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[May 15] From
France, a look at the murky mix of school and scandal;
the bestseller The President's Tragedy breaks a taboo by exposing
Jacques Chirac's private life; and could Ségolène Royal, a
52-year-old mother of four, be the next president?
From Pakistan, an article on a
new chapter of the capitalist narrative; and
General Pervez Musharraf is now the
Karl Popper of the Islamic world. Many Muslims
now hope for
the restoration of the Caliphate. Could this
actually occur? Lithuanian political scientist Raimundas Lopata
says Kaliningrad can be detached from Russia.
With Russia's population shrinking,
will cash incentives work? The data would say: Not quite.
Is Bosnia a single country or an apple of discord?
Timothy Garton Ash argues that
the EU will be neither a federal superstate nor the plaything of its
As energy-rich countries feel empowered by high oil prices,
they are increasingly using the power of the pipeline to make their
influence felt. From Newsweek,
Fareed Zakaria on the
real story of pricey oil.
review of Blue State Blues: How a Cranky Conservative Launched a
Campaign and Found Himself the Liberal Candidate (and Still
Jewish and Latino Democrats have long stood on common ground.
But tensions are starting to show between old-line liberals and
Is it really in the best interest of the Democratic Party
to win control of the House and Senate in November?
An interview with
Ned Lamont, the man who's gunning for Joe Lieberman.
It's all relatives: With their spouses or siblings termed out,
wives, a husband and brothers are vying to keep the legislative seat in the family.
Ana Marie Cox on
why Congressmen are such easy marks. Researchers
writing in the Journal of Nervous and Mental
Disease have concluded that half
the presidents in US history suffered from
mental illness. And presidents often
lean on intellectuals for advice. But history says that's not always so
[Weekend 2e] News from around the world: From Singapore, the People's Action Party shows that it remains one of the world's most successful political machines. From Georgia, former Prime Minister of Estonia Mart Laar will become President Saakashvili’s aide for reform issues; and Abkhazia's case for independence is no less compelling than Kosovo's from Serbia. The announced referendum on the independence of the Republic of Montenegro which will be held on 21 May 2006 is characterised by the polarisation and severe referendum campaign. The Latin American roots of US imperialism: A review of Empire’s Workshop: Latin America and the Roots of U.S. Imperialism (and more). A review of The Judicialization of Politics in Latin America. Bolivia gas plan is causing rifts in South America. Lula has been humiliated by Hugo Chávez. But there are limits to the new giant's clout. The public image of Mali is that of a good neighbour, a peacemaker whose door is always open. The problem is that everyone wants a piece of it. The spectre of civil war haunts Congo. A new issue of Al-Ahram's quarterly supplement, "Beyond", is out. An article on the rise of the Indian economy. A review of Restless Souls: Rebels, Refugees, Medics And Misfits On The Thai-Burma Border. A review of In the Time of Madness: Indonesia on the Edge of Chaos. Saddam Hussein's novel Devil’s Dance, will be published in Japan. Here are the top and bottom ranked places to have a child according to the 2006 Mother's Index. An interview with Jan Egeland, UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs. Who will succeed Kofi Annan as UN Secretary General is a hot question among diplomats. Anatol Lieven on Putin versus Cheney. Alarmist rhetoric from President Vladimir Putin; skinhead violence on Russian streets. Is there a connection? As the US enters a potential Cold War II with Russia, it has one hand tied behind its back. And where does North America end and Russia begin? The political boundaries haven't changed, but the geological ones will have to
[Weekend] From Kyrgyzstan, a leading political figure with alleged underworld links is shot down in the street. From Turkey, Hasan Bülent Kahraman looks at Maurice Blanchot's theory of the "infinite distance" inherent in friendship. From France, what is it exactly about the Paris Sewer Museum that leaves normally blasé junior high school kids speechless? From Financial Times, unheralded and almost unnoticed, the world has seen the emergence of a new economic model in Australia; and Tony Blair’s critics need to remember an important fact: British socialism is dead. To scan the newspapers from 30 years ago is to understand how Britain has changed, and mainly for the better. Monday marks the 58th anniversary of the founding of Israel in 1948 and the expulsion of Palestinians from their land. A review of Man in the Shadows: Inside the Middle East Crisis with a Man Who Led the Mossad and Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab Tragedy. Hamas 2.0: A view from Ramallah. Former President of Tanzania Benjamin Mkapa writes in defence of President Mugabe. A catalogue of questions for global leaders: As you read this catalogue, ask yourself who it is. The Pope? Or somebody else? From Foreign Policy, seven questions on America’s energy predicament. A post-9/11 effort by the FBI to concentrate on public corruption now includes more than 2,000 investigations under way. Please don't remain calm: Michael Kinsley on instinctual response in the wake of crises like 9/11. Democrats in search of new ideas might surprise everyone by embracing the cause of states' rights. Al Gore is the media man of the hour. The story has a familiar ring, but it's hard to say exactly why. Let's make it a game. Carl Cannon on how Republicans can get their groove back. Fox News' John Gibson urges viewers to make more babies because in 25 years much of the population will be Hispanic. Business journalist and CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo has the power to rock markets. An end to the neo-soviet nightmare: The accounting standards rulebook is being rewritten, but is it increasing the perception that auditors are insurers of the last resort? And the Political Economy Research Institute releases The Toxic 100: Top Corporate Air Polluters in the United States
[May 12] From Poland, despite fractious politics, the country's prospects are bright and its problems solvable; and anti-Fukuyama: A consideration at the beginning of the third millennium. From Great Britain, an article on slavery: Is it time for an apology? From France, the non-commemoration last year of the bicentennial of Napoleon's great victory at Austerlitz was a sign of national uncertainty about the role of history and its relationship to the state. From Germany, an agreement on immigration, but a test was deemed too touchy. Germans can't even agree among themselves on what it means to be German; and a new MTV cartoon making fun of the pope stirs up outrage. Can one really show the pope hopping through the Vatican halls on a cross-shaped pogo stick? Prepare for the sequel to the Muhammad caricature controversy. From Cafe Babel, who's afraid of Europe? A series of articles. George Bush and Tony Blair are the Axis of Feeble. Fred Kaplan on how Bush should respond to the Iranian president's letter. Is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a John Locke or a John Brown? A massive new embassy and military bases in and around Baghdad signal the US determination to remain in Iraq for the long term. From USA Today, the NSA has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans. Are the revelations enough to turn the public against the program? Matthew Cooper finds out. An interview with former Times columnist Anthony Lewis on illegal wiretapping, executive power, and John Yoo. A recent floodlet of books offers a surprisingly coherent portrait of the White House's management style. A fake democracy? Why no one has much chance of toppling Congress's incumbents. Senator Kerry hits back at Mary Cheney over "son of a bitch" comments, and an article on The New Kerry. Are Republicans pretending Hillary's a strong presidential candidate? Or do they really believe it? And a new documentary makes the case against Rudy Giuliani
[May 11] From Germany, an article on Angela Merkel's Unwilling Reform Coalition. From Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf is bickering with his neighbor Afghanistan and faces unrest at home. From Time, a top Iranian official offers what could be a starting point for negotiations. Here's a United Nations solution to the Iran crisis. The Muslim world's encounter with modernity is a dislocating process that may prove fatal to theocrats and autocrats alike. A review of Occupied Minds: a journey through the Israeli psyche. From Foreign Policy, a look at the Five Top Global Choke Points. Is Paul Wolfowitz the worst man in the world? A New Statesman cover story. The UK is about to pay off the last of its World War II loans from the US. National Guard leaders storm Congress to support legislation to increase the Guard’s clout within the Pentagon. The CIA is no longer the premier intelligence organization. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has that job now. From TFN, a report on The Anatomy of Power: Texas and the Religious Right in 2006. Molly Ivins on The Best Little Whorehouse in Washington. Jacob Weisberg on why our MBA president can't manage the government. The GOP's latest tax cuts confirms the nanny state has been turned on its head: the poor now subsidize the rich. With midterms coming up, the GOP adopts a new tack: Call it the "apocalypse strategy". Harold Meyerson on the GOP's bankruptcy of ideas. Optimistic, Democrats debate the party's vision, while Michael Tomasky, a liberal of the Lost Generation, senses a shift. Appeals Judge J. Michael Luttig leaves the U.S. Court of Appeals for Boeing; and a John Roberts file is still missing. A ten-year-old is forbidden from singing Pink’s anti-Bush song at school talent show. Does hating rock make you a music critic? And if you don't like rap, are you a racist?
[May 10] From Turkmenistan, a system of political secrecy conceals an economy where injustice, exploitation and corruption rules. From Uzbekistan, one year after hundreds were shot down at Andijan, depictions of what happened retain a fictive quality that belies the disturbing reality. From Iran, the mullah-dominated regime is tightening its censorship and policing of moral standards; Ahmadinejad tells the West it's failed; and an interview with Iran expert Wahied Wahdat-Hagh. From the Solomon Islands, popular revolt forces PM to quit. From Canada, defending Michael Ignatieff: A pro-torture US imperialist? From Puerto Rico, a compromise resolves the fiscal crisis and ends government shutdown. Contrary to recent expectations, Mexico has a competitive presidential election on its hands. After a long period of quiet, the Italian Unabomber has apparently struck again. Christopher Hitchens on Holland's shameful treatment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Is Europe about to abandon its integration project and return to the old era of national rivalry? A new rift spoils recent progress between Rome and Beijing. From China, an interview with Colin Powell by People's Daily. A look at the America's Roman Predicament. From NPQ, an interview with Madeline Albright. Paul Krugman on the truth about conspiracy theories. EJ Dionne on the Two Cheneys. An article on the publication of Mary Cheney's Now It's My Turn: A Daughter's Chronicle of Political Life (and more). Two years since his son's beheading in Iraq, Michael Berg runs for Congress in Pennsylvania. From Grist, an interview with accidental movie star Al Gore. Why does everybody in New York want to be an actor? Top tips for activist stars: Anyone can win Oscars; peace prizes are trickier. George Takei, Mr. Sulu of Star Trek, comes out and speaks out. Life imitates "South Park": An article on rolling with the Worldwide Marijuana March. And on how "pimp" got pimped: Pimping used to be a bad thing. Now everyone does it
[May 9] From Hungary, voters have re-elected a socialist government that embraces open markets, the EU and globalisation. Not such a paradox. From Fiji, voters on the 300-odd islands go to the polls on Saturday. From Brazil, the hunger-strike of a leading politician is the latest sign that a new form of an old movement is sweeping Latin America. From Nepal, Maoist insurgents announce they were now ready for peace talks. From Japan Focus, an essay on The Imaginary Geography of a Nation and its De-nationalized Narrative: Japan and the Korean Experience. "Dual citizen" soldiers torn between US and South Korean armies: Koreans born in US can still face mandatory service. The Bush administration has all but turned its back on a nuclear threat that is just as dangerous to America's security interests: North Korea. A review of Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World. Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad writes a letter to President Bush (and more ). Bush sits down with German TV and shows that he's become little more than a spectator of his own political decline, while he is now thinking of his legacy and his library--and a public policy think tank. How to Kill a War in 10 Not-So-Easy Steps: Desperate times call for desperate measures, like talking to lobbyists. Joseph Nye on Donald Rumsfeld and smart power. The matter of Rumsfeld v. the Generals bears close scrutiny, stakes are high (and more). Undercover cover-up: Was Portland attorney Thomas Nelson the target of the NSA domestic spying program? A look at how agencies are going the extra mile to provide information to their overseers on Capitol Hill. Al Gore might yet join 2008 contenders as his movie sparks talk of a White House run. For Washington pols and presidential candidates, a new staffer is becoming indispensible: the internet specialist. The lesson is clear: bully bloggers at your own risk. They have rights, they are networked, and the big media pay attention to them. From New York, the Influentials: The people whose ideas, power and sheer will are changing New York. And Robert Kuttner on the comeback of protest songs
[May 8] From Canada, an article on the plight of the orphan space: Abandoned, they need our help. From India, a review of Constitutional Questions and Citizens' Rights. From Venezuela, is Castro-loving, Bush-hating Hugo Chavez a revolutionary democrat or a dictator in the making? The world needs gas and oil, and Bolivia and its neighbors need to sell it. Bolivia is just struggling for a way to make markets work. Today's Falkland Islanders - visibly prosperous, wired and well educated - stand on the fringe of globalization. What lies ahead? pdf. Jonathan Hari journeys into the most savage war in the world, taking place in the Congo. A review of China Shakes the World. A review of Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam. More on The Accidental Empire. A review of Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad. Draft Hollywood: The US needs more gung-ho, patriotic war movies that celebrate our fight against Islamo-fascists. Condi Rice has said that the US had "no better friend" than Jordan, Greece, Italy, Australia, Singapore, Britain and, separately, the United Kingdom. The newly founded International Endowment for Democracy (IED) seeks to raise international funds to assist pro-democracy groups within the US. Jerry Falwell on John McCain's commencement address at Liberty University. Can McCain be a Falwell Republican? Is Hillary Clinton too much of a Clinton Democrat? John Dean reviews Mark Felt's A G-Man's Life: The FBI, Being "Deep Throat," and the Struggle for Honor in Washington. From AJR, an article in praise of investigative reporting: It’s not only important, it’s also good business. From Moment, Edward R. Murrow is as good as it gets. "Go back to Italy you *&^%&&^% WOP"!: Viewers respond to Nick Gillespie's recent O'Reilly Factor appearance. The Blog Rage Canard: Greg Sargent on what all the MSM complaints are really about. And Web pioneer Vint Cerf and tech pundit Esther Dyson discuss what they expect of the internet in the next 10 years
[Weekend 2e] Europe - USA: From Europe, how do public administrations actually know what end users want and expect of their public services so as to set about satisfying their needs? From Germany, the population is growing older and shrinking. But the baby gap is slowly being filled by the country's immigrant population. Some predict Germans will become a minority; and fighting Neo-Nazis: Against foreign fruit and right wingers. A look at how London has changed in the past 108 years, and how it hasn't. Peter Hitchens on Big Brother in Britain. An article on The Berlusconi Show. Michele Alliot-Marie has made history as France’s first female defence minister and is a strong contender for the next prime minister. But she’s no conventional feminist. The bad old idea of protectionism is again sweeping Europe, and France is its cheerleader. A review of books on Ukraine's Orange Revolution. An image on a vodka bottle takes Dora Apel on a disturbing journey through the reviving currents of chauvinist, anti-Semitic and even Nazi sentiment in modern Russia. Could Bosnia's century-old model hold a few how-to clues to addressing the problem of the continent’s marginalized Muslim populations? Kosovars debate the taboos and shibboleths surrounding their relations with Slavs, Albanians, and the world: A review of Who Is Kosovar: A Debate. It is time to start worrying about Turkey, and looking for ways to revive its European hopes. From National Journal, three years after a technology firm developed an innovative monitoring system for critical U.S. infrastructure sites and offered it to the government for just $1, the system remains untested and unused. Fix-It Man Porter Goss leaves, but the CIA's cracks remain (and more and more). With anonymous political donations under fire, how should we pay for our democracy? A review of Party Funding and Campaign Financing in International Perspective. More on 1973 Nervous Breakdown: Watergate, Warhol, and the Birth of Post-Sixties America. EJ Dionne on the Great Republican Rebranding. And why does the press hold Bush to one constitutional standard and itself to another? Michael Kinsley investigates
[Weekend] News from around the world: From Great Britain, the success of the neo-fascist British National Party in local elections is a political gift from a leading New Labour minister; and Blair shuffles cabinet, including appointing the first female foreign secretary. From South Korea, dramatic raid ousts activists in Camp Humphreys. From Iran, Iranian-Canadian philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo is arrested. From Canada, an article on Feng Shui Federalism; and it may read like a corny western movie spewed out by Hollywood. Unfortunately, the continuing abuse of aboriginal people in is fact, not fiction. From Brazil, the Pirahã people have no history, no descriptive words and no subordinate clauses. That makes their language one of the strangest in the world. From Israel, an interview with Efraim Halevy, former Mossad chief; religious Zionists feel anger, alienation as political map shifts leftward; and Ehud Olmert's wife Aliza is a leftwing artist who is openly critical of his policies, and had never voted for him until this year. From Middle East Report Online, an article on the legacy of Ariel Sharon. From Haaretz, Tony Judt on the country that wouldn't grow up. An article on Saudi Arabia, a kingdom divided. Today's confrontation with Iran over nuclear research is an example of how, as the saying goes, history rhymes. An interview with Walid Phares, author of Future Jihad. Online magazine hints at attacks on papers that ran Muhammad caricatures. A look at how the US-led invasion in Iraq interrupted the Middle East’s gradual movement toward liberalization. A review of Spying on the Bomb: American Nuclear Intelligence from Nazi Germany to Iran and North Korea. Never again? What nonsense. Again and again is more like it, in Darfur. An interview with Kunda Dixit, editor of the Nepali Times, about the king’s future, the alliance between the opposition and the Maoists, and whether India should be worried. A review of Locked in Place: State-Building and Late Industrialization in India. And Jeffrey Sachs on the lessons from the North
[May 5] American politics - media and entertainment: From TNR, George Allen says he's not a Confederate symp. But the evidence keeps dribbling out. In Alabama, the mood is shifting away from Bush and the Republican cultural conservatives. Sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in English? Who's Bush kidding? Jack Shafer on Bush's Chamber of Secrets: How they'll prove to be his undoing. An interview with Matthew Continetti, author of The K Street Gang. Rep. Curt Weldon dines out on his campaign fund. Bush might be the worst president ever, but some Republican governors are giving him a run for his money. Rod Dreher has defined a political hybrid: The all-natural, whole-grain conservative. From Newsweek, James Carville on the message he thinks that voters will want to hear in 2008. Paul Waldman on the Progressive Identity Complex. Is Ted Kennedy a political dinosaur, or a starry-eyed naif? From Salon, an excerpt from Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush. Fighting Words: Bush vs. the press vs. Bush. From CJR, a look at how bombs and bullets are becoming background noise in the battle to control the news. Howell Raines' new memoir, The One That Got Away, shows him living by the same manly code, whether in journalism scandal or on a trout stream. Who won't be the next managing editor of Time magazine? Michael Kinsley, for starters. From New York Observer, Washington, a town without wit or pity, finds persona of Daily Show guy a political hairball; welcome to Party House: Boozy fermenting ground for hormonal wonkocracy; and D.C. hotter than Brooklyn: What's in? From The Believer, the relentlessly iconic city of Los Angeles is the ideal place to challenge the established American nature story (and part 2). From Pop and Politics, a look inside the Celebrity-Industrial Complex. Vanity Fair reprises a behind the scenes of America’s most powerful gossip column, " Page Six". Life wasn't better back in 1983: It's time for Gen-Xers to get back to the future. A look through the lens of the teen sex comedies of the early 1980s. Hiphop Turns 30: Whatcha celebratin' for? As Rolling Stone hits 1,000 issues, Jann Wenner is still high on the concept. And meet the geeks: A chat with the science-savvy writers behind "The Simpsons" and "Futurama"
[May 4] News from around the world: From the Netherlands, Ayaan Hirsi Ali on how civil society and hybrid cars, not military might, will defeat Islamists. From Germany, the Oompa Loompa look: Skin colors in late winter are positively alarming -- ranging from jaundice yellow to Tuscan terracotta. From Brazil, the pink-striped cars on trains and subways are reserved for women only, but is it protection or segregation? From Iran, Islamic dress code to be strictly enforced. The Young and the Old: Radical Islam takes root in the Balkans. From Denmark's Ord&Bild, out of necessity, the story of Beirut is also a story of power, memory, and statecraft. From Turkey's Varlik, Does the bell toll for French Republicanism? David Goodhart reviews a special issue of Fabian Review on the "patriotism of the left", and a review of The Union Jack: the story of the British flag. On holy ground, a hollow sound: Czechs' shunning of religion in part blamed on Soviets. From Foreign Policy, here's the second annual Failed States Index. An interview with Prime Minister Agim Ceku of Kosovo on independence. Calling Richard Florida: Singapore wants to shed its square image and reinvent itself as creative cool. An excerpt from Kamikaze Diaries: Reflections of Japanese Student Soldiers. East Asia's troubled waters: History aside, Chinese-Japanese conflict now plays out over gas and oil reserves in the East China Sea; Japan and South Korea clash over fish, iffy energy resources and two rocks; and Chinese forced-labor victims press Japan to embrace emerging international standards of accountability. An article on political passivity in the US and the parallels with the predicament of late Imperial China. And a memo to Americans fretting over the US$202 billion trade deficit with China: "Embrace it! Love that trade deficit"
[May 3] From Germany, a politician has triggered a debate by calling for an official Turkish translation of the German national anthem to symbolize how multicultural Germany has become. From Poland, Catholic broadcaster Radio Maryja openly agitates against Jews and strongly supports the Kaczynski brothers. The German Pope wants to rein in the station. From Bolivia, President Evo Morales has become a symbol for the left and for anti-American sentiment the world over. But is he really a socialist? From Al-Ahram, a greater Palestine? Perhaps "Palestine" should be declared to include Israel, the West Bank, Gaza and Jordan. The slow drumbeat of bombs in beach resorts around the world shows just how soft "vacation" targets can be. From Foreign Policy, the timetable for talks with Iran, or a nuclear crisis, is not being shaped by centrifuges, uranium, or reactors. It’s about the security only a barrel of oil can provide (and more). More on Jean-Francois Revel. Hey Brits, you’re more American than you know. Bachelet, Merkel, Johnson Sirleaf: Why are American women last to take the lead? Bush's presidency is in trouble, and bringing in loyal nobodies won't save it. It's time to send in the Dream Team. A look at why a Republican victory in '06 could help Democrats in '08. How the Democrats played at reform: Dems risk blowing a chance to clean up Congress and win politically. Congress now has a farmer, inventor, physiologist, professor, businessman, engineer and politician trying to save the Navy from itself. A look at Senator George Allen's journey of racial conciliation. EJ Dionne on how to save FEMA. There are leaks. And then there are leaks: Is an intelligence leaker a hero or a villain, or a little bit of both? Right-wingers ignore the difference between someone who leaks for patriotic ends and those who do it for partisan political gain. "Let's" analyze Neil Young's latest song title, "Let's Impeach the President". An interview with Joel Klein on Politics Lost. And do you feel that you just can’t take any more of Bush? That you just are too tired to care? You could be suffering from outrage fatigue. In which case, you are not alone
[May 2] News from around the world - media news: From Bolivia, the military is told to occupy gas fields. From Puerto Rico, government services are shut down after as Governor and legislature disagree on budget. From Cuba, the country is waiting for Castro to die. Then what? From Jamaica, an article on Edward Phillip George Seaga as black nationalist. From Canada, as the city braces for "The Game" and another summer of shootings, the Toronto Star interviews young men who are in various stages of gang membership. From Germany, forget the World Cup: The year's real competition was the German Beard World Championship. From France, Trotskyist intellectual Boris Fraenkel commits suicide. From China, 40 years on, the Cultural Revolution comes full circle. Immanuel Wallerstein on the US and China: Wary rivals. Japan joins the race for uranium amid global expansion of nuclear power. Avner Cohen and William Burr on the untold story of Israel's bomb. An interview with Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran's Heir, on his plans to overthrow of regime. Dennis Ross on a new strategy on Iran. An interview with Moqtada al-Sadr. Joseph Biden and Leslie Gelb on unity through autonomy in Iraq. The Iraqi oil industry is on the verge of collapse -- both technical and political. An article on magazines Iraqis read. There's a challenge to the Anglo American imperium of CNN and BBC: Al-Jazeera and France's CFII. From Slate, here's why you should care about "network neutrality". Read the news, go to jail: Most Americans possess classified information, whether they know it or not. Cartoonists fear that newspapers aren't changing with the times to reach a print-averse younger generation. Are newspaper editors really necessary? Or will Internet users just roam the Web, picking and choosing what they wish to know? From Wired, an article on the New Networks: Say good-bye to the CBS eye. Aggregator sites like iFilm and YouTube let you watch anything - and everything - you want. Turning 10, WSJ.com is hosting an "open house" through May 10 making the entire site free. From Editor & Publisher, Stephen Colbert lampoons Bush at White House Correspondents Dinner--President not amused? And the truthiness hurts: Stephen Colbert's brilliant performance unplugged the Bush myth machine, and left the clueless D.C. press corps gaping
[May 1] From Canada, on why McLuhan and Frye, so often disdained by academics, still resonate in a post-9/11 world. From France, Jean-Francois Revel dies. From Great Britain, when done well, the heckle is a fine political art; and first Hitler in Germany, then Mussolini in Italy, and now the BNP in the UK: will this left-wing conspiracy never end? Uncool Britannia: The union of the parliaments made the Scots English in the eyes of everyone but themselves, and not even claiming to be British will help. William Pfaff on why Europe should reject US market capitalism. Robert Kagan on why China and Russia will continue to support autocracies. Can Russia bury its past with Lenin? Iran's Book of Kings has long been used as a political weapon in the struggle between the turban and the crown. A border cutting straight through what once was Mexican territory is a touch of history that haunts the immigration debate 158 years after the land changed hands. Many Republicans now believe they made the wrong choice when they chose George W over John McCain. But the straight-talking senator faces a major obstacle. More and more on Politics Lost. Jonathan Chait on the humiliation of being John Snow. Former Volunteer QB Heath Shuler is running for Congress. Obituary: John Kenneth Galbraith (and more and a look at his legacy). An article on outgrowing Jane Jacobs and her New York (and more and more on Jacobs). Here's an old interview with Jane Jacobs by Jim Kunstler for Metropolis. A review of David Remnick's Reporting: Writings From The New Yorker. As it approaches its 1,000th issue this week, Rolling Stone magazine is once again leading the rallying cry against the political establishment, giving a new lease of life to Jann Wenner. And the world is being taken over by tourists, and the result is a planet being destroyed by the fumes of jet planes taking people to surreal destinations that have been homogenized (and more on the Lonely Planet factor)
[May 15] From Small
Wars Journal, an introduction
to the journal, "Why Study Small Wars?";
an article on fighting
the war of ideas; an essay on A Hundred Years of Irregular Warfare;
a look at the Timeless Theories of War in the 21st Century;
an article on Law of Occupation and Democracy;
and essay on The
Political Warfighter; and a review
of P. W. Singer's Children at War.
Frank Rich wants the real
traitors to please stand up.
A battle has begun over the future of the C.I.A.
Can it still pull together big-picture intelligence? Or will it become
a provider of small-bore information?
Some see a troubling 'militarization' of American intelligence.
What that means for national security may have less to do with bureaucratic
turf wars than with what the military thinks intelligence is for.
review of House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of
In the last 100 years, the U.S. has
ousted the governments of at least 14 countries and forcibly intervened in
dozens of others -- to what end?
More on Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to
of Friendly Fire: Losing Friends and Making Enemies in the Anti-American
Century and America Against the World: How We Are Different and Why We Are
Disliked. The perils of soft power: Why
America's cultural influence makes enemies, too. Why they hate our kind
hearts, too: An article on
the NED, NGOs and the imperial uses of philanthropy.
In Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's words
we in the West hear a distant recollection of our own
past, and his letter to President Bush is
eerily reminiscent of a letter sent in 1989 by Ayatollah
Khomeini to Mikhail Gorbachev.
more on Guests of the Ayatollah.
review of Open Target: Where America Is Vulnerable to
review of Nuclear Terrorism by Graham Allison.
review of Madeleine Albright's The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections
on America, God, and World Affairs. And an essay
Terror and the Postcolonial Sublime: Questions
for Subaltern Militants
[May 15] Notes from the
Fifty years ago, in The Power Elite, C. Wright Mills called
the idea that public opinion still guided political life a "fairy
There is a certain mystique to
Richard Hofstadter, a historian who saw the future.
Russell Jacoby's Picture Imperfect is as
good an example as any of the new breed of books
on utopias. Intellectual heavyweights: and moral
reasoning: A review
of Gertrude Himmelfarb's The Moral Imagination.
of The Last Days of the Renaissance.
of The English Civil War: A people's history (and
of Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New
of Sons of Providence: The Brown Brothers, the Slave Trade, and the American
review of Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different by
of Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American
review of Victoria's Wars: The Rise of Empire (and
of Disraeli: The Victorian Dandy Who Became Prime
Minister. Thuggery, buggery, hunger and war: A
review of Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British
for England, and Haw-Haw: The Tragedy of William and Margaret
reviews AC Grayling's Among the Dead
of Becoming Eichmann: Rethinking the Life, Crimes, and Trial of a "Desk
of Britain's Power Elites: The Rebirth of Ruling Class (and
more). From Australia, Treasury, that
dour bastion of selfless public service, has
trained its eyes on the Nobel Prize for Economics. A hot paper muzzles Harvard: Controversial "Jewish lobby" paper
raises nary a peep on the cowed campus (and
fury as Israeli writer AB
Yehoshua criticises US Jews). A hard year for college
presidents is ending. And a clash of ideas at
evangelical college: Five of Patrick Henry's 16 faculty members leave over its mission and curriculum
[Weekend 2e] Potpourri: From Newsweek, a cover story on AIDS at 25. Are we allergic because of pollution? Because we wash our hands too much? There's a surprising lack of consensus as to why allergies are on the rise. Clive Crook on John Kenneth Galbraith, Revisited. Where are they now? George Gilder. A look back at an article by Ludwig von Mises: "The Psychological Basis of the Opposition to Economic Theory". A dark night, a mysterious dame and a gumshoe looking for clues in the case of the vanishing wages. An interview with Elijah Wald, author of Riding with Strangers: A Hitchhiker's Journey (and an excerpt). An essay on Power and Revolution: The Anarchist Century. Shelby Steele isn’t worth anxiety or a great deal of thought in anyone’s mind. From Humanities, Civil War surgeon Mary Walker began her battle for equality in the women's dress reform movement. From Identity Theory, an interview with William Wright, author of Harvard's Secret Court; and on Five Alternatives to Throwing Your Penis at the Police (A Cautionary Tale). Diana York Blaine, a women’s studies professor at USC, decides to post topless photos of herself on the Internet. A review of Love of Self and Love of God in Thirteenth Century Ethics. Sex is essential, kids aren't: Why are 30% of German women choosing to go childless? Free will, baby. Research finds women are able to subconsciously pick up cues of interest in children in men's faces. Sean Thomas’s Millions of Women are Waiting to Meet You, does women a service by revealing what it is to be a 21st-century man. Do loose chicks sink dicks? College men offered sex on a plate are reportedly having trouble getting hard. Do men really need to chase women down to get it up? Research finds many youths disregard their virginity pledges, more than half have sex within a year (and more); oral and anal sex increasing among teens; and that affairs of the heart matter to boys, too. A review of The Egg and Sperm Race. And only now, 370 million years later, do we see that one of those fish sat at the base of a huge branch of the tree of life
[Weekend] From Social Text, Ellen Messer-Davidow (Minnesota): Why Democracy Will Be Hard to Do pdf. Neal Kumar Katyal (Georgetown): Internal Separation of Powers: Checking Today’s Most Dangerous Branch from Within. Daniel Solove (GWU): The Multistate Bar Exam as a Theory of Law; and A Tale of Two Bloggers: Free Speech and Privacy in the Blogosphere. A review of Changing Law: Rights, Regulation and Reconciliation. From the Canadian Journal of Sociology, a review of The Boomerang Age: Transitions to Adulthood in Families; and a review of Young People, Risk and Leisure: Constructing Identities in Everyday Life. A review of In Defense of Sentimentality . A review of The Trial of Joan of Arc. A review of The First Crash: Lessons from the South Sea Bubble. A review of books on Irish history . A review of The Origins of Freemasonry: Facts and Fictions. More on Stefan Collini's Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain. Tim Harford reviews Adam Smith and the Pursuit of Perfect Liberty. Samuel Brittan looks back at one of Britain’s most influential public thinkers, John Stuart Mill. Adbusters asks economists how they justify their refusal to address political and environmental problems. Some scientists say "eco-nomics" could help safeguard the planet's ecosystems at a time of multiple threats. The universe is at least 986 billion years older than physicists thought and is probably much older still, according to a radical new theory. The introduction to Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula: Cures Many Mathematical Ills. Can you rise to the highest levels in politics, art and music when you're still wet behind the ears? An article on the dilemma of curiosity and its use. From UCLA, a generation of young scholars recognize the growing importance of studying hip-hop. When Larry Summers got to Harvard he saw lazy, leftish professors inflating grades in what looked like an outdated Yugoslav workers’ co-operative. A look at why he had to go. "Thomas Benton" on The 7 Deadly Sins of Professors. What would Jesus rap? On the road with Junkyard Prophet, apostles to the public schools. And humans need to eat meat, and animal rights activists have no right to draw an absolute line where they think it is acceptable
[May 12] Jeremy Waldron (Columbia): Security and Balance: The Image of Balance pdf. Michel Serres (Stanford): Revisiting The Natural Contract. A review of Plato on Pleasure and the Good Life. A review of Propositional Perception: Phantasia, Predication and Sign in Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics. A review of R.G. Collingwood's An Essay on Philosophical Method and The Philosophy of Enchantment, Studies in Folktale, Cultural Criticism, and Anthropology. A review of Identity and Violence. Listen to Amartya Sen and Salman Rushdie discuss democracy, migration and identity. From Campus Progress, why it’s wrong for students to take their war outrage out on the ROTC. An article on remembering George Roche, former Hillsdale College president. An interview with Christopher Wolfe, director of the new Ralph McInerny Center for Thomistic Studies. What do LSD, Sigmund Freud, college freshmen and tuna fishing have in common? An interview with George Mason economist Tyler Cowen, author of Good and Plenty, the Creative Successes of American Arts Funding. John Miller goes down the yellow brick road of overinterpretation. What is the best work of American fiction of the last 25 years? Oochy woochy coochy coo: Women can read men like books. Research finds the higher the hierarchy, the greater the aggression. Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis have taken something of a battering over the last few decades. Here is the case for the defence. Biologist Francisco Ayala explains the complexities of The Plausibility of Life and why they matter. Ray Kurzweil on why innovations like robotic blood cells portend a “golden era” of nanotechnology. A review of Brute Souls, Happy Beasts, and Evolution: The Historical Status of Animals. A review of Horse: How the Horse Has Shaped Civilizations. From Seed, a review of The Jasons: The Secret History of Science's Postwar Elite. And is the universe older than we thought? A cyclical universe with multiple Big Bangs could explain one of the greatest mysteries in cosmology today
[May 11] Daniel Goldberg (Texas): I do not Think it Means what you Think it Means: How Kripke and Wittgenstein's Analysis on Rule Following Undermines Justice Scalia's Textualism and Originalism. From The Oxonian Review of Books, an editorial; a review of Bernard Williams' In the Beginning Was the Deed: Realism and Moralism in Political Thought; Joshua Cherniss on a defence of Isaiah Berlin; and a review of Rebecca Lemov's World as Laboratory. A review of City and Soul in Plato's Republic. A review of Essential History: Jacques Derrida and the Development of Deconstruction. French thinker Pierre Rosanvallon is writing the “conceptual history” of modern democracy. Scott McLemee takes some lessons. A review of Sociology and the Sacred: An Introduction to Philip Rieff's Theory of Culture. A review of This Is Not A Peace Pipe: Towards A Critical Indigenous Philosophy. From TLS, a review of That Sweet Enemy: The French and the British from the Sun King to the Present. A review of Don't Mention the War: The British and the Germans since 1890. The first "Special Relationship": We were "barbarians", but early British civilisation outshone the Roman version, says ex-Python Terry Jones. We just lost the propaganda war. From Z Magazine, teaching the "gentle arts of the spirit": An article on education in the Age of Multinational Capitalism. A review of The Cross-Cultural Transfer of Educational Concepts and Practices: A Comparative Study. Would that higher education had more Jack Sawyers and those of like mind. A review of Elaine Showalter's Faculty Towers: The Academic Novel and Its Discontents. From UCLA, a look at the work of Armen Alchian, professor emeritus of economics. And an article on the New School's Labor War; and protesters object to John McCain as commencement speaker
[May 10] John P. McCormick (Chicago): Rousseau's Rome and the repudiation of populist republicanism. A review of Robert Audi's Practical Reasoning and Ethical Decision. From HNN, what is microhistory? A review of Sean Wilentz's The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln. A review of Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times. A review of Kropotkin and the Rise of Revolutionary Anarchism, 1872-1886. A review of Death in the Haymarket: A Story of Chicago, the First Labor Movement and the Bombing That Divided Gilded Age America. A review of Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy. From Currents, research on greenbeards with blue throats shed new light on the evolution of altruistic behavior. Research finds a clue to sexual attraction in lesbian brain. Nature abounds with mothers that defy the standard maternal script in a raft of macabre ways. When does human life really begin? And how should it end? Mary Warnock shows you the way. An interview with Nick Bostron, a transhumanist who wrestles with the ethics of technologically enhanced human beings. Top physicists speak out against Bush Administration policies in the war on terror. The Years of Magical Thinking: What if NASA's predictions had come true? No form-filling, no committees: Papal astronomer Brother Guy Consolmagno enjoys a rare academic freedom. L'affaire Hochschild and Evangelical colleges: Is a Catholic out of place on Wheaton's faculty? Revolution Online welcomes the ferment on “elite” campuses. A review of Restoring Free Speech and Liberty on Campus. Coalition of academic groups releases detailed response to book on "most dangerous academics", finding it "sloppy in the extreme". A look at why even digitally enabled scholars will continue to love books. A new attempt to impose an academic boycott of Israel is dishonest, disingenuous and discriminatory. And all right, Ms. Mentor will admit it. Many academics do behave weirdly
[May 9] Justin Levinson (Hawaii) and Kaiping Peng (UC-Berkely): Valuing Cultural Differences in Behavioral Economics. A review of Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations: A Story of Economic Discovery. More on Mayflower. From First Things, did the US really have a beginning that can be called its “Founding”? Can any society be said to have a founding moment that ought to be regarded as a source of guidance and support? A review of books on religion and the American Founding (and more). The latest issue of History Now is on Women's Suffrage, including an introduction. A review of Our Island Story by H.E. Marshall. A review of Civilised Life in the Universe. Natural philosopher Marcelo Gleiser ponders the implications of intelligent life on other planets; and an interview with Dava Sobel, author of The Planets. Technologies that reveal the inner workings of the brain are beginning to tell the sleeping mind's secrets in dreams. Daniel Binswanger reflects on Freud on the occasion of his 150th birthday. From The New Yorker, a look at how a Massachusetts psychotherapist fell for a Nigerian e-mail scam. With essays on art, abattoirs and body parts, the controversial periodical Documents was conceived by Georges Bataille as an alternative to surrealism. Look outward, as well as inward, before you leap: What would Kierkegaard do? From Yale, Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi applies for admission to a degree-granting program, putting new pressure on university officials. Are academics "biased" to the left, as David Horowitz charges? Or do they just see things more clearly than he does? Right-Wing P.C.: How conservatives learned to stop worrying and love political correctness. The Tyranny of Citations: A popular way of comparing scholars and institutions is having unintended negative consequences all over the world. You’ll never guess what characteristic gets the best evaluations from students on RateMyProfessors.co. The scourge of plagiarism is plaguing all writers. Thanks to Kaavya, everyone’s a suspect. Youth may not be an excuse for plagiarism. But it is an explanation. And a review of Double Lives: American Writers' Friendships
[May 8] Allen Buchanan (Duke) and Robert Keohane (Princeton): Helping the Distant Needy: Failures of Rational Altruism pdf. Branco Milanovic (World Bank): Global Income Inequality: What It Is and Why It Matters and Rules of Redistribution and Foreign Aid pdf. From the Journal of Social History, a special section on the theme "Where the Hell are the People", and many book reviews. From the latest American History Review, many book reviews. From First Things, a review of The Moral Imagination: From Edmund Burke to Lionel Trilling by Gertrude Himmelfarb. A review of Reading Seneca: Stoic Philosophy at Rome. A review of The Murder of Caesar and Political Assassination. A review of The Terror: The Merciless War for Freedom in Revolutionary France and Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution. A review of Becoming Eichmann: Rethinking the Life, Crimes, and Trial of a "Desk Murderer". Ted Honderich's new book, Humanity, Terrorism, Terrorist War contains some intellectually incendiary material. More on Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain. A review of Frederick Crews' Follies of the Wise: Dissenting Essays. A look at why Freud still has a powerful offering to make, but which of Freud's now contested ideas will thrive in our century? A review of Daniel Gilbert's Stumbling on Happiness. More and more on Alain De Botton's The Architecture of Happiness. A review of Michael Dirda's Book by Book: Notes on Reading and Life. More on The Book of Lost Books. Bookselling really is a matter of one-on-one "hand selling", as my recent impromptu sidewalk sale showed. From Academe, a special issue on The Devaluing of Higher Education. From Counterpunch, an article on Harvard and its presidents. A review of Radical Campus: Making Simon Fraser University. And anthropologists, sociologists and neurologists are feverishly studying how we shop and why we choose one product over another. These people are literally inside your head
[Weekend 2e] Potpourri: Thorsten Botz-Bornstein (Zhejiang): Liquid Grammar, Liquid Style: On the East-Asian Way of Using English or Reflections on the "Linguistic Air-Guitar". From Media Culture, an article on The Impossibility of Collaborating with Kathy, "The Stupid Bitch". The politics of having a maid: The decision to hire household help when posted overseas may seem a no-brainer. But for many FSO's, it is quite complex pdf. From FT, Erin Peterson signed up for a Nasa experiment and is spending 12 weeks in bed; Chris Ferguson is a computer scientist and an expert in game theory. He is also one of the 21st century’s most successful poker players; and Prue Leith bemoans the fact that we no longer appreciate the talents that go into home-making. The quest for a perfect synthesis of public and private existence may lead us to online "metaverses" where we don't really exist at all. Innocents abroad: A new guidebook offers Americans advice on how to behave overseas. William Buckley on finding a solution to smoking. A review of books on autism. Research finds lying is exposed by micro-expressions we can't control. Cruising the red carpet with Rick Springfield is a lot like, well, high school. When it comes to sudoku, there is no escape. The grids of these puzzles seem to shut down the mental apparatus, enclosing one's faculties in a tightly constrained universe. What causes jet-lag - and how can we keep long-haul horror to a minimum? An article on the perils of cheerleading. From Time, here's the 100 People Who Shape Our World. An article on Bostonians who are changing the world. Who was the more successful individual, Isaac Newton or Genghis Khan? Chris Eubank believes he is on a one-man crusade to right the wrongs of the world, but in doing so he has brought conflict to his personal life. Everyone knows sex sells clothing, but no one has taken that idea further than Dov Charney of American Apparel. From Nerve, more on a History of Single Life: Public Hair. Will Shere Hite ever tire of investigating the female orgasm? And Sigmund Freud was born 150 years ago today. So, how do you and your mother feel about that?
[Weekend] From the Journal of World History, Patrick Manning (Northwestern): Homo sapiens Populates the Earth: A Provisional Synthesis, Privileging Linguistic Evidence; a review of Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World; a review of A Global History of Indigenous Peoples: Struggle and Survival; a review of Multinationals and Global Capitalism from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-first Century; and a review of Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century. From the Law and History Review, a forum on Liberalism and the Liberal State, including James Henretta (Maryland): Charles Evans Hughes and the Strange Death of Liberal America; with one two three four comments, and a response by Henretta; and a review of Guardians of the Moral Order: The Legal Philosophy of the Supreme Court, 1860–1910. A review of Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War. A review of The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution. From The Scientist, sexual selection alternative slammed: Biologists write to defend the theory of sexual selection. Darwin Revisited: Females don't always go for hottest mate. Harold Bloom on why Freud matters. Nurture versus nature and scripture versus science: the Abrahamic faiths continue their struggle to define views on homosexuality. Gonzaga Catholic faculty at war over homosexuality. Bus Stop: Protesters cry discrimination at Christian colleges. Notre Dame in talks to link with troubled John Paul II Center. Is John McCain the right commencement speaker for the progressive New School? Some students and professors don’t think so. And from FT, the life of Nigerian maverick, Wole Soyinka, makes for a challenging read in his memoir, You Must Set Forth At Dawn; literary anecdotes do not necessarily need to be true to entertain or enlighten: A review of The New Oxford Book of Literary Anecdotes; and the oddities of English are all part of its fascinating history
[May 5] Daniel Little (Michigan): Levels of the Social pdf. Thomas Nagel reviews Bernard Williams' The Sense of the Past: Essays in the History of Philosophy, In the Beginning Was the Deed: Realism and Moralism in Political Argument and Philosophy as a Humanistic Discipline. A review of The Medici Conspiracy: The Illicit Journey of Looted Antiquities, from Italy's Tomb Raiders to the World's Greatest Museums. More on Simon Schama's Rough Crossings. A review of Learned in the Law and Politics: The Office of the Solicitor General. After reading Isaiah Berlin's " Two Concepts of Liberty", Dick Meyer never again had a serious relationship with a grandiose, all-encompassing worldview. A review of Jacques and Raïssa Maritain: Beggars for Heaven. From The New Criterion (reg. req., and make sure to check the printable versions), an article on Mark Van Doren & American classicism; a review of The Intellectuals and the Flag by Todd Gitlin; and more on Manliness. From First Things, an essay on The Civic University. Evangelical King's College fights to save itself, and to steel its students for the secular marketplace. From National Review, Brazilian transgendered prostitutes in the classroom: Meet Professor Porn. The latest Phyllis Schlafly Report is on radical agendas on college campuses (and a review of books). Truth is a casualty in a conservative campaign to wedge politics into the classroom. Hot portfolios at Harvard and Yale have smaller colleges moving aggressively into hedge funds. They may be putting their endowments in jeopardy. 'Tis the season of graduation ceremonies, when many will be told it’s the first day of the rest of their lives. Life tips you probably won’t hear at the podium this year. From Axess, in essays, fiction and montage W G Sebald tells of the fate of being a European at the end of European civilisation. A review of books on Flaubert. A review of Borges: A Life. Novel politics: An interview with Carlos Fuentes (and more). Orhan Pamuk on the freedom to write. The untold story behind the JT Leroy literary hoax is even more outrageous than the fictions. It turns out subliminal advertising may work after all. And research finds the presence of female politicians inspires political interest and activism in young women
[May 4] Kieran Healy (Arizona): The Contribution of Sociology (from A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy) pdf. From Lacan.com, a short biography of Slavoj Zizek, a summary of his key ideas, and a bibliography. Fred Dallmayr reviews Bernard Flynn's The Philosophy of Claude Lefort: Interpreting the Political. A review of New Religions and the Nazis. An interview with Benjamin Cohen of the University of Chicago and Critical Inquiry: What do the stigmata of Francis of Assisi have to do with WMDs? From Princeton, Robert George organizes a joint statement by religious leaders in favor of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. From UCLA, Joschka Fischer argues global powers are "condemned to cooperation". From Great Britain, a look at why students are turning to philosophy. Globalization means that students can no longer remain blissfully unaware. Can Americans open the classroom door, or will today’s youth be unprepared to lead tomorrow’s world? From NCR, an article on biography and the search for meaning. From TLS, a review of many biographies, and a review of dictionaries of bric-a-brac. "This book will change your life": An article on the reckless art of book blurbing. Writers, quit whining: Spare us the self-involved moaning over the agonies of your art. Writing is no harder than anything else, and the complainers should can it. Happiness is overrated: Perhaps only in the middle of our lives are we clever enough to realise that life is directed toward death and an afterlife is unlikely. From Physics Today, an article on The Biological Frontiers of Physics. Stumbling upon a gene for smarts: Researchers have located a gene that they believe directly affects mental performance. And an interview with Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom, authors of Why Truth Matters
[May 3] From Dissent, Daniel Bell on Teaching Political Theory in Beijing and Marshall Berman on Marx in China: Modern Art, Modern Conflicts, Modern Workers; Tewfik Allal and the Association du Manifeste des Libertés are For Freedom of Expression; and two articles on Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans. A review of Berlin Childhood Around 1900 by Walter Benjamin. More on Blackshirt. From The University of Chicago Press, an excerpt from The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information by Richard A. Lanham, and an excerpt from From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow: How Maps Name, Claim, and Inflame. Did the slave trade help build Brown University? A review of Sons of Providence: The Brown Brothers, the Slave Trade, and the American Revolution. Overseas opportunities: Why not outsource research to India? From The Chronicle, an article on gender, power, and sexuality: First, do no harm. From Australia, funny business: Social sciences are being corroded as graduate schools merge. The Australian Football League is the first to sponsor research that overtly applies the work of the French philosopher Michel Foucault. Intellectuals in Britain are cut off from global debate by the obtuse imperialism of the English language. As Midnight's Children celebrates its 25th anniversary, Salman Rushdie recalls its long and painful birth - and the day Indira Gandhi sued him for one sentence. Ethical dilemmas provide classic "experiments" for philosophers. Here are four such quandaries: Vote on what you think is right. From Scientific American, legislating integrity: A small attempt to prevent political misuse of science. The introduction (2006) to Richard Feynman's QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter. The laws of physics may not be as constant as we thought. If so, our view of matter will have to change. An essay on an old idea: What ails the body is rooted in the mind. Can the study of bees help humans avoid collective folly? And a review of The Hunt for the Dawn Monkey: Unearthing the Origins of Monkeys, Apes, and Humans
[May 2] From Edge, anthropology, linguistics, and sociology, which claim social actions and human cultures are largely independent from their biological foundation, today make way for naturalistic research programs and the methods of the natural sciences. A review of Language and Learning: Philosophy of Language in the Hellenistic Age. A review of The Grammar of Our Civility: Classical Education in America. From The New Yorker, a review of Simon Schama's Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves, and the American Revolution (and more) and Cassandra Pybus's Epic Journeys of Freedom: Runaway Slaves of the American Revolution and Their Global Quest for Liberty; an article on Oscar Wilde’s drawing-room satire; and David Sedaris on the second life of gifts. Open Democracy presents a series of audio features from the PEN World Voices literary festival, including Salman Rushdie, Orhan Pamuk and Margaret Atwood. Today, just as in Orwell's day, the political chaos "is connected with the decay of language," and we can "probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end." From Australia, postmodern rubbish, mumbo-jumbo, English Lite. Just what is going on in the nation's classrooms? From Newsweek, a cover story on what makes a high school great. From Inside Higher Ed, feeling underappreciated and under siege? Does your job feel unstable? There’s a reason. From The Chronicle, Todd Giltin on the self-inflicted wounds of the academic left: A review of The Disappearing Liberal Intellectual, The Professors and Wars of Position: The Cultural Politics of Left and Right (and more). From Seed, why we haven't met any aliens: A radical explanation for a conundrum about extra-terrestrial life, and what it means for the future of humanity; and an article on doomsday Scenarios: What will happen to the Earth if we don't change our polluting ways? Research shows how environmentally damaged DNA letters lead to transcription flaws and, ultimately, human diversity. The end of Gnosticism? Lost texts of Christianity have created scholarly excitement and news-media buzz. So why do some researchers say we're using the wrong name for them? And there is something attractive about absolute beliefs, but we cannot afford ourselves the luxury of waiting for evidence on some issues
[May 1] Bruce Cumings and Kurt Jacobsen (Chicago): Prying Open American Political "Science". A review of Isaiah Berlin's Political Ideas in the Romantic Age. A review of Adam Smith and the Pursuit of Perfect Liberty (and more). David Hume was a genius who never felt at home. A review of The Philosophy Steamer: Lenin and the Exile of the Intelligentsia. A review of Moscow 1941 (and more). A review of Gary Nash's The Forgotten Fifth: African Americans in the Age of Revolution and Simon Shama's Rough Crossings Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution. From The Boston Globe's "Ideas", five years after Larry Summers set out to revamp Harvard's science curriculum, the faculty still can't agree on what it should be. The problem extends well beyond Cambridge; and welcome to the Idea Store, London's answer to the fusty old public library--and maybe America's too. More on The Book of Lost Books. Raymond Tallis has attacked everything from modern evolutionary philosophy to literary theory. Terry Eagleton reviews Nation and Novel: The English Novel from Its Origins to the Present Day. More and more on Conversation. On the 150th anniversary of Freud's birth, his late writings on politics have a new urgency. A new study says birds can learn language rules thought exclusive to humans. The curious side of big math: Mathematics works best when it's fun. Welcome to the Gathering for Gardner. From Scientific American, the first few microseconds: In recent experiments, physicists have replicated conditions of the infant universe--with startling results. From BBC, a look at the newest research from around the world on what could it be that makes us happy. Here's the wedding announcement for The Nation's Katha Pollitt and Steven Lukes, author of Power. An article on scholarly journals at the crossroads, and a subversive proposal for electronic publishing. And peer review in the Google Age: Is technology changing the way science is done and evaluated?