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[Jan 31] From Great Britain,
thanks to a church-run hospice, one disabled man was granted his dying
wish: to lose his virginity;
the doctor-patient relationship is built on trust. But for thousands of women it can turn into one of
abuse. Now the government is to take action to end their misery; and
a monster of desire at the heart of a nation: A review
of London in the 19th Century (and more).
From Canada, one thing you can count on: If
Michael Ignatieff ever does reconcile himself to the role of politician,
he had better take another look at Marshall McLuhan.
From The Walrus, an article on Stephen Harper and the Theo-cons: The rising clout of Canada’s religious right; an essay on Multiculturalism: A twentieth-century dream becomes a twenty-first-century
conundrum; a review of books
on climate change vs. civilization; and pets are family, but chickens are food
products? A Quebec vet examines our two-faced relationship with
animals. The first
chapter from Designs on Nature: Science and Democracy in Europe and the United States.
In the aftermath of terrorist attacks, United States embassies around the world have been turned into
fortresses, while Sweden is setting up a virtual embassy in
the online community Second Life in the hope of increasing its profile with young people around the world.
From The Chicago Tribune, an atomic threat made in America:
How the U.S. spread bomb-grade fuel worldwide — and failed to get it back;
and the search for a magic fuel: Former Cold War rivals face scientific riddle in race to spare world from nuclear
peril; the Energy Department is exaggerating
its progress in securing tons of nuclear-weapons
fuel spread across the globe; and here's a
tour inside a Russian reactor.
From Foreign Policy, a
look at the candidates who are most likely to fill
Vladimir Putin’s shoes.
Great dictators: A review
of The Cambridge History of Russia.
Kremlin, Inc.: Why are Putin’s opponents dying?
From Der Spiegel, an interview with Abdallah
Frangi, the highest-ranking Fatah official in
Gaza on an end to the violence, the responsibility of Hamas and the role of Saudi Arabia.
Yale's Beth Osborne Daponte on counting Iraqi
casualties. Military recruiters are desperate to fill the ranks.
But just how
desperate? Radar sends in the clowns.
Cheerleaders. Soldiers. Booze. Sex: A National Guard recruiting mission gone awry shakes a small South Carolina town to its
core. Bush is not above the law: Is the president guilty of committing a felony by
continuously reauthorizing the warrantless eavesdropping program for the past five
years? And if so, what action must be taken?
And impeachment by the people: Howard Zinn on why a national grassroots campaign is needed to impeach Bush and
[Jan 30] From Open Democracy, what are the real trends of global economic growth, and how widely are the benefits of global trade shared? A close look at the evidence casts doubt on conventional optimism. Marx is being proved right: It's becoming increasingly apparent that globalisation is laying bare the contradictions of capitalism. Dani Rodrik, a Harvard trade economist, has built a reputation for favoring eclectic solutions that mix government and the private sector in pragmatic ways. Independence isn't always beautiful: With old empires crumbled and a more globalized world, autonomy may be tempting but isn't always the best choice for a nation. A review of Economic Growth in Botswana in the 1980s: A Model for Sub-Saharan Africa. More on Tip & Run: The Untold Tragedy of the Great War in Africa. An article on Africa's development in 2007: 10 major challenges. An interview with Kenneth Kaunda, president of Zambia from 1964 to 1991 on empire, nationalism and globalization. A review of Anatomy of South Africa: Who Holds the Power? From Der Spiegel, the trek is a journey of desperation. And one of the most difficult parts is the long haul across the Sahara Desert. Hundreds set out across the endless sand in pick-ups -- but many never make it. From Sign and Sight, freedom cannot be decreed: French philosopher Pascal Bruckner accused Ian Buruma of propogating a form of multiculturalism that amounts to legal apartheid. Here, the Dutch journalist and historian defends his position. From Dissent, a symposium on Iran and the West, with contributions from Shlomo Avineri, Anne-Marie Slaughter and others; and Fred Halliday on The Jihadism of Fools. From Exile, a lot of office boys like to talk about "old school." I'll tell you who was old school: Saddam. Strategic Errors of Monumental Proportions: Lt. Gen. William E. Odom (Ret.) on the lessons for Iraq from Vietnam, El Salvador and the Middle East. General David Petraeus rewrote the book on counterinsurgency. But will he have the troops -- and the time -- to complete the mission he's spent his career preparing for? Fareed Zakaria on a preview of a post-US world: The ball is in everybody's court, which means it's in nobody's court. This free ride can't last. The global system is not self-managing. Is the war on terror a clash of civilizations or just a phase in democratic development? From HNN, is Bush a revolutionary? Lee P. Ruddin investigates. The Loneliest President: What’s going on in George Bush’s mind? A team of historians, Oval Office veterans, and psychotherapists tries to figure out whether Bush is depressed or delusional. And from National Journal, a look at the Bush administration's biggest hits and flops that have not received much attention
[Jan 29] From The Kettering Foundation, the introduction to Collective Decision Making Around the World, and the first chapter from When Citizens Deliberate: Russian and American Citizens Consider Their Relationship. Rank prejudice and global economics determine who is allowed to enter the West. Border officials who rely on 'instinct' or 'intuition' are only really testing for race and class. 2006 was a turbulent year in world politics, with military coups in Thailand and Fiji, an entrenched insurgency in Afghanistan, and worsening sectarian violence in Iraq. Foreign Policy takes a look at the regimes that may collapse next; and an interview with Ali Ansari on why Iran wants a stable Iraq. Whose Iran? President Ahmadinejad may not be all that popular. And the tension between theocracy and democracy may be reaching a crisis. It Has Unraveled So Quickly: Baghdad fell in 2003 and we are still trying to pick it back up. But Iraq is a different country now (and a map on four strategies for saving Baghdad). A review of Frontline Pakistan: The Struggle with Militant Islam. The assassination of editor Hrant Dink set off the largest peaceful demonstration in modern Turkish history. Can last week's symbolic events lead to reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia? From The Hindu, a review of Mohandas: A True Story of a Man, his People and an Empire. In Good Faith : Here's an Indian view of secularism. Americans have a love affair with India, seduced by a colorful culture, one of the world’s great cuisines, and the sense that these two great democracies are a lot alike. In reality, however, the two countries have very little in common, and a lot that could pull them apart. From The Nation, the way down South: The South is more purple than red, and Democrats don't need to sell their souls to win it back. How Dems can use California to win in '08: A longer, more nationalized primary schedule would forces candidates to have broader appeal and yield a more electable ticket. From The Weekly Standard, meet Mike Huckabee. What are odds that any of the Democratic presidential candidates can do in 2008 what a Georgia peanut farmer did in 1976? Diversity draws new donors: A look at how the Democratic presidential field attracts newcomers to fund raising. Senator Barack Obama has the sort of voice that political consultants dream of: It's authoritative but comforting, rich and resonant and wise--the sound of cigarettes. Secrets of Obama family unlocked: "You know, Ann [Dunham] was really, really white". Repeal the 22nd Amendment: Bring on Bush v. Clinton! (The other Clinton). And Bush, Clinton, Bush--Clinton? It sounds like the War of the Roses
[Weekend] From Guinea, blood and diamonds: One of Africa's worst-run countries faces violent change. From Nigeria, Gbemisola Olujobi takes stock of the changing face of her country’s most prominent economic export after oil: e-mail scams. Truth, Lies, and Accountability: A review essay on the search of justice for East Timor. From ZNet, is independence a viable option for Jammu & Kashmir? From New Statesman, a review of The Writing on the Wall: China and the west in the 21st century by Will Hutton, and a review of Irish Freedom: the story of nationalism in Ireland. A multi-billion dollar natural-gas project in Peru’s Camisea rainforest has been plagued by frequent, environmentally damaging pipeline breaches. An investigation found ample evidence of subpar work and a government cover-up. One NATO is not enough: What we need are more permanent regional security and defense organizations, supported by major powers. At Ease, Mr. President: The president is not the commander in chief of civilians. Dick Cheney vs. Reality: The Vice-President is the only one still drinking the Kool-Aid. A review of Positively American: Winning Back the Middle-Class Majority One Family at a Time by Senator Chuck Schumer. A review of Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear by Frank Luntz. Kristolizing the (Neoconservative) Moment: Eric Alterman on how the poisonous William Kristol is consistently wrong on Iraq. Why does he remain a media darling? From Comment, here's fifty things to love about life in New York City. The Reliable Princess: Kate Middleton is the perfect addition to the House of Windsor. She's polite, well educated and self-controlled -- and she isn't trying to be the new Princess Diana. And here we go again: Christopher Buckley on a projected timeline of the Prince William and Kate Middleton courtship
[Jan 26] From Der Spiegel, an excerpt from Hurray! We're Capitulating!: The prevailing feeling among Muslims is that they are being abused by the West. What should we do about it? We might as well surrender. After all, we're already on our way. Christiania's impending normalization reflects Denmark, which is no longer seen around the world as a bastion of tolerance. Israel on the Potomac: The crisis of the neo-conservative foreign-policy agenda in the US is having complex repercussions on pro-Israeli organisations and voices in Washington--but not all critics are our enemies. An interview with Rashid Khalidi, author of The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood. Slippery slope: Holocaust denial is profoundly wrong. But should it be illegal? A review of Hitler Sites: A City-By-City Guidebook (Austria, Germany, France, United States). Germany's economy has regained its lost competitiveness, but it may come at the expense of Spain, where wages are rising fast. A review of The European Economy Since 1945: Co-ordinated Capitalism and Beyond. Radical in name only: The Serbs vote for Europe, but not yet for Kosovo. The safety of Russia's nuclear arsenal was called into question yesterday after Georgia said it had arrested a man trying to sell weapons-grade uranium hidden under his jacket. The International Criminal Court is proving more robust than expected; even sceptical America is softening its line. Kingdoms of this world, and otherwise: The rich, the poor and their advocates, lay and clerical, gather in different places to ponder the fate of the earth. Bush's war on women: To further its anti-abortion crusade, the US denies aid to any NGO that offers safe terminations to the world's poorest women. From Counterpunch, Patrick Cockburn on what's really going on in Baghdad. The Fight We're In: What's the best way for Democrats to force Bush to end the war? Elizabeth Holtzman argues that from the Iraq War to Katrina and warrantless spying, the case for removing Bush from office is overwhelming, but Sanford Levinson says the Constitution's impeachment clause works only for criminals, not the grossly incompetent. Run, Al, Run: The ideal candidate for the Democrats may be the man who won the popular vote in 2000 -- and who opposed the war in Iraq from the very start. And Michelle Cottle on how Hillary Clinton prepared for everything--except Barack Obama
[Jan 25] From Germany, vanishing moggies and the sight of sinister vans with darkened windows have sparked rumors of a cat-snatching mafia stalking Berlin. From Great Britain, Julian Baggini on why he doesn't believe most white Britons are racists, even though he heard racist language almost everywhere he went. From Spiked, a review of Big Babies Or: Why Can’t We Just Grow Up? by Michael Bywater. (and more). Why Britain needs a "compassionate conservative": An interview with David Cameron. The persistence of the faithful: Christianity has a track record of opposing progress, so it should absolutely not be referenced in the European constitution. A review of Values in a Time of Upheaval by Pope Benedict XVI. Enlightenment fundamentalism or racism of the anti-racists? Pascal Bruckner defends Ayaan Hirsi Ali against Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash, condemning their idea of multiculturalism for chaining people to their roots. The new mass migration: Africa's poor are fleeing desperation for a life of hope in Europe. Though rarely welcome, neither laws nor walls can stop them from making the dangerous journey. And thousands die each year. From AllAfrica, an article on the political theory of potholes. Deepak Lal on why globalising capitalism is hated. From Transitions, nothing succeeds like autocracy: Free choice and the prospect of major change are not likely to mar Russia's transition of power when Vladimir Putin steps down next year. A review of Beyond Liberal Democracy: Political Thinking for an East Asian Context. A review of Zheng He: China and the oceans in the early Ming dynasty 1404–1433. From PS: Political Science & Politics, a symposium on the 2006 Mexican election and its aftermath. From Der Spiegel, an interview with Felipe Caldéron, President of Mexico. From Glänta, arranging an interview with Luis Echeverría, president of Mexico from 1970 to 1976, leads the Alejandro Cervantes-Carson to reflect on the relationship between political crime and bureaucracy. Lies, damned lies and statistics: A look at how Canadian newspapers employ some questionable numbers in support of their pet causes. And a review of Becoming a Citizen: Incorporating Immigrants and Refugees in the United States and Canada
[Jan 24] From Laos, the ragtag Hmong guerrillas are one of many small groups estimated to number between 2,000 and 12,000 still hiding in the mountains. Form Cambodia, search on for "feral man" as mystery deepens over woman lost in jungle for 19 years. From Pakistan, Ishtiaq Ahmed on print capitalism and political progress; and a look at why you can’t bake an Islamic state. From across the shores: The Indian diaspora constitutes a significant economic, social and cultural force. What are their feelings for this country? A review of The Writing on the Wall: China and the West in the 21st Century. Is Japan a cultural looter? Italian authorities investigate Roman antiquities in Japanese museums, just as Japan launches a global cultural offensive. A review of Kickboxing Geishas. Sex advice, rock star wisdom and prisoner song contests are among the stranger offerings in the quirky world of Russian talk radio. A review of Blowing Up Russia: The Secret Plot to Bring Back KGB Terror by Alexander Litvinenko and Yuri Felshtinsky. Clay Risen on Germany's bold new plan to reinvent everything. A review of The Origins of Sectarianism in Early Modern Ireland. The fight for supremacy between two aircraft-making giants: A review of Boeing Versus Airbus by John Newhouse. Reworking the A-List: Those invited to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, reflect this year’s theme of a shift in power. From Human Events, an interview with John Bolton on the UN. A review of The Best of Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power by James Traub and The Parliament of Man by Paul Kennedy. Richard Haass on Ban Ki-moon and the not so United Nations. And from Foreign Policy, an interview with Jill Youse on The International Breast Milk Project
[Jan 23] From Prospect, a cover story by Francis Fukuyama on identity and migration; and Timothy Garton Ash on Europe's true stories: The EU urgently needs to give a new account of itself. How about a true and self-critical story woven around six goals? (and check out the new Prospect blog). Form Der Spiegel, the EU has long suffered from a negative public image: An interview with Margot Wallström, European Commissioner for Communications; and damned lies and statistics: Is the Vatican a rogue state? The top crime neighborhood in the world isn't in Sao Paulo or Lagos. It's not the Bronx in New York, or even Wedding in Berlin. It's the small city ruled by Pope Benedict XVI. A review of Design for a New Europe. A review of Uncouth Nation: Why Europe Dislikes America. From Der Spiegel, an interview with Condoleeza Rice: "We feel we have a responsibility to the world"; and an interview with David Frum: "The Bush administration is caught half-way across a bridge". Fareed Zakaria on the limits of democracy: Has Bush soured the world on democracy? From TNR, here's a tour through the flaming streets of Beirut. A review of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Peter Beinart on obsessing about Iran. From The Globalist, comparisons have inevitably emerged between Iraq and Vietnam. Yet, there are other parallels that can be drawn: Ten major parallels between the US war in Iraq and the Athenian campaign against Sicily in 415 BC (and part 2). How Vietnam really ended: Events abroad—not domestic anti-war activism—brought the war to an end. Americans are rummaging through the past for lessons to help us in Iraq. There's just one problem: The two unsuccessful wars we've fought since World War II don't teach the same lesson. A review of The Moral Rhetoric of American Presidents. He still doesn't understand the war: Bush whiffs on Iraq again during the State of the Union. Harold Meyerson on President Bush as our delusional hedgehog. Was the Iraq Study Group report really a flop? Robert Kaplan wants to know. A review of Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front, in the Words of US Troops and Their Families and What Was Asked of Us: An Oral History of the Iraq War by the Soldiers Who Fought It. And love the warrior, hate the war: Why progressives have more in common with the military than they think
[Jan 22] American politics: From The Atlantic Monthly, take two: How Hillary Clinton turned herself into the consummate Washington player. EJ Dionne on how Obama vs. Clinton shapes up. A look at how candidates face a new test: Winning netroots primary. Shushing the Baby Boomers: We could pass the torch to a new generation, as John F. Kennedy put it. Or are passion’s fires best left burning? A look at The Dream Tickets for the 2008 election. An article on the politics of beauty: Looks can win votes—but being too pretty can lose them. Jacob Weisberg on Republicans and the Bush dilemma. The Cause Bush Did Justice To: President Bush gave conservatives, if nothing else, the Supreme Court they wanted. Archives of Spin: If we give in to the worst impulses of presidents and their supporters, presidential libraries risk becoming temples of political propaganda; and why Southern Methodist University should accept the George W. Bush presidential library. Cheney's Enigmatic Influence: How does the most important but elusive presidential adviser in modern history use his power behind the scenes? Lies are hard to prove: Proving perjury, the central charge against I. Lewis Libby, can be an uphill fight. Hard cases: A look at what’s ultimately behind the Libby trial. From TNR, what Dixie has done to American politics: Nicholas Lemann reviews Here's Where I Stand: A Memoir by Jesse Helms; Herding Cats: A Life in Politics by Trent Lott; Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South by Thomas F. Schaller; and There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945 - 1975 by Jason Sokol. Eric Foner reviews The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery. How the rise of identity politics was shaped by an area called Edendale: A review of Bohemian Los Angeles: and the Making of Modern Politics. From The Beast, a look at the 50 Most Loathsome People in America, 2006. A review of The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public by Sarah E. Igo. The feeling many Americans have today is that, all but literally, we are being driven out of our beloved country. A review of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion in America by Mark Ames. Alan Wolfe reviews The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11 by Dinesh D'Souza (an excerpt and an interview from Salon). Christopher Hitchens reviews America Alone by Mark Steyn. And a review of A Power Governments Cannot Suppress by Howard Zinn
[Weekend] From Indonesia, due, in part, to rampant corruption and governmental indifference, both natural and man-made disasters claim far more lives than necessary — mostly among the nation's poorest citizens. From Mali, an article on the political roots of one of Africa's liveliest music festivals. From Bolivia, a look at how Evo Morales could lead his country to civil war. From Nicaragua, the kinder, gentler Daniel Ortega: A deeply flawed and complex leader now has a second chance to save his country. From Al-Ahram, the recent histories of Latin America and the Arab world share many features. But now their paths are diverging. It's the little things that make an occupation: Those seemingly minor inconveniences that make life hellish in Palestine. The clock may be ticking on Iran's fiery president: Pressure from the U.S. and economic isolation may be eroding Ahmadinejad's authority in his own country. The price of belonging: AC Grayling on why responsible nations must demand that China raises standards on human rights, labour practices and environmental protection. A review of Shenzhen: a travelogue from China, China Candid: the people on the People's Republic and In China's Shadow: the crisis of American entrepreneurship. A review of In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India. A World Bank report shows migrants helping to change the demography and economies of eastern Europe and Central Asia. An article on Central Asia’s other Turkmenbashis. Stalin, Franco, Tito, Mao: all were mostly alike in their means and methods. How they passed from the scene, however, was often very different, and these differences can shape societies for years and decades to come
[Jan 19] From Canada, some of my best friends are Quebecers: Is Quebec more racist than other provinces, or just more willing to confront its prejudices? Nationalism is not nationality: What happened to Greater Albania? Europe's huddled masses: Millions of Europeans are on the move. Does it matter? From Sign and Sight, Writer Herta Müller on the tenacity of Romania's corrupt secret service. Sugar plum fairy v the forces of darkness: One of the strangest things about political activists is that they so rarely understand freedom, the very thing they think they are fighting for. A review of The Union: England, Scotland and the Treaty of 1707. Scotland's parliament voted to abolish itself in on 16 January 1707. In 1999, devolution restored a measure of self-government. Now, Scots are contemplating independence once more. The historian and Scottish National Party candidate Christopher Harvie explains why. Sex, politics and idealists: Politics is not just for nerds, nor is it a cynical hunt for power. That is the message of a new BBC drama that is trying to glamorise the world of Westminster. From The Economist, executives have enjoyed an astonishing pay bonanza. Edward Carr explains why most of them deserved it; and the great unbundling: Does economics need a new theory of offshoring? ; rich man, poor man: A poisonous mix of inequality and sluggish wages threatens globalisation; in the shadow of prosperity: Hard truths about helping the losers from globalisation. Is globalization on its way out? A review of Walden Bello's The Capitalist Conjuncture: over accumulation, financial crises, and the retreat of globalisation. Michel Rocard on ethical capitalism, a fragile principle. An article on why sustained global growth depends on a better safety net for the middle class. The rich get richer, and the poor get... Alan Reynolds. A review of Out of the Pits: Traders and Technology From Chicago to London. A review of The Money Men: Capitalism, Democracy, and the Hundred Years’ War Over the American Dollar. The introduction to Innovation and Its Discontents: How Our Broken Patent System is Endangering Innovation and Progress, and What to Do About It. And the Unwilling Americans: Daniel Gross on more jobs the native-born won't do
[Jan 18] From Macedonia, the government pushes a plan to bring religion into the schools, while opponents ask some lonely questions. From Bangladesh, the country is slipping into chaos and could be Islamic extremists' next target. The introduction to Schooling Islam: Modern Muslim Education. From Economic and Political Weekly, secularism without secularisation: What explains the failure of secularism in the US and India? Why have secular constitutions proved to be incapable of preventing the growing "religionisation" of the state and the public sphere? From Der Spiegel, on this increasingly God-fearing globe, only Western Europe looks like the last bastion of secularism - or are the faithful here too returning to the fold? From LRB, Perry Anderson on Russia’s managed democracy, and Norman Dombey on Iran and the Bomb. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is moving the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock from seven to five minutes to midnight. From Israel Insider, Benny Morris on why The Second Holocaust is looming. From American Diplomacy, and article on assessing the Long War; and a look at why Iraq reminds of Vietnam. From National Journal, just as every soldier killed in Iraq leaves behind a story of tragedy and loss, every medal winner leaves behind a story of dedication and courage. But an analysis of the awards shows that the services skew their medals for merit and performance toward the higher ranks; and bad as the situation in Iraq may be, an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces would only make things worse. But with no easy answer in sight, what is the least of the available evils? Form Foreign Affairs, James F. Hoge, Jr. on Bush's Mission Impossible. Putting the annual cost of war in perspective: What $1.2 trillion can buy. Bush's Truman Show: War turns into performance art, as Bush strikes the pose of Harry Truman. To end the war gracefully or to inflame domestic political divisions: For Republicans, that is the question. To Flee or Not To Flee: How Republicans handle a failing president. George McGovern challenges the President on his moral integrity, policies and strategies as he leads the American people deeper into war. Jane Smiley on the psychology behind the worst possible president: The longer Bush is in office, the more his psychology becomes clear. He's not a well-meaning doofus; he's a madman. From Newsweek, are you experienced? Obama isn’t the only junior senator to eye the White House early in his tenure. How BHO stacks up against JFK. Smoker's Voice: How Obama's filthy habit could win him the presidency. And "Hi, I'm Senator Coburn, and I don't want your vote: But I do want you to know that the new Democratic leadership is just as corrupt and irresponsible as the Republicans, and together they’re trying to destroy our country"
[Jan 17] From L'Espill, science, democracy, and the global market: Controversial areas of the technology sector are increasingly resolved by external experts who are often private entities; media manipulation has become a key element in the control of information about the products of science and technology. As Al Jazeera on the whole feels the heat of world media attention, we can hope that it will learn to harness its popularity in the service of humanity, progress and moderation. A review of Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present. From Foreign Policy, Vietnam taught many Americans the wrong lesson: that determined guerrilla fighters are invincible. But history shows that insurgents rarely win, and Iraq should be no different. Joseph Nye on Bush’s old new plan for Iraq. No better idea: Max Boot on how both sides' strategies in Iraq are big ifs with big risks. The president's is worth a try. The Iraq Jinx: Christopher Hitchens on how Bush is blowing our last chance. Bush isn't Roger Staubach, trying to pull out a win for the Dallas Cowboys. He's Charles Keating, using other people's money to keep Lincoln Savings going long after it should have been shut down. An op-ed on what Congress can (and can't) do on Iraq. Charlie Cook on how we might be entering into a two-year period in which only the president's veto pen keeps him relevant on domestic issues, and his foreign policy effectively begins and ends with Iraq. Blink tanks -- blogs of progressive policy wonks -- are pressuring Democratic political strategists consumed with Iraq and domestic issues to restore civil liberties lost by passage of Bush's Military Commissions Act. Robert Samuelson on seven tough choices we will not make. He’s running: But just where does Barack Obama stand? (and ten things you didn't know about Obama). And a parable for Scooter: The good news, and bad news, for the vice president's former top aide
[Jan 16] From Romania, built in 1377, once owned by Vlad the Impaler, the medieval landmark could end up as the centrepiece of a Dracula theme park. From The Moscow Times, a review of Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry and Georgia Diary: A Chronicle of War and Political Chaos in the Post-Soviet Caucasus. Yuliya Tymoshenko on Germany, Europe, and Russia (and more). From The New York Times Magazine, a cover story on the making, and unmaking, of a child soldier: One boy’s tortuous entanglement in an African civil war. A real-world AIDS vaccine? Circumcision could save as many lives in Africa as a shot. How modern Japanese women are slowly changing their country: An elephant can run very fast: An article on India’s boundless ambitions. Internationally recognized, the Union Jack is becoming less and less ubiquitous in Britain itself, and says Leith Davis, author of Acts of Union: Scotland and the Literary Negotiation of the British Nation, 1707—1830, "It's a problematic kind of anniversary, isn't it?" A review of The English National Character: The History of an Idea from Edmund Burke to Tony Blair. A review of Household Gods: The British and Their Possessions. More on Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them. And why are British sex scandals so much better than ours? Comparing Washington sex scandals with those of Britain's political class is enough to cause any red-blooded American to blush with shame
[Jan 31] The neocons have learned nothing from five years of catastrophe:
Francis Fukuyama on how their zealous advocacy of the invasion of Iraq may have been a
disaster, but now they want to do it all over again
-- in Iran. The first
issue of the International Journal of Conflict and Violence
is out, including Nonna Mayer (Sciences Po): Transformations in French
anti-Semitism pdf. From CT, a review
of Cross on the Star of David: The Christian World in Israel's Foreign Policy, 1948-1967;
Christian Zionism: Road-Map to Armageddon?; and Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter.
The American Jewish Committee has recently stirred up a bitter debate by posting an essay arguing that
liberal Jews are feeding a rise in virulent
anti-Semitism (and the essay: "Progressive’ Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism"
pdf). This duplicitous liberal-left is nothing but a straw man:
The claim by pro-war writers and their neocon allies that the left dumped its principles to embrace
'islamofascism' is absurd.
From New Humanist, Nick Cohen on Double
Entryism: The Revolutionary Communist Party
and the Institute of Ideas. Solidarity Whenever:
of What's Left? by Nick Cohen.
"Why do you write such controversial
books?": David Kuo interviews
Dinesh D'Souza, the Machiavellian
idiot and wingnut
in sheep's clothing. From
Archipelago, an article on the Cold War and the War on Terror;
and an essay on James
Webb, General MacArthur and the Dangerous Unknown of Our Untested Innocence.
of Why Not Kill Them All? The Logic and Prevention of Mass Political Murder,
and a review
of Why War? The Cultural Logic of Iraq, the Gulf War, and Suez.
of Alliance: The Inside Story of How Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill Won One War and Began Another.
Europe's Original Sin: A review
of Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 by Tony Judt, The Cold War: A New History by John Lewis Gaddis
and Europe Central by William T. Vollmann. The good old days of
selling democracy: A look at how Marshall Plan
films offer a history lesson in public relations. Twisting arms
isn't as easy as dropping bombs: Whenever the
United States goes to war,
pro-war and antiwar advocates immediately reach for different history
books. Hawks always equate the situation to a Hitler-Chamberlain
standoff. Doves invariably pull the Vietnam War.
If you want to know what's really wrong with the
American Armed Forces, and why "The
Surge" is doomed to fail,
then look no further than the sordid case of Colonel Mike
Steele. He of Blackhawk Down fame. And
John McCain was against
war in Iraq before he was for it, and here's a way to keep tabs on The
[Jan 30] From TNR, Bradford Plumer on how rich people control politics. A review of What's Left? How Liberals Lost Their Way by Nick Cohen. From Reason, peace on the border: Why anti-immigration conservatives fell flat in 2006. From The American Conservative, the failure of Fusionism: Libertarians are growing uneasy about their alliance with the Right, but that doesn’t necessarily make the Left a natural fit; and Leftward Christian Soldiers: With a new generation of leaders preaching social justice over cultural concerns, the Religious Right may not remain an automatic Republican constituency. A review of Radical Conservatism: The Right’s Political Religion. From The New American, an interview with Hillard W. Welch and Robert H.W. Welch III, the two sons of the late Robert Welch who founded the John Birch Society. From American, the economy of God: Evangelical Protestantism takes some lessons from commerce. From Springerin, the art of not becoming accustomed to anything: The vast reserve army of workers in precarious employment are the avant-garde of post-Fordism, constantly opening up new avenues of self-exploitation. Is Sarbanes-Oxley undermining America’s competitive edge? James Surowiecki investigates. A review of The Great Risk Shift: The Assault on American Jobs, Families, Health Care, and Retirement--And How You Can Fight Back by Jacob Hacker. Plato's Republic or Milton Friedman's Market? A new survey looks at policies designed to address all of the ills that economists and others have identified with markets. A review of Capitalism 3.0: A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons. From the AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, Cass Sunstein on Willingness to Pay vs. Welfare. With apologies, nuclear power gets a second look: It doesn’t warm the planet. It isn’t imported. But nobody’s saying it’s perfect. From Harvard Political Review, a special issue on politics and biology. From The New York Times Magazine, a cover story on unhappy meals: The story of how basic questions about what to eat got so complicated reveals a great deal about the institutional imperatives of the food industry, nutritional science and journalism. A victory for McActivism: Animal rights activists have struck a major blow against inhumane farming techniques - with a little help from McDonald's. An article on 5 myths about suburbia and our car-happy culture. More and more on Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy by Barbara Ehrenreich. As the anti-Barbie, the American Girl doll is an exceptional artifact that combines the commercial with the good. Mattel makes money, and kids learn history. Even as children, transsexuals have the feeling of living in the wrong body. When should they be allowed to switch genders? And love and the law: Pressure is building to expand the legal definition of family beyond the boundaries of gay or straight marriage
[Jan 29] From Al-Ahram, an interview with John Lewis Gaddis on the Age of Pandemonium. Was 9/11 really that bad? The attacks were a horrible act of mass murder, but history says we're overreacting. A review of Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present (and more). During the 20th century, utopianism came to be damned as a seductive portal to totalitarianism and mass murder. Dreams of Peace and Freedom: Utopian Moments in the 20th Century tries to redeem its reputation. Paraphrasing the '60s: Are we glossing over the complex realities and just embracing the legend? Todd Gitlin wants to know. Is Nick Cohen right about the left? His critics reply. Jonathan Cohn on why liberalism isn't something to be ashamed of. How deep a distaste for politicians who waffle? Experiments that explore the effects of consistent and inconsistent political stands on voters have produced a range of results. But one theme that emerges is that people think they admire consistency more than they actually do. Winning Hearts and Stomachs: American business succeed because it is too anxious to please its customers to stick with formulas that aren't working. The question is whether American government can mimic that agility. A review of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. A review of Run With the Bulls Without Getting Trampled: The Qualities You Need to Stay Out of Harm's Way and Thrive at Work. From FT, an audit of affluence: Inequality of outcome has become so pronounced that it is being recommended as an investment strategy; and an interview with Pete Peterson, from immigrant beginnings to equity billions. The class debate demands to be heard: "The reality is that class still has a strong bearing on people's sense of how they orientate themselves in society". More on Affluenza: How to Be Successful and Stay Sane by Oliver James. Parents only want the best for their children. But sometimes academic success comes at a price. Who's your alternadaddy? An article on Neal Pollack's Alternadad and the ex-hipster as parent. A review of The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Women beware women: More on The Big Fat Bitch Book. 'Tis pity she's a whore: Wendy McElroy on what you need to read about prostitution. A review of Fame Junkies: The Hidden Truths Behind America's Favorite Addiction. From the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology, Fenton to Habermas and bio-cons: Human nature is not fixed. And a review of How to Live Forever or Die Trying: On the New Immortality and The Never-Ending Days of Being Dead: Dispatches from the Front Line of Science (and more and more)
[Weekend] From Forward, an article on the deadly origins of a life-saving procedure. A Convenient Truth: Peter Singer on how lofty talk about human dignity should not stand in the way of profoundly intellectually disabled children getting the treatment that is best both for them and their families. From Salon, are vegetarians the moral, peace-loving, cruelty-free enemies of the meat-eater? Or a bunch of kooks living in la-la land? From Technology Review, some seemingly unconscious patients have startlingly complex brain activity. What does that mean about their potential for recovery? And what can it tell us about the nature of consciousness? (and part 2). A review of The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia. A review of Final Exam: A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality. Laura Miller investigates. Virginia Postrel reviews Last Best Gifts: Altruism and the Market for Human Blood and Organs by Kieran Healy. Healthy Bottom Lines: When it comes to comprehensive health care, what are progressives' core demands? Hitting Bottom: Emily Bazelon on why America should outlaw spanking. Let them have their pot: The feds should stop harassing sick patients who have the legal right to use marijuana. From Mother Jones, Klan-busting Southern man: The FBI arrests another aging White Knight in a Civil Rights-era murder based, in part, on the work of Mississippi newspaper reporter Jerry Mitchell. Women in Love: Laura Kipnis on Patty Marx, Christopher Hitchens, and funny women. Who are you calling a bitch? It's an insult often thrown at women who are strong, ambitious and outspoken. We'll take that as a compliment then. SWF ISO GBM Roommate: Is a woman who wants to share her pad with a gay man breaking the law? When Not All Publicity Is Good Publicity: Alexandra Pelosi finished her HBO documentary on evangelical America and then her main guide, Ted Haggard, was ruined by a sex scandal. Terry Eagleton reviews Barbara Ehrenreich's Dancing in the Streets. And an interview with Dale Carson, author of Arrest-Proof Yourself, a how-to guide for staying out of jail
[Jan 26] From NYRB, Joseph Lelyveld on how no one can imagine the armistice or surrender that would signify an end to this war; and William Pfaff on Manifest Destiny: A new direction for America. A review of America Against the World: How We Are Different and Why We Are Disliked and Friendly Fire: Losing Friends and Making Enemies in the Anti-American Century; and a review of Our Endangered Values by Jimmy Carter; The Left Hand of God by Michael Lerner; Why the Christian Right Is Wrong: A Minister’s Manifesto for Taking Back Your Faith, Your Flag, Your Future; The Hijacking of Jesus by Dan Wakefield; and God’s Politics by Jim Wallis. Religion of despair: Disciples of evangelism in the United States are often regarded with fear and suspicion. But for many it's seen as a route out of poverty and hopelessness. From The New Humanist, in a free trial issue, Laurie Taylor talks to Richard Dawkins about the reception of The God Delusion, Fred Halliday calls for an end to the Vatican's undeserved power, Peter Tatchell on Iraq's homophobic death squads and Shappi Khorsandi on the glamourous life of an aetheist stand-up. From Boston Review, can we stop global warming? An essay on the human hand in climate change, and several proposals about what to do now. A look at how the Sun's fickle heart may leave us cold. Are radical environmentalists wackos, terrorists, or prophets warning against environmental catastrophe? And yes, we can save the world... if we want to--but by wearing more polyester? Waking up and catching up: Belatedly, and for many reasons, America is embracing environmentalism. Businesses are vying to save the planet, and getting rich. But does it matter, so long as they deliver the goods? A new issue of Econ Journal Watch is out. Who was Milton Friedman? Paul Krugman investigates. Long love affairs with Libertarianism: A review of Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement. Incomes and Inequality: Tyler Cowen on what the numbers don’t tell us. The cost of capitalism: A review of Affluenza by Oliver James. Ebay's Jeff Skoll and Pierre Omidyar today are at the edge of something else -- a wave of new thinking out of Silicon Valley that, if the tech industry keeps minting new billionaires, could shape the way huge sums of private capital get invested in social change. And stop picking stocks—immediately! Why the world's greatest stock picker stopped picking stocks, and why you should, too
[Jan 25] The big Vietnam lie: Rick Perlstein on the most perverse, successful propaganda campaign in American history. Why Democrats can stop the war: Pundits say if the party gets too tough with Bush, it will be blamed for "losing" Iraq. But the real political risk is going too easy on Bush, and losing the trust of war-weary voters. Our mercenaries in Iraq: The president relies on thousands of private soldiers with little oversight, a disturbing example of the military-industrial complex. An occupying army, an Islamic insurgency, and no end in sight: Scott McLemee looks at two books ripped from the headlines — of 50 years ago. From FrontPage, the Appeaser at Home: A review of Dinesh D'Souza's The Enemy at Home (and an exchange). President Bush's State of the Union address was full of evidence he is hellbent on going to war with Iran. Here's what the Democrats can do to stop it. Do you have to have balls to have balls? It's nice the talking heads have discovered Jim Webb, but why do they think Democrats have to be men to be courageous? In Tuesday's speech, President Bush showed how unserious he is about global warming. Here's how Congress can put the heat on him and stave off approaching disaster. Chris Mooney on global warming action: Looks like we'll have to wait until '09. From US News, the Senate's rhythm: A great deliberative body? Or presidential wannabes who can't stop talking? The Socialist Senator: How did Bernie Sanders, a disheveled and awkward political outcast, make it to the upper chamber of Congress? And what will he do now that he’s there? How soon will freshman Democrats get jaded? Jonathan Chait investigates. From Reason, an interview with Ron Paul on war, immigration, and presidential ambition. Kenneth Baer on how to run for president without much cash. From Salon, Barack Obama would be the great black hope in the next presidential race -- if he were actually black (and a response). From Prospect, his unusual background and his ability to use it to articulate a hopeful version of the American dream have turned Barack Obama into a political star. But is the US ready for its first black president? And what do Hillary Clinton announcing her presidential candidacy on her Web site and the continuing travails of big media's digital transformation have in common?
[Jan 24] From Der Spiegel, Islamic scholar Gudrun Krämer discusses tolerance and freedom of religion among Muslims, the role of the Crusades and colonialism in today's conflicts, and the mistakes made by Western critics. Why Americans fear Muslims: Reza Aslan and Daniel Benjamin debate American Islam. A review of Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror. A review of The American Way of Strategy by Michael Lind. A review of The Cold War by John Lewis Gaddis. From Monthly Review, a review of Marxism and Ecological Economics: Toward a Red and Green Political Economy. A review of Inescapable Ecologies: A History of Environment, Disease and Knowledge. Robert Boyton interviews Jonathan Schell on people's power vs. nuclear power pdf. From IEET, an interview with Nick Bostrom on the future, transhumanism and the end of the world. A review of Reinventing the Soul: Posthumanist Theory and Psychic Life. From Business Week, a review of The Foundation: A Great American Secret. A review of The Real Toy Story: Inside the Ruthless Battle for America's Youngest Consumers. Maybe what members of Congress need is not another lecture on the minimum wage from an economist, but rather an old-fashioned Socratic inquisition. A review of Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor. What’s a pound of prevention really worth? Preventive medicine just doesn’t pay in the current American medical system. From Slate, the next Jewish challenge: They've tackled gay ordination. Now it's time to address intermarriage. You may be surprised. Dream Girl: Why Beyoncé Knowles is a 21st-century role model. And the great unknown: It's difficult to imagine a land uninterested in celebrities, but it is possible
[Jan 23] From Fifth Estate, All Gods, All Masters: Immanence and Anarchy/Ontology. From LewRockwell.com, an article on the new totalitarianism--and the old. Christopher Hitchens reviews What's Left? How the Liberals Lost Their Way by Nick Cohen (and an excerpt). From Salon, an interview with Frank Luntz on how to speak Republican. A review of Unspeak: How Words Become Weapons, How Weapons Become a Message, and How That Message Becomes Reality. A review of The Education of Ronald Reagan: The General Electric Years and the Untold Story of His Conversion to Conservatism. From FrontPage, an interview with Dinesh D'Souza on The Enemy at Home. For the intemperateness of his views, he is surprisingly soft-spoken and personable. This doesn’t excuse the tripe that D’Souza puts out, however; and more and more on D'Souza and the smatterers at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Reaching new moral ground: In today's climate, we could learn from the work of Lawrence Kohlberg, who strived to find a shared morality among humans. American exceptions: Two old men who died this winter personify the enduring wisdom of another United States. From Dissident Voice, Satan and sex manias: An article on moral panics and the mob mind. If humans engaged in broadcast spawning, men's sperm would have to be hilarious. The Lonely Optician: Does your love life comply with state regulations? From TAP, for richer or poorer: Scott Lemieux on why the Roe decision was about class, too; and anatomy of a ban: A line-by-line look at Georgia's proposed abortion-ban bill reveals the future of radical anti-choice legislation. A review of Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court by Jan Crawford Greenburg (and more). Can John Roberts make the justices chill out? Benjamin Wittes wants to know. Diagramming Sentences: Emily Bazelon on the Supreme Court's war on sentencing guidelines. Form Skeptic, a review of The End of Faith by Sam Harris. An article on Marcel Gauchet and the return of religion through a secular gate. And from Christianity Today, a review of Minding the Spirit: The Study of Christian Spirituality and New Westminster Dictionary of Christian Spirituality; five streams of the Emerging Church: A look at key elements of the most controversial and misunderstood movement in the church today; and on the politics of service: An article on William Jennings Bryan, Dorothy Day, and Abraham Kuyper, three Christian activists who drew on faith to fight social challenges
[Jan 22] Form Theory and Science, an essay on America in the World; a review of Empire of Capital by Ellen Meiksins Wood and The New Imperialism by David Harvey and an article on Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century. A review of Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present. Condoleezza Rice often calls herself "a student of history." And increasingly, she is using history -- or her chosen slice of it -- both to explain and justify the Bush administration's Middle East policy. Andrew Bacevich on the failure of an all-volunteer military. A review of The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World. A review of Global Financial Warriors: The Untold Story of International Finance in the Post-9/11 World. Uncommon bonds: Can the glue of economic populism hold the Democrats' unlikely new majority together? The coming battle over immigration may be the test. Are unions relevant? SEIU President Andy Stern thinks so. But he also sees a need for an attitude adjustment. The Orange Meets Economics 101: A citrus-killing freeze has hit America’s orange-growing heartland, so how high can navel orange prices go now? It’s a simple matter of supply and demand. Global warming is alarming, but there's no need to be defeatist: our future is in our own hands. Here Lucy Siegle offers 36 positive suggestions on how we can change our lives, reduce carbon emissions and help save the planet. A review of How to Live Forever or Die Trying. Earth Cover: How a cosmetics company replaced romance with the glow of rationality. The Search for Beautiful: Cosmetic surgery is no longer just for white women. Now record numbers of African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Hispanics are lining up for a nip here, a tuck there. Are they chasing a Caucasian ideal of beauty? Or are they aiming for racial and ethnic ambiguity? Why are there so many single Americans? It’s worth repeating: the "marriage gap" isn’t about men and women. It’s about class and education. History loves an unmarried woman: Romance is returning to patterns attuned with our ancient human spirit. A review of The Big Fat Bitch Book for Girls. Scenes from the Exhibitionists: Some of her best friends are women, but Kay Hymowitz has come to the conclusion that we've seen too much of the fairer sex. From The New York Times Magazine, a cover story of Post-Abortion Syndrome: A growing number of anti-abortion activists, despite social-science research, claim that women are traumatized by their abortions — and are trying to use this to reframe the abortion debate. And from The New Yorker, what's the trouble? An article on how doctors think
[Weekend] From Freedom House, a report on Freedom in the World 2007: Year Marked by Global "Freedom Stagnation," Setbacks for Democracy in Asia. From Ord&Bild, with his bestselling The Mystery of Capital, Hernando de Soto has become something of a superstar of Development Economics. But Staffan Granér finds de Soto's methods unreliable and his theories over-simplified. From its earliest days, the World Bank has been a lightning rod for criticism -- mostly relating to a slew of failed projects. But in recent years the Bank has shifted its strategy, working more closely with client countries and battling African corruption. Have those efforts made it a more effective institution? Who screwed up globalization? Blame governments, not corporations, for the problems. Davos' downhill slide: The World Economic Forum once drew protests and media blitzes, but the meeting of the world's biggest leaders has become increasingly irrelevant. Robert J. Shiller on investing in the poor. Scavenging for Survival: In developing countries like Senegal, some families have adopted a day-at-the-dump lifestyle just to survive. Plutocrats of the People: Why are America's superrich suddenly fretting about income inequality? From Business Week, beyond the green corporation: Imagine a world in which eco-friendly and socially responsible practices actually help a company's bottom line. It's closer than you think. Tim Harford on why markets are almost efficient, but not quite. William Greider on the Economic Policy Institute's agenda for change: Americans are ready for big, bold ideas to heal our social and economic wounds. Chris Hedges on how the radical Christian Right is built on suburban despair. And dreams of Californication: A look at how a wave of migrants from the west has transformed the Rocky Mountains
[Jan 19] From The Huffington Post, David Roberts on bashing dirty hippies and getting played: A case study in six chapters. If thought of as a painting, the scientific picture of a growing human influence on the climate has moved from being abstract a century ago to impressionistic 30 years ago to pointillist today. The end of the world as we know it: In January, when the temperature is 20 degrees above normal, a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of planetary meltdown. From TomDispatch, a series on the global energy race and its consequences: Is energo-fascism in your future? and an article on petro-power and the nuclear renaissance. A review of I Want You! The Evolution of the All-Volunteer Force. If the US government doesn't plan to occupy Iraq for any longer than necessary, why is it spending billions of dollars to build "enduring" bases? From TAP, disaster by design: Why the Iraq occupation discredits the conservative approach to government. Katha Pollit reviews Dinesh D'Souza's The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11. On the march, not on the run: Intelligence agencies see worrying signs of al-Qaeda's revival. A review of Fundamentalism: a very short introduction and Integrating Islam: political and religious challenges in contemporary France. Let's Burn the Burqa: Women who choose to don burqas contribute to passing moral judgment on the women who don’t. Der Spiegel presents an atlas of the world's religions: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Eastern faiths. An interview with Richard Dawkins on The God Delusion. Robert Wright on how we make life-and-death decisions. A review of Unplugged: Reclaiming Our Right to Die in America. The civil liberties organization ACLU is engulfed in a tumultuous family feud over its controversial leader. Have the Supreme Court's opinions become suggestions in Texas? Dahlia Lithwick wants to know. From PopMatters, the history of the United States is essentially the history of an idea; the idea that all men are created equal, and its gradual manifestation in actuality with all of its contradictions and hypocrisies. From MRZine, an interview with Howard Zinn. And a new strategy for progressive politics: Social club? Revolution? Drinking Liberally takes politics into the barroom and just about everywhere else
[Jan 18] From Dissent, an article on due process and Empire’s law: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and the present danger of military tribunals; and from Nuremberg to Guantánamo: An essay on medical ethics then and now. John Yoo and Robert Delahunty on executive power v. international law. An essay on constitutionalism, a political thinking of the center. From TAP, this late in the day, most of the liberal hawks' challenges to Iraq doves are bogus -- but not quite all of them. Joe Conason on the fine line between our friends and enemies; and My Plea for Chaos: A modest proposal for anarchy in Iraq. After the battle is won: A review of The Art of Victory. A review of The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World. Dinesh D'Souza on how the left led us into 9/11: The Clinton and Carter administrations made the U.S. look like a weak, attractive target for terrorists. From New English Review, is the heart of man irredeemably evil, or at any rate inclined to evil? What are the conditions in which evil may flourish? Theodore Dalrymple wants to know; and will the United States survive until 2022? John Derbyshire investigates. From First Things, an essay on America in the European mind. From The Chronicle, European antipathy toward America is at a high point. And that's by no means all President Bush's fault. From The New Federalist, an article on Europe vs. USA: Whose economy wins? Shaped by many cultures, some forms of capitalism are more palatable to anti-globalization activists than others. Today, air travel is just another form of mass transit. Is there any going back to the glamorous days of yore? Virginia Postrel wants to know. From American Sexuality, what is commitment? An article on polyamorous perspectives on love, sex, and relationships. If we want to change the toxic sexual culture on our nations’ college campuses, we need to start looking at the sex education our high-schoolers receive. The Man, the State and You: An article on the role of the state in regulating gender hierarchies. Gloria Steinem on why being a feminist does not mean backing all women. The Little (Abortion) Pill that Could: A pill that could show promise in treating breast cancer, depression, and even schizophrenia, might never make it onto the market because it also provides an effective way to induce abortions. Ten states are considering requiring all girls in middle school to get the cancer-fighting HPV vaccine, but some parents in Kentucky and elsewhere are saying no way. From The Dallas Observer, Buzz is going to let you non-white, non-liberal readers in on a secret of the pasty, lefty tribe. It's called the "white liberal rule". Beyond the question of whether diversity is a good thing, is there evidence that it makes a difference? And from In These Times, America’s Slave Labor: Inmates are being forced to work in toxic "e-waste: sweatshops
[Jan 17] Has America become a rogue state? John Judis wants to know. A review of The Twilight of American Culture by Morris Berman. An interview with Dinesh D’Souza, author of The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11. From Discover, an article on the real reason we can't find bin Laden: It is difficult to map a land, and Afghanistan remains as elusive as a terrorist in hiding. Legacy of a Terrorist: Even after capture, a terrorist can rely on global networks to inspire others. George Lakoff on framing, death, and democracy. From Beliefnet, Sam Harris and Andrew Sullivan debate the merits of faith. From Christianity Today, an article on evangelicals behaving badly with statistics: Mistakes were made. An interview with Indur Goklany, author of The Improving State of the World: Why We’re Living Longer, Healthier, More Comfortable Lives on a Cleaner Planet. From The Economists' Voice (a special kind of registration is required), Robert Whaples (Wake Forest): Do Economists Agree on Anything? Yes!; Aaron S. Edlin (UC-Berkeley): If Voters Won't Go for Taxing Oil to Conserve Energy, How Do We Do It?; and Ariel Rubenstein (Tel Aviv): Freak-Freakonomics. Is socially responsible investing a sham? Bradford Plumer investigates. A review of Monopoly: The World's Most Famous Game and How It Got That Way. A prayer with no meaning: The market summary at the end of the news has become a ritual daily tutorial in neo-liberalism. The Accidental Populist: Why did John Edwards, the multi-millionaire presidential candidate with Hollywood good looks, turn himself into a tribune for the working class? From Monthly Review, an article on Harry Chang, a seminal theorist of racial justice. From Counterpunch, from snowjob to blowjob: Resist Thanatos! Celebrate Eros! Married, Not Dead: A wedding ring shouldn't mean the end of a happy sex life—though it usually does. And from Esquire, here's a sexual etiquette guide
[Jan 16] From Vanity Fair, Blue is the New Red: One of the hoariest truisms—"What goes around comes around"—is about to get a real workout in Washington as the Democrats take the Hill. But how deep will the change go?; and billionaires and broadsheets: Maybe none of the billionaires lining up to buy a newspaper know what they would be getting into. But they may be the only future the industry has. From Slate, Dahlia Lithwick on the real reason the Bush administration won't back down on Guantanamo. In the age of Guantanamo, are Sacco and Vanzetti still relevant? A review of Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where The Constitution Goes Wrong (And How We The People Can Correct It) by Sanford Levinson. Mind Games: Believing they are targets of a government mind-control plot, some emerging activists are trying to prove they're not crazy. From In These Times, an article on "non-lethal" weaponry: The Next Generation. Big salaries not so potty: Tim Harford on why there’s a rational explanation for paying executives vast sums. A review of The Cult of Pharmacology: How America Became the World's Most Troubled Drug Culture. A review of Fame Junkies: The Hidden Truth Behind America's Hidden Addiction. Casual sex is a con: women just aren't like men: Former groupie Dawn Eden explains how she realised morality made more sense for women than free love. And a review of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After
[Jan 31] Lawrence
Solum (Illinois): Natural
Justice. A review
of The Political Philosophy of Cosmopolitanism.
By Force of Thought: Irregular Memoirs of an Intellectual Journey
by János Kornai. From The Chronicle,
do conservatives write better than leftists? Russell
Jacoby on excellent writers, facile thinkers. From City Journal,
Heather Mac Donald on how the University of California has spent a decade
wiggling around Proposition 209. Universities
adjust to state affirmative action bans: Are the
new programs legal? Are they a good idea? On a question thousands of young men and women grapple with each
year: to law school or not to law school. Julian Sanchez on the
care and feeding of campus libertarians: Why and how you should work with them.
From Philica, a review of the literature
schooling and educational
antidisestablishmentarianism. From Inside
Higher Ed, keeping up with the culture is a
full-time job. Scott
McLemee talks with a professor who does it
24-7 (and check out his new
blog, Quick Study). The Fan Fiction Phenomena:
Cathy Young on what Faust, Hamlet, and Xena the Warrior
Princess have in common. Oprah Winfrey
turned to an old acquaintance and personal idol
for her first new book-club choice since the James Frey scandal a year
ago, announcing that she had selected Sidney Poitier's The Measure of a
Man. From Salon, God and gorillas: An interview with Barbara
King, author of Evolving God: A
Provocative View on the Origins of Religion.
People Who Believe the Earth is Flat: NASA, the government cited as the perpetrators of the Round Earth Conspiracy.
chapter from Earthquakes in Human
History: The Far-Reaching Effects of Seismic
Disruptions. Our expanded view: From space, the sight of Earth elicits a profound
response. It may even have the power to change our consciousness.
Man's hope was that unification would grant him
eternal life. The digital media epoch turned
cathedrals from physical structures to
structures of digital information, so man
too was privileged to transform his physical
body to higher dimensions. A review
of Radical Externalism: Honderich's Theory of Consciousness Discussed.
of Descartes and the Passionate Mind.
From Psychological Science, is morally-motivated choice
different from other kinds of decision
making? Value-guided decisions may not be as
rigid as previously thought. A review
of Moral Dilemmas in Real Life Current Issues in Applied Ethics.
From Sign and Sight, the dictator's orphans:
Najem Wali on the moral bankruptcy of the Arab Writers Union.
And life after life: The New Leader re-enters the fray electronically
having just turned 83
[Jan 30] Literature - science: From Slate, Postcard from Macondo Christopher Hitchens on forty years of One Hundred Years of Solitude. The first chapter from The Censorship Files: Latin American Writers and Franco's Spain. A traveling exhibition commemorates the innovative journalism from the period in the late 1930s when the literary elite descended on Spain; and "Victorian Bestsellers", an exhibition of manuscripts, first editions, drawings, posters and prints, is not a typical bibliophilic display of rare esoterica. Indeed, its focus is rare exoterica. Something to Do with Books: An interview with Roger Kimball of The New Criterion. Google’s Moon Shot: Jeffrey Toobin on the quest for the universal library. We're not in it for the money: The number of independent bookstores has been steadly growing. But will they survive? More and more on The Little Book of Plagiarism by Richard A. Posner. You could fill a book with the things people think Mark Twain said but that he didn’t. Front and centre would be: "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." Upon a midnight dreary: A look at a mysterious birthday tradition worthy of Edgar Allan Poe. More on Love, Life, Goethe: Lessons of the Imagination From the Great German Poet. A review of How to Read a Poem by Terry Eagleton. A review of I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg. More and more and more on The Paris Review Interviews: Vol I, ed. by Philip Gourevitch. A pub is a great place for a writer to be. They have always been fascinating social laboratories where you get a mix of people from different backgrounds, different jobs, different attitudes - just like on Big Brother. Whatever rejects us only makes us stronger: Even talented writers are often found to be unfit for publication. From TNR, a review of The Seashell on the Mountaintop: A Story of Science, Sainthood, and the Humble Genius Who Discovered a New History of the Earth and The Man Who Found Time: James Hutton and the Discovery of the Earth's Antiquity. A review of Ghost Hunters: The Victorians and the Hunt for Proof of Life after Death. A review of The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God by Carl Sagan. Weighing the universe: How scientists are trying to find where Einstein went wrong. From The Scientist, are politics in your DNA? Scientists trigger debate when they suggest up to 50 percent of variation in political orientation stems from genes, not environment. What gene names do -- and don't -- tell us: Fanciful, funny or serious, there's a story behind each ID. For neuroscientists, this raises a question: How is it that music connects people to faraway places and events from long, long ago? And from Discover, take this nifty series of listening tests and in 15 minutes you objectively find out how acute your sense of pitch is
[Jan 29] From The Kettering Review, the Spring 2006 issue includes Benjamin Barber on civic schizophrenia: The free consumer and the free citizen in a free-market society; Lani Guinier on sustaining democracy; Noëlle McAfee on the myth of democracy and the limits of deliberation; and the Fall 2006 issue includes an essay on democracy as public experiment, an article on democracy as a moral ideal, Peter Levine on learning and democracy, and Iris Marion Young on de-centering deliberative democracy pdf. A review of The Least Examined Branch: The Role of Legislatures in the Constitutional State, and a review of Inside The Judicial Process: A Contemporary Reader in Law, Politics, and the Courts. A purple patch on the paradox of human rights by Michael Ignatieff. Pondering our inability to do the right thing: A review of Why Can't We Be Good? From Deutschland, a small man, a big mind: Immanuel Kant revolutionized philosophy, questioned established authorities and placed reason and freedom at the centre of his thinking. Kant died 200 years ago – his ideas still point to the future. A purple patch on the pleasures of philosophy by Will Durant. The case of the philosopher and the murder mystery: Writers have long resurrected historical figures and authors to solve fictional crimes, but which great thinkers would make the perfect detective? When have you ever seen the real-life character of Karl Marx in a play, on television or on a movie screen? Certainly not in capitalist America. More subtle than Sophie’s World, and it isn’t afraid to occupy the World of Ideas: It's ten years since Jostein Gaarder’s Sophie’s World became a vital tool in the parent’s fight against anti-intellectualism in their offspring, and now the debut novelist Lucy Eyre hopes to do the same with If Minds Had Toes, a crash-course in Western philosophy cleverly disguised as teen-friendly fiction. From UC-Berkeley, Anthony Cascardi thinks it's time for humanists to move from the wings of academia to center stage. Gliberalism: A look at why universities are among the most cynical institutions in America. Forget Yale, Go State: Shocking prices force a reality check on families' college plans. The First Dance: One small Christian college finds that there may be some redemption in being footloose after all. Awash in Words: A look at why the SAT makes lousy shower reading. And with so many middle schools performing poorly, the movement for K-8 schools is gaining momentum. But some education reformers think combining the middle grades with high school, rather than elementary school, is a better formula
[Weekend] Media and technology: From The New York Observer, Blog Ghetto: When the new media finishes its virtual workday, it turns to old-fashioned bricks and mortar and booze in a tiny little square of Manhattan. From Harper's, an article on Nicholas Lemann: Who's the journalistic hypocrite? Jack Shafer on what the "media reformers" get right... well, 50 percent right. From MediaWeek, an article on Lewis Lapham's indelible mark on Harper's. From American Heritage, a look at how Drudge changed the world of news. The Wall Street Journal is a very special case. What's the secret of its success? The Truth About Truthiness: When truth implodes, satire slouches to the rescue. A review of Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age. From Editor & Publisher, a special report: Can online ads save us? The future of technology: An article on total convergence and the "media explosion". The $100 laptop is nearly ready, but does it compute? MIT project has fans, but critics see a Western ideal imposed on world's poor. The launch of a new version of Microsoft Windows, called Vista, is not quite the event it used to be. Has the software giant reached the pinnacle of its power? When the web is history: Future students of the internet will have a fine clutch of tomes to study. From Wired, they Kazaa'd the music industry. Then they Skyped the telcos. Now Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström want to Joost your TV. John Lanchester on the rise and rise of spam. Rise of the gripe site: How two men and a website in Colchester humbled one of the oil industry giants. Winning ways: Computers have started to outperform humans in games they used to lose. A review of Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software. And honey, we're just avatars: An online relationship may be the most dangerous affair of all
[Jan 26] From Bookforum, a review of Charisma: The Gift of Grace, and How It Has Been Taken Away From Us and My Life Among the Deathworks: Illustrations of the Aesthetics of Authority by Philip Rieff; a review of Norman Mailer’s The Castle in the Forest; a review of Dante: Poet of the Secular World; and a review of Meals to Come: A History of the Future of Food and The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern Times. One of the hottest books in New York appears on no best-seller list, Russian Thinkers, a 1978 collection of essays on 19th-century Russian intellectuals by the philosopher Isaiah Berlin. From CRB, an essay on the liberal republicanism of Gordon Wood: Reassessing liberalism’s favorite historian; and a review of Infamous Scribblers: The Founding Fathers and the Rowdy Beginnings of American Journalism. A review of Citizen and Self in Ancient Greece: Individuals Performing Justice and the Law. Instead of cashing in on his brief fame in the '80s, Peter Weller wields a Ph.D. from UCLA to teach Roman history. Meet the Clients: Law schools rarely teach students how to be lawyers. What’s at stake in the sex-ed wars: A review of Talk About Sex: The Battles over Sex Education in the United States; When Sex Goes to School: Warring Views on Sex—and Sex Education—Since the Sixties by Kristin Luker; and Teaching Sex: The Shaping of Adolescence in the 20th Century. A review of Natural Law, Laws of Nature, Natural Rights: Continuity And Discontinuity in the History of Ideas. An essay on the beginning of wisdom: On reading H.G. Wells. The trouble with truth: On wondering what we can know besides our indefinite opinions. Jack Bauer's dilemmas--and ours: An article on watching "24" as a primer on moral philosophy. Orientalism Revisited: A review of Dangerous Knowledge: Orientalism and Its Discontents by Robert Irwin. From Conversations With History, an interview with John Kenneth Galbraith on "Challenging the Conventional Wisdom" (video,1986). Winning a Longer Life: Can winning a Nobel Prize really add several years to your life? And fish have the reasoning capacity of a 4- or 5-year-old child when it comes to figuring out who among their peers is "top dog", new research shows
[Jan 25] Robert Lipkin (Widener): Which Constitution? Who Decides? A review of Weimar in Exile: The Antifascist Emigration in Europe and America and Exile, Science, and Bildung: The Contested Legacies of German Emigre Intellectuals. An interview with David Edmonds and John Eidinow, authors of Wittgenstein's Poker and Rousseau's Dog. From Wired, a cover story on What We Don't Know: How did life begin? What's the universe made of? Why do we sleep? 42 of the biggest questions in science. From Forbes, an article on America’s most expensive colleges: The rules of efficiency and keeping costs down don't apply to academia. Bad Education Twisted teachers! Suicidal students! Courses on "Silence!" and "Leisure." Here's Radar's exclusive tour of the worst colleges in the country. Does Princeton produce good soldiers? Anthony Grafton investigates. More on The Trouble with Diversity by Walter Benn Michaels. The Overscheduled Child Myth: Despite the dire warnings, children whose schedules are packed with activities actually flourish. Changing the law: As lawyers these days need to be more like business advisers, one firm has devised its own MBA. Schools act to short-circuit spread of "cyberbullying": New laws, policies attempt to address harassment that originates off campus. Don't write off the pencil just yet: Some worry that computers spell the end of handwriting, but they're missing the point. From TNR, the laziest man on earth: Who was Ivan Goncharov, and why has the character he created taken on such ineradicably symbolic proportions? Old devil: For half a century, the war between good and evil has scorched the pages of Norman Mailer's work. Is he trying to tell us something? Astonish Me: Joe Queenan established a screening program by purchasing only books that at least one reviewer had described as "astonishing". From Sign and Sight, building for the bad: Alexander Hosch looks at the uneasy marriage between autocrats and star architects. From WSWS, an essay on film, history and socialism (and part 2). Men Without Tights: An article on comics that reinvent the superhero genre. And Patrick Stewart, the actor famous for his roles in "X-Men" and "Star Trek", has been appointed visiting professor of theatre at Oxford
[Jan 24] Book reviews: A review of The Universe: A Biography by John Gribbin. A review of Reality and Rationality. A review of Reason's Grief: An Essay on Tragedy and Value by George W. Harris. Anti-Semitism, from Herod to the Holocaust: A review of Rome and Jerusalem: the clash of ancient civilisation and a review of Roman’s journey by Roman Halter (and more on Rome and Jerusalem). A review of The Origins of Roman Citizenship. A review of The Seduction of Culture in German History. A review of The Horse: 30,000 Years of the Horse in Art. More on The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism From 1600 to Modern Times. A review of The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans From Colonial Times to the Present. A review of Toussaint Louverture: A Biography. A review of The First Total War: Napoleon's Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It (and more). A review of The War of Wars: The Epic Struggle Between Britain and France, 1793-1815. A review of Alexis de Tocqueville: A Biography by Hugh Brogan. A review of Andrew Jackson and the Politics of Martial Law. A review of The Fourth Horseman: One Man's Mission to Wage the Great War in America. A review of The Almost Impossible Ally: Harold Macmillan and Charles de Gaulle. A review of Tip and Run: The Untold Tragedy of the Great War in Africa (and more). From FT, a review of The Last Wrestlers: A Far Flung Journey in Search of a Manly Art and Tent Boxing: An Australian Journey. A lavish history of the army's senior regiments: A review of Horse Guards. And a review of Richter's Scale: Measure of an Earthquake, Measure of a Man
[Jan 23] From Philosophy Now, a special issue on "science connections", including an editorial; is philosophy progressive? Some say that one of the main differences between science and philosophy is that science makes progress while philosophers go round in circles endlessly discussing the same questions; a review of Mind by Eric Matthews; no consolation for Kalashnikov: A look at the moral dilemma of the weapons designer; a moral moment on professional disillusion; and here are answers to the question of the month: What is the meaning of life? Harvey Mansfield reviews Plato and the Virtue of Courage by Linda R. Rabieh. A review of Socratic Virtue: Making the Best of the Neither-Good-nor-Bad. A review of Remembering Socrates: Philosophical Essays. A review of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom. A review of Scientists say they have found the part of the brain that predicts whether a person will be selfish or an altruist. From The Common Review, an editorial on essential wartime reading; a review essay of Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire by Morris Berman; The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians; Among Empires: American Ascendancy and Its Predecessors by Charles S. Maier; Europe After Rome: A New Cultural History 500–1000; and Mohammed and Charlemagne by Henri Pirenne; a review of The Knowledge Deficit, by E. D. Hirsch Jr.; an excerpt from The Trouble With Diversity by Walter Benn Michaels pdf. From Reason, an article on The New Campus Dissidents: Conservatives try to add classics to the curriculum. Sex and drugs and English literature: A translation of Goethe's Faustus by one of the greatest names in literary history is to be published in September. Arifa Akbar traces an extraordinary 200-year-old story that began with a £100 advance and a broken promise. Making the world an open book: Literature has its own ways of teaching us about life and living. Jonathan Rée on how Google is making many of the world's great libraries available online. Is this an advance for scholarship? More on The Little Book of Plagiarism by Richard Posner. And imagine you're a writer. You have 90 seconds to sell your book to the entire world, through the power of the internet. Your publisher has paid £400 for this privilege. What do you say?
[Jan 22] Cass Sunstein (Chicago): Incompletely Theorized Agreements in Constitutional Law. A review of The Evolution of a Constitution: Eight Key Moments in British Constitutional History; a review of Troubled Beginnings of the Modern State, 1888-1910; and a review of Democracy, Society and the Governance of Security. From The Boston Globe's "Ideas", group study: Anthropologists studying post-Katrina New Orleans ask why some communities survived, and others washed away; and a good kill: Albert Pierrepoint hanged Nazis, common murderers, and more than a few American GIs. He also believed that a hanging should be done humanely. From The Toronto Star's "Ideas", death sentence debate: A new sense of moral outrage is leading to a sea change in American attitudes toward the death penalty; and of thought and metaphor: Steven Pinker, a cognitive scientist who specializes in the psychology of language, looks at human behaviour through the lens of natural selection. From The Chronicle, the philosophy of Nietzsche, Camus, and Sartre is not as glum, pretentious, or passive as it is made out to be. Indeed, America could use a stiff dose of it. You are what you expect: Jim Holt on the futures of optimists and pessimists. When negative thinking is job 1: Monday, Monday. Can't trust that day. You know what we're talking about. The work week commences and finds you in a bad mood. Attitude? Negative. Wanna be happy? Expect the worst. Learning Latin: what’s the point? The "comeback" of the language is a cause for scepticism, not celebration. How debate team became cool: A review of Cross-X. Classroom Distinctions: Every day teachers are blamed for what the system they’re just a part of doesn’t provide. Five myths about US kids outclassed by the rest of the world: How do U.S. students really perform compared to students in other countries? Not as badly as you probably think they do. The world is watching. Not Americans: These days, the cosmopolitanism of international filmmaking is matched by the parochialism of American film culture. A review of The Devil's Guide to Hollywood: The Screenwriter as God! by Joe Eszterhas. The Songs You Want to Hear: Has audience research sucked all the life out of commercial radio? From The Moscow Times, the location is central, there are great benefits and, according to the ad, you don't even need any experience. A review of They Call Me Naughty Lola: Personal Ads From The London Review of Books. And a review of The Paris Review Interviews, Volume 1, ed. by Philip Gourevitch (and more and an interview)
[Weekend] From Time, Steven Pinker on the mystery of consciousness; a look at how the brain rewires itself; emotions turn out to be key in how we remember--and can help us recast traumas dredged from the past; and what do babies know? Less than we thought. What passed for intelligence may have been boredom (and more). A new study finds a default network of cortical regions, active when the brain is unoccupied, may generate the random thoughts of a wandering mind. From New Scientist, Rasmus Bjørk's answer to the Fermi paradox: Aliens haven't contacted us because they haven't had the time to find us yet. From FT, a review of The Kiwi's Egg: Charles Darwin and Natural Selection; and a review of Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto; Into the Abyss: Explorers on the Edge of Survival; and Philosophy for Polar Explorers: What They Don’t Teach You in School. The Lonely Planet’s latest guide, The Bluelist 2007, helps tourists plan trips through places formerly afflicted by war or natural disasters as well as other off-color itineraries, like hotels where famous people have died. Help, I’m surrounded by jerks: A raft of books and seminars for coping with people who make life difficult. From Slate, raves for sale: How to buy a favorable book review. What makes a good writer? Is writing an expression of self, or, as TS Eliot argued, 'an escape from personality'? Do novelists have a duty? Do readers? Why are there so few truly great novels? Zadie Smith on literature's legacy of honourable failure (and part 2). And who killed John Keats? An excerpt from Posthumous Existence: The Enigmatic Death of John Keats
[Jan 19] Robert P. George (Princeton): Public Morality, Public Reason: John Rawls and Jurgen Habermas. A review of On Translation by Paul Ricoeur. From TNR, how one man changed the meaning of human reason: Simon Blackburn reviews Philosophy as a Humanistic Discipline, In the Beginning was the Deed: Realism and Moralism in Political Argument, and The Sense of the Past: Essays in the History of Philosophy, by Bernard Williams. From The Wilson Quarterly, a series of essays on The Global Race for Knowledge, including The New Ivory Tower by Christopher Clausen; China's College Revolution by Sheila Melvin; The Humboldt Illusion by Mitchell G. Ash; Tiny at the Top by Philip G. Altbach; and Why the Liberal Arts Still Matter by Michael Lind. A purple patch on formal and informal education by John Dewey. The ivory trade: What makes America's colleges such clever investors? The High Cost of the Home Team: Big-money athletics cannot help but sabotage what our colleges and universities are for: instruction and research. Scarlett Thomas' novel The End of Mr. Y dabbles in Derrida and Darwin, but her story of a screwed-up grad student obsessed with a cursed book never gets bogged down. From Seed, "The Colbert Report" made science the butt of jokes as often as politics and celebrity this year. Science, it seems, is funny. How grue is your valley? Psychologists are learning more about how colour builds language and language builds colour. A new language barrier: Why learning a new language may make you forget your old one. A review of The Cave Painters: Probing the Mysteries of the World’s First Artists. Seeing Dollar Signs: Is the art market making us stupid? Or are we making it stupid? From CT, Bill McKibben reviews Design on the Edge: The Making of a High Performance Building; and a review of Gothic Arches, Latin Crosses: Anti-Catholicism and American Church Designs in the Nineteenth Century. A review of Heidegger's Hut. And from Kulturos barai, Lithuania has a large and varied electronic music scene. But Lithuanian electronic music influences are global rather than local, a feature boosted by events such as Gaida, an annual festival of international contemporary music held in Vilnius
[Jan 18] A review of Understanding Phenomenology. A review of Intentionality: Past and Future. An interview with Simon Blackburn, and a review of Truth: A Guide. Charles Murray on why those with superior intelligence need to learn to be wise. Steven Weinberg reviews Richard Dawkins' The god delusion. From FrontPage, his tone is calm and measured but his message is poisonous: Why Alan Wolfe of Boston College should be considered on of America’s Most Dangerous Professors. From ReadySteadyBook, an interview with David Graeber, author of Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology. A review of The Cave Painters: Probing the Mysteries of the World's First Artists. A new archaeological find in Romania provides evidence that modern humans may have interbred with Neanderthals thousands of years ago. New research explains why some predators are big while others are small -- and why polar bears are the carnivore kings. The Zoological Society of London has launched a new conservation project that aims to save the world's most bizarre and unusual animals from extinction. Peter Singer on a dubious distinction: People are allowed to refuse medical treatment, yet doctors still cannot assist a patient's death. The introduction to In the Shadow of the Bomb: Bethe, Oppenheimer, and the Moral Responsibility of the Scientist. A review of Distilling Knowledge: Alchemy, Chemistry, and the Scientific Revolution. From Inkling, jeans versus genes, the ultimate scientific discourse: A Gap Ad celebrity speaks to a geneticist. Beauty is in the eye of your friends: Women like men other women find sexy – it may save time and energy – but men think less of other males blessed with female attention. An interview with Veronica Chambers, author of Kickboxing Geishas: How Modern Japanese Women Are Changing Their Nation. From TLS, Jerry Fodor reviews On Opera by Bernard Williams. From CT, the politics of long joy: An article on Stanley Fish and Paradise Lost. From n+1, an article on The Haunting of Payless: Questions for a commercial semiotician. Life is short and there are so many books to read: An article on Sweet Foucault: nontrivial neotextuality as postmodern meta-mytheme. From The New York Observer, Satan, Meet Norman: Mailer’s new vibrant novel raises hell; In dark metaphysical romp, high-ranking apprentice devil reveals deep secrets of young Hitler; says narrator: "I would say that I can comprehend is psyche" (and an interview). And the two historians who lost their plagiarism case against the British publishers of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code turn to the Court of Appeal in Britain
[Jan 17] From Opinion Journal, what's wrong with vocational school? Charles Murray on how too many Americans are going to college and half of all children are below average, and teachers can do only so much for them. John B. Simpson reflects on what’s valid and what’s oversimplified in a year of reports criticizing higher education. At a monthly Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees meeting, Linguistics Professor Joan Friedenberg blasts back at SIU President Glenn Poshard after he allegedly said the professor was among a group of "academic terrorists". Polish writer and philosopher Leszek Kolakowski is the winner of the 2007 Jerusalem Prize for Literature. A review of Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation by Jonathan Lear. From Sign and Sight, Germany can be proud of those who were not proud of Germany. Navid Kermani examines this peculiar paradox and singles out Franz Kafka as Germany's most exemplary writer. From TNR, a review of The Notebooks of Robert Frost. From Psychology Today, novel delights: Fiction readers score higher on empathy and social acumen tests than do readers of nonfiction; and many people want to write, and the funny secret is, anyone can. In fact, we all have the ability. Studies show that memoirs have a therapeutic effect on highly stressed individuals. Harvard super-psychologist Dan Gilbert explains why we humans are so notoriously bad at predicting what will make us happy. What is the difference between a tightwad’s brain and a spendthrift’s brain? John Tierney investigates. From Seed, an interview with NYU sociologist Dalton Conley on separating causation from correlation, solving global poverty, and subliminal paintings. Thank goodness national Get Organized Month is half over. Scott McLemee takes a look at a new book on the uses of disorder. And a review of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
[Jan 16] From Cosmos and History, a special double issue on The Praxis of Alain Badiou, an excerpt from Badiou's Conditions on the philosophical institution; Alberto Toscano (London): The Bourgeois and the Islamist, or, The Other Subjects of Politics; A. J. Bartlett (Deakin): Conditional Notes on a New Republic; Anthony Smith (Dundee): The Limits of The Subject in Badiou's Being and Event; Sam Gillespie (Warwick): Giving Form to Its Own Existence: Anxiety and the Subject of Truth; Nina Power (Roehampton): Towards an Anthropology of Infinitude: Badiou and the Political Subject; Toula Nicolacopoulos and George Vassilacopoulos (La Trobe): Philosophy and Revolution: Badiou's Infidelity to the Event; a review of Badiou's Briefings on Existence: a short treatise on transitory ontology; a review of Badiou's Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil; and a review of Think Again: Alan Badiou and the Future of Philosophy. From The Minnesota Review, an interview with Michael Bérubé. Literary academics and the institutions they represent are sucking the creativity out of studying English; a look at why closing departments is not always wrong; and on the soft landing that is life as a postgraduate: An undergraduate-free research environment is a wonder to behold. And when mañana is too soon: A psychologist in Calgary thinks he knows why we procrastinate