket have a chance? Would such a pairing pull more from Democrats or Republicans? Charlie Cook investigates. Rudy Giuliani has the potential to split the social and economic conservatives who have constituted the Republican Party's base since Ronald Reagan united them a quarter-century ago. The Sane Fringe Candidate: Meet John Cox, Republican candidate for president. John Dickerson on the stupid GOP effort to silence Ron Paul. From McSweeney's, here are the pros and cons of the top 20 Republican presidential candidates. The Fraudulent Fraud Squad: An article on the incredible, disappearing American Center for Voting Rights. From First Monday, an essay on election bloggers and the methods for determining political influence. Battle of the Blogosphere: Which blogs deliver politics as unusual? Cavanaugh vs. Gillespie debate. The Internet has turned campaign news more and more into one-liners, weird exchanges, jaw-dropping flubs and other arresting moments. And from The Politico, an article on Politics 2.0: The rise of the netizen
[Weekend] From Canada, the glass house is getting crowded: Why are so many MPs so fond of Neville Chamberlain?; an interview with Preston Manning, the former Reform leader, on what he thinks of Canada's new government; behind the razzle-dazzle, Expo '67 was a prototype for the kind of society Canada wanted to become, and by some measures it got there; a reviews Holding the Bully's Coat: Canada and the U.S. Empire; and civility and other such nonsense: In praise of well-meaning politicians saying increasingly crazy things. From Australia, a review of Detainee 002: The case of David Hicks, and a review of Rob Riley: An Aboriginal Leader’s Quest for Justice. An article on Fiji, 1987-2007: The story of four coups for 20 years. From Seven Oaks, a review of books on various Africas. African leaders recently chose Zimbabwe to chair the UN Commission on Sustainable Development: Why Africa won't rein in Mugabe. Economic freedom in Africa: Where has all the progress gone? A review of The Invisible Cure: AIDS in Africa by Helen Epstein (and more). Why Ethiopia parties like it's 1999: Well, because it is still 1999 according to the Julian calendar. The standoff between Anjouan's local authorities and the Comoros Union government remains unresolved. Upcoming elections and Comoran unity hang in the balance. An article on ideology in China: Confucius makes a comeback. Declassified Documents on the Malaysian riots of 1969 presents the view that 1969 race riots were instigated by ambitious Malay politicians. Now it seems the book will be banned by the government. From Radical Notes, an article on the growing revolt against disposability: New dimensions of resistance to corporate globalization in India. A review of In Quest of Jinnah, Jinnah: Creator of Pakistan, M. A. Jinnah and In Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War. From Boston Review, a special section on Nukes, Democracy and Iran, including The View from Tehran: Akbar Ganji on changing Iran from within; Nuclear Freeze Hans Blix on the Middle East and global arms control; Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns on carrots and sticks; and Michael McFaul and Abbas Milani on how normalizing relations will help both sides. From Asia Times, an appeal for empire: A review of Theology of Discontent: The Ideological Foundation of the Islamic Revolution in Iran by Hamid Dabashi; and who will be the 21st century equivalent of Saladin, the greatest warrior of Islam? An interview with Augustus Richard Norton, author of Hezbollah: A Short History. An interview with Olivier Roy, author of Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Umma. From Open Democracy, a developed view of multiculturalism can complement democratic citizenship and nation-building. And darn it, and face up to the global village: Ever-more global communities are making increasingly strong claims on our lives over our immediate surroundings
[May 18] The Teflon Taoiseach: Bertie Ahern took office within weeks of Tony Blair and after 10 years toil, the pair have finally seen peace in Northern Ireland. Mr Blair is stepping down, but his opposite number in Dublin hopes for a second decade in power. What should Gordon Brown do to maximize the chances of Labour achieving a fourth term? Anthony Giddens has some ideas. How much is left of the left? Despite the lack of opposition to Gordon Brown, New Labour's roots are still shallow. A review of The Radical Right in Britain: Social Imperialism to the BNP. The super judge: Powerful French anti-terrorism judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere believes his country's tough justice system has much to offer other nations in fighting the war on terror. Sex, lies and politics, the French way: They're less prone to adultery than Americans but more forgiving when their politicians philander. A malaise-ridden France just elected the most pro-American president in its history. But Nicolas Sarkozy’s victory doesn’t mean the French are eager to see their socialist perks disappear in a flurry of Anglo-Saxon reforms. Friend or Faux? Olivier Roy on how Nicolas Sarkozy may not be what the French call a “libéral,” but he’s no neocon, either. Immanuel Wallerstein on France and the end of Gaullism. We want our Europe back! A comparison between the Berlin and the Rome Declarations. The burden of history: Its newest members offer the European Union some history lessons. America and Europe confront a new freeze in their relationship with Russia. Russia memorialized the victory over Nazi Germany, and Vladimir Putin raised his insults to the United States to a new level. Central Asia has long been squabbled over by outsiders. The latest manifestation of this old imperial “Great Game” is a proposed gas pipeline linking Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan with Russia. An article on the Asian giants' game of chess in Indian Ocean. An article on The Pat Buchanan of India. A map that does justice to the strangeness of the Cooch Behar enclave complex risks either to be too big or too small to show the intricacies of enclaves and counter-enclaves on both side of the Indian-Bangladeshi border. Did Pakistan's president provoke an ethnic war last weekend? A general state of disarray: A slaughter in Karachi, and a vengeful judge, are signs that Pervez Musharraf is struggling to remain in power. Anatol Lieven on why Pakistan must seek unity in the face of extremism. From Commentary, Norman Podhoretz on The Case for Bombing Iran. A look back at the day Iraq attacked America (accidentally?) twenty years ago. The Army's plan to professionalize Iraq's police could backfire, as militia-infiltrated squads become more effective killers. A truly national army? Iraq's Kurdish soldiers have been welcomed in parts of Baghdad. The Powder Keg Up North: Why Iraqi Kurdistan may be heading for deadly trouble -- and Kirkuk may be the flash point. An article on the risk of Turkish intervention in northern Iraq. Gangs of Iraq: Desperate to shore up its flagging ranks, the military is quietly enlisting thousands of active gang members and shipping them to Iraq. Will a brutal murder finally wake up the Pentagon. It's patriotic to criticize: Fred Kaplan on how our generals got so mediocre. Our government doesn't take care of its veterans. Steve Robinson does. And from TAC, this letter was sent to George Tenet by a group of former intelligence officers. Tenet reportedly received a $4 million advance for his new tell-all
[May 17] William Langewiesche’s The Atomic Bazaar: The Rise of the Nuclear Poor insightfully examines the perils created by the illicit and unstoppable spread of nuclear weapons to some of the world’s most volatile nations. From CRB, an article on China as a rising nuclear power. A look at why China relaxed blogger crackdown. How far can China remain inside the world and outside it, embrace the west's market economy, while rejecting its political ideas? What's your China fantasy: A debate between James Mann and David M. Lampton on the uncertain political future of the world’s most populous country. Did it really help to be a Japanese colony? An article on East Asian economic performance in historical perspective. A push to legally enshrine Buddhism as Thailand's official creed could inflame sectarian discord. A review of The Khyber Pass: A history of Empire and invasion by Paddy Docherty. The United States has spent $2bn creating an Afghan army that it hopes will prove an effective anti-Taliban force. Some of its members seem keen to fight, but it is not easy to get any of them out of bed in the morning. Her son's death on 9/11 spurred Sally Goodrich to do the one thing she knows best: educate. The beneficiaries of her grief became young girls in war-ravaged Afghanistan. The uses and limits of soft power: A review of Charm Offensive by Joshua Kurlantzick. Sunnis break with Al Qaeda: A split among the Sunni insurgency in Iraq is creating new allies for the Shiite-led government. When you look at the history of human warfare, civil wars always stand out: Wariness, not hatred, keeps civil wars raging. Sometimes in war, you can put a price on life: When soldiers at war run amok, prosecution is only the first step toward justice. Legitimate compensation and a real show of contrition must also be offered. It's our cage, too: Assertions that "torture works" may reassure a fearful public, but it is a false security. If the United States spreads its Middle Eastern disaster into Iran, it won't be the fault of George W. Bush alone – a Democratic Congress will share some of the blame. Fortunately, the legislative branch has effective options for stopping war before it starts. From Slate, Bushies Behaving Badly: An illustrated guide to GOP scandals. The Enterprising American: A look at Bush policy guru Karl Zinsmeister's dicy past. From ePluribus Media, an article on the GOP, GeorgeWBush.com and the line that jumped the Congressional firewall; and resurrecting Jim Crow: The erratic resume of the voting section chief, and more on dismantling voting rights enforcement. With Election Day registration, all qualified voters can participate in the vital American tradition of voting without finding themselves hampered by arbitrary registration deadlines. A red state in 2004, Florida's in play once again. From LA Weekly, a special issue on LA People 2007. And Los Angeles’ many cultures are testing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa—and his style of politics
[May 16] A majority of people around the world favour strengthening the United Nations to increase its role in peacekeeping, fighting terror and in stopping nuclear proliferation, a new survey has found, and an interview with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Who will win in the 21st century? In the IMD's World Competitiveness Yearbook, the US came in first once again. But other nations are closing the gap. Farmers in Kenya, Burkina Faso and Senegal used to be able to make ends meet. Today they have trouble selling their goods because of subsidized exports from industrial nations that are sold in Africa at dumping prices. But will the West ever change? A review of Poisoned Wells: The Dirty Politics of African Oil by Nicholas Shaxson. An interview with John Ghazvinian, author of Untapped: The Scramble for Africa's Oil. From Foreign Policy, a look at the fast-growing faiths that are upending the old world order. An ability to absorb conflict: A review of India after Gandhi by Ramachandra Guha. Martha Nussbaum on The Clash Within: The frictions that erode democracies are not between civilizations, but within ourselves. The experience of India is instructive, and deeply worrisome. Is freedom failing? Peter Beinart investigates. An ominous arrest in Iran: The unjust detention of an Iranian-American academic shows Ahmadinejad to be his US antagonists' doppelganger. Shlomo Ben-Ami on America’s suicidal statecraft. What price slaughter? In New York and Jalalabad, human life is valued differently -- by the US government. Interventionism's Last Hold-Out: Kanan Makiya, the Iraqi exile who convinced many liberal interventionists to support the war, now stands alone in saying invasion was the right decision. Form Truthout, Dean Baker on the economic costs of the Iraq War. Blowing Off the War: Paul Waldman on how conservatives know virtually nothing about Iraq or the Walter Reed scandal if they get their news from right-wing media. But they do know that Democrats are to blame. While Republicans try to figure out how to end their war, Democrats should begin thinking about how to secure some peace. That means pursuing Mid-East diplomacy themselves. Branding the Democrats: Staring down the president on the firing of U.S. attorneys sends a message of Democratic toughness. And an interview with anti-war Republican Rep. Wayne Gilchrest on Iraq, the Bush administration, and the "dissolving" GOP
[May 30] From
Mother Jones, a message to you, Rudy
Giuliani: How the zero-tolerance policies
of "America's Mayor" set us up for the
Patriot Act and Guantanamo. A review
of Ghost Plane: the inside story of the CIA’s
secret rendition programme. Pearl's wisdom:
A new film about the murder of the American journalist
raises the question: why doesn't more mainstream
culture delineate radical Islam? From TNR,
who's afraid of Tariq Ramadan? Paul Berman reviews
To Be a European Muslim; Islam, the
West, and the Challenges of Modernity; Western
Muslims and the Future of Islam; and In
the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the
Life of Muhammad; the cult of the Washington whistle-blower: Whistle-blowing has become a full-fledged personal identity--a scene with its own specialized lawyers, therapists, 40-odd advocacy groups, a publishing imprint, swag, and even a timeless
philosophy; and how energy
independence threatens the environment:
Bradford Plumer on how Big Coal cozied up to
Democrats, and a look at how the Bushies killed
the EPA's clean-up program. Robert J. Samuelson
on The Case for Gouging: Higher gas prices may be the best way to slow global warming.
Even supporters of alternative energy agree that
way to cut carbon emissions and air
pollution is to focus more on efficiency. When
it comes to energy sources, nuclear fusion used
to be the wallflower. But now, scientists are
working to see if it could be a
safe and environmentally-friendly way
of producing electricity. How to turn global
warming into a tourist attraction: Celebrities
are flocking to a small town in Greenland
– helping to accelerate the very
climate-change process they've come to witness.
From FT, Gideon Rachman on Obama and the comforting myth of political consensus.
In defence of the rich, sort of: Criticising
candidates who fight for the poor while enjoying a life
of personal excess misses the reality of
American politics. Ezra Klein on giving
bigger government a chance: For too long, we've bought the idea that
government has failed us. For the record, it isn’t
until the fourth page of the introduction to his
No Excuses, that Robert Shrum
begins making excuses. Party Unfaithful: Jeffrey
Goldberg on the Republican
implosion. The Conservative Mind: Peter
Berkowitz on how the American right is a cauldron of
debate; the left isn't. From 3:AM,
The Last Revolution in Town: An interview with Christopher
Hitchens on the death of that other
religion: liberalism. A review
of Our First Revolution: The Remarkable British Upheaval That Inspired America's Founding
Fathers by Michael Barone. A review
of Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr.
of Blood and Thunder: An epic of the American West; Crazy Horse:
A Lakota life; and Violence Over the Land: Indians and empires in the early American west.
The American Iconoclast (and part
2). A review
of Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
An interview with Thomas Mallon,
author of Mrs. Paine’s Garage and the
Murder of John F. Kennedy. From New York,
Cramer vs. Cramer: “Why does everybody hate
Wall Street maniac explains his critics, the
market, and himself. A review
of The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frčres & Co.
And from The Brookings Institution, an article
mobility: Is the American Dream alive and
[May 29] The New Establishment: How evangelicals became part of Washington's fabric. A review of The Jesus Machine: How James Dobson, Focus on the Family, and Evangelical America Are Winning the Culture War by Dan Gilgoff. The Young and the Restless: Monica Goodling is merely an emblem of the conservative legal establishment's strange youth culture--one that offers extraordinary opportunities to people at bizarrely young ages. The Goodling Girl: Emily Bazelon and Dahlia Lithwick on how Monica Goodling played the gender card and won. Justice by a Lower Standard: Here are lessons from the U.S. Attorneys scandal. From Logos, a review of The History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to the Globalization Era. Niall Ferguson on reviving the evil empire: There is no such thing as the future. There are only futures, plural. Historians are supposed to confine themselves to the study of the past, but by drawing analogies between yesterday and today, they can sometimes suggest plausible tomorrows. Fascism and America: Comparisons between Nazi Germany and today's US government are glib, inaccurate and unworthy. Matthew Parris on why the trouble with democracy is that you just can’ t trust it. A counsel of despair: The age of empires and foreign intervention is over, said Eric Hobsbawm at Hay, and it is far from clear what will replace them. As the Bush era reaches an undignified end, marred by the Iraq war, Americans are doing what they do best: Chasing their next dream. Come in, it's safe: Claims that illegal immigrants threaten national security are based on a misunderstanding of both immigrants and security. Black culture itself is in trouble: The greatest obstacle to success for middle-class blacks is not white racism but the allure of hip-hop culture. Frank Furedi diagnoses something rotten in the trend to label political or cultural views as phobias that must be treated. In this era of political correctness, any hint of male/female differences often leads to roaring anger among the masses and, if possible, the firing of a powerful male a la Harvard's Larry Summers - - unless, of course, the said sex difference makes men look animalistic or ridiculous. Beware of the "on ramp" myth currently being peddled to unwitting women. The road back to a full-time career after taking time off to raise kids is far from smooth. Crisis pregnancy centers focus on the woman -- and stretch the truth -- to save the child. A review of Waiting for Daisy: A Tale of Two Continents, Three Religions, Five Infertility Doctors, an Oscar, an Atomic Bomb, a Romantic Night, and One Woman’s Quest to Become a Mother by Peggy Orenstein. From IEET, an article on sex selection and women’s reproductive rights. Form Logos, a review of Defiant Birth: Women Who Resist Medical Eugenics and Too Late to Die Young: Nearly True Tales from a Life; Kurt Jacobsen on the mystique of genetic engineering; and Ian Williams on the afterlife of an atheist. From Reset, an interview with Daniel Dennett on Breaking the Spell. A review of In Defence of Atheism: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism and Islam by Michel Onfray (and more). A Canterbury Tale: A review of Grace and Necessity by Rowan Williams. More on Sacred Causes by Michael Burleigh. 75 years ago in The Atlantic, in the midst of the Great Depression, British economist John Maynard Keynes considered the prospects for capitalism's survival. Humility Kills: Peter Singer on how an ancient virtue hampers the fight against extreme poverty. A review of The Worst of Evils: The Fight Against Pain by Thomas Dormandy. And Death & Politics: Joseph Bottum on how the deepest roots of a civilization are in its funerals and memorials. The dead define culture
[May 28] Life, liberty, and the folks back home: First they come to America. Then they start changing the world. From Logos, Philip Green on Immigration: Myths and Principles and Charlotte Collett on France and immigration; and a review essay on The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic and Blowback: The Causes and Consequences of American Empire by Chalmers Johnson. Bush's Amazing Achievement: Jonathan Freedland reviews Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic by Chalmers Johnson; Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower by Zbigniew Brzezinski and Statecraft and How to Restore America's Standing in the World by Dennis Ross. George Weigel on Just War and Iraq Wars. You could be forgiven for thinking that neoconservatives have had their day. But that would be a grave error, warns political philosopher Shadia Drury. More on Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America by Cullen Murphy. George Scialabba reviews The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, by Niall Ferguson. A review of The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World by Rupert Smith. A review of Napoleon in Egypt: The greatest glory, by Paul Strathern. A review of Garibaldi: Invention of a Hero. Less than Frank: A review of FDR by Jean Edward Smith. If Hitler was crazy, too often it was like a fox: A review of The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy. A review of The Unknown Gulag: The Lost World of Stalin's Special Settlements. A review of The Fire: The Bombing of Germany, 1940–1945, by Joerg Friedrich. A review of In Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War by David Reynolds. A review of Pearl Harbor: A Novel of December 8th by Newt Gingrich. More on Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power. A review of The Reagan Diaries (and more). From NYRB, a review of The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public by Sarah E. Igo. The Specter Haunting Your Office: James Lardner reviews The Disposable American: Layoffs and Their Consequences by Louis Uchitelle; The Great American Jobs Scam by Greg LeRoy; and The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism by John C. Bogle. More and more on Al Gore's The Assault on Reason. The Unintended Consequences of Hyperhydration: Health-conscious Americans consume 30 billion single-serving containers of bottled water a year. Supporters of new bottle bills are trying to figure out what to do with all the plastic. And increasingly, the military sees energy efficiency -- and moving away from oil -- as part of its national security mission. Does that mean the Pentagon is turning green?
[Weekend] From The National Interest, Beyond American Hegemony: If the Iraq War is seen as merely a bad application of a fundamentally sound U.S. grand strategy of hegemony, the United States will set itself up for other self-inflicted disasters in the future. An excerpt from A Capitol Idea: Think Tanks and US Foreign Policy pdf. A review of Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy behind the Military Mind. Inside the jihadi worldview: One man tells of what it is like to think like a terror suspect. A review of The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid. William Langewiesche’s The Atomic Bazaar, his new book on proliferation, is quite scary. The good news is that he gets most of it wrong. From The Mises Institute, an article in defense of strip malls. Can block clubs block despair? Why do some poor communities fall apart while others cohere? Community organization can make a difference -- up to a point. Being Unemployed: The toughest lack of a job you'll ever love. Matthew Yglesias on why a guest-worker program is bad for immigrants, bad for native workers and bad for America. A review of Tariq Modood's Multiculturalism: A Civic Idea. Recently the government has moved away from the idea of terrorist-as-murderer, with terrorism charges sought when all the evidence shows that the defendants took affirmative steps to make sure no one would be endangered. From Reason, Crackbrained Crack Crackdown: There's no rational basis for the federal government's cocaine sentencing policy. A review of Martha Stewart's Legal Troubles. Can a public figure have a private life? Peter Singer wants to know. From the Annals of Medacious Punditry, an article on the work of Larry Kudlow, Pin Striped Perfidy. An interview with Kevin Drum of The Washington Monthly on blogging. An article on how Spencer Ackerman got Too Hot for TNR. Getting beyond hollow, theatrical contrarianism and into a realm of real, good-faith debate will require overhauling the way that writers, especially political writers, make their living. What's the point of books? John McWhorter investigates. From Human Events, here are the Top 10 books Nancy Pelosi should read. An interview with Marcus Stern, author of The Wrong Stuff: The Extraordinary Saga of Randy “Duke” Cunningham, the Most Corrupt Congressman Ever Caught. Dancing into the Majority: Once alienated, grassroots activists are finding ways to work with the Democratic Party establishment. From The Village Voice, Secrets of the Mob: Geezer gangster George Barone sings like a canary. A review of White Ethnic New York: Jews, Catholics, and the Shaping of Postwar Politics. From The New York Observer, The Bad Old Days: Remember flashing? Abe Beame? Robin Byrd? $300 West Side rents? Wake up and recall the urine! If you can’t, the vets say you’re not a real New Yorker. And congratulations, New York! You are home to the worst national park in the country
[May 25] From Political Affairs, an article on the childhood origins of adult resistance to Marxism. Champions of the Lost Cause: Obsession, defiance, grit: The line between indomitable genius and hopeless holdout is blurred. We all have the capacity to chase unlikely dreams, but for some people, the pursuit becomes its own reward. Should policies nudge people to make certain choices? Economists Mario Rizzo and Richard Thaler to hash it out. From Forbes, Nassim Nicholas Taleb on how you can't predict who will change the world. Revolt of the CEOs: A massive expansion of the federal government, supported by big business, is on the way. Conservatives couldn't be less prepared. The GOP coddles fat cats: Jonathan Chait on letting stockholders set CEO pay and other communist plots. The Price of Citizenship: When the super-rich use offshore tax havens to avoid paying what they owe in taxes, the consequence ought to be the loss of their U.S. citizenship. A review of Pop! Why Bubbles are Great for the Economy by Daniel Gross. From Financial Times, here's all you need to know about the perils of management fads. Period. The politics of plenty: How mass affluence shapes American politics and culture. Hollywood Values Save America! From Mel Gibson to Ann Coulter to Don Imus, the backlash against celebrity bigots has rolled eastward. The frayed knot: As the divorce rate plummets at the top of American society and rises at the bottom, the widening “marriage gap” is breeding inequality. Notwithstanding this ground of common agreement, the differences between liberalism and libertarianism are fundamental and irreconcilable. More on Brian Doherty’s Radicals for Capitalism. Let artists have their overturned chairs, shipping pallets and moaning suitcases (trust me on this one). But in the political realm, don't cede an inch to anarchy. The No. 1 goal of cultural Marxism has been the destruction of Western culture and the Christian religion: An excerpt from The Culture-wise Family: Upholding Christian Values in a Mass Media World by Ted Baehr and Pat Boone. Does God have enemies? An excerpt from The Message of the Old Testament. A review of God on Trial: Dispatches from America's Religious Battlefields by Peter Irons. An excerpt from Al Gore's The Assault on Reason (and a review). A review of Urban Meltdown: Cities, Climate Change and Politics as Usual by Clive Doucet. How to Win the Energy War: The basic elements of a responsible energy policy are not complicated, but the politics are horrendous. There finally seems to be some momentum to improve U.S. agricultural policy. But will it be enough to fix the farm bill? End It, Don't Mend It: How to get rid of farm subsidies once and for all. The $3-a-day diet: Can a vegetarian who wants to eat healthy subsist only on government food stamps? Death by Veganism: You cannot create and nourish a robust baby merely on foods from plants. A review of Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande and Final Exam: A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality by Pauline W. Chen. From Nerve, an interview with Eric Schaeffer, author of Can't Believe I'm Still Single, in which he insists he's not every single woman's worst nightmare; and going gentile into that good night: Why are non-Jews flocking to Jdate.com? And One Night Only: Why some women prefer one-night stands to dating
[May 24] Donald MacKenzie (Edinburgh): Finding the Ratchet: The Political Economy of Carbon Trading. From Sign and Sight, Leo Tuor has felt the effects of global warming right up to his belly button. Polymers are Forever: Alarming tales of a most prevalent and problematic substance. A review of Oil on The Brain: Adventures from the Pump to the Pipeline. A review of Ecology Without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics. From Satya, an interview with Diane Beers, author of For the Prevention of Cruelty: The History and Legacy of Animal Rights Activism in the United States; and can’t a guy destroy a slaughterhouse without being called a “terrorist”? A review of Last Harvest: How a Cornfield Became New Daleville. From Satya, an interview with Juliette Williams on White Gold: The True Cost of Cotton; and an interview with Pietra Rivoli, author of The Travels of A T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power and Politics of World Trade. From National Review, an interview with Peter Schweizer and Wynton C. Hall, editors of Landmark Speeches of the American Conservative Movement. As Giuliani emerges, conservative Catholic organizations are in the process of rolling out potentially broad-reaching “viral” initiatives with the common aim of denying him the Republican nomination. Uniting conservative Catholics, evangelicals and neoconservatives to fight a theoconservative holy war: A review of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. Max Blumenthal on the Diary of a Christian Terrorist. P.R. firm for a Christian nation: Christian Newswire serves Jerry Falwell, Operation Rescue, Focus on the Family... and the White House. From Skeptical Inquirer, an essay on Fighting the Fundamentalists: Chamberlain or Churchill?; a review of The God Delusion; are silent prayers transmissible to, or readable by, a supernatural being?; the ongoing debate between scientists and creationists has ignored the contradictions contained in Genesis; and psychic vibrations: An article on The Incredible Bouncing Cow. From Free Inquiry, Tom Flynn on the seductions of misbelief; a review of Philip Kitcher's Living with Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith; Peter Singer on treating (or not) the tiniest babies; and an essay on religion and child abuse. Have we raised a generation of narcissists? It's 10 p.m. Do you know how big your child's ego is? The invisible mommies: A spate of new books about opting out adds more fuel to the mommy wars. But will our focus on educated, well-paid women ever trickle down to less fortunate moms? A review of Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success, by Sylvia Ann Hewlett. And do the cliches about the fortes and failings of men and women stand up to scientific scrutiny?
[May 23] From Liberty, two reviews of Brian Doherty's Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement (and a reply by Doherty). From Socialist Standard, the US anarcho-capitalist Libertarians are wrong to think that capitalism could exist without a state or that its competitive struggle for profits does not lead to wars. A review of Capitalism. A Very Short Introduction; Socialism: A Very Short Introduction; and Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction. A review of Gabriel Kolko’s After Socialism: Reconstructing Critical Social Thought. From Quadrant, an essay on The True Genesis of Amnesty International; a review of The Triumph of the Airheads and the Retreat from Commonsense, by Shelley Gare; more on Stefan Collini’s Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain; and more on Michael Burleigh's Sacred Causes: Religion and Politics from the European Dictators to Al Qaeda. From Free Inquiry, what time is it: Lights out for belief, or the dawn of a new age of faith? Perhaps neither; Sam Harris on the myth of secular moral chaos; and should we respect religion? Barbara Smoker wants to know. Atheists versus Theists Humans need a "likely tale" to hold on to, to give the chaotic mass of their experiential content some coherence. From Reason, James Dobson, Drama Queen: Big plans from the small-tent Republican; Spiritual Highs and Legal Blows: The power and peril of religious exemptions from drug prohibition; and Looking for God in All the Wrong Places: How can you have a religion without a church? Hanging baptists: Whence this theocratic oligopoly battling the "secular-humanist homofeminists"? From Peacework, why progressives must reframe the narrow terms of marriage politics. From Monitor on Psychology, more than a feeling: New research suggests love may be a drive as primal as thirst or hunger; Love's not sex: Why romantic love isn't limited by a person's sexual orientation; and one school of thought holds love is destined to ebb. Another finds it all depends on the lovers. How's your love life? 60 years after Kinsey, Americans remain shy about answering. Wendy Kaminer on porn, punishment, and hysteria. Al Gore's revenge is to have been right: right about the Internet and global warming, and right about Iraq. A review of The Assault on Reason (and more and more). From Frontline, a look at the politics behind the US government's failure to act on the biggest environmental problem of our time. What Stern got wrong: The Stern review on the economics of climate change completely fails to acknowledge the imminent decline in global oil production. Change the rules, change the future: New energy rules could unleash an economic boom and help quash climate change. From Scientific American, drafty buildings, inefficient appliances and mountains of waste will all need to be transformed to control global warming. The Zero-Energy Solution: How a system installed in your own backyard may one day power your house and your car. A look at why working less is better for the globe. Practise what you preach: An article on the uneven advice of green-living guides. A new issue of Geotimes, is out, including an article on The Plague: Could it happen again? And bad bugs: Drug-resistant microbes are evolving into a public health problem too widespread to ignore
[May 22] From The New Yorker, Angels and Ages: Adam Gopnik on Lincoln’s language and its legacy; and O Lucky Man! Nicholas Lemann reviews The Reagan Diaries. A review of Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989 by Michael Beschloss (and an excerpt). Gay in D.C. during the height of McCarthyism: A review of Fellow Travelers by Thomas Mallon (and more). Alan Brinkley reviews Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years by David Talbot (and more). A review of Vincent Bugliosi's Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. An interview with R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., author of The Clinton Crack-Up: The Boy President's Life After the White House. From The Texas Observer, Being Warren Chisum: Inside the mind of the state's most powerful fundamentalist. The death of the Rev. Jerry Falwell highlighted the evangelical Christian movement’s recent evolution. Down, but Maybe Not Out: Seeing the persistence of the conservative movement through two of its most recent fallen — Paul Wolfowitz and Jerry Falwell. Church and State: Frances FitzGerald on how Jerry Falwell shaped American society. Frank Rich on the Reverend Falwell's heavenly timing. A review of Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion. A review of On Conscience and more and more on Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI. A review of The Power and the Glory: Inside the Dark Heart of John Paul II's Vatican. What does a girl have to do to get excommunicated? Catholic officials keep threatening to excommunicate pro-choice politicians and activists like Frances Kissling. She thinks they're bluffing, and canon law is on her side. The indomitable Ms. Choice is being hectored and picketed by Ms. Right-To-Life. The abortion debate is back. From Alternet, A "Ho" By Any Other Color: A look at the history and economics of Black Female Sexual Exploitation. Women are appalled by this new, demeaning, oversexed (and sold out) statuette of Mary Jane from the Spider-Man comic. A review of Janet Halley's Split Decisions: How and Why to Take a Break from Feminism. A review of Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Women’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters. A review of Clean: A History of Personal Hygiene and Purity by Virginia Smith. What could she possibly be thinking? A review of The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine. A review of Angus McLaren's Impotence: A Cultural History. From Wired, an article on the uncomfortable reality of sex in space. What are the scientific reasons for having sex? "People who have sex at least twice a week don't want to work". The quickest way for longtime couples to rekindle romance may be to pretend they’re strangers. An interview with Virginia Vitzthum, author of I Love You, Let's Meet: Adventures in Online Dating. And diamonds haven’t always been forever: How the jewelry industry convinced us true love costs $4,000
[May 21] From Environment, "Dry": Three stories of adaptation to Life Without Water. From New Internationalist, a special issue of The State of the World's Ocean. From The Hindu, an empty sea, a silver beach: Following the tsunami, the artisanal fishermen of Alappuzha face many threats that affect their traditional livelihood. Ocean Blues: America’s once-bountiful seafood supply has been decimated. Can the president say kapu? As latest research confirms the effect of climate change on the coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia is gearing to deal with the threat to its greatest natural resource. Stopping the loggers is the fastest and cheapest solution to climate change. So why are global leaders turning a blind eye to this crisis? From Technology Review, planning for a climate-changed world: As the global picture grows grimmer, states and cities are searching for the fine-scale predictions they need to prepare for emergencies—and to keep the faucets running (and part 2). What would Rachel Carson have thought of the Bush era? Elizabeth Kolbert wants to know. From Monthly Review, an article on the imperative of an International Guaranteed Income. Thomas E. Woods on Plunder or Enterprise: The World's Choice. From Financial Times, an article on Robert Merton and the appliance of financial science. An interview is the first publicity event for Alan Greenspan's forthcoming book, The Age of Turbulence. From TAP, Beyond "Card Check": What a comprehensive labor agenda would look like — and why the Democratic presidential candidates should be put on record with their stances on it. Time Off for the Overworked American: A growing movement seeks to ensure that all workers have paid time off — and feel free to take advantage of it. Why is income inequality in America so pronounced? Consider education. A review of Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole by Benjamin R. Barber. The Next Social Contract: The candidate best able to articulate a new set of mutual obligations between America's citizens, employers, and government may be the one to lead us into the 21st century. From The Economist, greed is still good: But who is Gordon Gekko now? A review of Age of Betrayal: The Triumph of Money in America, 1865-1900. A review of The Money Lawyers: The No-Holds-Barred World of Today's Richest and Most Powerful Lawyers. From TNR, Jonathan Cohn on why Clinton and Obama should get specific on health care (and a response by Mark Schmitt), and a review of Sick: The Untold Story of America's Health Care Crisis — And the People Who Pay the Price. And a review of Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande
[Weekend 2e] From Time, he has fallen out of love with politics. But friends, moneymen and an army of green activists are begging Al Gore to run; and an excerpt from The Assault on Reason. From Seed, can the power of the moving image save the environment? From New Scientist, a series of articles on climate change: A guide for the perplexed. From Mute, a series of articles on climate change: It's not easy being green. An interview with renowned climate scientist James Hansen. Until global warming, the hidden cost of the growth-is-good myth was only clear to party-pooper ecologists. A look at how city-dwellers are far more likely to be green than their rural counterparts. An excerpt from Mike Davis's Planet of Slums (and a review). An impoverished ghetto will be impossible for a comfortable world to tolerate, says the author of The Bottom Billion (and a review). From FT, big cities get a bad rap -- they’re more congested, they create more pollution, and they have more crime, but a study shows bigger is better. In the slums of Rio, special forces soldiers fight a dangerous daily battle against armed drug gangs. The Numbers Guy goes in search of the world’s most livable cities. From The Nation, the Third World was never imagined as a place but rather a project, one that was ultimately doomed by globalization--it awaits a resurrection. A review of Poor Story: An Insider Uncovers How Globalisation and Good Intentions Have Failed the World's Poor. A review of Bound Together: How Traders, Preachers, Adventurers, and Warriors Shaped Globalization. From Contemporary Politics, an essay on globalization and the new world order; and an article on Stefan Collini's Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain, Harold Pinter and Bob Dylan (and more on Dylan and the ageing of the West). Saving globalization from itself: There are concrete ways to counter the fears of change and increasing inequality that are fueling the current backlash against trade liberation pdf. An essay on globalized corporations and the erosion of state power. From The Globalist, an article on the IMF’s role in fostering global prosperity. Whoever succeeds Paul Wolfowitz faces a delicate balancing act. He must restore the morale of the bank’s staff while retaining the confidence of its American donors. From Financial Times, Henry Paulson on why the key test of accurate financial reporting is trust; and are the big three -- Standard & Poor's, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings -- up to the job, particularly in the huge, fast-growing and complex market for "structured finance"? From The Economist, speaking in tongues: Dragging America down the rocky road to a set of global accounting rules; and on the alchemists of finance: Global investment banks are taking ever more risk, and are devising ever more sophisticated ways of spreading it. Is that reassuring or worrying? And Daniel Gross and Daniel Altman debate Connected: 24 Hours in the Global Economy
[Weekend] From Anthropoetics, although the coming and passing of the postmodern era has posed challenges to the market system, it has not put an end to the modern political dichotomy of Left and Right. A review of Wolves In Sheep's Clothing: The New Liberal Menace in America by Stephen Marshall. From The Freeman, a review of Reason: Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America by Robert Reich. A review of Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution by Michael D. Tanner. From National Review, against the Porkbusters: Ramesh Ponnuru on why conservatives should find another crusade. Clive Crook on the baffling politics of immigration. An interview with Philippe Legrain, author of Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them. Evolution, Immigration and Trade: America's success in lowering its barriers to outsiders shows that we can and do learn. But like reading, we must teach each generation anew. From TNR, an interview with Charles Barkley on xenophobes, Al Sharpton, and the rich. After all but banning the word from New Haven, the N-word is back—big-time. A review of The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn't, and Why by Jabari Asim. From The Black Commentator, an article on The Real Truth About Snitching. How do they figure the payouts for people who were wrongly convicted? 18 years in prison? Priceless. The case for the prosecution: Prison may not deter or rehabilitate but, for the length of incarceration, it does keep criminals off the streets, says Richard Tomkins. America's Imprisoned Kids: The US is an outlier in the world when it comes to detaining and sentencing juvenile offenders as adults. But there are finally signs of change. Reconnecting childhood and society: A review of Idolising Children: Why We Should Respect, Not Revere, Our Children. Manners and moral authority: Good manners don't occur naturally - they are about rules. From PopMatters, we've grown accustomed to the planned obsolescence of our products; we assuage the continual threat of obsolescence of our personalities by continually changing, refreshing ourselves like an email inbox. A new wave of young entrepreneurs is using our passion for healthy lifestyles as a way of promoting global economic and social justice. An epidemic of meddling: Jacob Sullum on the totalitarian implications of public health. What's wrong with American medicine? A review of How Doctors Think and Better: A Surgeon's Note on Performance. Is the smoking ban a good idea? Christopher Hitchens and Simon Hoggart put forward their arguments. Fever Pitch: Do drugs ads make us sick? As Prozac reaches its 20th birthday, Anna Moore presents 20 things you need to know about the most widely used antidepressant in the world. Race and economic factors play a role in the party drugs teens choose. So are pain pills really the new pot? And a review of The Art of Aging: A Doctor’s Prescription for Well-Being by Sherwin B. Nuland
[May 18] From Conversations With History, an interview with Chalmers Johnson, author of Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic, an interview with Niall Ferguson, author of The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, and an interview with John Micklethwait on globalization and the conservative movement in the US. "When we get big, you can expect that from the other side": Harmon Leon infiltrates a right wing protest group. Theocons of the World, Unite! A review of The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11 by Dinesh D'Souza. From Eureka Street, why militant anti-theism is a God-send. Michael Novak on why Christopher Hitchens is a treasure. Jerry Falwell, whose foul rantings prove you can get away with anything if you have "Reverend" in front of your name, is best known for crusading against abortion and homosexuality. But early on, he skillfully used race to galvanize the Christian right, though his successors in the Christian right learned the lesson he never did: how to brand and commodify faith for pop cultural consumption. God without the godfather: How will the religious right get on without Falwell? The Accidental Modernist: An article on the real legacy of Jerry Falwell. A review of The Culturally Savvy Christian: A Manifesto for Deepening Faith and Enriching Popular Culture in an Age of Christianity-Lite. Tribal Relations: How Americans really sort out on cultural and religious issues—and what it means for our politics. How to be a hippy fascist: An interview with James Delingpole, author How To Be Right: The Essential Guide to Making Lefty Liberals History. Do Republicans still care about social issues? Ramesh Ponnuru and Thomas B. Edsall debate. The Scorecard: There isn't a scorecard of social injustice that makes one group more worthy of equality than others. How to run against a woman: Thanks to a certain New York senator's presidential candidacy, the battle for the hearts, minds, and votes of America's women has never been trickier. Why are baying men still telling women what to do with their bodies? Ian Bell wants to know. Porn Again: Garance Franke-Ruta on how the new pornographers are exploiting young women, and why liberals should care. A review of Adolescent Sexuality: A Historical Handbook and Guide. Porn for the People: Each day, thousands of suburban sybarites videotape themselves doing the nasty, then post their efforts on the Web. Lily, Wills and the rest of the world: Our sense of what is private and what is public has change since the advent of MySpace, and other social networking sites. The Decline and Fall of the Private Self: Today's tell-all bloggers and MySpace denizens have made the notion of a guarded personal life feel obsolete. What effect does such exposure have on the psyche? The Therapeutic Culture: Yale Kramer on how we coddle the mentally ill (and responses). The fact is simple: happiness cannot be taught, any more than loyalty can, or truthfulness. How to lose friends and influence politics: A review of Friendship and Betrayal: Ambition and the Limits of Loyalty. A review of A Crowd of One: The Future of Individual Identity (and more). On the Origin of Grandmas: They pinch your cheeks, knit you sweaters and feed you mountains of mashed potatoes. Is that why you're still alive? Joseph Epstein on Death Benefits: That lives have strikingly different beginnings and wildly various middles, but all have the same ending has a calming effect. Recovering the Disappeared: How do you memorialize people who vanish?
[May 17] From Think Tank, America Quo Vadis: Max Boot and Dennis Ross debate the limits of diplomacy (and part 2). A review of Cullen Murphy's Are We Rome? From Claremont Review of Books, a review of America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, by Mark Steyn; a review of The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11, by Dinesh D'Souza; a review of The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege, by Damon Linker; and a review of Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America—and What We Can Do About It, by Juan Williams; Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America, by John McWhorter; and White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era, by Shelby Steele. From Salon, Alan Wolfe on how Jerry Falwell spent a career demonizing others. Upon his death, what else could he expect in return? (and more). Farewell to Falwell: A look at Jerry Falwell's nasty contributions to American political life. Don’t Believe the Hype: Jerry Falwell built a megachurch, and created a university, both laudable feats. But his influence on American politics has been vastly overstated (and here is Jerry Falwell's Hit Parade and a few Jerry Falwell quotes). The Devil and Jerry Falwell Jeffrey Goldberg chats with the late reverend about Judaism and the Antichrist. A review of Why Politics Needs Religion: The Place of Religious Arguments in the Public Square by Brendan Sweetman. From Secular Web, a review of Sam Harris' The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason; a review of Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion; and a review of Science and Religion: Are They Compatible?, ed. Paul Kurtz. From Commonweal, can’t we all just get along? A history of religious coexistence. From Christianity Today, a review of The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South by Philip Jenkins; a review of Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action and Saving God's Green Earth: Rediscovering the Church's Responsibility to Environmental Stewardship; and evangelicals are tempted by moralism because they've forgotten what God wants at the center. Church Militant: A review of God’s War: A New History of the Crusades, by Christopher Tyerman. More on Pope Benedict's Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration. Among the most popular religions to have flowered since the 1960s, Wicca — a form of paganism — still faces a struggle for acceptance. And from American Sexuality, sermon with a feminist touch: An article on the kidnapping of Aimee Semple McPherson; Got a Groovey Thing Goin': An interview with Richard Croker, author of The Boomer Century 1946-2046; that ain't White: A look at the long and ugly history of "trash" talk; and a view from inside: An interview with transgender activist Jackson Bowman on the Stanton case
[May 16] The Ghost of George Kennan: A review of Containment: Rebuilding a Strategy Against Global Terror by Ian Shapiro and The End of Alliances by Rajan Menon. Scott McLemme reviews Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America by Cullen Murphy. (and more and more). A review of After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire by John Darwin (and more). Jihad deja vu: A bloody 19th century revolt against the British looks terribly familiar. As a teenager Ed Husain was intoxicated with jihadism, and his highly acclaimed new book blames British Muslims for failing to tackle extremism, and a review of The Islamist. Daniel L. Byman on the rise of low-tech terrorism. No satisfactory resolution of the debate over the treatment of suspected terrorists is likely until a new administration takes over. A review of Military Justice in Vietnam: The Rule of Law in an American War. Navy veteran David Miller said that when he checked into the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City, he didn’t realize he would get a hard sell for Christian fundamentalism along with treatment for his kidney stones. From Financial Times, women have long been able to borrow from the male wardrobe, and now old-fashioned femininity is slowly creeping into men’s wear collections. How the media skew gender research: Studies that appear to support traditional roles for women get picked up and popularized, while more nuanced research just can't seem to generate buzz. How the media perpetuate women's fears of being a bad mother: Contrary to what the media report, putting your child in day care will not make them grow up to be a criminal or Columbine-like killer. From n+1, Replaceable You: Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous is adamantly against turning love into mysticism, or self-abnegation (and part 2). Feeling stressed? No sex leads to less sex, research shows. Too Much Information: Rebecca Traister on how blogs have ruined her dating life, and Nerve's new wiki lets you share your favorite pickup lines with a fine community of skeeves. Objectophilia, fetishism and neo-sexuality: Some people love their laptops more than anything else in the world. Others are sexually aroused by musical instruments or buildings. Experts are trying to understand a bizarre sexual obsession known as objectophilia. Virtual rape is traumatic, but is it a crime? And pushing sex offenders to the edges of society may sound like a good way to keep kids safe. But what if residency restriction laws have the opposite effect?
Mark Greenberg (UCLA): Naturalism
and Normativity in the Philosophy of Law.
John Hasnas (Georgetown): The
Depoliticization of Law.
Russell Pearce (Fordham): The Legal Profession as a Blue State: Reflections on Public Philosophy, Jurisprudence, and Legal
Curtis J. Milhaupt and Katharina Pistor (Columbia): Law
and Capitalism: What Corporate Crises Reveal About Legal Systems and
Economic Development Around the World. From Dissent, teaching Plato in Palestine:
philosophy save the Middle East?; and an interview with Sari Nusseibeh,
author of Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life.
A review of Talking India: Ashis Nandy in conversation with Ramin Jahanbegloo.
of Robert of Arbrissel: Sex, Sin and Salvation in the Middle Ages.
review of Demonstration and Scientific Knowledge in William of Ockham.
from Empires of the Atlantic: World Britain and Spain in America 1492-1830.
of Wilfred Thesiger: The life of a great explorer.
of The Silent Deep: The Discovery, Ecology, and Conservation of the Deep Sea
by Tony Koslow and The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss
by Claire Nouvian.
From PopMatters, a review
of New Cultural Studies: Adventures in Theory, ed. Gary Hall and
Clare Birchall. A review
of Impossible Conservatism [Le Conservatisme impossible: Libéraux et réactionnaires en France depuis 1789].
From n+1, Nikil Saval
on V., in honor of Memorial Day. From The New Yorker, How I Spent the War:
as a recruit in the Waffen S.S. From New York, Literary Idol: Discussion of, and the engagement in, the
unearthing of pleasantly surprising
books, including a gimmicky showdown among the city's most promising up-and-comers, and a critic-compiled list of 60 criminally underrated novels, and more.
Publishing gets a little less indie: There’s soul searching among the industry’s little guys as Perseus closes two recently acquired imprints.
of The Little Book of Plagiarism by Richard A. Posner. Atheist authors grapple with believers: Many books decrying
religion's negative influence on the world are bestsellers.
Reading the Book of Jim: The co-discoverer of the double helix is
making his DNA
public, pioneering the personal genome. A review
of The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph From the Frontiers of Brain
Science. From Wired, "Hacking My Kid's
Brain": An article on how a child's neurons were rewired; and
researchers claim to have developed the first mathematical model for creating
invisibility simulations on a computer. What
is it about nitrogen that makes it so eminently employable, so
readily and indispensably incorporated into the cell’s premier
laboring masses? From Scientific American,
A.D. 100 Billion, Big Bang goes bye-bye: Cosmic expansion may leave astronomers of the far future with no hint of the big bang that started it all.
From Governing, data storage is the backbone of today’s Internet economy. But are power-hungry server farms worth wooing for economic development? Jonathan
Freedland on how the internet will revolutionise the very meaning of politics. And
order is in the Eye of the Tiger: An excerpt
from Everything Is Miscellaneous
[May 29] A review of Plato and Aristotle in Agreement? Platonists on Aristotle from Antiochus to Porphyry. A review of Locke: A Biography. An except from John Wilkes: The Scandalous Father of Civil Liberty. A review of The War on Privacy. A review of New Dimensions in Privacy Law: International and Comparative Perspectives. A review of A Common Law Theory of Judicial Reviews: The Living Tree. Who's afraid of democracy? A review of The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies by Bryan Caplan. A look at how economists lost Hayek, and then found him. Is eBay rational? Tim Harford on why auction sites make economists so giddy. A Bettor World: Once apprenticed to a bookie, Justin Wolfers of Wharton now draws economic insight from the behavior of gamblers. They may not realize it, but good economists who coach students into the economic way of thinking are actually practicing a type of mental yoga. A review of The Animals Reader: The Essential Classic and Contemporary Writings, ed. by Linda Kalof and Amy Fitzgerald; Rights and Moral Philosophy by Julian H. Franklin; and The Moral Menagerie: Philosophy and Animal Rights by Marc R. Fellenz. Critics say modern philosophy is a useless waste of time. They are wrong. At its best, modern philosophy tells us how to waste time usefully. Julian Baggini on Descartes’ Meditations (Digested). From Counterpunch, Robert Jensen on what the Finkelstein tenure fight tells us about the state of academia. What happens at the intersection of brute politics and public higher education? For a case study, review the past year at the University of Massachusetts. A look at why Columbia's expansion plans will benefit West Harlem. Oxford University should end its support for the homophobic, misogynist evangelicals at Wycliffe. Elite colleges open new door to low-income youths: Wanting to keep a role as engines of social mobility, some schools have pushed to diversify economically. Test-takers, not students: Test madness and centralized curriculum control squeeze creativity out of the classroom. Teach Your Children Well: Joel Waldfogel on the economic case for preschool. IQ is dumb: A test designed in the 1920s sorts the philosophers from the electricians from the copilots and makes one wonder: Whither aptitude? Genes may help people learn Chinese: A link between brain development genes and speakers of tonal languages has been shown for the first time. The Science of Disgust: A new study explains why we think some things are icky — and marketers are starting to pay attention. If it feels good to be good, it might be only natural: New research is showing is that morality has biological roots that have been around for a very long time. The more researchers learn, the more it appears that the foundation of morality is empathy. Want to improve your relationship? Do the dishes because you really want to: Research finds if you do something positive for your mate, it does it matter why you do it. Score one for body language: It seems that body shape and the way people walk hold major cues to their attractiveness to others. Have you ever had the impulse to pull your hair out? You may have Trichotillomania. Snooze function: Why do we sleep? And can smart drugs be developed to combat tiredness? And erasing with bread crumbs, pencil as murder weapon, and more: 20 things you didn't know about pencils
[May 28] Daniel H. Nexon and Thomas Wright (Georgetown): What’s at Stake in the American Empire Debate pdf. Illiberal Liberalism: Peter Berkowitz reviews Is Democracy Possible Here? Principles for a New Political Debate by Ronald Dworkin. New Theology, Old Economics: How are we to explain a book like Theology and the Political: The New Debate, a 2005 volume that captures some of the world's best theologians in a compromising relationship with the economic left? Are the anti-global Marxists Negri and Zizek really more useful interlocutors than, say, Douglass C. North, one of the developers of what has come to be called New Institutional Economics? From Financial Times, under the hammer Online experiments show the problem with auction theories: we’re not rational enough. Economist Bryan Caplan argues that voters are biased, irrational, manipulable and plain ignorant. Is democracy dangerous? From the ivory tower to the barricades! Radical intellectuals explore the relationship between research and resistance: Excerpts from Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations, Collective Theorization. An interview with Paul Mason, author of Live Working or Die Fighting, on the importance of writing about workers' history. Form Radical Middle, an article on re-inventing American history. From NYRB, Lee Smolin reviews The Other Einstein Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson; Einstein: A Biography; "Subtle Is the Lord": The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein; The Private Lives of Albert Einstein; Einstein in Love: A Scientific Romance; Einstein's Clocks, Poincaré's Maps: Empires of Time; Einstein on Politics; and Einstein on Race and Racism. Steven Pinker reviews The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science by Natalie Angier (and an excerpt). From First Things, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn on Reasonable Science, Reasonable Faith; an essay on Faith and Quantum Theory; Richard John Neuhaus on A University of a Particular Kind; and an essay on Schooling at Home. From The Village Voice, Student Loan Xploited: Columbia reels after stock allegations; and city leaders want kids out of large schools and into smaller ones. Now one Brooklyn high school is fighting the mandate to close its doors. A review of A Class of Their Own: Black Teachers in the Segregated South by Adam Fairclough. Standardizing the Standards: A good nationwide test of students’ abilities would a) help kids learn, b) encourage teachers to innovate, c) save money or d) all of the above. And on decoding your kid's report card: It is the kind of comment that makes parents long for the brutal clarity of A's, B's and F's
[Weekend] From Judgment and Decision Making, Ingmar H. A. Franke, Irina Georgieva and Peter Muris (Erasmus): The rich get richer and the poor get poorer: On risk aversion in behavioral decision-making; Jochen Reb (SMU) and Terry Connolly ( Arizona): Possession, feelings of ownership and the endowment effect; David Gal (Stanford): A psychological law of inertia and the illusion of loss aversion; Irina Cojuharenco (Pompeu Fabra): Lay intuitions about overall evaluations of experiences; Christine R. Harris, Michael Jenkins, and Dale Glaser (UCSD): Gender Differences in Risk Assessment: Why do Women Take Fewer Risks than Men?; and an essay on Amos Tversky's contributions to legal scholarship. A review of Consciousness and Its Place in Nature: Does Physicalism Entail Panpsychism? by Galen Strawson et al. A review of What is Good and Why: The Ethics of Well-Being by Richard Kraut. A review of Intricate Ethics: Rights, Responsibilities, and Permissible Harm by F. M. Kamm. From TNR, Cass Sunstein reviews The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil by Philip G. Zimbardo. A review of Psychology and the Natural Law of Reparation. A review of Beyond Moral Judgment by Alice Crary. From Newsweek, are we who we think we are? Some intriguing research with kids finds that personality is a lot more malleable than previously thought. Researchers at University College London are delicately re-creating Stanley Milgram’s work using computer-generated characters instead of actors. From Free Inquiry, humanism and the science of happiness: An interview with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience; and can psychology be positive about religion? The Prince of Reason: An interview with Albert Ellis, developer of rational emotive behavior therapy. The groundbreaking treatment rests on the premise that most of our emotional problems are based on irrational beliefs (and more). This Is Your Life: The way people talk about their pasts reveals a lot about how they approach and write the future. From Britannica, an article on understanding emotion and the feeling person. From Monitor on Psychology, that teenage feeling: Harvard researchers may have found biological clues to quirky adolescent behavior; and observers are quicker to see anger on men’s faces and happiness on women’s. A simple case of gender stereotyping, or something more deeply rooted? John Shook investigates. Boys and their fighting toys: A review of Achtung Schweinehund: A boy's own story of imaginary combat. With hours of training, animals can learn to solve simple math problems, but do they have a natural number sense?
[May 25] From Spaces of Utopia, Gregory Claeys (London): Who needs Utopia? A dialogue with my utopian self (With apologies, and thanks, to H. G. Wells); Raffaella Baccolini ( Bologna): Dystopia Matters: On the Use of Dystopia and Utopia; Peter Kraftl (Northampton): Spacing out an unsettling utopian ethics; Lisa Garforth (York): Ideal Nature: Utopias of Landscape and Loss Paul B Smith (Paisley): Utopia and the Socialist Project; Chloë Houston (London): No Place and New Worlds: The Early Modern Utopia and the Concept of the Global Community; Laurent Loty ( Rennes): Which utopias for today? Historical considerations and propositions for a dialogical and paradoxical alterrealism; Mary Baine Campbell ( Brandeis): Utopia Now; and Richard Saage (Halle-Wittenberg): Socio-political Utopianism and the Demands of the 21st Century; Malcolm Miles (Plymouth): The End of Utopia: Imminent and Immanent Liberation; and Utopia Re-Interpreted: An interview with Vita Fortunati of the University of Bologna pdf. A review of The Challenge of Human Rights: Their Origin, Development, and Significance by Jack Mahoney. A review of Can Human Rights Survive? A review of Leora Batnitzky's Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy and the Politics of Revelation. A purple patch on a classless society by Hannah Arendt. From Economic Principals, a review of Janos Kornai's By Force of Thought: Irregular Memoirs of an Intellectual Journey. Hip Heterodoxy: A group of economists is challenging the most basic assumptions of neoclassical economic theory, and their influence is growing. A History Hobby: Don't leave scholarship to the professionals. From The Chronicle of Higher Education, a special report on what the rankings do for U.S. News. Mort Zuckerman abruptly ends an interview about the U.S. News College Rankings. Suicides a symptom of larger UC crisis: As more students with mental health problems enroll, campuses lack the resources to cope. But there may be hidden dangers. No-Sweat Sit-Ins Hit Academe: Will a donation from Nike deflect Stanford's efforts to curb sweatshop labor in the making of its sports regalia? Ask a Mexican: In what field of work would someone with a bachelor's in Chicano studies land? From Great Britain, the myth of multiculturalism White pupils in urban schools are failing academically: why? (and two responses). Jay Matthews on why AP and IB schools soar. Strike Up the Band: Children at a Catholic school make music, and progress. Research finds young babies can discriminate between different languages just by looking at an adult's face, even if they do not hear a single spoken word. Hold tight as we look at modern scientific advances and ask "Why aren't we dead yet?": 5 ways science wants to kill you. It came like yesterday: The first human inhabitants of North America may not have exterminated the mammoths. The culprit might have been a comet. Research suggests that a wayward comet hurtled into Earth's atmosphere around 12,900 years ago, fractured into pieces and exploded in giant fireballs, wiping out the Clovis culture. And Adam and Eve in the Land of the Dinosaurs: At the $27 million Creation Museum, evolution gets its continual comeuppance, while biblical revelations are treated as gospel
[May 24] From Law & History Review, Robert H. Churchill (Hartford): Gun Regulation, the Police Power, and the Right to Keep Arms in Early America: The Legal Context of the Second Amendment; David Thomas Konig (WSLU): Arms and the Man: What Did the Right to "Keep" Arms Mean in the Early Republic; William G. Merkel (Washburn): Mandatory Gun Ownership, the Militia Census of 1806, and Background Assumptions concerning the Early American Right to Arms; Saul Cornell (OSU): Early American Gun Regulation and the Second Amendment: A Closer Look at the Evidence; and a reply by Churchill. To Your Tents, O Israel: David Kopel finds biblical roots for the right to keep and bear arms. A review of Righteous Anger at the Wicked States: The Meaning of the Founders' Constitution. Did Aaron Burr really try to take over half of America? A review of Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr. A review of In Passion and Principle: John and Jessie Frémont, the Couple Whose Power, Politics, and Love Shaped Nineteenth-Century America. A review of The Avenger Takes His Place: Andrew Johnson and The Forty-Five Days that Changed the Nation. A purple patch on rationality and social life by Reinhold Niebuhr. From The University Bookman, a review of Neocon Teocon. Il ruolo della religione nella vita pubblica statunitense [Neocon, Theocon. The role of religion in public life in the United States] by Flavio Felice, and a review of Separation of Church and State by Philip Hamburger. Solomon’s House: An article on the deeper agenda of the new Creation museum in Kentucky. Being honest about ignorance: The temptation to deny scientific truths is timeless—and dangerous. From Seed, are most published research findings actually false? The case for reform. From Wired, a look at The Best Thought Experiments: Schrodinger's Cat, Borel's Monkeys... Loooooooooong Division: Mathematicians factor 307-digit number using only 95 years of computing time. Androids, it seems, have appearance in the bag. But is their intelligence only skin-deep? Peter Spinks finds sharp divisions over the likely future of robotic intellect. From Symmetry, when physicists marry physicists, the beginning may be a big bang, but issues of life, love, and family gravitate toward the universal. From Salon, an interview with David Weinberger, author of Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder. (and another interview). From Inside Higher Ed, Beach Blanket Bingo: Looking for a brief holiday from total seriousness? Scott McLemee checks into some good destinations for a mental vacation. And the office of assertion: John Leo offers some thoughts on writing well
[May 23] From Re-Public, a special issue on Time and Governance, including an essay on democracy in the age of neoliberal speed; an article on Kant, civil war and the folds of meaning; more on the re-engineering of time; an essay on working time flexibility as a socially questionable but politically favoured policy choice; reflections upon the relationship between space, time and governance; an article on real-time and the politics of presence; and what lies behind the notion of progress?; an interview with Bruno Latour on the end of progressivism, the limits of representation, and the irrelevance of parliaments; Richard Dawkins on time; an essay on temporality and Giorgio Agamben’s The Coming Community; and more. From Open Letters Monthly, can a writer be objective about poverty? John Cotter thinks William T. Vollmann’s striking approach in Poor People is both beautiful and frustratingly distant. From Business Week, an interview with Robert Frank, author of The Economic Naturalist: In Search of Explanations for Everyday Enigmas. The Art of Letting Go: Mark Skousen lauds a Chinese philosopher who drove away a third of the students in a class at Columbia Business School. Too much of a good thing? Researchers are eager to accept funding from philanthropists. Some universities are better than others: In the competitive world of higher education, the market has spoken. From the latest Phyllis Schlafly Report, a look at what colleges teach — and don't teach. The people's scientist: Kathy Sykes made a microscope from a saucepan on telly and says academics must learn to listen. Scientists have discovered element 118, the newest block on the periodic table. But why do scientists work so hard to create new elements that last for such a short time? The man behind the magnitude scale: A review of Richter’s Scale: Measure of an Earthquake, Measure of a Man (and more). Steve Donoghue gently debunks the anthropocentric conceits of Pulitzer Prize-winner Douglas Hofstadter’s newest book, I Am a Strange Loop. From Natural History, the Cosmic Perspective: Neil deGrasse Tyson explains how embracing cosmic realities can give us a more enlightened view of human life; a review of The Invisible Sex: Uncovering the True Roles of Women in Prehistory; and Faces of the Human Past: Science and art combine to create a new portrait gallery of our hominid heritage. Obituary: Mary Douglas. Anthropology's "Other": A review of The Anthropology of Christianity, ed. by Fenella Cannell and Christian Moderns: Freedom and Fetish in the Mission Encounter by Webb Keane. And from The University Bookman, a review of Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense by N. T. Wright; a review of Politics and Economics. An Essay on the Genesis of Economic Development by Rocco Pezzimenti; a review of Cattolicesimo, protestantesimo e capitalismo by Paolo Zanotto; a review of Law and Revolution, II: The Impact of the Protestant Reformation on the Western Legal Tradition by Harold J. Berman; and a review of The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization by Bryan Ward-Perkins and The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians by Peter Heather
[May 22] From Post-Autistic Economics Review, Arjo Klamer (Erasums), Deirdre McCloskey (UIC), and and Stephen Ziliak (Roosevelt): Is There Life after Samuelson’s Economics? Changing the Textbooks; Edward Fullbrook (UWE): Narrative Pluralism; and should countries aspire to a high score for “economic freedom”? pdf. A review of The Origin of the History of Science in Classical Antiquity. A review of Eriugena, Berkeley, and the Idealist Tradition. From Kritika & Kontext, no translator can translate equally well. A lot gets lost in translation. Some languages don't translate well. These are just some of the translator's dirty secrets. From Sign and Sight, the press is a public resource: Philosopher Jürgen Habermas argues for state support for quality newspapers. The intellectual ties that bind: Lisa Jardine on the history of shared intellectual activity between the US and Europe. A tale of scholarly pugilists: An Oxford Blue recognises the pleasure of thumping Cambridge boys in Blue Blood, a film about boxing at Oxford University. Christian law schools springing up: With an explicitly Christian worldview, these students want to leave their mark on the law. Don’t Be Afraid of Committees: Graduate students have much to learn by getting involved in academic governance. The Closing of the University Commons: Lewis F. Powell and his followers knew that tightening the financial screws on the universities would serve to make the higher education fall into line. Battling Term-Paper Cheats: As more students turn to online paper mills for help, schools are fighting back with their own high-tech methods of detecting cheats. Are they overreacting? There is a New York-based outfit called the Penn Group that specializes in ghostwriting and college counseling. Lately it has taken on a new specialty: threatening to sue, and in one case suing, writers with whom it has had beefs. From HNN, an article on rediscovering American conservatism again. From Wired, why famous counterfactual historian Niall Ferguson loves making history with games. A gentlemanly game that became a monster: A review of Why Beauty Is Truth by Ian Stewart. From Scientific American, Going beyond X and Y: Babies born with mixed sex organs often get immediate surgery. New genetic studies should force a rethinking about sex assignment and gender identity; The Traveler's Dilemma When playing this simple game, people consistently reject the rational choice. In fact, by acting illogically, they end up reaping a larger reward--an outcome that demands a new kind of formal reasoning; a look at 10 animals that may go extinct in the next 10 years; and so what do you make of an idea like Pleistocene rewilding? The man who lost himself: Jeff Ingram rebuilt his life after suffering total amnesia. Then it happened again. The no-frills thrill: How value engineering governs your life more than you know
[May 21] From Slate, The Cult of the Pink Tower: Montessori turns 100—what the hell is it? Leaving a big mess on campus: As school ends, students abandon clothes, fridges, ramen and more. Activists collect them for charities. Why do Mount Holyoke, Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Smith, and Wellesley — and dozens of other women's colleges — stubbornly carry on as single-sex institutions? Some colleges want to curb flow of data to magazine: Annual rankings by U.S. News called misleading; "peer reputation" survey particularly criticized. Iraq's Universities Near Collapse: Hundreds of professors and students have been killed or kidnapped, hundreds more have fled, and those who remain face daily threats of violence. Africa’s storied colleges, jammed and crumbling: Far from being a repository of the continent’s hopes for the future, Africa’s decrepit universities have become hotbeds of discontent. British, French and German universities will be overtaken by those in China and India within a decade unless they improve quality and access. Purple patches on nation and state and democracy and populism by John Lukacs. From The New York Times, Tick-Tock and Other Pulses of the West: What do inventions like clocks say about Western culture? Edward Rothstein investigates. A review of Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fiction by Fredric Jameson. Even as NASA prepares again to go to the moon, Dark Side of the Moon seeks to dispel some of the received myths from that earlier escapade. A review of Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson and Einstein: A Biography by Jürgen Neffe. A review of The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science by Natalie Angier. A review of The Poincaré Conjecture: in Search of the Shape of the Universe by Donal O'Shea. A review of Unknown Quantity: a Real and Imagined History of Algebra by John Derbyshire. A review of Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea by Christine Garwood. The Darwin Correspondence Project put 5,000 letters to and from the father of evolution online last week. Now the public can track the evolution of the eponymous evolutionist. A body of impressive empirical evidence reveals that the roots of prosocial behavior, including moral sentiments like empathy, precede the evolution of culture. An unspoken assumption is that accountability is always a good thing. A growing body of psychological experiments, however, shows that this assumption is wrong. From First Science, an article on the science of sleepwalking. And what is it that makes Superman Super? And is there any basis in real science for the man of steel?
[Weekend 2e] From First Things, Richard John Neuhaus reviews A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion, by Catherine L. Albanese; a review of From Nature to Experience: The American Search for Cultural Authority, by Roger Lundin; a review of Mapping Paradise: A History of Heaven on Earth by Alessandro Scafi; a review of Is Nature Enough? Truth and Meaning in the Age of Science by John F. Haught; and a review of A World Beyond Politics? A Defense of the Nation-State by Pierre Manent. A review of Sacred Causes: Religion and Politics from the European Dictators to al Qaeda. From Crisis, who are the Neoconservatives? An interview with Michael Novak; and a review of Can a Catholic Be a Democrat? How the Party I Loved Became the Enemy of My Religion by David Carlin; and an interview with Dinesh D’Souza on Islam, America, and the Left’s responsibility for 9/11. From Boston Review, Nicholas Schmidle the Islamist challenge to secular Bangladesh; in search of the Common Good: Lew Daly on the Catholic roots of American liberalism; and Cathy Tumber on the proper place for religion in politics. A case for a libertarian Christianity: A review of The Choice Principle: The Biblical Case for Legal Toleration, by Andy G. Olree. Michelle Goldberg on The Rise of Christian Nationalism: The erosions in state/church separation and legitimization of religious supremacism would have been unthinkable even six years ago. Chris Hedges on why the Christian Right's fear of pleasure is our greatest threat to Choice. Gary Bauer on the study "Why Religion Matters Even More: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability". Worse than Hell: Christopher Hitchens on the religious mind. A review of Religion and Security: The New Nexus in International Relations. From AEI, George Priest on The Capitalist Foundations of America. A review of Savage Kingdom: The True Story of Jamestown, 1607, and the Settlement of America. The cradle of many things, but representative democracy, as we understand it today, isn't one of them. As we commemorate Jamestown's 400th anniversary, let's do so accurately. An article on reading and rereading The Mind of the South in no place Southern. A review of Very Strange Bedfellows: The Short and Unhappy Marriage of Richard Nixon & Spiro Agnew. A review of Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power by Robert Dallek. An excerpt from Michael Bechloss' Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989. Ian Kershaw's Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions That Changed the World, 1940-1941 analyzes ten decisions that shaped the outcome of World War II. And a review of Fleeing Hitler: France 1940 by Hanna Diamond
[Weekend] Susan Raine (Alberta): Flirty Fishing in the Children of God: The Sexual Body as a Site of Proselytization and Salvation. A review of Solon the Thinker: Political Thought in Archaic Athens. A review of The Cambridge Companion to Horace. A review of The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Justinian. From First Things, a review of Michael Polanyi: Scientist and Philosopher by William Taussig Scott and Martin X. Moleski, S.J. and Michael Polanyi: The Art of Knowing by Mark T. Mitchell. From Inside Higher Ed, Speak, Memory: Did postmodern theorist Zygmunt Bauman conceal his Stalinist past? Scott McLemee looks down the memory hole. A review of Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing by Leszek Kolakowski. Elle Woods, like, totally embodies the best of modern Jewish thought: Legally Blonde and Spiritually Buber. From American, a review of The Chicago School: How the University of Chicago Assembled the Thinkers Who Revolutionized Economics and Business by Johan Van Overtveldt. A review of The Vanity of the Philosopher: From Equality to Hierarchy in Post-Classical Economics by Sandra Peart and David Levy. A review of Modern Liberty and the Limits of Government by Charles Fried. A review of Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science by David Lindley. From First Science, Death of the Dinosaurs: There was a time when dinosaurs thrived on Earth. What caused their demise? Why monkeys can't recite Shakespeare: If you are a primate reading this, chances are you have a gene called KLK8, recently discovered by Chinese scientists. The British government has overturned its proposed ban on the creation of human-animal embryos. Biologist Kaj Sand-Jensen of the University of Copenhagen offers advice to other scientists. He wrote a report: "How to Write Consistently Boring Scientific Literature". Nature, the world's best-known scientific publication, is now being transformed into a multimedia platform that includes include blogs, podcasts and even a Second Life presence. From Williams Alumni Review, blogs are becoming an increasingly popular way for scholars to share their work and insight with a wide audience. But sometimes the publicity these Web journals generate can backfire pdf. From Crisis, an essay on academic freedom and the Catholic university. A mutiny may be brewing at Ave Maria School of Law whose board has voted to pack it up and move it from Ann Arbor, Mich., to a rural community in southwest Florida. The Edge of Reason: Professor Ramani Pilla's failed climb up the ivory tower ends in accusations of a hoax. From Education Review, a review of The Knowledge Deficit: Closing the Shocking Education Gap for American Children by E. D. Hirsch, Jr. And experts answer what they know. The Non-Expert answers anything. This week, Erik Bryan fashions a taxonomy of American athletes to help a reader get in touch with his jock-dom
[May 18] Jack Balkin (Yale): Original Meaning and Constitutional Redemption. Seth Barrett Tillman on Noncontemporaneous Lawmaking: Can the 110th Senate Enact a Bill Passed By the 109th House?; Aaron-Andrew P.Bruhl on Against Mix-and-Match Lawmaking; and a reply. An interview with Brian Leiter on Legal Philosophy: 5 Questions. From Global Law Books, a review of Towards World Constitutionalism: Issues in the Legal Ordering of the World Community, a review of The Limits of International Law, and a review of War, Aggression and Self-Defence. A review of The Philosophy of War and Peace by Jenny Teichman. A review of Why Not Kill Them All? The Logic and Prevention of Mass Political Murder by Daniel Chirot and Clark McCauley. A review of Idealist Political Philosophy: Pluralism and Conflict in the Absolute Idealist Tradition. A review of Pierre Gassendi and the Birth of Early Modern Philosophy. An interview with Harvard's Elizabeth Warren on law, politics and the coming collapse of the middle class. From Econ Journal Watch, Daron Acemoglu says the economic analysis of constitutions and political structure has been revolutionized by Torsten Persson and Guido Tabellini. But Charles Blankart and Gerrit Koester argue that the new political economics is not that new, and might be a step backwards; development economics has discovered important truths about trade, aid, property, and planning. Ian Vasquez recounts how the truths were pioneered in the work of Peter Bauer, and how the late-comers often neglect that learning; Dan D’Amico and Dan Klein examine the websites of Harvard and George Mason economists, and ask whether the differences speak of differences in character type; and where would Adam Smith publish today? Daniel Sutter and Rex Pjesky show that almost no math-free research appears in top economics journals pdf. From LRB, Jerry Fodor reviews Consciousness and Its Place in Nature: Does Physicalism Entail Panpsychism? by Galen Strawson and et al. A review of Hours with the Mystics by Robert Alfred Vaughan. A review of Flock of Dodos: Behind Modern Creationism, Intelligent Design, and the Easter Bunny. A database of his letters reveal Darwin's caring, comic side - - in between agonising about his theory. Scientists are reaching a new consensus on the origins and mechanisms of morality, and evolutionary, neurological and social psychological insights are being synthesized in support of three principles. Security check: Why conservatives had happy childhoods but liberals have more sex. Whether it be a hand on the shoulder or a warm embrace, physical contact matters to us all. Silicon Brains: Computer chips designed to mimic how the brain works could shed light on our cognitive abilities. A look at how fruit flies have displayed rudimentary free will. Fathoming out evolution: A survey of the Weddell Sea uncovers extraordinary biological diversity. Hail Linnaeus: Conservationists—and polar bears—should heed the lessons of economics. From Edge, an interview with Neil Turok on the cyclic universe. A set of results from the Hubble space telescope suggest that dark matter may finally have been “seen”. An interview with Marc Abrahams of the Annals of Improbable Research. From Slate, You U: How do you start your own university? Man creates online Virginia Tech game, lets the player become the killer. And what's wrong with Arabic-language public schools? Amity Shlaes wants to know
[May 17] From the latest issue of International Journal of Žižek Studies, Slavoj Žižek on Badiou: Notes From an Ongoing Debate; Marc de Kesel (Radboud): Truth as Formal Catholicism - On Alain Badiou, Saint Paul: La fondation de l’universalisme; Adrian Johnston (New Mexico): The Quick and the Dead: Alain Badiou and the Split Speeds of Transformation; Ken Jackson (Wayne State): The Great Temptation of “Religion”: Why Badiou has been so important to Žižek; Levi R. Bryant (Collin): Symptomal Knots and Evental Ruptures: Žižek, Badiou, and Discerning the Indiscernible; Ed Pluth (CSU - Chico): Against Spontaneity: The Act and Overcensorship in Badiou, Lacan, and Žižek; and Socialism Reconsidered: Remarks on Žižek`s Repeating Lenin pdf. A review of Conversations with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. From TNR, Robert M. Solow reviews Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction by Thomas K. McCraw. A review of A Theory of Secession: The Case for Political Self-Determination. From Metapsychology Book Reviews, a review of Michel Foucault by Clare O'Farrell; a review of Foucault and the Government of Disability; and a review of My Body Politic: A Memoir by Simi Linton. A review of The Case Against Perfection by Michael Sandel. The introduction to Neuroscience and Philosophy: Brain, Mind, and Language by Maxwell Bennett, Daniel Dennett, Peter Hacker, and John Searle. A review of Signs, Mind, And Reality: A Theory of Language As the Folk Model of the World. From National Review, a review of David Horowitz's Indoctrination U: The Left’s War Against Academic Freedom. From Campus Progress, Campus Con: The new film "Indoctrinate U" treats young conservatives as victims. From TAP, a better idea for college loans: Here's how to prevent college loans from being a straitjacket that determines graduates' career choices. Ivy League crunch brings new cachet to next tier: Second-tier colleges are becoming more selective because of the heated competition at the top. Study finds college-prep courses in high school leave many students lagging, as only a quarter of high school students who take the core courses are well prepared for college. F for Felony: Why parents never hear about a shocking number of college campus crimes. Crime scene investigations: Academic research really matters only if it leads to social reform, says criminologist Lawrence Sherman. Why merit pay for teachers isn't such a great idea: In theory, it's a no-brainer: teachers should be paid more for teaching better. Bible curriculum dispute heats up: The spread of Bible instruction in public schools is raising questions about the separation of church and state. That is particularly true in places like Odessa, Texas, that have adopted one of two competing national curricula. Save the Catholic schools! They work miracles with inner-city kids, but without help, their own future is uncertain. And what kind of praise do kids need to hear? Emily Bazelon investigates
[May 16] Media and more: From The Chronicle of Higher Education, Ghost Writers: Let us now praise anonymous journal-article reviewers, for they toil in a valuable, unappreciated literary genre. Tom Bower, the controversial biographer, takes a ringside seat for the trial of his latest subject, Lord Black. Outside the courtroom, he absorbs the culture of Chicago and takes a gamble on a break to Vegas. The Bancroft maxim of "Never sell Grandpa's paper" is facing its toughest test. Despite their tentative no to News Corp.'s overture for Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones, family members -- grown apart and lacking a clear leader -- have been working nonstop behind the scenes to establish a consensus. From Foreign Policy, an interview with Devin Leonard of Fortune on Murdoch as a media pioneer seizing the future while others are fleeing. Rupert Murdoch won't rescue the Wall Street Journal. His influence on other outlets may be lucrative, but it doesn't always yield high quality. One of the great mysteries about the mainstream press in the last six years is its seeming inability to use one particular word: "liar". The Numbers Guy on tallying Bill O’Reilly’s name-calling. Conservative blog Red State declares war on GOP perverts, louts, criminals. From TNR, when did the netroots come into being? Jonathan Chait, Ezra Klein, Rick Perlstein, Matt Stoller & Chris Bowers debate. From Wired, controlled chaos: An interview with Markos Moulitsas Zúniga. Fighting from the left: Netroots bloggers in the US don't just want to admire the right's propaganda machine, they want to beat it. In Egypt, blogging can get you arrested—or worse. YouTube, MySpace and other websites are banned on DoD computers. How to Be a Star in a YouTube World: What it takes to stand out when anyone can be an entertainer. The Electronic Frontier Foundation jumped into a legal battle involving efforts by self-described psychic Uri Geller to censor video clips of him posted on YouTube. Instead of trying to keep bullies from taking over, too many Web sites become their unwitting enablers. From Technology Review, the first epoch of Web design is over; from now on, Web pages will be as attractive as print--but more interactive. The BBC's desperate attempt to lead the new media revolution has been fraught with controversy, delays and huge costs. And from Business Week, who's behind The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs? The question riveting Silicon Valley as much as the satirical blog itself may be answered this week