political theory: archives
some links might not work anymore--sorry
return to homepage
|news room||town square||ivory tower|
[Sep 15] News from
around the world: From Kazakhstan, President
Nazarbayev is encouraging his countrymen to turn toward religion.
The Pope causes a stir by quoting 14th century Byzantine
emperor Manuel II Paleologus, "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was
new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman".
Der Spiegel visits Murat Kurnaz,
a man wrongly detained at the US detention camp at
An interview with Amy
Waldman on the murky business of prosecuting would-be terrorists on the basis of their beliefs.
Dubai has sold its soul to globalization like few cities have.
nightmare ia a glittering capitalist fantasyland
that has taken shape at the heart of the Arab world.
From The Economist, double-edged sword: The World Bank's anti-corruption effort has critics on the inside;
a seedbed of revolution: Africa needs markets, as well as technology, for a green revolution to take root;
and China, India and other developing countries are
set to give the world economy its biggest boost in the whole of
history. What will that mean for today's rich countries?
John le Carré writes on the reality of a country so overwhelming that stories about it seem almost an irrelevance.
Desmond Tutu on The Modern Successor to the Slave Trade.
Immigration is a Europe-wide
concern. It is not clear, though, that it needs a European solution.
Who killed the British prime minister? The Labour Party is
kicking out its most successful prime minister for at least 50
years. Gordon Brown is both the main beneficiary and a big loser from the affair. Did Tony Blair accomplish anything?
Why Scotland needs
a referendum on independence. From Salon, a look at how Britons came to hate Tony Blair and
America, and why the next prime minister will pay the price.
Ruled Britannia: Blair or
Cameron, a foreign policy still made in Washington.
There is no need to remodel the FBI after
Britain' s MI5: the agency has transformed itself into an intelligence-driven organization.
And UN inspectors investigating Iran's nuclear program angrily
complain to the Bush administration about a recent House committee report on Iran's
capabilities, calling parts of the document "outrageous and dishonest"
[Sep 14] From Venezuela, local councils – Units of Popular Power – are being set up in the hope that their members, and the small groups they represent, will take responsibility for changing their lives. From Open Democracy, an article on Mexico's bitter, divisive election dispute and one last route to heal wounds and save democracy. An essay on Cuba after Fidel. An article on why Canadians shouldn't become more like the Americans but more like the French. Are Canadians stupid? National Review wants to know, always with the most pressing questions. The mighty hausfrau: Susanne Mayer calculates the lost potential that the German housewife represents. Those who take a stand for the rights of Muslim women -- by criticizing the practice of forced in marriage, for example -- put themselves at considerable risk in Germany. More on Ian Buruma's Murder in Amsterdam. Pope Benedict XVI assails secularism and says jihadi violence is contrary to reason and God’s plan. Saudi Arabians not allowed to see the cat: Governments often make stupid, arbitrary laws, and theocracies seem even worse than most governments. President Bush says he senses a "Third Awakening" of religious devotion in the US, but what does the president have against America's religious revivals? Evan Thomas on why Bush’s historical analogies don’t always hold up. Can Congress fire Rumsfeld? Michael Dorf investigates. From Truthdig, an interview with John Dean on the Impeachment of the President. Sparring Democrats Howard Dean and Rahm Emanuel strike a deal on financing to get out the vote. Warren Bell honed his reputation writing sitcoms and lobbing politically incorrect bombs for National Review Online. Now he's Bush's nominee for the CPB's board of directors. All stars pale as Kazakh superstar Borat enters by ox cart: "Nervous cheerings would spook womens". An interview with Bill Maher. Want to know what's really going on? Ask a Comic: An article on the reemergence of confrontational political humor. YouTube personality Lonelygirl15 was not what she appeared to be, and now internet sleuths are turning their attention to the mystery of Lonelyboy43. And from the new blogger-on-the-block to pop stars Sandi Thom and Lily Allen: the rise of online celebs is not as organic as you think
[Sep 13] From Austria, from a purely capitalist point of view, Natascha Kampusch is a goldmine. Of course you're not supposed to say that sort of thing out loud. From Poland, the Kaczynski twins are economic ultraliberals and moral conservatives who have repressed the social movement and caused severe domestic problems. From Australia, an article on conscripting the Anzac myth to silence dissent; and assimilationists are the real exclusionists of Australian history. They actually stop people from assimilating. More on Ian Buruma's Murder in Amsterdam. From The Globalist, a type of Darwinian migration is the de facto message to potential migrants in poorer sending countries as well as the implicit principle guiding policies towards migrants. The UN General Assembly is where the world talks to—or at—each other. As the General Assembly reconvenes this week, Foreign Policy previews the speeches to watch at the global jamboree. From Foreign Affairs, part 2 of the 9/11 Roundtable, "Are We Safe Yet?" From Le Monde diplomatique, it takes more than religion to form a homogeneous whole at a regional or national level as demonstrated by the internal divisions within Iraq’s Shia community. More on Fiasco. From Der Spiegel, an interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski: "Victory would be a Fata Morgana". Last weekend, over a hundred big thinkers from all over the world got together in Berlin to spend a entire day answering questions on the state of the planet. Did they find a solution? An op-ed on Germany's political stagnation. Germany has been eavesdropping on its own citizens for decades. Yet its vast system of surveillance hasn’t helped the country convict terrorists or detect terror plots. Why does the US think it can do better? Pervasive surveillance and torture yield plenty of intelligence -- bad intelligence, that is. And way too much of it. From Truthdig, an interview with former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman on the Impeachment of George W. Bush. Even before 9/11, the heads of state in the US and Britain concentrated and consolidated executive power and tried to constrain judicial autonomy. Democracy in the West may now be more formal than real. And on how video games aren’t helping the military win: A review of From Sun Tzu To X-Box
[Sep 12] From Tonga, King Taufa'ahau Tupou dies. From Poland, their strongly shared faith and conservative views are not enough to dampen Lech Walesa's dislike for the Kaczynski brothers. From Great Britain, David Cameron says he's not a neo-conservative on foreign policy, and Tory legislator Boris Johnson's latest blunder leaves Papua New Guinea fuming. An interview with Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji on Islam and democracy. The danger of return to full-scale civil war in Sri Lanka demands a firm preventative response. The Asia Europe meeting opens on the 10th September in Helsinki. While leaders seek to broaden trade routes between East and West, less fortunate immigrants encounter greater barriers to their mobility. Discover the new Silk Road. An article on the geopolitics of Latin American foreign debt. Once known as an "honest broker" that steadfastly denounced and at times even derided the use of force in the world, Canada is now a warrior nation in the best traditions of military campaigns. The 9/11 attacks happened in the US, yet Canada commemorates them every year. Why is that? The Texas, the Navy’s newest attack submarine, is commissioned at the Port of Galveston as first lady Laura Bush gave the traditional command: "Man your ship and bring it to life!" From Newsweek, an excerpt from Michael Isikoff and David Corn's Hubris on how the Bush administration sold the Iraq war to its supporters. The image of Rudy Giuliani as the hero of September 11 has never been seriously challenged. That changes now. A look at why Giuliani can't stop cashing in on 9/11. How likely are you, statistically speaking, to die from a terrorist attack? Here's a handy color-coded ranking of the various dangers confronting America. Birth of the blog: When the world changed on Sept. 11, 2001, the web changed with it. Here's a list of some of the already popular blogs out there, and the ultimate perfect blog entry for that particular blog. The United States of America vs. Bill Keller: How hard is it to be executive editor of the New York Times today? And from Business Week, here's the CEO guide to social network technology; and Camus of the Console; Proust of the PC: You may think you're in control when you're playing a video game, but, in fact, the game writer is
[Sep 11] From Japan Focus, an essay on Japan and China: The Next Fifty Years. Is Russia the new powerbroker, even peacemaker, of the Middle East? It certainly aspires to be; and once Russia wanted the biggest dams in the world. Now it wants the biggest corporations. It's thrilled millions of teenage girls, saved people from bombing in Bosnia, and - so the creator of " Dirty Dancing" claims - helped bring down the Berlin Wall. Westerners who visit Mt. Everest think of only one thing: reaching the summit no matter the cost. Our obsession with "success" puzzles Tibetans, who prefer to walk around mountains. From The Washington Quarterly, an essay on an agenda for harnessing globalization. From Monthly Review, an essay on the worldwide class struggle. Form The Brussels Journal, EU remains silent while anti-Hungarian violence grows in Slovakia. More and more on Ian Buruma's Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance. A review of Europe: 50 Facts You Need to Know. From The New Yorker, an interview with David Remnick on Bill Clinton’s political legacy and Hillary Clinton’s political future. So how does The New Yorker sell more than a million copies a week? Another interview with Remnick. Today's question: Is George W. Bush the worst president in American history? Bush helping Republicans by highlighting the war on terror is like Clinton running on his record of marriage fidelity. Citizens have a choice about the direction of their country. If only they'd read up before deciding. From Slate, Timothy Noah on Coulterized conservatives. Is North Carolina's News & Observer a shill for the right wing, giving too attention to the conservative John Locke Foundation? From The New York Times Magazine, where it’s at: Is Bohemia a mentality, a relic or an economic “cultural district”?; how did veterans of the first Internet boom become the Web’s arbiters of urban hipness?; and Alan Buchman’s Culture Project is redefining political theater with raw documentary-style productions that want to be more than plays. Bill Maher on the serious problems and bittersweet ironies of pulling comedy -- and truth -- out of tragedy. And Sacha Baron-Cohen's ability to offend still has critics wondering if the joke is on us
[Weekend 2e] From Austria, abducted girl Natascha Kampusch details her ordeal in an interview. A review of A Arte da Política: A História que Vivi by Fernando Henrique Cardoso. A review of Tito. An excerpt from Dictatorship of the Air: Aviation Culture and the Fate of Modern Russia. A review of The Culture of the Europeans from 1800 to the Present. A review of The Last Mazurka: A Tale of War, Passion and Loss; The Silent Steppe: The Story of a Kazakh Nomad Under Stalin; I Want to Live: The Diary of a Young Girl In Stalin’s Russia; and One Must Also Be Hungarian. A review of Ian Buruma's Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance. From New Statesman, an article on the Blair succession drama with the cabinet's rising star; and a look at the inside story of a plot that is now out of control. From Prospect, the death of solidarity in Britain has been greatly exaggerated. Most people live in solid, long-standing "micro-social" communities. This man is a Conservative? New Tory Party leader David Cameron is young, hip ... and just like Tony Blair. An excerpt from The Winds of Change on how the British government dealt with two severe droughts in the late 19th century. A review of Elizabeth's Spy Master: Francis Walsingham and the Secret War that Saved England. An article on Captain Sir Basil Liddell Hart, the man who almost blew D-Day. A review of To Exercise Our Talents: The Democratization of Writing in Britain. England gave the world cricket. But the power to shape the game's rules is moving to the nations of the developing world. Did US officials cry wolf about the British terror plot? How can al-Qaida's 14 worst terrorists stand trial? From National Journal, while the overall economic picture is bright for now, the chances of a recession seem to be rising -- thanks to the enormous debt being amassed by American households. And is the middle class really struggling? Jonathan Cohn finds out
[Weekend] From Burma, the ruling junta is withdrawing to its new jungle capital and ravaging a country that should by all rights be one of Asia's wealthiest. From Afghanistan, the Taliban were overthrown five years ago, but the hopes for democracy are faltering, and now interest in fundamentalism, including draconian Islamic "religious police", is growing again. From CFR, an article on Musharraf’s Taliban Problem. A bouncy bantam: Gulf state Qatar asserts itself in the world. From The Guardian Weekly, an article on Africa's population time bomb. Dereliction express: Care and maintenance in Africa and beyond. It's sad to report that South Africa has taken two steps back on crime. By all accounts criminality is again spiking. The Toll of Small Arms: The results of the uncontrolled small-arms trade have been brutish worldwide. Some political prisoners are cause célèbres; others are little-known figures. But each of the detainees reflects their nations’ stalled progress on human rights. National Journal examines the Democratic agenda and the potential impact of a Democratic victory in November on legislation and oversight in key political areas. If the GOP loses control of Congress, expect the media to tear into the war in Iraq rather than search for the positive messages, as some outlets have tried since Bush's re-election. A look at how George Allen missed the memo on Republicans and race. Mocking Bush is my patriotic duty: Bill Maher on how cruel jokes about the president can stop terrorism. Equal-opportunity offender Sacha Baron-Cohen plays anti-Semitism for laughs as "Borat". Thanks to one intrepid, peace-loving DJ, the world is about to get its first hip-hop sulha. The use of mobile phones on planes moves another step closer. Hundreds of miles of pavement and incredible real-estate prices may suggest that humans have placed an indelible stamp on New York City. But the wilderness is just biding its time. From Chicago Reader, an article on the politics of braids. Germaine Greer on Steve Irwin: "That sort of self-delusion is what it takes to be a real Aussie larrikin" (and more). And an article on the Top 25 Simpsons Guest Appearances
[Sep 8] 9/11 and All That: From Foreign Policy, Niall Ferguson on Empires with Expiration Dates; an interview with 9/11 Commission vice chairman Lee Hamilton on whether the US government is prepared for the next attack; a review of The Secret History of al-Qa’ida; and September 11 changed everything? Juan Cole says "Think again". Are we safe yet? A Foreign Affairs roundtable with James Fallows, Fawaz Gerges, Paul Pillar, Jessica Stern and John Mueller. From Reason, a forum on 9/11 after five years. Here's an attempt to survey the first five years of our post-9/11 world, a world that is certainly new, though not always brave. Wendy Doniger, George Lakoff, Jonathan Rauch, Walter Berns and others have some reflections on the days after 9/11. The US response to the 9/11 attacks has reinforced divisions among western democratic states and projected a global vista of endless, unwinnable war. Tom Engelhardt looks at American visions of apocalypse and asks: What if the Twin Towers hadn't collapsed? 1936 and All That: Why the Spanish Civil War is like Iraq, and vice versa. Bush and Lincoln: Newt Gingrich on the echoes of the past in today's strategic mistakes. From In These Times, an article on privatized warfare and the Summer of Discontent. An interview with Robert Young Pelton, author of License to Kill on private military contractors. From TAP, forget the soldiers: The 25,000 civilian contractors in Iraq are an occupying army unto themselves. Some may have engaged in torture and they can’t be prosecuted for their crimes. Ron Suskind on what the US really got out of Abu Zubaydah and why waterboarding doesn't make America safer. From Amnesty International Magazine, the men describe a Kafkaesque nightmare of secret transfer followed by torture at the hands of a foreign government or detention in secret prisons. They are not survivors of Latin America's Dirty War, but of the United States' shadowy anti-terrorism tactics. Katha Pollitt on why, if we really want to understand the Muslim world, we should start by acknowledging that today's "fascists" were yesterday's freedom fighters. And Hollywood's War: A look at how war documentaries fill in the blanks left by mainstream movies
[Sep 7] From Canada, is Michael Ignatieff the prodigal son, or a Martian outsider? From Germany, having been violently attacked by the husband of one of her clients, Berlin lawyer and Islam critic Seyran Ates has closed her legal practice. A fighter for human rights resigns. A review of Fritz Stern's Five Germanys I Have Known. From ZNet, an article on Australia, Pacific Islanders and the politics of independence. A potential economic alliance between Argentina and Venezuela could foment a crisis for Latin American democracy. Jorge Castañeda on a way to peace in Mexico. Is “presidentialism” as practiced in Mexico part of the problem? Alfred Stepan of Columbia finds out. Why was America so obsessed by Fidel's recent health scare? Look to the "battleground" state of Florida for an answer. A look at how the new Republican elite have built McLean, Virginia, into the epicenter of American power. Giuliani conservative Heather McDonald tilts at religion. An interview with Wayne Barrett, co-author of Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11. A look at how Al Gore can only watch as John Edwards stakes ’08 claim. Paul Waldman on how elections aren't about issues. From CJR, Eric Umansky examines the media coverage of torture. Joe Conason on how the media missed the point on CIA leak story. Geoffrey Wheatcroft reviews All Governments Lie! The Life and Times of Rebel Journalist I.F. Stone. Critic Lee Siegel of TNR tumbles in blog-land: My "dumb mistake", and yes, he's guilty, but of what? From Bush and Blair's unwitting comic double act to Kyra Phillips's bathroom blunder, microphone mishaps cause joy to millions, international incidents and resignations. Most poignantly, they also reveal refreshing truths. Tom Mohr, former president of Knight Ridder Digital, calls for a Marshall Plan for newspapers online: "Winning online--A Manifesto". Spam + Blogs = Trouble: Splogs are the latest thing in online scams, and they could smother the Internet. When MySpace Became HerSpace: A formerly anonymous user finds out what it's like to be a Featured Profile. World of Warcraft, with almost seven million paying subscribers, has become the first truly global video-game hit since Pac-Man in the early 80's. And why does the United States keep losing in international sports?
[Sep 6] From Turkey, the translation of Noam Chomsky's and Edward S. Herman's Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of Mass Media, which is translated by Aram Yayincilik, is sued. From Iraq, Kurds show the flag, sow fears of war. How Syria survives: Bashar Assad may be stupid, but he has a very smart survival strategy. From World Press, an interview on the current situation in post-conflict Lebanon with Sheikh Samy Gemayel, Joseph Hitti, Pierre Maroun, and Anwar Wazen. Hezbollah has seized an opportunity to show how much power it still wields by assuming a key role in the Lebanese reconstruction effort. With its generous assistance programs, the organization is shoring up its influence. From Foreign Affairs, Stanford's Scott Sagan on How to Keep the Bomb from Iran. Ich Bin Ein Tehraner: For an Iran strategy, look to JFK. Iran hasn't suspended uranium enrichment, despite the passage of an Aug. 31 U.N. Security Council deadline. When is a deadline not a deadline? From YaleGlobal, globalization tames the Left in Brazil: A timid administration squandered an opportunity to forge a vibrant new economic path. Brazil separates into black and white: A movement to define people in polar terms emerges in a nation where mixed races are the norm. As the electoral court declares Felipe Calderon the president-elect, Manuel Lopez Obrador is threatening to destabilize the country's fledgeling democracy with his claim he is the "legitimate president". It is crystal-clear AMLO is not a democrat. He's a revolutionary with a totalitarian mentality and messianic aspirations who is using the rhetoric of democracy. From The Brookings Institution, a paper on The Economic Significance of Insignificant Rules, and an essay on Measuring the Informal Economy: One Shirt at a Time. In the 20th century, the closing of flagship department stores had the effect, in dozens of big American cities, of a neutron bomb going off. Now in Chicago, a troubled downtown landmark gets a second chance. From Salon, a look at how Kansas Republicans are evolving -- into Democrats. How did Barack Obama become a world star? An article on James Webb as George Allen's nightmare. And Raw Story has a story on Bush telling a reporter that Jews are "all going to hell"
[Sep 5] From Mexico, with a new President finally set to take office, a seething opposition is putting democracy to the test, and Moises Naim on the struggle for Latin America's soul. From Great Britain, sleazy, humiliated, despised: Ross McKibbin on the government’s terminal decline. David Goodhart of Prospect on how the Tory embrace of the concept of "fraternity" ignores the intractable realities of power and class. So who's right over segregation? The belief that Britain's getting more racially mixed is once again being challenged. A new, unified EU Balkan aid package is in the cards. It is simpler than the existing five programs, but some argue it is less phare. From Transitions Online, the most powerful and successful tool of EU foreign policy has turned out to be enlargement: A review of Europe Undivided: Democracy, Leverage and Integration after Communism; five years on, despite the overall success of the Ohrid agreement, peace in Macedonia is less than robust; a look at how Uzbek authorities are making it harder for Western companies to do business. Opposition politicians in Moscow have a name for the Russian oil and natural gas market: "Kremlin Incorporated." It's not the market that decides who the state-owned energy company Gazprom sells to -- it's Russian President Vladimir Putin. The World According to China: Beijing’s ambassador to the United Nations has begun to act as if he represents a very, very powerful country. Would reaching out to Iran do much to persuade Iran’s leaders to give up their willingness to pursue a nuclear program at any cost? For the past three decades, Palestinian militants, Israeli warplanes and Hezbollah fighters have kept the Lebanese port city of Tyre anxious and war-torn. And no one is expecting peace to come soon. Beyoncé Knowles, freedom fighter: Why "booty popping" will do to Islamic fundamentalism what rock 'n' roll did to Stalinism. Holy Kitsch: As the pope prepares for his upcoming visit to Bavaria, the Vatican has embarked on an unprecedented campaign to market the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. And Paris is the cinephile's Garden of Eden, yet its arthouse screens are under threat. Having pursued their own form of artistic expression for over 80 years, the Parisian cinemas d'art et d'essai must now use all the ingenuity they can muster to keep bums on seats
[Sep 4] From The American Interest, will the real Leo Strauss please stand up? Leo Strauss rarely opined on foreign policy. But when he did, says Nathan Tarcov, his conclusions diverged from those that animated U.S. decisions in Iraq. From the latest issue of Democratiya, a symposium on Progressive Foreign Policy after Blair; a Letter from Lebanon by Rayyan Al-Shawaf; a review of Islam and Liberty: The Historical Misunderstanding; a review of The Question of Zion; a review of Suicide Terrorism; a review of Human Rights in the "War on Terror"; a review of European Security and Transatlantic Relations After 9/11 and the Iraq War; a review of At War’s End: Building Peace after Civil Conflict; a review of The Clash of Barbarisms: The Making of the New World Disorder; a review of Unspeakable Love: Gay and Lesbian Life in the Middle East; a review of The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East; a review of The New Transnational Activism; and a review of A Principle-led Foreign Policy. From Monthly Review, an essay on Empire of Oil: Capitalist dispossession and the scramble for Africa. And from The Weekly Standard, an article on the return of the tribes: The resistance to globalization runs deep
[Weekend 2e] From Editor & Publisher, an upcoming book takes a sharp look at Woodward and Bernstein. Is Time Warner going to sell off Time, Sports Illustrated, and People? A look at our strange fascination with box-office numbers. After 3 seasons of eloquence and bloodshed, "Deadwood" has come to an end. Scott McLemee looks off into the sunset. Did Hollywood’s silver dreams reflect fact or legend? What do Westerns tell us about America? (and part 2). The Beautiful Game: Why the videogame industry can’t replicate the success of Pac-Man. From PopMatters, the apparent escape into the cultural niches available online will eventually lead directly into data-collecting advertisers' traps. The launch of a legal free music site is just the latest sign of our insatiable appetite for freebies. So do we know the true value of anything any more? And nature may be red in tooth and claw, but it's kind compared to the evolutionary struggle for supremacy amongst bloggers; and never before have so many people written their thoughts for the world. Will English literature survive the flood?
[Weekend] News from around the world: From Namibia, an essay on the state of the nation state, sixteen years on. From China, the sex blog in Shangai turns out to be a hoax. From Pakistan, a look at how Pervez Musharraf is endangering himself and the war on terror. From Uruguay, one morning each week, President Tabaré Vázquez reverts to his original career and heads off to a clinic. From Australia, an essay on indigenous development--without community, without comment. From Ukraine, an article on considering the option of federalism. From Poland, the political ascendancy of the Kaczynski twins is a regressive break with the country's post-1989 political development. From Eurozine, the utopia underlying the idea that increased freedom of movement will homogenize the EU is proved wrong -- more frequent crossing of borders creates more difference rather than less. An interview with Lucetta Scaraffia, co-author of Against Christianity: The UN and European Union as New Ideology. German right-wing extremists had hoped to lure teenagers with a new youth magazine. The nationalists even had an ad with an attractive young girl next to the slogan: "German is Hot!" The only problem? The model turned out to be a Czech erotic model. Norway is rich in oil and natural gas. But it's also a resource success story that could provide a model for other nations. The country invests its oil riches in programs for everyday Norwegians. Lula's second wind: Brazilians are as worried about the integrity of their political system as about the character of the politicians who aspire to lead them. It has the makings of a modern-day fairy tale, the story of a country transformed from a pariah state into an oil paradise. But the Equatorial Guinea is experiencing a modern-day tragedy. A review of The Wonga Coup: Guns, Thugs and a Ruthless Determination To Create Mayhem in an Oil-Rich Corner of Africa and Licensed To Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror. In Japan's front offices, a new fusion of East and West. Is a coup d'etat brewing in Mexico? An interview with Evo Morales, president of Bolivia. And an interview with Gerard Kleisterlee, CEO of Philips: "China has become too expensive"
[Sep 1] From Russia, the problem with "sovereign democracy" is that it is not particularly versatile as a national political philosophy. Nina Khrushcheva on the Gulag of the Russian Mind. Triangulating Tehran: An article on Russia, the West and Iran’s nuclear future. Selim Nassib writes an instructive history of the Lebanese inferno. The small countries of the Arabian peninsula, caught between a resurgent Iran and a combative United States, must apply diplomatic skill to survive. In the Arab world, Alberto Fernandez has emerged as the best-known and unexpectedly sassy face of US diplomacy. From Open Democracy, the appointment of Kofi Annan's successor is imminent. The incumbent has done well, the candidates are serious – but the system must be reformed. From The Heritage Foundation, research on Economic and Political Rights at the U.N.: A Guide for U.S. Policymakers. Rep. Barney Frank on Bush’s plebiscitary presidency. The Bush-is-an-Idiot Camp: It is getting harder for conservatives to ignore the president's intellectual shallowness. Peter Beinart on how the Iowa caucuses undermine democracy. Still crazy: When Katherine Harris was throwing the 2000 election to Bush, conservatives described her as sober as a judge. Now, they're coming to realize what we knew all along. Beyond Macaca: George Allen claimed it was a "mistake" when he called an employee of his Democratic challenger a racist name. But a photo from his past sheds light on his cozy history with white supremacists. While every conservative state is unique, there are a few ground rules from which all organizing in such areas can begin. Democracy demands that journalists tell the truth. The success of liars like Bob Novak and Ann Coulter is a greater threat to America than a truck full of terrorists. If this were an isolated incident, it would be hard to conclude that there's a systematic effort at work to keep progressive voices off the airwaves. But, in fact, we've seen this script play out multiple times. With more than 50 million blogs on the internet, it’s clear that too many people have too much time on their hands. The latest video claims that Coast Guard patrol boat security cameras have blindspots. But in the YouTube age, viewers should be wary of their own. And on the trouble with YouTube: It attracts a lot of viewers, but can "user-generated" video make money?
[Sep 15] From
Writ, Akhil Reed Amar on how September 11
mapped onto the Framers' geostrategic theory of
liberty. From TNR, Mark Lilla on how September
11 stunted America's political growth; and how can we fight a war if
we don't know who we're
fighting? Peter Beinart wants to know. From Alternet,
an interview with Kristin
Rowe-Finkbeiner, co-author of The Motherhood Manifesto: What America's Moms Want -- And What to Do About
It. Barbara Ehrenreich starts an organization called
United Professionals to help white-collar workers, be they unemployed, uninsured, downsized, stressed out or merely anxious.
Entrepreneurs can struggle to raise the first million or so,
even with a good
idea. But a business angel might smile on them.
Stop saying "Single Payer": Here's how
universal health care can become a winning proposition.
from Activism, Inc.: How the Outsourcing of Grassroots Campaigns
is Strangling Progressive Politics in America
by Dana Fisher. Marvin Olasky says compassionate
conservatism is still kicking. From TAP,
of Kingdom Coming, Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis by Jimmy Carter,
The Faiths of the Founding Fathers, American
Theocracy, and The Baptizing of America.
From Open Democracy, Russia's far east is
the site of an experiment in government and social development led by Roman
Abramovich, billionaire businessman and owner of Chelsea football club.
How can a
football team foster World Federalism? Unexpectedly, the current Champion’s League winner
Futbol Club Barcelona has come up with an idea to link sports, solidarity and support to a supranational institution such as
the UN. Viva España: The regional government of Madrid, which cosponsors the city’s upcoming fashion week,
has banned models who are too skinny from appearing on the runway.
How much should a fashion model weigh? Michelle
Diamond's aren't a girl's best friend: Is it time to take a longer look at what "softball" is saying to young women?
And if the sports-as-religion metaphor is accurate, then who is god in the professional wrestling world?
While numerous potential candidates exist among the pantheon of wrestling
superstars, one name shines a little brighter: Hulk Hogan
Ethan Leib (Hastings): Friendship & the
Law. Jedediah Purdy (Duke): The Promise (and Limits) of
Neuroeconomics. A new issue
of EconJournalWatch is out. From The
New Criterion (reg, req., but make sure to
check the "print version" of the
articles), an editorial
on its 25th anniversary, Roger Kimball on the
consequences of Richard Weaver, Joseph
Epstein on the
trials of literary longevity, Roger Scruton
household gods of liberalism, David Pryce-Jones
on anti-nationalism and public debate, Harvey Mansfield
on rational control,
or, life without virtue, James Piereson on the
rise & fall of the intellectual, Andrew
McCarthy on the
new juristocracy, a review
of The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege,
a review of
Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves, and the American Revolution by Simon Schama and
In the Name of the Father: Washington’s Legacy, Slavery, and the Making of a Nation,
a review of
Artificial Happiness: The Dark Side of the New Happy Class,
and what’s the point of the summer
media? From FrontPage, an interview
with Roger Kimball. From National Review,
an article on The General Grubbiness of Allen Ginsberg Or: Why
John Miller loves The New Criterion. A review
of Kant on the Human Standpoint. A review
of The Authentic Adam Smith: His Life and
Ideas. Peter Singer's ideas for making the world a more moral place have infuriated some groups with opposing views.
Fallaci. From Slate, Emily Bazelon reviews
The Case Against Homework, The Homework Myth,
and The Battle Over Homework. Research
finds children's racial attitudes may be related to ethnic composition of their school.
From Campus Progress, a review
of Professors’ Guide to Getting Good Grades in
College. An interview on Facebook
and the politics of privacy. From Cancer
Herald, we know that sugar rots teeth and too much sun will give you a burn,
but now scientists are even saying that giving oral sex can give you cancer.
A large icy object that helped spark the debate over Pluto's status
has officially been named
Eris, after the Greek goddess of discord.
And from Christianity Today, fewer than 10 percent of the world's languages have the Old Testament. But that's about to
[Sep 14] From LRB, Bush’s useful idiots: Tony Judt on the Strange Death of Liberal America; a review of Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism and Under Three Flags: Anarchism and the Anti-Colonial Imagination; and Jerry Fodor reviews The Human Touch: Our Part in the Creation of a Universe. From American Scientist, an interview with Marc Hauser, author of Moral Minds. A review of Ethical Intuitionism. Peter Singer answers questions from Telegraph readers. A review of Bad Medicine: Doctors doing harm since Hippocrates; and Brain Matters: Adventures of a brain surgeon. Buried alive in your own skull: William Saletan on a nightmare that is no longer science fiction. Can hearing voices in your head be a good thing? Psychologists will find out. From Law & Politics Book Reviews, a review of The Courts, and a review of Trust and Crime in Information Societies. From American Heritage, Currie Ballard, a historian in Oklahoma, has just made what he calls “the find of a lifetime”: 33 cans of motion picture film dating from the 1920s that reveal the daily lives of some remarkably successful black communities (and you can watch some of the videos). Richard Brookhiser on why George Mason didn't put his John Hancock on the Constitution. From Knowledge @ Wharton, do university research programs tend to stimulate employment and raise the average level of income in the local area economy? From Not Bored!, a review of Freedom in Education by Elizabeth Byrne Ferm and The Modern School of Stelton: A Sketch. Harvey Mansfield on how little is learned about 9/11 in universities. Attack of the Blog: When disenchanted faculty members take to the Web, presidents should worry. From TLS, a review of Albert Camus' Oeuvres Completes, I: 1931–1944 and Volume II: 1944–1948 and Albert Camus: Ou La Naissance D'Un Romancier. A review of Out of this World: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Creation. Elegies for Parenthood: Stephen Metcalf on the literary legacy of the stifling 1950s family in Jonathan Franzen and Donald Antrim. Is marking up a book a sign of concentration, or just graffiti? Scott McLemee considers the highlights of marginalia. And Dianetics, a dialogue: "Szekeli will prove successful. He is one of science fiction’s very own"
[Sep 13] From Postmodern Culture, Chloé Taylor (Toronto): Hard, Dry Eyes and Eyes That Weep: Vision and Ethics in Levinas and Derrida; Martin Hipsky (OWU): Post-Cold War Paranoia in The Corrections and The Sopranos; and a review of David Harvey's The New Imperialism. From Ctheory, Samuel Nunn (IUPU): Tell Us What's Going to Happen: Information Feeds to the War on Terror. From Not Bored!, an essay on The Secret of George W. Bush's Power: the State of Exception; and a series of essays on Guy Debord and Paul Virilio (scroll down). An article on searching for Walter Benjamin's grave: When a pilgrimage is not a cult of remembrance. A review of The New Heidegger. A review of Plato’s Republic: A Biography by Simon Blackburn. A review of Beyond Kuhn: Scientific Explanation, Theory Structure, Incommensurability And Physical Necessity. A review of Philosophy of the Social Sciences: Towards Pragmatism. From Demographic Research, an article on family structure and wellbeing of out-of-wedlock children: The significance of the biological parents' relationship. A review of The Case against Assisted Suicide: For the Right to End-of-Life Care. A review of Money-Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health Care Costs So Much by Maggie Mahar. From The Scientist, are we training too many scientists? A glut of postdocs, too few desired positions, and a faculty invested in the status quo point to a need for change. Who will take responsibility? And why should junior investigators get all the glory? Postdocs do most of the work. More on E. O. Wilson's The Creation (scroll down). An article on the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists: "Everything Freud said was pretty much correct as long as you replaced every mention of genitalia with hair" (and more pictures). From The Weekly Standard, saluting the Canon: Mark Bauerlein on how the liberal arts are alive and well--at military academies. Harvard announces it will drop its Early Admission program. When is plagiarism not cheating? Students who have been accused are starting to fight back. A look at why students don't value school. Learning is fun when you're decades older than the rest of the class and don't care if you're called a swot. And from Great Britain, an article on the metrics system: you'll learn to love it, you know
[Sep 12] Christoph Ritzer, Marc Ruttloff and Karin Linhart (Würzburg): How to Sharpen a Dull Sword – The Principle of Subsidiarity and its Control. A review of Continental Philosophy of Social Science: Hermeneutics, Genealogy, and Critical Theory from Greece to the Twenty-First Century. A review of The Shortest Shadow: Nietzsche's Philosophy of the Two. A review of Schopenhauer by Julian Young. A review of Making a New Man: Ciceronian Self-Fashioning in the Rhetorical Works. From The Mises Institute, a review of The Economics and Ethics of Private Property: Studies in Political Economy and Philosophy by Hans-Hermann Hoppe. A review of The Middle Class: A History. From The Chronicle, once upon a time, Dana R. Fisher knocked on doors to canvass for progressive issues. Now the sociologist is knocking the concept as bad for liberals and for democracy. From Inside Higher Ed, in an excerpt from his autobiography, William M. Chace discusses what it’s really like as president to deal with administrators, faculty members and trustees; and when administrators tell professors the books they must use, Shari Wilson wonders where the faculty role is headed. From The New Yorker, David Sedaris on the advantages of speaking French; and shrouded by the Günter Grass controversy, Ian Buruma explains, is an extraordinary new memoir. From Skeptical Inquirer, an article in defense of the higher values; and a look at why quantum mechanics is not so weird after all. From Seed, some scientists argue that a sudden imbalance of mass on the Earth caused the whole planet to tilt 60° from its axis of rotation; and an interview with controversial scientist Bruce Lahn on the ongoing evolution of humans. From Discover, is urban sprawl an urban myth? High-altitude photos combined with satellite images show that modern American cities are just bigger versions of older American cities; and Invading Our Own Privacy: We grumble about prying eyes, yet we love to upload our identities onto the Web. From PopMatters, a review of The Last Days of Dead Celebrities. And a review of The Immortal Game: A History of Chess, or How 32 Carved Pieces on a Board Illuminated Our Understanding of War, Art, Science, and the Human Brain
[Sep 11] From The New York Sun, Gary Shapiro reports on an APSA panel on the rise of rational choice. A review of Econospinning: How to Read Between the Lines When the Media Manipulate the Numbers. John Cassidy on what neuroeconomics tells us about money and the brain. A review of The Female Brain. An image of consciousness creates a stir: The public is inclined to liken awareness to a lamp, either on or off, while for researchers unconsciousness is a diverse, changeable condition. From The Washington Post, a review of The Price of Admission: How America's Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges -- and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates; a review of The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids; a review of Hothouse Kids: The Dilemma of the Gifted Child; and a review of The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing; and The Case Against Homework: How Homework Is Hurting Our Children and What We Can Do About It. At $9.95 a page, you expected poetry? How good are the results of made-to-order term paper services on the Internet? Pepsi and Mentos: How a high-school teacher's science experiment became an Internet phenomenon and taught kids about nucleation sites along the way. Crying 'Death to Triangles!' a generation of mathematicians tried to eliminate geometry in favor of algebra. Were it not for Donald Coxeter, they might have succeeded. A review of Hollow Earth: The Long and Curious History of Imagining Strange Lands, Fantastical Creatures, Advanced Civilizations.... A review of The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth by Edward O. Wilson. What do Pastafarians believe?: Simon Singh reviews The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. From Butterflies & Wheels, scientists and philosophers need sophistry. This article will show why and how. USC's Dallas Willard is on a quiet quest to subvert nominal Christianity. For 40 years, the Jesuits buried allegations that John Leary, former president of Gonzaga University, sexually abused boys and young men in the 1960s. Alan Wolfe reviews Michael Bérubé's What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts? Classroom Politics and "Bias" in Higher Education. And Alan Dershowitz on universities and tolerance
[Weekend 2e] Simon Keller (BU): Welfare as Success pdf. Daniel Drezner (Tufts): U.S. Trade Strategy: Free Versus Fair. An excerpt from Feminist Methodologies for International Relations. A review of The Authentic Adam Smith: His Life and Ideas. A review of White Savage: William Johnson and the Invention of America. A review of The Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Frontier Rebels Who Challenged America's Newfound Sovereignty. A review of How the Cold War Began: The Igor Gouzenko Affair and the Hunt for Soviet Spies. Flying Coach to Cairo: How three wary Presidents became friends on the way to a funeral: a serious comedy. From American Heritage, a look at the 10 greatest natural disasters in the US. From Science News, does defense win championships? In football, a good defense doesn't generally trump a good offense. Diet and exercise: An article on how not to eat like a freshman. William Saletan on the global explosion of fat. Here's an explanation of how the Atkins diet works. And from Psychology Today, an article on the fondness for our own names; what happens when parents give their kids unusual names; and on how to spread a popular name. (More "news room": A look at the role the U.S. media played in creating public's doubt concerning climate change. A review of Winning Right: Campaign Politics and Conservative Policies. An interview with David Limbaugh, author of Bankrupt: The Intellectual and Moral Bankruptcy of Today's Democratic Party (and an excerpt). A review of Pat Buchanan's State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America. Sit down, sit down for Jesus? Contrary to rumor, the culture wars aren't over. Nor should they be. One can only hope that viewpoint - that religious figures can do no wrong -- has fallen to the bottom of the dustbin of history. Yes! Oh God! Yes! For some Christians, better sex is the best way to save marriage.)
[Weekend] Torben Spaak (Uppsala): Relativism in Legal Thinking: Stanley Fish and the Concept of an Interpretive Community; and Moral Relativism and the Rechtsstaat. Jack Balkin (Yale): Abortion and Original Meaning. Michael Diamond (Georgetown): Community Economic Development: A Reflection on Community, Power and the Law. From Writ, an article on the legal professoriate's case against judicial review: Why the academy is wrong, and why it matters. A review of Taking Wrongs Seriously: Apologies and Reconciliation. A review of On The History of the Idea of Law. A review of Interpretation: Techniques and Exercises. A review of Objects of Metaphor. A review of The Emotions of the Ancient Greeks: Studies in Aristotle and Classical Literature. A review of Osman's Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire 1300-1923. A review of The Zürau Aphorisms of Franz Kafka. The first chapter from The Jewish Century. Parallel Purges: An article on academic freedom in Iran and America. A review of books on an age of tainted admissions and too much homework. From Financial Times, a review of The Human Touch: Our Part in the Creation of the Universe, and a review of The Omnivore's Dilemma: The Search for a Perfect Meal in a Fast-food World; and The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter. Could it be that in the great evolutionary "family tree," it is we Modern Humans, not the brow-ridged, large-nosed Neandertals, who are the odd uncle out? Research finds teenagers are more selfish than adults because they use a different part of their brain to make decisions compared to adults. Ever since Nike exhorted us to "Just do it!", the pronoun has been the vessel for a whole range of cultural suggestions. Tim Ochser finds that "It" is not all that it seems. Balls to Picasso's masculinity: Hitler's resolve to castrate modern artists only strengthened Picasso's obsession with the bullish minotaur. And Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao marked the end of the modernist ideal of the architect as master. New practitioners are acting, networking, and shifting interests in a way unburdened by twentieth-century tradition
[Sep 8] Brian Leiter (UT-Austin): From Legal Realism to Naturalized Jurisprudence. Thom Brooks (Sheffield): Between Natural Law and Legal Positivism: Dworkin and Hegel on Legal Theory. An excerpt from The Truth about Leo Strauss: Political Philosophy and American Democracy by Catherine and Michael Zuckert. Our republic at risk: John Seery on APSA, Mary Dietz and Hannah Arendt. A look at the recipients of this years' "Excellence in Scholarship" awards at APSA's meeting. From The Nation, Christopher Hitchens reviews Things I Didn't Know: A Memoir by Robert Hughes. A review of books on the history of the English language. From Germany, an interview with Günter Grass. Literary criticism owes a great debt to Anthony Julius, the divorce lawyer famous for representing Princess Diana and now Heather Mills-McCartney. From Discover, theoretical physicists are way off course: A review of Not Even Wrong and The Trouble With Physics. Here's the latest issue of Edge: The Third Culture. David Barash on how scientists base their work on reality, but "reality" can be elusive. Research revealed that, unconsciously at least, you can wash away your sins. From Christianity Today, a review of the first three volumes of Cambridge History of Christianity, and a review of Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. After seven decades as an atheist, Fay Weldon has found God. But has she stopped believing in women? The Air Force Academy adds a nonreligious Freethinkers group to its roster of extracurricular religious-education programs. NYU graduate students resume teaching duties, failing to win recognition of their union. An unfortunate incident involving a ball o’ butter inspires Alaina Levine’s advice for academics on manners. From Mother Jones, here's the 13th annual roundup of campus activism. From The American Spectator, here's some advice to the proto-freshman. The Kids Are All Right: Are alarmists right about kids and the college admission crisis? A study of 17- to 18-year-olds on the SAT finds men have a 4- to 5-point IQ advantage over women by adulthood. And can you think of anything you know now in your fifties that you wish you'd known in your twenties?
[Sep 7] Leonard Lee (Columbia), On Amir (UCSD), and Dan Ariely (MIT): In Search of Homo Economicus: Preference Consistency, Emotions, and Cognition. The first chapter from Wendy Brown's Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in the Age of Identity and Empire. An article on France, Guy Debord and the ambiguous legacy of 1968. From The Guardian, as the fifth anniversary of 9/11 nears, Christina Asquith finds academics querying the official version of events. Many historians say 9/11 and its aftermath are leaving their mark on how American history is written and taught. From Newsweek, how dummies succeed: Why do Americans do so badly on international educational comparisons and yet support an advanced economy? Dozens of liberal arts presidents issue statement backing legislation to put federally sponsored research online, free. A look at how secular professors are under fire in Iran. From Time, an article on the downside of being a child prodigy. Can a teacher care too much? Very Civil Disobedience: Campus Progress goes behind the scenes of a new type of protest. Taking notes without a computer: A look at how laptops distract from classroom learning. 101 101: How did intro classes get their trademark number? From Seed, Noam Chomsky meets Robert Trivers to discuss deceit. This can't be love: Carl Zimmer on the curious case of sexual cannibalism. A study finds that creating a species "costs" more energy than is released by all the fossil fuels burned on Earth in a year and which helps explain the tropics' massive biodiversity. From Discover, an interview with Sean Carroll, author of The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution. Darwin's cocker-spaniel: A review of Darwinism and Its Discontents by Michael Ruse. Evolution keeps us superstitious. Now that's lucky. A plea for empiricism: A review of Frederick Crews' Follies of the Wise: Dissenting essays. From The Brooklyn Rail, an interview with Sylvère Lotringer, general editor of Semiotext(e). From Prospect, on the centenary of John Betjeman's birth, a round up of recent collections and biographies. Eve de Harben has been stripped of her mystery. She stands revealed as a creation of the jealous writer Bevis Hillier. And a review of J. G. Ballard's Kingdom Come
[Sep 6] From Psychology Today, here's a field guide to the bon vivant. A review of Sexual Ethics: The Meaning and Foundations of Sexual Morality, a review of Walking Heads: On the Secret Fantasy of Being an Exception, a review of Wrestling with Behavioral Genetics: Science, Ethics, and Public Conversation, a review of Wandering Significance: An Essay on Conceptual Behaviour, a review of Zombies and Consciousness, and a review of Nicholas Humphrey's Seeing Red A Study in Consciousness. From Cogito, an interview with John Haugeland: The defining feature of human intelligence is responsibility. Total Recall: A historian plans to create a "Memory Archive", using the software that made Wikipedia famous, to create a searchable encyclopedia of humanity's memories. For the fans who write and update Wikipedia, it takes only hours to get hooked, as you join a giant conspiracy to get the web to agree with reality. From India, the book has made an astonishing comeback, defying accepted wisdom in the age of 24-hour satellite TV. More people are reading, more publishers are publishing, more bookstores are opening their doors to an insatiable public. A review of How to Read a Novel: a User's Guide. Language expert lashes Lynne Truss's zero-tolerance approach to punctuation. Where did ye go, W.E.B. Dubois? Minister Paul Scott would drive out the gangstas from the hallowed halls of Black Literature. From Newsweek, a cover story on The New First Grade: Too much too soon? From Inside Higher Ed, a review of The Price of Admission: How America's Ruling Class Buys Its Way Into Elite Colleges and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates; and the 20th century university is obsolete: John P. Minogue surveys the shifts in higher education, and sees more change ahead. Is a bachelor's degree as good an investment today as it used to be? From Campus Progress, a look at why you're being forced to spend so much on textbooks. Here's the way to get straight A's: A review of Professors' Guide to Getting Good Grades in College. I think I'd be happy to be called Dr Depressed: Patrick Tomlin contemplates the challenges that lie ahead as he begins his three-year doctorate. A little learning is an expensive thing: Hail to alma mater! We will pay thy bills forever. And Michael Novak is making sense
[Sep 5] Lee Strang (Ave Maria): Originalism, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution: A Unique Role in Constitutional Interpretation? Jeremy Miller (Chapman): It's Time For A New U.S. Constitution. A review of Constitutional Law and National Pluralism, a review of At War With Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and a review of The Transatlantic Constitution: Colonial Legal Culture and the Empire. A review of The English Civil War: Papists, Gentlewomen, Soldiers and the Witchfinders in the Birth of Modern Britain. In the comments he wrote in the margins of his books, John Adams was as pungent as he was copious. From WorldNetDaily, an article on how the soft sciences create "counterfeit truth". Adelphi University enjoys a renaissance after 90’s strife. An article on Randolph Macon Woman's College, Virginia's Benedict Arnold college. An op-ed on how academics are like the laborers of the 19th century. Duke president Richard Broadhead on the US edge in education. Eighty-two sailors in Europe are among the first to take part in the Navy’s prototype academic training program for soon-to-be chief petty officers. It seems to be the new writing section of the SAT that has made the number of perfects plummet. As school starts up again, so will the difficulties (and the small victories) of teachers in the most challenging classrooms. From Salon, Destination Turkey: This endlessly fascinating, sometimes heartbreaking puzzle of a country that's fraught with religious and political conflict is brilliantly captured in the novels of Orhan Pamuk and Elif Shafak. A look at why Chick Lit is hurting America. An article on Edmund Burke and Critical Theory: Taste, resemblance and pleasure. From The Scientist, maternity is both danger and salvation for "mad" female scientists. There’ s a deep connection between snakes and primates, one that may have shaped who we are -- and how we see -- today. Survival of the harmonious: Mounting evidence suggests that human beings are hard-wired to appreciate music. What researchers want to know now is why our distant ancestors evolved music in the first place. Cracking the Vivaldi Code: Can a computer program generate new works from long dead legends? And on why hipsters aren’t all that hip: A review of Neo-Bohemia: Art and Commerce in the Postindustrial City
[Sep 4] From Slate, why tall people earn more because they're smarter; and Tim Harford on explaining the huge rise in teen oral sex. From Rhizomes, a special issue on The Becoming Deleuzoguattarian of Queer Studies, including an essay on Pink Vectors of Deleuze: Queer Theory and Inhumanism; an article on The Force that Through the Wall Drives the Penis: The Becomings and Desiring-Machines of Glory Hole Sex; a look at Foucault's Queer Virtualities; and a review of Curiouser: On the Queerness of Children. From Commentary, an essay on why Michelangelo matters. A review of Gladstone and Women and The Politics of Pleasure: A Portrait of Benjamin Disraeli. A review of Washington’s Crossing, by David Hackett Fischer. A review of Ethnic Contacts and Cultural Exchanges North and West of the Black Sea from the Greek Colonization to the Ottoman Conquest. A review of Charlemagne. An excerpt from A History of Exile in the Roman Republic. A review of Representations of War in Ancient Rome. And from The Nation, a review of fiction books from Korea, and a review of Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China's Past and Present; China Candid: The People on the People's Republic; and One China, Many Paths
[Weekend 2e] From The New York Review of Books, Tony Judt reviews Leszek Kolakowski's Main Currents of Marxism: The Founders, the Golden Age, the Breakdown and My Correct Views on Everything, and Karl Marx ou l'esprit du monde by Jacques Attali; Ronald Dworkin has three questions for America; a look at A New Middle East; an article on a War Within a War; an article on September 11 at the movies; and an exchange on "The Threat to the Planet". NPR discusses Eric Hobsbawm's The Age of Extremes with Michael Kazin, author of A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan. Despite attempts to label her a popular historian or lady biographer, Antonia Fraser continues to win over critics and readers. In literary London, the strange case of a steamy letter: A. N. Wilson, falling for a hoax, printed a fake letter containing a hidden insult in his biography of John Betjeman. From American Heritage, a look back at the death of the Soviet Union. An article on the Gang of Four and pop music as Marxist critical theory. And Cormac Murphy-O'Connor on 1,001 reasons why we are all seekers now: but seekers of what?
[Weekend] From LRB, Fredric Jameson reviews Slavoj Zizek's The Parallax View. A review of On the Human Condition. From Science News, what apes can teach us about the human mind: As scientists discover traits shared by human and ape ancestors millions of years ago, they try to fill in the gaps of human evolution. Has a new human species been discovered -- the so-called Indonesian "hobbit" -- or is the skeleton just that of a prehistoric Homo sapien with a deformity? A look at how global warming is showing up in fly genes. From New Scientist, the top 10 weirdest cosmology theories. A review of In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind. From Mute, a review of Under Three Flags: Anarchism and the Anti-Colonial Imagination by Benedict Anderson; and more on Planet of Slums. A review of The Wealth of Networks: how social production transforms markets and freedom by Yochai Benkler. From Open Democracy, a repressive release: The Iranian regime's treatment of Ramin Jahanbegloo is a lesson in its new tactics for quelling dissent. From Inside Higher Ed, if CIA calls, should anthropology answer? From Foreign Policy, an interview with New School president Bob Kerrey on coming of age in the post-9/11 world and whether American students are falling behind. From Commentary, as goes Harvard: Even insiders are beginning to admit how far the elite universities have fallen, but they cannot or will not say why. Why are we even here for?: An excerpt from Themes for English B: A Professor’s Education In and Out of Class. A slight decline in SAT scores made headlines, but the real story is that the new test is closing the gender and income gap. If it feels good, don't do it: If sex ed doesn't work, what is everyone fighting about? Stephen Moore on the best education reform: More sleep. Michelle Cottle on debunking the hype about college fires. Young Britons may be turning their backs on foreign languages but their parents continue to grapple with CDs, phrase books and total-immersion courses. A look at how book publishing turned the page, thanks to technology. And on the non-denial of the non-self: A look at how philosophy can help create secure databases
[Sep 1] From The New Republic has a new blog, Open University, which includes contributors David Bromwich, Jacob Hacker, Michael Kazin, Sanford Levison, Lawrence Summers, Cass Sunstein, Alan Wolfe and more. From Inside Higher Ed, stretching the definition of academic freedom: Just because professors disagree with a policy doesn’t mean it violates fundamental rights. Fifteen years after Anita Hill's sexual harassment allegations rocked the nation, her name has all but disappeared from the University of Oklahoma campus. From Vdare, an article on God and girl at Catholic college. Evolutionary biology, mysteriously missing from the list of undergraduate subjects eligible for a US federal grant, has been reinstated after a flurry of protest. An interview with Harvey Mansfield on Manliness. Roger Kimball reviews Paul Johnson’s Creators. From Egypt’s Al-Ahram, a special section on Naguib Mahfouz (and more and more and more and more). Iran releases philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo: Did he act against national security? A review of On Apology by Aaron Lazare. An excerpt from Amartya Sen’s Identity and Violence. A review of Toleration: A Critical Introduction. Too diverse to be diversity: Is it “harassment” to recommend a book? From Seed, the social life: What humans can learn from social insects. Researchers stitch two mouse genes together to recreate a gene that existed more than 500 million years ago. Life 2.0: The new science of synthetic biology is poised between hype and hope. But its time will soon come (and more). A review of Toward an Evolutionary Biology of Language. A review of Embodiment and Cognitive Science. From the Canadian Journal of Sociology, a review of Social Emergence: Societies as Complex Systems, and a review of Reading History Sideways: The Fallacy and Enduring Impact of the Developmental Paradigm on Family Life. A review of What's Wrong with Children's Rights. A review of Understanding Eating Disorders: Conceptual and Ethical Issues in the Treatment of Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa. From Green Left Weekly, a review of The Ethics of What We Eat by Peter Singer and Jim Mason. A cornucopia of new books tells us where our food comes from. And on the battle between food and fuel: Exploding demand for ethanol could inflate the price of food and threaten the world's hungry