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From Foreign Affairs, an article on the
global clash of emotions. From Monthly
Review, an article on The Myths of
Democracy Assistance: U.S. Political Intervention in Post-Soviet Eastern Europe.
Nagorno-Karabakh has followed Transdniestria and South Ossetia in
holding an independence
referendum. But democracy in these
"non-recognised entities" is not so simple.
Peter Bergen reviews
The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban;
Kabul in Winter: Life Without Peace in Afghanistan;
and The Places in Between. What sounds like an Indiana Jones movie is a true story:
A decades-old Afghan mystery has been
unearthed, and is now on display in a Paris museum.
An interview with David
Pryce-Jones, author of Betrayal: France, the Arabs, and the
Jews. The most important underreported development in the Arab world is
the increasing ability of Arabs to talk with one
another. They did not used to be able to. Now that the much-hyped Iraq Study Group has gone public with its recommendations,
Foreign Policy takes a look at several of the other plans for stabilizing Iraq and the likelihood of their success.
For the first time since Vietnam, active-duty military personnel have organized to oppose a war that they are fighting. Timothy Garton Ash
on how Bush has created a comprehensive
catastrophe across the Middle East: In every vital area, from Afghanistan to Egypt, his policies have made the situation worse than it was before.
Pacts Americana? The Senate can help reverse the steep erosion of America’s standing abroad by approving a raft of treaties awaiting action.
Is George Bush "The Manchurian Candidate?"
If enemies of the United States had gotten together a few years ago...
Is George W. Bush the worst president in U.S.
history? Or is it Richard Nixon? In Praise of Impeachment: Pelosi may have put it “off the
table”, but it’s not her decision anyway. From National
Review, an interview
with Mitt Romney. An article on Barack
Obama, the dreamy candidate with the swoon
George Will on four reasons why Barack
Obama should run for president in 2008. And Ed Koch, member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council,
asks the advisory board to remove
"bigot" Dennis Prager from its membership
[Dec 14] From Spain, a look at how Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is pushing the country to the left, rejecting calls to slow down. From Great Britain, the Tories have revisited the Victorian values debate. Child labour, workhouses - are the values of that time really something worth reviving; and are Britons objectively cleverer and more amusing than Americans, or do they just sound that way? From France, vive la révolution: Protesters take a stand against the march of time. Urban rioting in France has highlighted that assimilation policy is outdated. A "French multiculturalism" needs to be introduced along with a rethinking of the system of political representation. France debates the need to move beyond its traditional spheres of influence. Meet the most powerful man in Norway: Knut Kjaer, of the rich Norwegian Pension Fund, is obliged to make ethical investments. While Sweden slept, a kind of "soft totalitarianism" has taken over. Nordic nasties: Far-right parties are on the march. Charles Fried on getting at the truth of the Holocaust. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert indirectly revealed that Israel is a nuclear power. Intentional or not, the Freudian slip was a political bombshell; and an interview with Mordechai Vanunu, atomic mole. An interview with Jimmy Carter on Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid (and more). Three neglected factors – Israel, oil, and American exceptionalism – underpin the United States's foreign-policy disaster in Iraq. Richard Brookhiser on an alternative to Baker: Kill our enemies, quickly. From Stars & Stripes, Yupik Eskimos long for a taste of Alaska at Kuwait's Camp Virginia. From Slate, steal this idea: Every news beat needs something like the KSJ Tracker. The New York Times editors do a service by covering right-wingers: It would make sense to similarly cover progressives. Why don't they? From The New York Observer, from the Abramses to the Zeckendorfs, New York is a city of dynasties: Here are 29 power families kvelling, loving, screaming, power-mongering. An interview with Noemie Emery, author of Great Expectations: The Troubled Lives of Political Families. From New York, an article on The Year in Culture: All that shimmered in 2006. From Nerve, here's the 40 Best Celebrity Rumors Ever; and an article on the bizarre and scandalous history of Broadway Brevities, America's first tabloid. And here's a look at the 10 Most Bizarre People on Earth
[Dec 13] From Azure, an essay on The Road to Democracy in the Arab World. A review of Fratricide in the Holy Land: A Psychoanalytic View of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Yet another problem in the Middle East: Arab women are suffering, says a UN report. More women are involved in terror campaigns. Should we be concerned? A review of Breeding Bin Ladens: America, Islam, and the Future of Europe. A look at why the German Left is better for free markets than the Right. The introduction to The European Economy since 1945: Coordinated Capitalism and Beyond. The collapse of the Soviet Union was far from inevitable: A historic opportunity to democratize Russia by more gradual means was lost. An article on China as a military boogieman in the US policy debate. Does the future really belong to China? If China does not abandon one-party rule, will it stumble under the stresses of state capitalism? Or will it show that there can be a successful authoritarian road to modernity? For all the talk about the rise of Asia in the “knowledge age” that we live in, are these countries ultimately constrained in their potential to be great nations by their lack of top-flight systems of higher education? From American Heritage, from Saigon to Desert Storm: a look at how the US military reinvented itself after Vietnam. There is a very real risk that the United States and NATO will lose their war with Al Qaeda, the Taliban and the other Islamist movements fighting the Afghan government. America will best serve its interests by withdrawing its ground-based military forces not only from Iraq, but from the entire region. Statement of Denial: The Iraq Study Group got the facts right, it just couldn't stand to face them. Praise for the Group's "consensus-building" leader ignores his role in leading us into Iraq in the first place. The Deniers' Club: What good is the bipartisan commission's new, last-ditch plan for Iraq if President Bush still has his heart set on victory? A review of On the Brink: An Insider's Account of How the White House Compromised American Intelligence. A review of Blood Stripes: The Grunts View of the War in Iraq. An article on Blackwater USA and the rise of private military contractors. And former Air Force officer Mikey Weinstein says evangelicals are trying to turn his beloved military into a "frickin' faith-based initiative"
[Dec 12] South Asia, the Middle East and more: From Bangladesh, an interview with Muhammad Yunus: Give the man credit for helping millions of people. From India, fifty years after his death, have Ambedkar's inheritors embalmed his ideas in dogma, or extended them while confronting new predicaments? From Pakistan, the grievances of Baluchistan stem from a history of exploitation and marginalization of the Baluch by the Punjabi-dominated government; and in its efforts to counter the Baluch struggle, the government has employed summary executions, disappearances, torture and artillery attack. From Iran, hardliners turn on Ahmadinejad for watching women dancers, as the outwardly confident president is being corroded by elite division and student protest. An article on Iran’s new power balance, and a look at the Pasdaran’s private empires. From the International Middle East Media Center, an article on the Niggerization of Palestine. Jimmy Carter's new hammer? It looks an awful lot like a book: A review of Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid (and more on that moronic book, by Michael Kinsley). Ignacio Ramonet on the Palestinian Labyrinth. A look at why the Baker-Hamilton report has Israelis nervous, but why is it always about Israel? David Frum wants to know. Taking from the Baker playbook, Ehud Olmert is reaching out to the Palestinians and Iraq’s neighbors as Israel becomes more concerned about Iran. The Iraq Study Group may be remembered as the Walter Cronkite of this war; and commission impossible? Why some national security panels have worked better than others. Don't blame Iraqis for the mess in their country. Iraq's latest casualty: Observers say the war in Iraq has diverted resources and attention needed to keep Afghanistan under control. If terrorists can seek to nurture the enemy’s brutality, the same may apply to counter-terrorists -- and perhaps making us safer is not the real aim. What we leave behind: From Kosovo to Lebanon, cluster bomb casualties continue to mount. A review of AK-47: The Weapon That Changed the Face of War. Even a small-scale regional nuclear war could produce as many fatalities as all of World War II, disrupt the global climate for a decade or more and impact nearly every person on Earth. And an interview with Mark Kurlansky, author of Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea
[Dec 11] From FT, peacekeeping blues: UN forces are working to control the world’s most intractable conflicts. But are they doing any good? A review of The Best of Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power by James Traub. The only way to ensure universal acceptance of and compliance with international human rights law is by removing the crutch used for so long by human rights violators — that human rights as we know it today is a western construct. A review of War Stories: Reporting in the Time of Conflict from the Crimea to Iraq. 79 Steps to Victory in Iraq? There is no shortage of opinions. Here are a dozen worth considering. Trying to bring peace to Iraq by dividing it along ethnic lines will only bring more trouble. The solution is a two-state partition. Welcome to New Babylon and Sistanistan. Niall Ferguson on Baker-Hamilton's fine print: Stay in Iraq. Today many hope and believe that the difficulties in Iraq will turn Americans once and for all against ambition and messianism in the world. History is not on their side; and an ideal in need of rescue: The administration fought this war in a way guaranteed to make the road to democracy even more difficult; and even if we leave now, we'll be back. Shelby Steele on why it's so hard to define victory in Iraq. Iraq 2013: Can a nation that has been blown apart ever be put back together? The reconstruction of Iraq is riddled with such high levels of fraud and corruption that it is amounts to a "second insurgency". From National Journal, Democratic insiders predict that Hillary Rodham Clinton will be their party's presidential nominee, but they're not convinced she'll be the strongest candidate the party could field. GOP insiders are looking to John McCain. Eleanor Clift on how George W. Bush has ruined the family franchise. Jennifer Van Bergen and David Corn debate the impeachment of President Bush: Morally Right vs. Politically Wrong. Incoming congressional chairman Barney Frank hopes to transform the economic debate in America by offering a grand bargain for labor and business. Postcampaign lobbying thrives: Democrats are feted ahead of push for stricter ethics rules. And Arianna Huffington has made her two-year-old website the most potent force in American politics
[Weekend] From Canada, they don't dislike him - they really don't dislike him: A look at how Stéphane Dion won the leadership of the Liberal party; and a review of Ignatieff's World: A Liberal Leader for the 21st Century? and Canada in the Balance by Bob Rae. From Russia, the problem with diplomatic paranoia is not that someone is after you, but that you are unable to tell the difference between a real enemy and an imagined one. The politics of vodka: Russians love their national drink to death, and the state and black market can reinforce its ruination of health and relationships. From Foreign Policy, seven questions on Russia’s cloaks and daggers. A look at how Russia tests the limits of realism. From Commentary, what does Putin want? Russia's democratic revolution has given way to the deep authoritarian tendencies of Russian political culture; and the Chinese people are protesting as never before; but where are they headed, and on what timetable? A review of Mao's Last Revolution. A review of Seize the Hour: When Nixon Met Mao (and more and more and more). A review of Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China. An excerpt from In China's Shadow: The Crisis of American Entrepreneurship. A review of Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation. From PINR, an article on the importance of the Spratly Islands. Can Burma escape from its history? A review of The River of Lost Footsteps. Getting away with murder: How Myanmar and North Korea do it. The rumbling rumours of war: Only the onset of floods seems, for the moment, to have put off all-out fighting between Ethiopia and Somalia. Lake Balkhash's Disappearing Act: Is Central Asia’s second-largest lake destined to become another Aral Sea? The issue of basic social freedom in Iran is more complicated than it appears on the surface. Ahmedinejad’s government has not taken as strict a stance on such matters as expected. From The Economist, a European values debate: Why is Europe suddenly full of people talking about values and virtue? And it's time to chuck the Allen wrench aside. Not all Ikea products are sold in pieces anymore. Like the new Ikea house
[Dec 8] Political economy: From TNR, a look at why Nobel laureate Mohammed Yunus will doom microfinance. With Muhammad Yunus set to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with microcredits on Sunday, the tiny bank loans are in the spotlight. As Mozambique shows, they work; and an interview with Yunus: "Woman are better with money". The introduction to Women in the Middle East: Past and Present. The introduction to Global "Body Shopping": An Indian Labor System in the Information Technology Industry. A look at the Africa you need to know. Can Madonna save Malawi? A new issue of the IMF's Finance & Development is out. A review of The Birth of Development: How the World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization, and World Health Organization Changed the World, 1945-1965. An article on why the world needs its small farmers. One size does not suit all: Shaped by many cultures, some forms of capitalism are more palatable to anti-globalization activists than others. Winner takes (almost) all: The other half live with less than $2,161 to their name. The richest 1% of adults in the world own 40% of the planet's wealth, according to the largest study yet of wealth distribution. A map of Shiny, Happy People: National mirth rates are uncovered. From IHT, Jagdish Bhagwati responds to questions on managing globalization. America loves to lecture other countries about the merits of open markets. But when it comes to postal reform, the real cowboy capitalists are oceans away. Corporations plunder the Third World, but as soon as the victims try to use some of the same privileges that corporations claim, the landscape changes forever -- here is a perfect example. Think purchasing a diamond is an ethical dilemma? You don’t know the half of it. A host of common consumer items helps fuel conflict, ruins the environment, and relies on child labor. And from American, the ties that bind: Neckties are worthwhile precisely because they are superfluous
[Dec 7] From Egypt, a small revolution has been launched: A conference of high-ranking Muslim theologians has agreed that the practice of female genital mutilation is irreconcilable with Islam. From Fiji, the military overthrows the elected government, locking down the capital and putting the prime minister under house arrest. From Open Democracy, a crisis of governance has hit the Pacific island states of Fiji, Tonga and the Solomon Islands. Is foreign intervention the best solution?; and the US must consider the moral and strategic price of engaging Iran, says the former crown prince, Reza Pahlavi (and a response by Anatol Lieven). How did scenes of joyful Iraqis pulling down Saddam Hussein’s statue so quickly turn into images of car bombings, grieving mothers and burning helicopters? From Vanity Fair, please don't call them "architects of the war": Richard (Prince of Darkness) Perle, David (Axis of Evil) Frum, Kenneth (Cakewalk) Adelman and other elite neoconservatives who pushed for the invasion of Iraq are beside themselves at the result. Statesmen make merry at John Bolton’s funeral. Robert Kagan on how the US distorts its self-image. From Slate, this is what we've been waiting for? Shmuel Rosner on the false premise of the Iraq report; so much for Plan B: Fred Kaplan on how the Iraq Study Group chickened out; and The Message: John Dickerson on what Baker is telling Bush. US troops just don't have the means to stop Iraq's death squads: Why the Baker proposals could turn into a nightmare. The ISG calls its prescription "responsible transition;" there's nothing responsible about it. From Harper's, Bride of Aliyev: James Baker and the Protector of Baby House 1; and an article on the birth of a Washington machine: Barack Obama Inc. From The New York Observer, Senator Clinton has begun running for president—but guess who she met down the rabbit hole? "Obama worries me", said Jerrold Nadler, "He’s a novice"; and an article on The Two Faces of Mitt Romney. Jack Shafer on how to speak Republican... or Democratic. Vote by Mail, already successfully adopted by some states, could offer real advantages to American democracy if it were adopted nationwide. And a survey finds potential employees express lukewarm interest in working for the government
[Dec 6] From Monthly Review, Samir Amin on Beyond Liberal Globalization: A better or worse world? From the John Birch Society's The New American, a review of The Beast on the East River. From Newropeans, an article on teaching Tommy in an era of fascism. The Pinochet Precedent: The aging Chilean dictator may die before facing a courtroom but his twilight years have been a victory for human rights. The defects of "solidarity journalism": The political polarisation of Hugo Chávez's Bolivarian revolution is reproduced in the way the phenomenon is reported and assessed. From Pine Magazine, Vince Gawronski on why he loves Hugo Chávez. Another triumph for Chávez probably means more concentration of power. Latin American voters go left, but not that far left: Chávez's victory caps off the region's year of elections, but Venezuela stands alone. In Latin America, the challenge is pragmatism: Whether the region is moving left or right is irrelevant. It must resolve its internal problems. From Der Spiegel, bye, bye, blockheads: It would be interesting to know how Bolton, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld feel today about what they have done in the Middle East. The US no longer qualifies, if it ever did, as a “hyper power,” though it is still far from being a “normal” power. From TAP, a look at why political consensus isn’t going to solve America’s Iraq problem, and so Democrats, and the public, are helpless to do anything regarding Iraq or the economy. When it comes to Iraq, Lt. Gen. Jay Garner has been there, done that for 15 years, so his new plan for getting out of the mess there might be worth listening to. An article on Iraq and the danger of psychological entrapment. Memo to Congressman Rangel: Yes, let’s bring back the draft . . . but a better one. From The Washington Monthly, for Dems, the moment is now. The Democrats have a chance to a demonstrate a core difference in how they and the Republicans calculate and manage risk. Charlie Cook on how it's a mistake to ignore how this election redistributed party clout in the capital to more closely reflect the views of the nation as a whole. And 9/11 gave America amnesia about the real Rudy Giuliani. He's an authoritarian narcissist -- and we don't need another one of those in the White House
[Dec 5] From The New Presence, are countries that adhere to Enlightenment values and institutional norms, but that are not geographically part of Europe, also to be considered European? From Moment, an article on how Jew-friendly Persia became anti-Semitic Iran. A review of The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood and One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli Palestinian Impasse. An interview with Jimmy Carter on Palestine. The Middle East is facing the danger of three civil wars erupting, Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories, and dragging neighbors into the conflict. Many senior military officials argue that the only way to salvage the situation in Iraq is to send more troops. Kofi Annan says some Iraqis were better off when Saddam ruled their land. A review of The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the U.N. in the Era of American World Power. Exactly how much damage did John Bolton do as US Ambassador to the United Nations? Let us count the ways (and more). From National Journal, what would happen if America were no longer No. 1 in the world, if the American Goliath no longer acted as the world's government? Four possibilities come to mind. The Dream Palace of the Bushies: Arabs certainly have no monopoly on delusional notions and rigid ideology. Sins of the Father: Michael Kinsley on how Bush's family life opposes his rhetoric. Has Bush started talking to the walls? Frank Rich wants to know. Moxie in the Executive: Fred Barnes on how not to be a lame duck. House Intelligence Committee head Silvestre Reyes may be the perfect man. Does the ghost of Tom Foley haunt Democrats? People Party vs. Money Party: David Sirota on who's who among the Democrats. The Bloomberg for president scenario starts with himself as a man of destiny. Throw in the country’s disgust with the two parties, add a half-a-billion bucks, and you’ve got yourself a race. Senator Sam Brownback considers a run for president. So why is he spending a night in prison? A split in the GOP tent: It's hard to be the party of small government when you represent the communities that benefit from big government. And from Reason, the Federal budget's long emergency: Got a boondoggle you're not proud of? Stick it in a supplemental appropriations bill; and an interview with Dave Barry on laughing at Very Big Government
[Dec 4] From Logos, John Ehrenberg (LIU): Black Gold: Mining Racial Fear in the Service of Wealth; Stephen Eric Bronner (Rutgers): The Sudan and the Crisis in Darfur; and an essay on Islam and the Enlightenment: Between Ebb and Flow. Carlin Romano reviews A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility by Taner Akcam. The hidden truth of the veil: it's all politics. In Egypt and across the Arab world, homosexuality is becoming a political issue. But as gay people become more visible, they could wind up even less free. A review of Unspeakable Love: Gay and Lesbian Life in the Middle East and Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur'an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence. A review of The Caged Virgin by Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Murder in Amsterdam by Ian Buruma. Uneasy empire: An article on Jan van der Heyden and the mystery of being Dutch. Bernard-Henri Lévy on Europe and the culture of scapegoats. Niall Ferguson on the New Demagogues: The conditions for truly dangerous demagogues to emerge are almost ideal. A look at how Hugo Chávez's anti-Americanism hurts him. Jorge G. Castañeda on Felipe Calderon's daunting to-do list for Mexico. Foreign Policy's Faux Pas: Why God belief is not winning here and abroad. Chessboard Endgame: Obsessed with Iraq, we've lost sight of the rest of the world. It's spreading kind of like a virus does: the politically charged words "civil war," uttered by one high-powered group when referring to the bloody conflict in Iraq, and then another, and another. What the US has learned (so far) in Iraq: Three years on, experts and participants are looking back to try and glean the war's lessons. Six defense and foreign-policy experts on what questions senators should ask Robert M. Gates. Is Baker a Wise Man or a wannabe? A comparison of James A. Baker III to previous statesmen who shed partisanship to chart pragmatic courses during crises. Five editorials in The Washington Post argue whether or not George W. Bush is the worst president ever: Douglas Brinkley, Vincent Cannato, Eric Foner, David Greenberg and Michael Lind. And there are some uncanny similarities involving George Bush II and Britain's King George III: A review of George III: America's Last King and A Royal Affair: King George III and His Scandalous Siblings
[Weekend 2e] Central Asia and Europe: From Discover, an article on Central Asia's lost civilization: The unveiling of 4000-year-old civilization calls into question conventional ideas about ancient culture, trade, and religion. As Kazakhstan pushes for more influence in the OSCE, it's time to think about where the organization is headed. From The Globalist, a new silk road has emerged through the trade of hydrocarbons and petrodollars and, like its ancient counterpart, consumer goods, and an excerpt from Son of the Conquerors: The Rise of the Turkic World. From NPQ, an interview with Orhan Pamuk on Europe and Turkey. The reception of Orhan Pamuk's Nobel award in Turkey is charged with the political tensions inside the country and in its relationship with Europe. The Turkish train crash: How to salvage something from the wreckage. The European Union's new members: It is, alas, easier to influence candidates for entry than those now in the club. A chance encounter on the banks of the Danube reminds Horatio Morpurgo that, while the EU prepares to accept Romania and Bulgaria into its ranks, these countries provide a precious doorway into the history of Europe. From Prospect, George Kerevan, Magnus Linklater, John Lloyd, Jim Mather debate Scottish independence. From Open Democracy, on St Andrew’s Day 2006, three leading Scottish writers urge voters to choose the route of national independence. It's not Marx, but Mill: Cameron's attack on Red Ken -- and multiculturalism -- only shows his ignorance of the basic tenet of liberalism. Fraternité? The nightmare scenario for American and French conservatives. A review of 50 Reasons to Hate the French. A look at why German neo-Nazis don't pose a threat. Christmas shoppers in Germany are horrified. Across the country, models of Santa Claus in shop windows appear to be giving the Nazi salute. Some chains have already removed them from the shelves. And the Netherlands's Brotherly Love, Freedom, and Diversity is a political party whose current membership is three, seeking to reduce the age of sexual consent
[Weekend] From Iran, a pornographic video is breaking all sales records, but it is also making prominent TV star Sahra Amir Ebrahimi fear not just the end of her career, but also corporal punishment; and will there be a Velvet Revolution in Iran? Martin Beck Matuštík investigates. From Nepal, an interview with Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dashal, also known as Prachanda, who has laid down arms. From India, Eqbal Ahmad was indicted on charges of conspiring to kidnap Henry Kissinger. He never published a classic text nor did he achieve anything like fame. The publication of his Selected Writings is an occasion for sorrow as well as celebration; and don't blame it on the scriptures: Why India's 150m Muslims are missing out on the country's rise. From Malaysia, as the country approaches its 50th birthday, racial and religious tensions are jeopardising its economic and social success. From Writ, are Congressional wars coming? Since Cheney has already said he'll ignore the Democratic Congress, it seems likely. From GQ, an interview with Al Gore. As the likelihood of a Clinton campaign becomes a reality, more reasons turn up that suggest why she could lose the nomination. In their hunger to overturn the Republican majority, younger Democrats have finally learned that politics and policy are inevitably linked. Why do the Republicans seem to be on autopilot? Chester E. Finn Jr. on his kind of GOP. A national party no more? The Republicans are in danger of being confined to the South. Mitt Romney has used a landscaping company that relies heavily on illegal Guatemalan immigrants. Who wants to be an American? How often do they change the nation's citizenship quiz? Olbermann's Hot News: News flash: Dissent sells! And the American public does have a taste for serious, high-minded news. Victor Navasky reviews All Governments Lie! The Life and Times of Rebel Journalist I. F. Stone. Maureen Dowd's political analysis is devilishly smart and viciously funny--but the New York Times columnist really should spend less time on the couch. And Jack Shafer on how the newspaper industry knew it was doomed 30 years ago
[Dec 1] From Three Monkeys Online, democracy with blood on its hands: An interview with Ariel Dorfman. A review of Predatory States: Operation Condor and Covert War in Latin America. An article on the rise of Rafael Correa, new president of Ecuador, who will find it hard to rule a country with a recent history of unseating its presidents. Venezuela's opposition has finally managed to unite—but it is unlikely to stop Hugo Chávez winning re-election. To believe that one can accurately foresee what will become of Chavez and Venezuela brings to mind a warning: "He who lives by the crystal ball must sooner or later learn to chew glass". Lawrence Davidson on how the US lost Latin America to Hugo Chavez. Carlos Fuentes on how Mexico is entering a new era. Could the global trend toward the breakup of states reach a Latin America pressed by conflict, inequality, and regional fissure? By all appearances, it is now one of the world's core capitalist countries. Has Canada become an imperialist state, as some on the Left argue? A review of The Acadians: In Search of a Homeland. From TNR, Peter Beinart on nation-building, United Nations style. Things Fall Apart: What do we do if Maliki's government falls? Here are three options. Blaming Iraqis: Timothy Noah on what we tell ourselves about an American failure. A look at why the Iraq Study Group is a bust. Happy Birthday, Iran-Contra!: An anniversary the press ignored. From The Progressive, here's a conservative for impeachment. James Wolcott on how Mark Foley's lechery, Bob Woodward's revelations, and Jeanine Pirro's bimbo-hunt, among other satisfyingly juicy scandals, may have freed Washington from its 9/11 bonds. Which experts make better political predictions? John Allen Paulos on Expert Political Judgment by Philip Tetlock. Whatever happened to the "Hipublicans"? Generation Y takes a whirl with the Left. The Anti-Nuclear WANK Worm: An article on the curious origins of political hacktivism. Murder on MySpace: When violent crime strikes a social network, the ghosts of the dead start roaming the machines. And large numbers of Internet users hold such strong views about their online communities that they compare the value of their online world to their real-world communities
From TAC, prisoners’ dilemma: Indefinite detention of terrorist suspects poses a challenge to America’s most valuable legal
traditions; and they only look dead: Neoconservatives lobbied for an unnecessary war and are getting
blamed. But they have made comebacks before.
to The Neoconservative Revolution: Jewish Intellectuals and the Shaping of Public Policy. Where
neo-conservatism was born: An excerpt
from Journal of Significant Thought and Opinion: Commentary Magazine 1945-1959.
A look at what the
heck is a paleoconservative and why you should care. Sock it to the
Left!: An article on the
rise of the Spite Right. Measuring the American mood: David Brown on
relevancy of Richard Hofstadter. From Democracy Journal, a review
of The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public;
of The American Civil Liberties Union and the Making of Modern Liberalism;
and Erwin Chemerinsky reviews
The Myth of Judicial Activism: Making Sense of Supreme Court Decisions.
A less active Supreme Court will not be a less controversial one. Antonin Scalia
says low pay for federal judges threatens to undermine the
US judiciary system by letting it become the domain of provincially minded career
judges. From AEI, where preparation meets opportunity: Charles
Murray on The Future of Freedom. Tuesday’s immigration raids on meatpacking plants
weren’t about curbing identity
theft, they were about union-busting. The Chamber of Commerce, run by corrupt lobbyist Tom Donahue,
has turned into a pay-to-play vehicle for right-wing causes and corporate dishonesty.
White-Collar Workers Unite: Barbara Ehreneich received a grant from SEIU to start United Professionals
(UP), whose mission is to "protect and preserve the American middle
class". Progressives need to end their fixation with
responsibility–and focus on reform that actually works.
Health Care For All: Jacob Hacker on how we can bring business and workers together on a plan for universal care.
White progressives don’t get it: Policies designed without racial justice goals can actually deepen the
divide, while creating the illusion that they've taken care of everyone.
And reparations miss the point: Sure, slavery was
terrible, but we must focus on fixing the glaring unfairness in the world
From a new issue
of Critique, Eyal Lewin (Haifa): Are Patriots Really More Patriotic Than Their
Anti-Patriotic Rivals? Poking into Patriotism Through the Israeli Case;
and James Maggio (Florida): The Fractures of Frankfurt: The Aesthetic
Theories of Marcuse, Benjamin, Rorty, and Popular Culture's Potential to Enable Individual Political Change in Industrial-Capitalist
A review of Rights: A Critical Introduction.
A review of Abductive Reasoning.
Game theory has a lot to contribute to the analysis of life, love and economics.
But the game will only go according to plan if you're sure the other fellow knows the rules.
A new issue
of American Scientist is out, including an article on why
we develop food allergies; differing views of the universe add to the challenge of dealing with natural disasters;
mathematical proof is foolproof, it seems, only in the absence of fools;
of The Trouble with Physics and Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical
a review of. a review
of Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man; a review
of The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More,
of Power, Speed, and Form: Engineers and the Making of the Twentieth Century;
and a review
of The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2.
From New Scientist, if supporters of ID can bolster their case by citing research,
a judge might conclude that it can be taught in American science
classes. Intelligent Design, the clincher: A butterfly explodes the theory.
The Negligents: The art of defeating science in four easy steps.
And why it's time to stop calling those who question global warming
"skeptics". From Skeptical Inquirer, Siege of
"Little Green Men": An article on the 1955 Kelly, Kentucky,
incident. It's hard enough for a child to explain why she likes to play.
So imagine trying to get a straight answer from an octopus.
The ocean contains even stranger and more resilient creatures than anyone
imagined—but humans cannot agree on how to conserve them. From Al-Ahram,
a profile of Tariq
From Pakistan, what happened to
literature? And Vaclav who? Lectures, memoirs and a new play are occupying the life of Vaclav
Havel, the former dissident, political figure and playwright
[Dec 14] From TLS, a review of Satan: A biography; Stages of Evil: Occultism in Western theater and drama; Demons and the Making of the Monk: Spiritual combat in early Christianity; and Satan the Heretic: The birth of demonology in the medieval West; and a cultural history of delusion: A review of Hollow Earth: The long and curious history of imagining strange lands, fantastical creatures, advanced civilizations, and marvellous machines below the Earth’s surface. Hilary Putnam reviews Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity, by Rebecca Goldstein. Scott McLemee interviews Robert Irwin, author of Dangerous Knowledge: Orientalism and Its Discontents. A review of A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn and The Strange Career of Jim Crow by C. Vann Woodward. A review of The Lost World of British Communism. A review of AJP Taylor: Radical Historian of Europe. From The Chronicle, Mark Bauerlein on how academe shortchanges conservative thinking. From n+1, Bruce Robbins replies to Walter Benn Michaels's response to Robbins' review of The Truth About Diversity. From Harvard, the task force charged with replacing the Core curriculum has dropped its headline-grabbing proposal for a “Reason and Faith” requirement. An interview with John Zmirak, editor of All American Colleges: Top Schools for Conservatives, Old Fashioned Liberals and People of Faith. Tuition hikes at public universities aren't necessarily a moral problem. They might be a symptom of progress. German higher education: How private universities could help to improve public ones. Academics are being forced to flee certain death in Iraq - but face a very uncertain life in the UK. A Strange Release: Ophelia Benson on the puzzle of the freeing of an Iranian philosopher. A young Pakistani boy who never felt pain enables scientists to make a genetic breakthrough that could lead to more effective painkillers. A review of Worst of Evils: The fight against pain. From TNR, Michael Crichton, jurassic prick: Back in March, Michael Crowley knocked Crichton's State of Fear. Guess how he got even? Once upon a time in Georgia: An interview with Aka Morchiladze, author of Santa Esperenza, one of the zaniest books of the season. And after some spectacular flops in 2006, the celebrity memoir has been declared dead. But the man who helped to create the genre reckons we shouldn't write it off yet
[Dec 13] From Critique & Humanism, an article on why a social theory of recognition such as Axel Honneth's must include an analysis of social stigmatization at a pre-discursive level -- that of the gaze and perception. A review of The Virtuous Life in Greek Ethics. A review of The Secret History of Emotion. From Prospect, can ageing be stopped? Gerontologists consider the maximum lifespan for humans to be about 120 years. But with rising evidence for a genetic "death programme," which in principle could be amended, some researchers are starting to believe the limit could be extended. A review of Glowing Genes: A Revolution In Biotechnology. A review of Is There an Ethicist in the House? On the Cutting Edge of Bioethics. From American Scientist, a review of Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong; a review of Brain and Culture: Neurobiology, Ideology, and Social Change; and a review of The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution by Sean Carroll. From Christianity Today, an essay on a new way to be human: A Christian materialist alternative to the soul; and a review of From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany. From Haaretz, a review of Zionism and the Biology of the Jews. A review of Thus Saith the Lord: The Revolutionary Moral Vision of Isaiah and Jeremiah. From TNR, 260 million Americans can't be wrong? James Wood on an atheist's critique of popular atheism. A review of The God Delusion. A review of Humanism: An Introduction. From Newsweek, after years of fielding questions about the role of gender in her career, fed-up astrophysicist Janna Levin explains why she's done talking about being a female scientist. Forever. An interview with neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine on why why women’s brains are wired for gossip, why men aren’t as verbal and why, when it comes to intelligence, brain size doesn’t matter. Love Thy Neighbor Evolved Out of Vicious Competition: Human cooperation may have evolved out of a penchant for frequent warfare. Humans and Neanderthals share common ancestry, yet have nothing in common after evolutionary split of two species. And Nick Patterson, a self-professed "data-guy", explores the link between humans and chimpanzees
[Dec 12] A new issue of the Post-Autistic Economics Review is out, including Rick Wolff (UMass): Social Cohesion vs. Social Change; John Schmitt and Ben Zipperer (CEPR): Is the U.S. a Good Model for Reducing Social Exclusion in Europe?; Dean Baker (CEPR): Increasing Inequality in the United States; and John B. Davis ( Amsterdam): The Nature of Heterodox Economics pdf. A review of The Moral Ecology of Markets: Assessing Claims about Markets and Justice. From Australian Review, John Kenneth Galbraith’s lesson in death is that the successful reproduction of the capitalist socio-economic system requires the perennial obfuscation of how it works. From Comment, living with liberalism: An article on the roots of constitutional, representative government. A review of Alexis de Tocqueville: Prophet of Democracy in the Age of Revolution. Democracy and Greatness: Harvey Mansfield on the education Americans need. If race-based balancing in schools only does so much to improve academic performance and social cohesion, then perhaps socioeconomic integration is a better way to pursue these goals. Brown v. Board of Education, Second Round: Did the 1954 ruling require integration or colorblind policies or both? Tericka Dye, a Kentucky teacher who lost her job when it was revealed she had starred in a series of porn flicks a dozen years ago, says she deserves to get her job back. From Inside Higher Ed, Michael Bérubé discusses the thinking behind an MLA committee’s new approach to tenure and scholarship — and urges departments to take the reform ideas seriously. An excerpt from How We Got Here: An Intellectual History of the American University. Stephen Carter reviews The Decline of the Secular University. The Good Book Business: Why publishers love the Bible. The Iraq Study Group Report paperback could have been wrapped in a brown paper bag, its title scrawled in Magic Marker. It would still sell. When L.L. Cool J works some James Brown into his jam, we call it sampling. Makes sense, then, that novelists should demand the same freedoms. Out of epic wars, another epic is born, the one called civilization. From Seed, where the sidewalk ends: Behavioral psychology's unexpected lesson for urban design. And a review of The Architecture of Happiness by Alain De Botton
[Dec 11] A review of The Classical World: An Epic History From Homer to Hadrian. From Newsweek, a look at how Jewish family values shaped Christianity. A review of Augustine. A review of Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminism, Science, and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe. Actually, we can all just get along: Arun Bala, author of The Dialogue of Civilizations in the Birth of Modern Science, suggests civilizations have co-operated more often than clashed. From Reason, beat me, whip me, make me honest! Ronald Bailey on how punishment and reputation combine to create cooperation. A review of The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of the Human Mind by Marvin Minsky. One day we will all happily be implanted with microchips, and our every move will be monitored. The technology exists; the only barrier is society's resistance to the loss of privacy; and the big threat to a tiny science: Physicists worry that fear could turn people off nanotechnology. A review of Genesis Machines: The New Science of Biocomputing and Pulse: How Nature is Inspiring the Technology of the 21st Century. Towards immortality: An article on the growing power to change human nature. A madcap escapade shines a spotlight on a peculiar cultural phenomenon: the pronounced sense of whimsy common among scientists. From Science News, a new wave of research is trying to untangle the origins and nature of psychopathy, a personality style characterized by a lack of conscience, empathy, or guilt that attracts intense interest from the legal system. An interview with Peter Kramer, author of Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind. Michael Dirda reviews William James: In The Maelstrom of American Modernism. A review of American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau: Their Lives, Their Loves, Their Work. The Novelty Factor: Don't let fiction writers derive you crazy. And Philip Gourevitch made his name reporting the genocide in Rwanda. Since taking over as editor of the Paris Review, he is bringing reportage to the biggest little magazine in history
[Weekend] Cass Sunstein (Chicago): Second-Order Perfectionism. From German Law Journal, a special issue on the re-issuing of Martti Koskenniemi’s seminal work From Apology to Utopia. A review of Imagination in Kant's Critique of Practical Reason. A review of The Impossible Mourning of Jacques Derrida. Russell Jacoby on why Hannah Arendt's fame rests on the wrong foundation. A review of Christian Faith and Human Understanding: Studies on the Eucharist, Trinity, and the Human Person. A review of Civilization: A New History of the Western World. Why altruism paid off for our ancestors: Humans may have evolved altruistic traits as a result of a cultural “tax” we paid to each other early in our evolution, a new study suggests. An article on Richard Layard, inequality and the science of happiness. Winners and losers: Amartya Sen fails to understand that the rise of faith-based identity is driven by Muslim communities not by government policy. Welcome to Planet Blitcon: Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie and Ian McEwan dominate British literature - and they're convinced that Islam threatens civilisation as we know it. Lingua Diversa: The world is moving toward a uniform material economy, but cultural differences remain, and fluency in them is crucial. From The Nation, a review of The Annotated Uncle Tom's Cabin, edited by Henry Louis Gates; and Robert S. Boynton reviews Walter Benn Michaels's The Trouble With Diversity. Blind Side: Kenji Yoshino on an argument for voluntary school integration that conservatives should like. From LRB, Ian Hacking reviews Transplants Strange Harvest: Organ Transplants, Denatured Bodies and the Transformed Self. From Wired, Marvin Minsky's and Daniel Dennett's latest thoughts about the brain will blow your mind. A failure of intelligence: Freeman Dyson recalls the time he spent developing analytical methods to help the British Royal Air Force bomb German targets during World War II (and part 2). A review of Early Cold War Spies. And a review of A Good Comrade: János Kádár, communism and Hungary, and Failed Illusions: Moscow, Washington, Budapest and the 1956 Hungarian revolt
[Dec 8] Entertainment and stuff: From Truthdig, an article on the trouble with Political Rock Stars. Hardcore punk has sought to reject inevitable impact of influence, regarding it as sellout conformity. But anxiety over influence conforms with a longstanding poetic tradition of rejecting artistic heritage. The shpilkes , the nervous energy, of punk is Jewish: A review of The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB's: A Secret History of Jewish Punk. Why rock critics need to re-read Lester Bangs—and JPII. Borat plays in Peoria; now turn the tables across the pond. Scripting Boffo Box Office: A computer model can help select movie scripts that lead to success at the box office. It is not really news that Hollywood is still producing anti-business movies, but there is a certain irony in it nevertheless. News media spend a great deal of time these day reporting about the news media, and as traditional forms worry about their future, the coverage only grows that much more. An interview with web guru Tim O'Reilly, considered the father of the term "Web 2.0". Moving Beyond YouTube: A collection of online editing applications lets people do more than just watch and share video. Protect us from hackers: Some have begun hailing St. Isidore of Seville as the patron saint of computers and the Internet. From New York, ever get the feeling that the New York of your dreams is happening elsewhere? These days, the half-life of a hot neighborhood can be measured in mere weeks. To find the optimal balance of commodious bistros, tasteful urban decline, and cheap(ish) rent before it disappears, run like hell to...Jersey City? What is it about Los Angeles that annoys people so much? Let's face it -- everyone needs some place to despise. And we're it. Repulsed, yet watching all the same: Anna Nicole Smith’s Caesarean, O. J. Simpson’s confession, Kramer’s racist rant, Danny DeVito drunk on The View, Britney Spears’s private parts — it’s been a rough few weeks for the American psyche. And look me up under "Missing Link": On Wikipedia, oblivion looms for the non-notable
[Dec 7] Lawrence Solum (Illinois): Constitutional Possibilities. Kurt Lash (Loyola): Popular Sovereignty, Originalism, and Reverse Stare Decisis. From HNN, an interview with Gordon Wood on Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different. A review of Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain by Stefan Collini. A review of The Ruling Caste: Imperial Lives in the Victorian Raj. Globalisation and the civil society: Rajesh Kumar Sharma on rethinking Indian higher education. From Turkey, Professor Atilla Yayla on what happened when he criticized Ataturk. Tea and antipathy: The Chronicle invites David Horowitz and Michael Bérubé to lunch, then sat back and watched the rhetoric fly. From n+1, Walter Benn Michaels responds to Bruce Robbins's review of The Trouble With Diversity. How Edward Said took intellectuals for a ride: A review of Robert Irwin's Dangerous Knowledge: Orientalism and Its Discontents. From Edge, a discussion on Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival; and more. A review of Science and Ethics. Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, authors of the "Left Behind" series, promise a series of novels, The Jesus Chronicles, based on the New Testament likely to rile biblical purists. Bibles are booming: These days the Good Book comes in hundreds of varieties. What has happened to the comedy crowds these days? Aristophanes on why today's audiences just don't get him. Joseph Epstein on how Vocabula Review fights for clear, expressive English. Beyond the Context of No Context: George Trow, who died last month, lived to see his worst fears about the media confirmed. Scott McLemee revisits his legacy. In a Multimedia Realm Where Book Meets Blog: For Steven Johnson there is a perfectly logical connection between an outbreak of cholera in 1854 and a Web site that shows the latest Ethiopian restaurant in your ZIP code. Michael Dirda reviews Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination (and more and more). If you can solve the world's most daunting mathematical challenges, fame awaits. Fortune, too, if you want it. And a review of The Equation That Couldn't Be Solved: How Mathematical Genius Discovered the Language of Symmetry; The Artist and the Mathematician: The Story of Nicolas Bourbaki, the Genius Mathematician Who Never Existed; King of Infinite Space; and Meta Math!: The Quest for Omega
[Dec 6] From Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, Miki Malul (Ben-Gurion) and Amir Shoham (Sapir): The Role of Culture and Economic Variables in Wars and Coups (a special kind of registration is required). A review of The Nature and Development of the Modern State by Graeme Gill. A review of Producing Security: Multinational Corporations, Globalization, and the Changing Calculus of Conflict. From the Canadian Journal of Sociology, a review of Globalization from Below: Transnational Activists and Protest Networks; a review of The Human Face of Global Mobility; a review of Charles Tilly and Sidney Tarrow's Contentious Politics; and a review of Time Use: Expanding Explanation in the Social Sciences. A review of Is Science Value Free? by Hugh Lacey. From India, a look at why evidence isn’t what it used to be. While this year's winners gather in Stockholm, some earlier Nobel laureates decode their breakthroughs with crayon and cardboard. There were geeks among the ancient Greeks and sharp operators in medieval Damascus. There is always something new to be found in the past. Neanderthals lived a desperately tough life, sometimes so close to starvation that when one of them died their compatriots would fall upon the body and devour it. Because Neanderthal women joined men in the hunt, research suggests gendered division of labor gave modern humans an advantage over Neanderthals. Did Peter Singer back animal research? No, but the intellectual father of animal rights admitted the possibility that some experiments might be justified. From Great Britain, playing to the gallery: How far should academics and researchers extend their influence? Some professors at North Carolina State University oppose taking any money from a conservative foundation, even though no specific proposal for such a donation is being considered. Written communication skills are getting worse and business schools are working harder to eschew obfuscation. Creativity and emotion are what makes advertising successful, and the message is irrelevant, new research shows. The key to the future: Will dyslexia unlock secrets of creativity? And the meaning of motion: Niko Troje can tell a lot about you just by the way you walk
[Dec 5] From The New Atlantis, Max Boot on The Paradox of Military Technology; an essay on Getting Serious About Nuclear Terrorism; a review of books on J. Robert Oppenheimer; a look at The Moral Challenge of Modern Science; and Benjamin Hippen and Peter Lawler examine the practical, economic, and moral dimensions of buying and selling body parts; and a review of Ramesh Ponnuru's The Party of Death. A review of Future People: A Moderate Consequentialist Account of Our Obligations to Future Generations. Your genes or mine, how different are we? Monkey business: Peter Singer upsets activists, pro-lifers and disability groups alike. A review of Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration by Felipe Fernández-Armesto. From The New York Sun, round one in the clash of civilizations: A review of Thermopylae: The Battle That Changed the World. From Turkey, Gazi Uiversity suspends Professor Atilla Yayla for remarks he made about Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Sit in My Chair: Ralph E. Luker considers the recent round of controversies over endowed professorships. Straight A student? Good luck making partner: Is there is a “credentials gap” between white and black law school graduates? The Supreme Court takes up two school integration disputes that could have far-reaching effects for Brown v. Board of Education. Affirmative Inaction: Anthony Kennedy is sort of horrified by voluntary school desegregation. Dartmouth Reviewed: Community protests anti-Native American imagery. Who's #2?: The BCS' dumb obsession with finding America's second-best college football team. From New Statesman, Ted Honderich replies to Nick Cohen. When Michael DeWilde is getting his hair cut by somebody new who asks him what he does for a living, he fibs. "I say anything but philosopher... It's a real conversation stopper." Ever wondered if there was more to South Park than offensive behaviour and filthy language? The world awaits South Park and Philosophy: You Know, I Learned Something Today. The plagiarism Furies have been unloosed again, but this time, the accused is Ian McEwan. Traditionally confined to works of nonfiction, the bibliography has lately been creeping into novels. A new issue of The Smithsonian is out. And the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World have been around forever it seems. Isn't it time for some "new" monuments to take their place? The people from New 7 Wonders think so
[Dec 4] From Modern Age, James Patrick Dimock (MSU-Mankato): Rediscovering the Heroic Conservatism of Richard M. Weaver (and part 2); Arthur J. Versluis (MSU): The Revolutionary Conservatism of Jefferson's Small Republics; Stephen Bertman (Windsor): The Perils of America's Progress; Caitlin Smith (PUSC): Edmund Husserl and the Crisis of Europe; Mark T. Mitchell (PHC): The False Dilemma of Modernity; and an essay on Christopher Lasch pdf. From European Journal of International Law, Bruno Simma And Dirk Pulkowski (Munich): Of Planets and the Universe: Self-contained Regimes in International Law; a review of Imperialism, Sovereignty and the Making of International Law; a review of Denial of Justice in International Law; a review of Enforcing International Law Norms Against Terrorism; and a review of The Dark Sides of Virtue: Reassessing International Humanitarism. A review of Dred Scott and the Problem of Constitutional Evil, and a review of Human Rights and Gender Violence: Translating International Law into Local Justice. A review of Experiencing the State by Lloyd I. Rudolph and John Kurt Jacobsen. From International Socialism Journal, Empire built on shifting sand: An article on Antonio Negri and Italian politics, American economics and French Philosophy. Why Marx still matters: Two chapters from The Meaning of Marxism. A review of Intimate Politics: How I Grew Up Red, Fought for Free Speech and Became a Feminist Rebel by Bettina F. Aptheker. From TNR, war college: Andrew Delbanco on the university in a time of war; and Jonathan Chait on conservatives' faulty model for improving schools. From Kenya, where is the dividing line for creative writer and a literary critic? Gore Vidal's rancour - towards Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams and his many other adversaries - knows no bounds, but he insists he's not paranoid: "I'm different in that I have enemies. Very real ones". The secret to writing a novel in a month is just to do it — and it’s a good idea to accept from the start that, barring miracles, it will be very, very bad. Christopher Buckley reviews Spy: The Funny Years (and more). Accents speak louder than words: A review of A Plum In Your Mouth. Groaning, but not with passion: Iain Hollingshead basks in afterglow of "Bad Sex" award. And a look at how women may respond to porn, but not in a way that counts
[Weekend 2e] Michael Saler (UC-Davis): Modernity and Enchantment: A Historiographic Review. From American Historical Review, a special issue on Historical Perspectives on Anti-Americanism, including Greg Grandin (NYU): Your Americanism and Mine: Americanism and Anti-Americanism in the Americas; Jessica C. E. Gienow-Hecht (Frankfurt): Always Blame the Americans: Anti-Americanism in Europe in the Twentieth Century; Warren I. Cohen (Maryland) and Nancy Bernkopf Tucker (Georgetown): America in Asian; and Juan Cole (Michigan): Anti-Americanism: It's the Policies. American Migration, 1776 to 2006: An article on the reasons for peaks and declines in the United States migrant population. From Current Research in Social Psychology, an article on Ingroup Favoritism and Social Self-Esteem in Minimal Groups: Changing a Social Categorization into a Social Identity pdf. A new issue of M/C: Media Culture is out, on the theme "Filth", including an essay on Filth and Sexual Excess: Some Brief Reflections on Popular Scatology. A review of Wittgenstein's Tractatus: An Introduction. A review of Contexts: Meaning, Truth, and the Use of Language. A review of Nietzsche, Godfather of Fascism? On the Uses and Abuses of a Philosophy. A review of Richard A. Gilmore’s Doing Philosophy at the Movies. Here's the latest Harvard Law Review "Foreword": The Court's Agenda -- and the Nation's by Frederick Schauer. A review of Law and Social Movements. A review of Nicola Lacey's A Life of H. L. A. Hart: The Nightmare and the Noble Dream. From Reason, closing the Black/White IQ gap? James Flynn and Charles Murray search for a solution. Unintended consequences: What happened when California's universities banned racial preferences? Are elite universities losing their competitive edge? Advances in information technology over the last three decades have greatly diminished the importance of physical proximity. Robert Shiller on Ivy League investors. And here's the Fuzzy Math's Guide To Fleecing Someone: Want to scam a little extra money?
[Weekend] From the Journal of World History, Charles Parker (SLU): Paying for the Privilege: The Management of Public Order and Religious Pluralism in Two Early Modern Societies; Michael Pearson (UT-Sydney): Littoral Society: The Concept and the Problems; Erik Ringmar (NCTU): Audience for a Giraffe: European Expansionism and the Quest for the Exotic; a review of Bodies in Contact: Rethinking Colonial Encounters in World History; a review of A World at Total War: Global Conflict and the Politics of Destruction, 1937–1945; a review of War Since 1945; a review of The Jewish Century; a review of Civilization and Its Contents; and a review of Globalization: A Short History. From the American Historical Review, a forum on Oceans of History, including Alison Games (Georgetown): Atlantic History: Definitions, Challenges, and Opportunities; Matt K. Matsuda (Rutgers): The Pacific; and Peregrine Horden (London) and Nicholas Purcell (Oxford): The Mediterranean and "the New Thalassology". A review of The Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean. A review of Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminism, Science, and Art From the Cults of Catholic Europe. From The New Criterion (registration required; make sure to read the print versions), a special issue on art, with an introduction; and Robert George reviews Andrew Sullivan’s The Conservative Soul; a review of Sam Harris’s Letter to a Christian Nation; and a review of Martin Gardner’s The New Ambidextrous Universe: Symmetry & Asymmetry from Mirror Reflections to Superstrings. A review of The Trouble with Physics and Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law. From Astrobiology, Carol Cleland explores the idea that there could be undiscovered alien life forms on Earth. Ancient meteorites from outer Solar System may have provided raw materials for life: A meteorite that fell in Canada's Tagish Lake contains organic compounds from a time before planets formed. And lateral thinking: An artificial version of a fishy sense organ passes its first two tests
[Dec 1] The latest issue of the Virginia Law Review is free online, including Arthur Ripstein (Toronto): Private Order and Public Justice: Kant and Rawls; Jonathan Wolff (UCL): Libertarianism, Utility and Economic Competition; and A. John Simmons (Virginia): Liberties and Markets. From the CEU Political Science Journal, Nikolaos Panagiotou (Aristotle): Is the Process of Democratization the Mean for a Peaceful World? A Critical Analysis of the Democratic Peace Theory pdf. From Quadrant, an essay on intellectuals and international relations; and an article on pragmatism versus multiculturalism: Do we need the word multiculturalism? From Seven Oaks, an article on Walter Benjamin’s posthumous fame. A review of Auschwitz Report by Primo Levi. A review of Beyond Catastrophe: German Intellectuals and Cultural Renewal after World War II, 1945-1955. From The Moscow Times, a review of Piggy Foxy and the Sword of Revolution: Bolshevik Self-Portraits. A review of From World War to Cold War: Churchill, Roosevelt, and the International History of the 1940s. A review of Warfare State: Britain, 1920-1970. A review of The Lion and the Unicorn: Gladstone vs Disraeli. A review of Politics and the Passions, 1500-1850. A review of The Headless Republic: Sacrificial Violence in Modern French Thought. A review of The Story of French. From PUP, the introduction to The Measure of Merit: Talents, Intelligence, and Inequality in the French and American Republics, 1750-1940. From Technology Review, research is under way to make a brain chip capable of triggering muscle movement. A review of Genesis Machines: the new science of biocomputing. From Logos, an article on animals and the limits of justice. An interview with Jim Mason, co-author of The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter. From Slate, pawn of the neocons? Gideon Lewis-Kraus on the debate over Reading Lolita in Tehran. Here's The New York Times' 10 best books of 2006. From The Wilson Quarterly, the great appeal of statistics is that they tell stories. Consider these numbers from the latest Historical Statistics of the United States. And a review of The Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy and the American Voice by Greil Marcus