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[Jan 15] Iraq, the
Middle East and the US: From
Iraq, Saddam's co-defendants Barzan Ibrahim and Awad Hamed al-Bandar
are hanged. Journalist and author Michael Gove's
hardline views on Islamic terrorism ignited fierce
debate. Now he has unlikely allies. Two Alliances:
Luttwak on how President Bush has managed to divide and conquer the Middle East.
of Shopping for Bombs: Nuclear Proliferation, Global Insecurity, and the Rise and Fall of the AQ Khan Network.
From Salon, an interview with Michael
Ledeen on Iranian regime change: "Faster, please!" George W. Bush’s decision to change the head of the United States Central Command from a soldier to a sailor
says a lot about the White House strategy for dealing with Iran.
of The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq
by Patrick Cockburn. Want to know whether Bush's new Iraq strategy will work?
Just check the Kalashnikov Index in
Baghdad. Or world opinion. Losing Iraq, one
truckload at a time: Corrupt officials and smugglers are rivaling the insurgency in Iraq.
Restoring Order: Conquering Iraq in the 13th and 21st
centuries. Could Genghis Khan teach the US?
The best we can hope for: Years of bloody but contained mayhem in Iraq
wouldn’t exactly be a happy
ending. But consider the alternatives. Niall
Ferguson on Blue-helmet time in Iraq: For Iraqis to recognize the legitimacy of any
force, Bush has to hand over the country's security to the United Nations.
Sending more troops is a "surge", say Republicans on Bush's Iraq plans.
No, the Democrats say, it's a euphemism for
escalation. Nobody in Washington is will just call a spade a spade.
A Clinton White House speechwriter assesses the strange new role played by President Bush on Wednesday
night, in a strange new setting. Two wars, two presidents, two eerily similar
predicaments: What George W. Bush might learn from Lyndon Johnson.
Bush’s Legacy vs. the 2008 Election: The president wants to be like Harry
Truman. Some historians think he may be more like
LBJ. Nothing perks up a president like death: Most reviled commanders in chief become heroes after death.
Is Bush like Pericles in Ancient Athens because he has set America goals that are too great to achieve and too dangerous to let go?
How have past US presidents broken the bad news in times of war?
Frank Rich on why a dangerous president must be saved from himself, so that
the American kids he's about to hurl into the hell of Baghdad can be saved along with him.
Corey Robin on how upward mobility and careerism inside and outside
government may have silenced naysayers before the
US invaded Iraq. Were you right about the last war?
Chait doesn't care. From The New Yorker,
an article on Azzam the American: The making of a homegrown
of American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a
Religion. And by using a copy of the Qur'an at a swearing-in ceremony,
a Muslim does honour to the principles of Thomas Jefferson
[Weekend] News from around the world: From Pakistan, extreme polo: There are no holds barred at the annual grudge match in northwest Pakistan's "land of mirth and murder". From Bangladesh, the way secular parties and leaders conduct politics is fuelling Islamist extremism and destabilising democracy. The Left and the Jihad: Is the modern left collusive with radical Islamism? Fred Halliday defends his argument against Fouzi Slisli & Jacqueline Kaye's critique. A review of The Truth about Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion. How imminent or real a threat? Israelis vary in their views of the Iranian menace. Hostile Intent: Just what is the Bush administration up to regarding Iran? Unquiet Americans: An article on the folly of U.S. meddling in the Horn of Africa. From Open Democracy, why a European Union dependent on energy supplies from states that violate human-rights norms must not abandon principle to self-interest. A look at how Germany's role in Europe is changing. From German Law Journal, a special issue on What Future for Kosovo? The former Yugoslav republic of Slovenia made 18,000 people disappear in the blink of an eye. Now it wants the world to forget its experiment in ethnic cleansing. Le Monde diplomatique asks whether Slovenian band Laibach's aesthetic is an expression of neo-fascism or a critique of the same. An excerpt from One Must Also Be Hungarian. From Der Spiegel, it has already happened in Berlin -- and Paris and Washington may be next. Women are getting ready to take political power. Meanwhile, their male rivals are having trouble keeping up. A review of Unbowed: A Memoir by Nobel Prize winner Wangari Muta Maathai. A review of Mobutu's Totalitarian Political System: An Afrocentric Analysis. From Newsweek, as the wave of Latin unrest reaches Chile, this redoubt of economic conservatism starts building a welfare state. Chávez cruised to a third election victory in December, enjoying high oil prices and riding a wave of support from the masses. But his appeal among Venezuela’s poor voters is based on a lie. His policies don’t actually help them. Should egalitarians support Chávez? The Venezuelan leader's strong-arm tactics and redistributionist policies present progressives with a real dilemma. And a look at how Guyana is bridging a divide of language and history
[Jan 12] From Open Democracy, the true ingredients of national greatness are very far from those imagined by the official Chinese mind. An article on how China is making it clear that it wants a bigger role in the Middle East. Bush has given democracy-building a bad name. Now China is not only cracking down on reformers at home, it's teaching other authoritarian governments how to do the same. The China Challenge: An excerpt from Hard Power: The New Politics of National Security. China is choking on its success at attracting the world's factories. That has handed its Asian neighbours a big opportunity. New accounting rules have replaced the Little Red Book as China's guide to self-improvement. A review of Asian Juggernaut: The Rise of China, India and Japan; and Financial Architecture and Economic Development in China and India: A Comparative Perspective. From The Economist, a look at what the World Bank knows... and what it only thinks it knows. An article on why economists are still grasping for a cure to global poverty. Dani Rodrik on the false promise of financial liberalisation. Kenneth Rogoff on the $200 trillion question: What could cause macroeconomic volatility to start rising? William Greider on how Congress may get real on the fallacies and contradictions of global trade. Why so many people are against the free movement of labour: A review of Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them by Philippe Legrain. The impact of institutions on economic performance and equality in liberal and coordinated market economies: A review of Inequality and Prosperity: Social Europe vs. Liberal America. The citizens of Denmark have routinely scored higher than other Western countries on measures of life satisfaction, and scientists think they know why. And the first World Map of Happiness has been published. The map is a global projection of subjective well-being, taken from a variety of recent sources
[Jan 11] From Médecins Sans Frontières, a look at the Top 10 Underreported Humanitarian Stories of 2006. From The Globalist, what steps should the international community take to safeguard humanitarian relief work and workers in violent settings? (and part 2). An interview with Jean-Marie Guehenno, undersecretary for peacekeeping, about the world's short attention span, finding troops for UN missions, and what might be done in Darfur. Michael E. O'Hanlon on a new army to stop genocides of the future. Violence, terrorism and the Islamists' growing influence pose a threat to Christianity in the Middle East. In some countries, members of an unpopular Christian minority are already fighting for their survival -- or fleeing for their lives. The New Saddam: Why Omar al-Bashir is the dictator we should hate now. From PINR, an analysis on the move to implement the surge strategy. Can more troops beat the insurgents? Lawrence Kaplan investigates. Bush's announced "surge" is one of the more outrageous media deceptions in the history of an Iraq war that has been rife with them. Bush's general hypocrisy: The White House fired generals who wanted more troops. Now it's calling for more itself -- too late, say military experts. Four ways to stop the war: What Congress could do—if it dared; and Dogs and Democrats: Why Congress won't stop Bush's surge. Deus ex Maliki: Bush bets big on Iraq's prime minister. Promises, Promises What happens if the Iraqis fail again? Is it too late to win the war? Lawrence Korb and Reuel Marc Gerecht debate. Is Bush planning an expansion of the war across Iraq's borders, a la Nixon's invasion of Cambodia? Tom Tomorrow profiles the young Republicans who want to help. Max Boot on how blaming the press for the problems in Iraq deflects the blame from where it belong. CEO of News Corp. Rupert Murdoch has been injecting his personal views into the press and promoting provocative entertainment for nearly four decades. But the tycoon is no tyrant. He’s less powerful than you think and not the evil genius you fear. A blow for the independent press: Alternative media loses a bulwark with the demise of the Independent Press Association. Newspapers may be dinosaurs in the age of new media, but they have enough life to guide--and even define--our politics. From CJR, though journalists worry about how the Web threatens the way they distribute their product, they are slower to see how it threatens the product itself. And revisiting the early net: A slate of predictions made for 1995 reveal what has and hasn't changed
[Jan 10] From Foreign Policy, a look at the elections to watch in 2007. The owners of Sealand, the world's "smallest state", have put the quasi-country up for sale. Fifteen years after he was forced to stand down as the last president of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Mikhail Gorbachev is to make a return to the international arena as a journalist. A look at how Vladimir Putin could bring Europe to its knees. Most churches in Europe are built for the ages. But not the new house of God erected in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. In fact, it'll probably melt away before May. The Church of Scientology is to open a massive six-story center in Berlin. Local residents are concerned and politicians are calling for the organization to be placed under closer surveillance. A Very Polish Scandal: Anne Applebaum on why Poles are so upset that a priest collaborated with the Communists 30 years ago. Europeans couldn't export Christianity 1,000 years ago; what makes us think we can export democracy now? Don't play with maps: What's the greatest barrier to Mideast peace? Mythology. Iraq is virtually littered with bombs, with more than a million tons of live munitions lying under foot. When it comes time to clean up the country, these are the men who are called to carry away the most dangerous debris. An interview on the sudden hanging of Saddam Hussein. A review of The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban. Widespread dissatisfaction with Ahmadinejad's hard-line policies have given rise to a new group of "semi-reformists" in Iran, including some key conservative figures. George Shultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger, and Sam Nunn on a world free of nuclear weapons. If Ban Ki-Moon is to promote peace around the world, he’ll have to get tough at headquarters. He should start by sacking useless employees and shaming the shameful. A review of James Traub’s The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power. Zalmay Khalilzad promises be a more effective US ambassador to the UN, but is that a good thing? Periodic excitement about "grownups" joining Bush's national security team always ends in disappointment. That's because the president is still the president, and the president is the problem. Form Reason, divided we stand: A symposium on what to expect from the long-awaited, much-anticipated return of gridlock. The 2007 farm bill comes along at a providential moment, offering a test bed and showcase for a big idea at a time when the Democratic Party sorely needs one. Chairman of the Money: Charlie Rangel has waited all his life to hold America’s purse strings. Now everyone is waiting on him. And Lone Star split: Conservatives are divided, even in President Bush's home state
[Jan 9] From Sierra Leone, its leaders and people must deal with popular dissatisfaction with a public service operating in an environment bedeviled by a culture of corruption, fraud, financial mismanagement, scandals. From Spain, in the tradition-rich Basque Country, a cease-fire has brought a halt to four decades of separatist violence. But will it hold? (and an interview); and the recent Madrid airport bombing is a sign that the Basque nationalist group ETA is flailing. From Iceland, environmentalists decry the privatization of their country’s clean energy resources. What to call a winter that isn't: With down-filled jackets passé and ice breaking away, the call goes out to adjust the Canadian vocabulary to a new – and let us pray not permanent – reality. Americans are being told that Canada is riding a wave of conservatism. The numbers tell a slightly different story. Our new old friends: The opportunity for unity between progressives in the US and in Europe may have arrived. From Monthly Review, here's a short history of resource wars. A review of The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West by Niall Ferguson. Iraq's Natural State: An important new paper by Douglass North and colleagues may have applications for Iraq. Mission Impossible: Bush's smart new general, David Petraeus, can't save Iraq. Daniel Drezner reviews America Against the World and The Foreign Policy Disconnect. The Starting Gate: Jeffrey Goldberg on how foreign policy divides the Democrats. Queens of the Hill: Will the newly empowered women lawmakers clean up Congress? From Human Events, here's an ideal GOP presidential candidate. A review of Chuck Hagel: Moving Forward. A review of What Have They Built You to Do? The Manchurian Candidate and Cold War America. And its population is stagnating and its vote is predictable. In the years to come, will the rest of the country care about New England?
[Jan 8] From Turkmenistan, President Niyazov is dead, but his country lives under his shadow--so is it time for a new beginning? Go west, young Chinaman: China's economic explosion is rippling out to Central Asia. China's explosive economic reforms will create seismic tensions within the one-party authoritarian state and asks: can the centre hold? From Asia Times, an article on the case for royalty in Myanmar. Fouad Ajami reviews In the Line of Fire: A Memoir by Pervez Musharraf. A review of The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood by Rashid Khalidi and more on Palestine Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter. A review of Confronting Iran: The Failure of American Foreign Policy and the Roots of Mistrust. Saddam Hussein's execution likely means the end of the foolish secular Arab nationalism movement, but many fear his death ends hope of learning more about his crimes. From Military.com, an essay on The State of the Jihad. From Newsweek, we're losing the infowar: Insurgents using simple cell-phone cameras, laptop editing programs and the Web are beating the United States in the fierce battle for Iraqi public opinion. What a surge really means: Can a couple more divisions in Iraq make a difference? Or is Bush's idea too little, too late? The Next Meltdown: It took one act of terrorism in 1914 to cripple the world's financial markets. Why it could happen again. War and cheap oil, a second look: Today, the military commitment in the Middle East doesn’t just hide the real price of oil, it has become a factor in pushing the price up. For most members of Congress, as for most Americans, the Iraq war has been an abstraction, to be debated and defended or deplored, but never experienced in any real or personal sense. Only a half dozen or so lawmakers have children who have served in Iraq. The man who coined Ford's most hopeful phrase was among the first to learn that Cheney and Rumsfeld would use Watergate as an excuse to expand executive power. From Vanity Fair, John McCain knows how nasty the road to the White House can get. Now that he's the GOP front-runner for 2008, must he stoop to win? The Invasion of the Alpha Male Democrat: Now that they are in Congress, the new macho men of the party could challenge and change it. Oh, now the right wants to talk nice: After raining fire on Clinton for years, conservatives are becoming obsessed with tone now that Democrats are in power. A review of What a Party! My Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators and Other Wild Animals by Terry McAuliffe. And living as a once-Trotskyist megaforce, now war-toting superstar can take its toll. Particularly when your personality subdivides into pro wrestlers: On the many Christopher Hitchenses
[Weekend] From Venezuela, parents love a famous name: Where what to call baby finds inspiration in Elvis, comics and Hiroshima. Hugo Chávez plans one big Venezuela leftist party, led by him. A review of Simon Bolivar: A Life. A look at how Cubans heal their economic ills. Former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori remains in legal limbo while awaiting a Chilean Supreme Court judges' decision on his extradition to Peru, where he faces human rights abuse charges. A review of The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power and Complicity With Evil: The United Nations in the Age of Modern Genocide. From TAP, under the Bush administration's space policy, the sky's the limit for commercial and military exploitation of the galaxy. Richard Epstein on pork and power: Bush wants Congress to give him the right to veto wasteful spending. That could be dangerous. From Time, how a convicted felon and admitted drug dealer has become the blogosphere's secret weapon in the war against e-voting. From Wired, a look at the Best Blogfights of 2006. Conservative bloggers suffer another setback in the flap over a photo of Sen. John Kerry. Ezra Klein on an intro to spreading your voice online. The logic of privacy: An article on a new way to think about computing and personal information. And the BBC is set to get another ten years of public money. Technology is undermining the case for much more after that
[Jan 5] News from around the world: From the Carnegie Council, Jonathan Clarke on the threats to One Humanity; and a debate on the United Nations: Still relevant after all these years? As Ban Ki-moon takes charge at the United Nations, a look at the prospects for this troubled body and for its peacekeeping efforts round the world; and call the blue helmets: Can the UN cope with increasing demands for its soldiers? From Der Spiegel, Western governments must act quickly to combat the rise of China and Asia. The West should discuss an ambitious project: a European-American free-trade zone. Today's EU is 27 states in search of a story: The silent empire has expanded again. But why do we see so little celebration? The EU's ugly little challenge: Adding Bulgaria and Romania may force it to confront a reflexive hatred of Gypsies. Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow: A changing relationship between Germany and its clocks. The introduction to Revenge of the Domestic: Women, the Family, and Communism in the German Democratic Republic. An op-ed on the return of post-Communism. And Pol Pot and his minions committed mass murder against their own people. Now, an international tribunal is to judge the regime, what some people call the first legal reckoning with communism. Can justice be served, 30 years on?
[Jan 4] From Borderlands, Matthew Sharpe (Deakin): A Coincidentia Oppositorium? On Carl Schmitt and New Australian Conservatism. A look at how Canada became a conservative nation. From Caribbean Net News, an article on Nation-building 101: The case of Haiti. From Transitions, will the death of Turkmenistan’s president, Saparmurat Niyazov, one of the world’s most bizarre dictators, open the way to democracy or throw Central Asia into chaos? The Magic Mountain: Trickle-down economics in a Philippine garbage dump. Forty of the poorest nations, many in Africa, have had zero growth during the past 20 years despite following the advice of wealthy nations and World Bank consultants. Can Bhutan adjust to the modern world? Joshua Kurlantzick investigates. In the Borderlands: Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters use the Afghan-Pakistani border regions as a haven. Changing that situation will take more than either country realizes. They are not just reading Lolita in Teheran. They are also reading Hannah Arendt, Karl Popper, Jurgen Habermas and Richard Rorty. From Forward, Israeli experts say Middle East was safer with Saddam in Iraq. Subtext Message: An article on the cellphone video of Saddam's execution. From TNR, why are Arabs upset by Saddam's execution?; and an article on how the Iraq war began with a Gerald Ford gaffe. From Monthly Review, transient servitude: An article on the US Guest Worker Program for Exploiting Mexican and Central American Workers. How does your state rank on "The Democracy Index"? From The New York Observer, as she figures out how to cope with the shifting field in the 2008 Presidential contest, Hillary Clinton might do well to familiarize herself with Al Gore’s primary playbook from 2000; and heyyy! Who stole Rudy’s Black Book from carry-on? Will Bill Keller end the Public Editor slot at The New York Times? Have something to say? Joel Stein doesn't care, so don't bother sending anything to that e-mail address below. From The Village Voice, an interview with Michael Musto on his new book of columns, La Dolce Musto. And in defense of princesses: The rise of Princess culture in little girls should be embraced, not frowned upon
[Jan 3] From India, prosperity creates paradox: Many children are fat, even more are famished. Prince is out but not down: In India, where being gay is a crime, a royal son was shunned when he told his secret. Now he fights to change the law and public mind-set. From Japan Focus, an article on Japan’s neonationalist offensive and the military. Orville Schell on Japan's war guilt revisited. From The Black Commentator, a cover story on Empire, Racism and Resistance: Global Apartheid and Prospects for a Democratic Future. From Africafiles, an article on small arms, the world's favourite weapons of mass destruction. From TNR, Michael O'Hanlon on how Americans can stop genocide. Choosing chaos over stability in Somalia: How can we assess the justification for war when we don't have the basic facts? A review of Ted Honderich's Right and Wrong and Palestine, 9-11, Iraq, 7-7. No Easy Way Out: Democrats need to realize that the Iraq war is likely never going to end without them doing something to end it. What new strategy in Iraq? Immanuel Wallerstein wonders. With opposition to its role in Iraq, what is the real position of Britain on the world stage today? The Redeker Affair: In today’s France, speaking candidly about Islam can be hazardous to an academic’s career—and personal safety. From Foreign Policy, an interview with Mensur Agkun: Will Turkey join the EU... or go nuclear? New Year's Eve marked the entrance of Romania and Bulgaria into the European Union, with people celebrating with fireworks and street parties. There was a Romanian, a Bulgarian and an Irishman...: Can the EU handle so many official languages? From The Weekly Standard, an essay on Holland's post-secular future: Christianity is dead. Long live Christianity! An article on the birth of the first global super-union: Amicus, IG-Metall and two US labour groups join forces to confront the power of the multinationals. A new issue of The Forum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics is out (a special kind of registration is required) on the 2006 Midterms: Post-Election Appraisal. From Legal Times, John Conyers is back in the game, much to the dismay of his critics. From The New York Daily News, a leaked memo shows Rudy's '08 Battle Plan. From The Boston Globe Magazine, a cover story on the Bostonian of the Year, Deval Patrick. Decent Exposure: The press buries Gerald R. Ford in meaningless platitudes. A review of A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America Now. Confessions of a Bush Voter: Stacie Fehr tells what it's like to be a young, smart, hip Republican in a social circle full of liberals. Decided that you want to become more active in the conservative movement? Well, here are 10 suggested websites you may find helpful (and more). A review of The Ten Minute Activist and 365 Ways to Change the World. And David Sirota reviews Let Them Call Me Rebel: Saul Alinsky: His Life and Legacy
[Jan 2] From The Independent, an article on the battle to come over global warming; the world faces the hottest year ever, as El Niño combines with global warming; and an interview with Jim Hansen: "If we fail to act, we will end up with a different planet". Surveying the world as 2007 dawns, it's hard to be optimistic. The daily headlines give us little cause to rejoice -- at least, for those who had hopes for the advancement of freedom. This time around it’s not just a space race between the US and the Soviet Union. New countries, and some rich people, will make it more of a space roller derby. The skies could get crowded in 2007. Island of Injustice: The US has a moral duty to the people of Diego Garcia. A review of US Intervention in British Guiana: A Cold War Story. Synergy with the Devil: James Surowiecki on how Venezuela has the most business-friendly socialism ever devised. From TNR, a look at why electability is a meaningless characteristic. We often hear that Mormons and evangelicals, despite theological differences, are on the same page politically. But there are key issues on which they don't line up neatly with the religious right. Isn’t it great? Progressives are so solicitous about limited government conservatives they are taking time from their victory celebration to give their advice for conservatives' future. EJ Dionne on the new crowd's first test: Are Hill Democrats serious on ethics? From The Wall Street Journal, Publisher L. Gordon Crovitz reflects on the delicate balance of preserving an icon but changing with the times (and more). And for more traditional media outlets, the impetus to double down on local content is coming from the recognition that competitors have sideswiped their readership numbers and bottom lines
[Jan 1] From Chechnya, war-torn and bloodied, the rebuilding of a nation begins. But can its controversial young premier, Ramzan Kadyrov, lead the country to peace? Russia heads into 2007 facing the question of whether President Vladimir V. Putin’s centralization of power can ensure the smooth and credible election of a new Parliament. From the US State Department's Ejournal, a special issue on Transforming the Culture of Corruption. From all we know of the preparations, Saddam’s death was a miserable and lonely one, as stark and undignified as Iraq’s new rulers could devise. The public ritual surrounding the death of a former president demands a period of public rumination, and partisans across the political spectrum have been finding substance to admire in Gerald Ford. The campaign for president will dominate American politics in the coming year, and Republicans and Democrats face a common strategic challenge: How do you deal with the folks back in Washington? From Media Matters, a look at the most outrageous comments of 2006. On the eve of 2007, humanity could use a navigation system to aid us on our collective journey. And that blasted year: Dave Barry reviews the historic events of 2006, both real and imaginary
[Jan 15] From
The New York Times Magazine, does Abe Foxman
have an anti-anti-Semite problem? He has spent his life fighting
bigotry. But how he fights, and whom he’s fighting, are now the issues.
of A Match Made in Heaven: American Jews, Christian Zionists and One Man's Exploration of the Weird and Wonderful Judeo-Evangelical Alliance.
Fewer and fewer young men are training to be Catholic priests. As their numbers dwindle,
those who remain are fighting to earn back the moral authority lost in the abuse scandal - and praying to stay relevant.
Just as in theology Christ himself serves to justify the accumulation of capital or the suppression of one's neighbor in the name of love, so also
the history of the oppressed serves to create unquestionable myths and
idiolects, cut to the measure of the power of the moment.
From ZNet, capitalism and democracy go together like …
like what? Peanut butter and
jelly? Or a fish and a bicycle? An interview
with Joseph Stiglitz
on Making Globalization Work. Now is the time to rediscover
John Maynard Keynes’s revolutionary ideas for an international trade organisation and adapt them to rebalance the world’s economies in the 21st century. James Surowiecki
on how social connections lead to higher executive
pay. Billionaires head for the closet: Ralph
Nader on the class war's new map. A review
of Corporate Bodies and Guilty Minds: The Failure
of Corporate Criminal Liability. A review
of Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in
Business. A living wage we can live with: Cities have shown it can be done without hurting employment growth.
of Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective
Joy by Barbara Ehrenreich. A review
of Utopian Dreams: a Search for a Better Life by Tobias Jones
of Worldchanging: A User's Guide to the 21st Century.
of Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea
and Riot!: Civil Insurrection from Peterloo to the Present Day.
of The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11
by Dinesh D'Souza. A review
of The Man Who Would Not Shut Up: The Rise of Bill
O’Reilly and Culture Warrior by Bill O’Reilly.
From American Heritage, what did Martin Luther King
really believe? A review
of There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945-1975.
of Turn Away Thy Son: Little Rock, the Crisis That Shocked the Nation.
of Vietnam: The Definitive Oral History.
Exactly when did the '60s begin? A review
of Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties.
of 31 Days: The Crisis That Gave Us The Government We Have Today.
The spirit of Dharmacracy: Republicans and Democrats should take a lesson from gods Shiva and
Vishnu, the destroyer and preserver who work
together. It is with a sense of relief that Mark
Schmitt welcomes back the overrated swing voter. The craziness is ending.
The arc of politics again points toward the
center. David Broder can exhale. And they're
baaack: The Concord Coalition has
returned, still peddling ideological mischief dressed up as bipartisan reform
[Weekend] American politics and culture: From Common-place, making peace patriotic: An article on anti-war perspectives from the early republic; and lurking in the blogosphere of the 1840s: Hotlinks, sockpuppets, and the history of reading; and a look at American history on other continents: On the trail of China traders in Africa and Asia. Here's an idea to play with: Give it to him, give the president everything he wants for the war in Iraq. Money, troops, the support of Congress, all of it. Keith Olbermann on Bush's Legacy: The President Who Cried Wolf. John Dean on the arsenal of tools Congressional Democrats can use to force the Bush administration to cooperate with their efforts to undertake oversight. Bad-Faith Negotiation: What's missing from the Democrats' new bill on bargaining prescription drug prices. When sunlight doesn't disinfect: Timothy Noah on how lobbyists learned to subvert shame. High Definition: AT&T spent millions of dollars promoting the idea that "net neutrality" was an undefinable concept. Two weeks ago, that all changed. From Rabble, a review of Independent Politics: The Green Party strategy debate. When Christian Socialist attack: Michael Gerson helped create "compassionate" conservatism. Now he’s attacking the small-government ideal—and inadvertently highlighting America’s need to learn from Europe. The art of being shameless: Bragging about oneself is dismissed as crass and, well, American. But hoping quality will win out on its own leaves too much to chance. From Human Events, an article on the few jerks that make everybody suffer. A review of The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation. From Reason, an interview with Sarah Igo, author of The Averaged American, on pushy pollsters, and the self-help industry. And from The Nation, George Scialabba reviews The Great Risk Shift; Hostile Takeover: How Big Money & Corruption Conquered Our Government--and How We Take It Back; Losing Our Democracy: How Bush, the Far Right and Big Business Are Betraying Americans for Power; 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy: An Owner's Manual for Concerned Citizens; Building Red America: The New Conservative Coalition and the Drive for Permanent Power; Being Right Is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success; and Armed Madhouse: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf?, China Floats, Bush Sinks, The Scheme to Steal '08
[Jan 12] From Asia Times, if you so dumb, how come you ain't poor?: Herzlich, literally "hearty", conveys something comfortable and amiable - making "heartily miserable". The phrase should pass into the political lexicon along with such German expressions as Schadenfreude. It qualifies wonderfully America's current position in Iraq. Zbigniew Brzezinski on five flaws in the president's plan. Bush’s Iraq Plan, Between the Lines: Taken as a whole, President Bush’s speech raised more questions than it answered about his new strategy for the war in Iraq. George Bush announces one more push for “victory”. Is he just reinforcing failure? Bush on Iraq Surge: A Kissinger Ploy? Let's assume for a moment the president does have a plan: It might not be what you think. Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gringrich on why New York City's successes have lessons for Baghdad. Martin van Creveld on the US in Iraq: After the surge, inevitable withdrawal. A look at how Republicans win if we lose in Iraq. Eric Alterman on Iraq and the sin of good judgment: Given their sorry records on Iraq, why are are neocon pundits worth listening to at all? From TNR, Will Marshall on how Democrats can oppose the surge; and Peter Beinart on how George W. Bush screws John McCain one last time. From Slate, the many presidents of George W. Bush: Why the current president has more ghostly familiars than most; and the G.W. Bush Severance Package: His stock is falling. He has lost the confidence of shareholders. So how much would it take to make him go away? From The Boston Phoenix, an article on sex, Iraq, and pop culture and the war for our attention. From the DLC's Blueprint, a special issue on the midterm elections, including Clinton Politics vs. Bush Politics: An excerpt from The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008. A review of Lincoln's Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words. And Americans love their lists, even when it comes to ranking subjective things such as who has been the best president
[Jan 11] Potpourri: The Great Man Theory: Is President Bush a student of Hegel? Scott McLemee doubts it, but considers the evidence. An article on exploring the curious mind of Athanasius Kircher. From Psychology Today, love's loopy logic: Encounters with the opposite sex skew our psyches in such a special way that reason and bias climb right into bed with each other. In this mode, it sometimes pays to deceive ourselves. Welcome to the paradoxical world of mating intelligence. A review of Living Speech: Resisting the Empire of Force. Jefferson's Quran: Christopher Hitchens on what the founder really thought about Islam. Entitled Selfishness: The baby-boomer generation is in a state of denial about the true cost of their retirement benefits. Why their blindness on the issue could put the country's future at risk. A review of Why the Jews Rejected Jesus: The Turning Point in Western History by David Klinghoffer. An interview with Ron Kovic, author of Born on the Fourth of July. The Pinpoint Search: Julian Sanchez on how super-accurate surveillance technology threatens our privacy. A review of Ethical Realism: A Vision for America’s Role in the World by Anatol Lieven and John Hulsman. From Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, how the Right went wrong: Professor Emeritus Jeffrey Hart doesn't lack for conservative credentials. But he's never been on board with the Bush administration. More on Dinesh D'Souza's The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11. A review of Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge by Cass Sunstein. A review of Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor. From In These Times, an article on a portrait of the activists as young women. Happy New Year! Katha Pollitt suggests resolutions for liberals. A review of Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965. The :-) defence: Cartoon protestor Umran Javed is a pioneering warrior in the cause of post-modernist irony. Democrats' Litmus: Electability is the key issue for 2008 race, and poses hurdles for Clinton and Obama. An interview with Beverly Whipple and Barry Komisaruk, authors of The Science of Orgasm. A review of The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia. More on Gore Vidal's Point to Point Navigation: A memoir. Postmodern madness: Thinking of the deaf as a linguistic minority pays insufficient heed to the political, cultural, and scientific nuances of our era. A review of African Queen: The Real Life of the Hottentot Venus. And so the cockroach cometh. The cycle of indifference requires intermittent escalation, ever more lurid sequels
[Jan 10] From The New Criterion, a symposium on the nation state, including an introduction on utopia vs. nationhood; an essay on Islam, civilization & the nation state; an article on the nation & the intellectual Left; and is the nation state threatened? From Psychology Today, the ideological animal: We think our political stance is the product of reason, but we're easily manipulated and surprisingly malleable. Our essential political self is more a stew of childhood temperament, education, and fear of death. A review of Final Exam: A Surgeon’s Reflections on Mortality. The discovery of new sources of stem cells is great news, but it's not a reason to neglect the funding of embryonic stem cell research. Over the past decade, taxpayer dollars have supplied faith-based organizations with the means to foster an array of social services. National Journal explores the fundamental church/state questions raised by these under-the-radar efforts. From TNR, is Mitt Romney a tool of the Mormon church? Damon Linker and Richard Lyman Bushman debate; and John B. Judis on why a Mormon president is nothing to fear. From The Remnant, rebels in Rome: an article on the Catholic Church and the Confederacy in Civil War America. From Tradition, Family and Property, those who oppose private property often allege that the early Christians were Communists. Is there any foundation for their assertion? A article on the US, socialism, and Seymour Martin Lipset. From Legal Times, drug abuse, paranoiac delusions, allegations of FBI witness intimidation. Is the former chief's legacy at risk? Phyllis Schlafly reviews The Tyranny of Tolerance: A Sitting Judge Breaks the Code of Silence to Expose the Liberal Judicial Assault. Free-Market Justice: Why do private lawyers do better than public defenders? Is privacy overrated? A look at the merits, drawbacks, and inevitability of the surveillance nation. From American Diplomacy, a review of War Summits. The Meetings that Shaped World War II and the Postwar World. An interview with John O'Sullivan, author of The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister. What GE brought to his life: A review of The Education of Ronald Reagan. From TAS, an interview with P.J. O’Rourke, author of On The Wealth of Nations (and an excerpt). Global Runaround: Theodore Dalrymple on why the modern world isn’t always more efficient. A review of Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy by Barbara Ehrenreich. From Plenty, the imperfect gift: Wealthy donors give hundreds of millions of dollars a year to the environmental movement. Too bad it’s not being put to the best use. What Al Gore hasn't told you about global warming: Two reviews of Heat by George Monbiot. And last year was the warmest in the continental United States in the past 112 years -- capping a nine-year warming streak "unprecedented in the historical record"
[Jan 9] John Brian Williams (USHR): How to Survive a Terrorist Attack: The Constitution's Majority Quorum Requirement and the Continuity of Congress. Peter Margulies (Roger Williams): Beyond Absolutism: Legal Institutions in the War on Terror. Collective Unconscionable: A look at how psychologists, the most liberal of professionals, abetted Bush’s torture policy. An article on how wars ultimately measure tolerance of pain. Cheney’s Dead-Enders: Rumsfeld is gone, but the veep’s other loyalists remain. Peter Beinart on why liberals are the real neocons. From Open Democracy, the world is full of conformism masquerading as profundity, says Fred Halliday, who explodes twelve global falsehoods. Not compassionate, not conservative: A political traditionalist, Ethan Fishman, critiques our pseudo-conservative president. From The American Conservative, MTV made them do it: A review of The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11 by Dinesh D’Souza; and selective amnesia: Glenn Greenwald on how being a pro-war pundit means never having to say you’re wrong. An interview with Chris Hedges, author of American Fascists. From The Washington Monthly, a review of Blocking the Courthouse Door: How the Republican Party and Its Corporate Allies Are Taking Away Your Right to Sue; how to finish off the GOP machine: Zachary Roth on the Machiavellian case for public financing of elections; Read my lips: Raise taxes: The era of the tax revolt is over. How Democrats have an opportunity to redefine the politics of government; and value added: A new take on the tax that liberals used to hate. Beyond PAYGO: Democrats ought to make good on their November mandate and push a serious progressive tax agenda -- including repeal of Bush's tax cuts. Economics for Contenders: Progressive presidential aspirants must reframe the national debate on economics. Here's a few pointers. And from Reason, a review of Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade
[Jan 8] From Business Week, inside a white-hot idea factory: Some big names are turning to upstart Fahrenheit 212 to dream up new products. A review of Future Inc.: How Businesses Can Anticipate and Profit from What's Next. A look at how George Akerlof is hoping to spread the debate on markets and reality by taking on some of the profession’s most sacred cows. A review of On The Wealth of Nations by P. J. O’Rourke (and an interview). Can online games be used as a laboratory for economic experiments? Tim Harford investigates. Allowance 2.0: With kids spending billions online -- and charging it to mom and dad -- families are ditching the traditional weekly cash handout. From FT, an interview with Daniel Goleman: Reading the cues of others is vital in business. The Joy of Philanthropy: You don't have to be Oprah to make a difference. A review of The Foundation: A Great American Secret: How Private Wealth is Changing the World. Does Andy Stern talk his walk? High-profile victories by SEIU often run counter to its president’s rhetoric about the power of persuasion. A review of Estates: An Intimate History. From New Statesman, a review of The Gift: how the creative spirit transforms the world. The Gift-Card Economy: When you buy somebody a present, who really comes out ahead? Can getting rid of stuff feel as good as getting it? There is no "paradox of prosperity": So what if material progress doesn't always make us happy? It's still a good thing, and here's why. This is Your Brain on Shopping: An fMRI study determines where the brain appraises products and evaluates prices. A review of Capitalism 3.0: A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons (and more). What actions are we obligated to take now in order to diminish the risks to our descendants and our planet from the increasing likelihood of global warming and climate change? Global warming taxes. The United States almost never shares a sense of meteorological misery due to its geographical size. Could this reality be affecting how we view the prospect of global warming? Cloned Bull: William Saletan on the bum rap on cloned food. The Whole Foods Story: Why the elite supermarket's stock is tanking, and why it shouldn't be. A review of The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism From 1600 to Modern Times. A review of Natural Causes: Death, Lies, and Politics in America's Vitamin and Herbal Supplement Industry. Insurance is enough to make you sick: Private health insurance is a drag on the economy the government must fix. Make health insurers play fair: Any plan to reform healthcare must tackle the biggest obstacle to insuring everyone -- private insurers. A surprising secret to a long life: Stay in school. And Happiness 101: Can classes in positive psychology teach students not just to feel good but also to do good?
[Weekend] From TNR, General Electric Kool-Aid: Rick Perlstein on the untold story of Ronald Reagan's political conversion. A review of American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America by Chris Hedges (and more and a sample chapter). Carlin Romano reviews Brainless: The Lies and Lunacy of Ann Coulter, Soulless: Ann Coulter and the Right-Wing Church of Hate, and I Hate Ann Coulter!. William F. Buckley reviews American Speeches: Political Oratory From the Revolution to the Civil War and American Speeches: Political Oratory From Abraham Lincoln to Bill Clinton. From Alternet, an article on Sam Harris's faith in Eastern spirituality and Muslim torture. Mere Mission: An interview with N.T. Wright on how to present the gospel in a postmodern world. A review of Cooking With the Bible: Biblical Food, Feasts and Lore. A review of Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy by Barbara Ehrenreich. Constant danger: How should society deal with sex offenders once they have been released from jail? Sex and the Freethinker: Yes, she said “pussy” but don’t call Mohja Kahf progressive. A review of Transparent: Love, Family and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers (and more). A review of Working Stiff: The Misadventures of an Accidental Sexpert. A review of Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans From Colonial Times to the Present. And an article on the roots of Latino/black anger: Longtime prejudices, not economic rivalry, fuel tensions
[Jan 5] From The National Interest, a review of Hidden Iran: Paradox and Power in the Islamic Republic; and a review of Thicker than Oil: America’s Uneasy Partnership with Saudi Arabia. Slavoj Zizek on how the US is continuing, through other means, the greatest crime of Saddam Hussein: his never-ending attempt to topple the Iranian government. Saddam should have been studied, not executed: Richard Dawkins on how sparing Hussein and studying his makeup could have provided valuable research. Christopher Buckley on how beneath Saddam Hussein's mask hid the soul of a poet. Our Iraqi Mistake: What was it, exactly? Iron Man: Fred Kaplan on why Bush still won't change his strategy, and more on Dubbya in denial. Old guard back on Iraq policy: An influential faction of neoconservatives is behind Bush's expected call for more troops. McCain's Urge To Surge: Will the troop hike damage his presidential campaign? Weaning the military from the GOP: A less partisan military is good for democracy and allows a more frank debate on national security. And fom The Nation, a review of Palestine Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter; Victor Navasky on the story behind the story of Gerald Ford's pardon of Nixon; and Alexander Cockburn on Gerald Ford's greatness and The New York Times's ghastly coverage of Iraq
[Jan 4] From PUP, before realism and liberalism: The introduction to Bounding Power: Republican Security Theory from the Polis to the Global Village. From Foreign Policy, why are hawks so influential? The answer may lie deep in the human mind. People have dozens of decision-making biases, and almost all favor conflict rather than concession. A look at why the tough guys win more than they should (and a debate on whether hawks should win by Matthew Yglesias and Matthew Continetti). Ten Things I Learned From the Pentagon's Prayer Team: The "Christian Embassy" quietly proselytizes inside the Pentagon, but its mission surpasses this simple ministry. In the last 18 months, Google Earth has revolutionized military intelligence, but the military doesn't like to admit it. Declassified in name only: You're mistaken if you think declassifying government documents means making them available. From Slate, Daniel Gross on the stupid law that prevents foreigners from buying U.S. airlines; and O Mighty Crisis: Dahlia Lithwick on the "constitutional collapse" over judicial pay. The wolves and the sheep of constitutional law: A review essay on The Myth of Judicial Activism by Kermit Roosevelt. From In These Times, an article on MoveOn members’ call for change. From Human Events, a look at the 20 Most Annoying People on the Right. From ZMag, Western Affluence contra Economic Justice: The rich part of the world is entitled to its affluence cannot be defended on moral grounds. The world of work: To see how the nature of work is changing around the world, look at the evolving strategy of a global employment provider. Jagdish Bhagwati. on how technology, not globalisation, is driving wages down. From New English Review, an article on The Cruelty of Eros: Sex Tips from the Marquise de Pompadour. Big breasts for dummies: Mannequins with giant bazooms are busting out in shop windows from coast to coast. More than just garment racks, they are a mirror of current beauty and fashion. A review of Gay Life and Culture: A World History. From Freezerbox, is God un crotte de merde? An article on Isaac Bashvis Singer’s position on God, its centrality to him and his work, and the significance it has for the atheism/theism debate. And John Lennon's Born-Again Phase: An excerpt from The Gospel According to the Beatles
[Jan 3] From TAP, consumerism and its discontents: A review of Beauty Junkies: Inside Our $15 Billion Obsession with Cosmetic Surgery by Alex Kuczynski and Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine. The great game of capitalism: A review of Monopoly: The World's Most Famous Game and How it Got That Way. American Roulette: In our winner-take-all casino economy, the middle class is getting royally screwed. A call to arms for populism, before it’s too late. From Global Politician, an article on the shadowy world of international finance. Henry Blodget on The Wall Street Self-Defense Manual: Please do not buy hedge funds. From New York, John Thain, the man who’s revolutionizing the New York Stock Exchange, is a shrewd, calculating technocrat who turned its iconic trading floor into a machine—but he’s also the affable mensch who is managing to persuade the traders to go along with their own extinction; and between the ages of 16 and 21, Gogo Lidz was prescribed more than fifteen different stimulants, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers. The cure was worse than the disease. The U.S. health care system is a scandal and a disgrace. But maybe, just maybe, 2007 will be the year we start the move toward universal coverage. Peter Singer on how Australian health professionals lead the world in acknowledging that life-saving treatment for severely premature babies can, and sometimes should, be withheld. From Philica, an essay on Felix’s Refusal to Further Listen to Paul as a Statement of Philosophical Superiority. From Christianity Today, a review of Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? and Knocking on Heaven's Door: A New Testament Theology of Petitionary Prayer. Athorism is enjoying a certain vogue right now. Can there be a productive conversation between Valhallans and athorists? Cenk Uygur on why 25% of the country is certifiably insane: "Show me Jesus in 2007 and I'll do whatever you demand of me". From Commentary, a review of Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present; and a review of A Match Made in Heaven: American Jews, Christian Zionists, and One Man’s Exploration of the Weird and Wonderful Judeo-Evangelical Alliance. America's Holy Warriors: Chris Hedges on how the radical Christian right is coming dangerously close to its goal of co-opting the country’s military and law enforcement. From HNN, what turned Sayyid Qutb against America? Lawrence Wright investigates; and an article on George Bush's misplaced hope that historians will rank him higher than his contemporaries. Containment has been the key time and again: Yale's Ian Shapiro on how the Bush administration's mistakes in the Middle East might have been avoided by a simple history lesson. Lynching the Dictator: Christopher Hitchens on how the United States helped to officiate at a human sacrifice. The Totalitarian Template: Anne Applebaum on Saddam's place in the pantheon of modern dictators. And for Saddam's page in history, a final link on YouTube
[Jan 2] From The New Yorker, open secrets: Malcolm Gladwell on Enron, intelligence, and the perils of too much information. From International Socialism, through the influence of intellectuals, the Enlightenment shapes many of the ways in which people see the world today. Hence the continuing debate over its legacy—a debate in which socialists must intervene; and whatever the specific differences between terrorism currently and that of the past—and these are less than appearances suggest—the question of how to respond is one that socialists have frequently had to confront; and a review of David Harvey's A Brief History of Neo-Liberalism. Jonathan Chait on Gerald Ford and the fate of American liberalism. Folly’s Antidote: Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. on how the great strength of history in a free society is its capacity for self-correction. An article on how to avoid a repeat of Vietnam, and why it's crucial to do so. Second thoughts on gays in the military: John Shalikashvili now believes that if gay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces. From The Next American City, a special issue on immigration and what it means for cities; and a review of Shrinking Cities, Volume 1: International Research and Volume 2: Interventions. A review of Mike Davis' Planet of Slums. Upton Sinclair's The Jungle awakened a nation not just to the dangers in the food supply, but to the central role government has to play in keeping it safe. Health care problem? Check the American psyche: The economic case for a single-payer system is surprisingly strong. An article on the positive side of obesity. And traversing the altitude of brows from high to low, the following 100 questions relate to the people, events and places of significance or curiosity in 2006. Take the test — and see how closely you’ve been paying attention
[Jan 1] From The New York Times Magazine, a special issue on The Lives They Lived; and his aids were followed by a phone number and an exhortation to “act now!" And people did. Isn’t that amazing? From Slate, The Bill of Wrongs: Dahlia Lithwick on the 10 most outrageous civil liberties violations of 2006. The Supreme Court, having decided only four cases since the term began in October, has not exactly been living in the fast lane. But the pace is about to pick up. From Virginia Quarterly Review, George Scialabba reviews House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power by James Carroll. A review of Dangerous Nation: America and the World, 1600-1898 by Robert Kagan. From International Socialism, the transcript of a discussion on the origins of capitalism; an interview with Andy Durgan on seventy years after the Spanish Civil War; an article on the hidden history of US radicalism; a review of Labor, Loyalty, Rebellion: Southwestern Illinois Coal Miners and World War I; a review of Lenin Rediscovered: What is to be Done? in Context; and a review of The Paris Commune: A Revolution in Democracy. And from The Humanist, the renowned linguist and critic discusses the human animal, the religious right, and the politics of fear. Perhaps the biggest question is this: is Noam Chomsky a humanist?
[Jan 15] A review
of The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Greek
Law. A review
of Rome & Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilisations.
From TNR, a review
of In the Beginning: Bibles Before the Year 1000.
of The Little Book of Plagiarism by Richard Posner
Carlin Romano reviews
Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann.
Where protons will play: Jim Holt on the new supercollider that is poised to shake up physics.
From Scientific American, the universe's
invisible hand: Dark energy does more than hurry along the expansion of the
universe. It also has a stranglehold on the shape and spacing of galaxies;
why aren't more women physicists? A review
of La Dame D'Esprit: A Biography of The Marquise Du Châtelet
and Out of The Shadows: Contributions of Twentieth-Century Women To Physics;
and the kindest cut: Always do the math before you divvy.
From Business Week, behind Barclay's quest to
build a world-class team of academic quants that systematically does the impossible.
From Discover, an interview with Marvin Minsky
on the brain, neuroscience, and superhuman robot servants.
of Darwinism and its Discontents by Michael Ruse
and Darwin Loves You.
For 10 years stage magician James Randi has offered a million bucks to anyone who can demonstrate paranormal phenomena under controlled
circumstances. Now he's revamping his challenge. A review
of Phantasmagoria: The Secret Life of the Magic Lantern.
of Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death.
of The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern
Times. A review
of Brute Force: Animal Police and the Challenge of
Cruelty; a review
of People, Property, Or Pets?; and a review
of Animal Rights: Current Debates and New
Directions, edited by Cass Sunstein and Martha
Trying to explain why the whites of human eyes are larger than those of other primates
leads to one of the deepest and most controversial topics in the modern study of human
evolution: the evolution of cooperation. Tarzan's children:
A look at why movies about Africa require white saviors.
of Atlantic Republic: The American Tradition in English Literature.
of Thomas Paine by Craig Nelson. A review
of American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau: Their Lives, Their Loves, Their Work
The many stripes of anti-Americanism: Sociologists find that anti-American sentiment is more varied -- and less widespread -- than you might think.
They twisted The Phallus: The teacher of an Occidental College course says
critics are presenting a warped view of a serious course.
of Simon Schama's Power of Art by Simon
And a review
of House of Meetings by Martin Amis (and more)
[Weekend] Anthony D'Amato (Northwestern): On the Legitimacy of International Institutions. Mattias Kumm (NYU): Constitutional Democracy Encounters International Law: Terms of Engagement (a special kind of registration is required). From a new issue of the Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory, Jochen Schmidt (Bonn): Neither/Nor: The Mutual Negation of Søren Kierkegaard's Early Pseudonymous Voices; a review of The Frankfurt School on Religion; a review of Walter Benjamin, Religion and Aesthetics; a review of Slavoj Žižek's The Parallax View; a review of Alain Badiou's Being & Event; a review of The Problem of Evil and the Problem of God; a review of Does Human Rights Need God?; and a review of America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity by Robert Wuthnow. A review of Merit, Meaning, and Human Bondage: An Essay on Free Will. From Edge, V.S. Ramachandran on the neurology of self-awareness. Consciousness in a Cockroach: Neuroscientists are teasing apart the insect nervous system, looking for clues to attention, consciousness, and the origin of the brain. A review of The Naked Brain: How the Emerging Neurosociety is Changing How We Live, Work, and Love. A review of Brain and Culture: Neurobiology, Ideology, and Social Change. A review of Genesis Machines: The New Science of Biocomputing. From People's Weekly World, an article on Aristotle and the Internet: Some social implications of the web. From The Village Voice's Education Supplement, hire education: Community colleges are bursting at the seams (but not with funding). Form PS: Political Science & Politics, a symposium on Internationalizing the Undergraduate Curriculum pdf. From MRZine, leveraging the Academy: Suggestions for radical grad students and radicals considering grad school. How to go to M.I.T. for free: Online intellectual philanthropy attracts students from every nation on earth. Through a Glass, Darkly: A look at how the Christian right is reimagining U.S. history. Comparison shopping for history textbooks finds lies, misrepresentations and omissions. Homemade Herodotus: It took feisty amateur Robert B. Strassler to wrest the classics from the grip of professional historians. And the literary genius' thoughts on how to find happiness in an imperfect world: A review of Love, Life, Goethe
[Jan 12] Potpourri: A review of Qu'est-ce qu'un peuple libre?: Libéralisme ou républicanisme. With great sadness we learn that the Colombian Nobel prize winner Gabriel García Márquez and the Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa, after a thrillingly long and bitter feud, are patching up their differences. Neuroeconomics as the triumph of unreason? Why you are not always rational with your credit card. An article on the challenge of distilling Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. An old South African skull and an ancient settlement along the Don River in Russia lend crucial support to the idea that modern humans spread from Africa across Eurasia only 50,000 years ago: "The big surprise here is the very early presence of modern humans in one of the coldest, driest places in Europe". Russian archaeologists have uncovered the 2000-year-old remains of a warrior preserved intact in permafrost in the Altai mountains region. An excerpt from The Enlightenment and the Book: Scottish Authors and Their Publishers in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Ireland, and America. From Christianity Today, if death is no barrier: Spiritualism surveyed. An excerpt from Shylock Is Shakespeare by Kenneth Gross. Probably the most persuasive ethical theory in contemporary ethical debates is utilitarianism. Here's a backgrounder analysis its main features. The introduction to The Ethics of Liberty by Hans-Hermann Hoppe. From Salon's "Literary Guide to the World", despite their historical distrust of the written word, Europe's Gypsies have a growing -- and captivating -- literary tradition. Nathan Glazer remembers Seymour Martin Lipset (and more). A review of On Truth by Harry Frankfurt. More on Peter Kramer's Freud: Inventor of the modern mind. From Discover, 20 things you didn't know about aliens: Where are they lurking, when will we find them, and will pictures of naked people impress them. A look at how procrastination can be explained by a single mathematical equation: Utility = E x V/ÃD
[Jan 11] Religion and science: From America, a review of Christianity and the Soul of the University: Faith as a Foundation for Intellectual Community. Reason and faith: The two cannot, and should not, be shackled together. To do so misinterprets faith and belittles reason. An interview with James Connor, author of Pascal's Wager: The Man Who Played Dice with God. A review of Going to Heaven: The Life and Times of Bishop Gene Robinson; and A Church at War: Anglicans and Homosexuality. The Ugly Duckling has Two Daddies: We are surrounded by a large population that simply flaunts its homosexualness at us -- flagrantly, shamelessly, and completely uncontrollably. A review of Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools. In praise of an alternate creation theory: The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster gains infamy and faith. A review of The Scientist as Rebel by Freeman Dyson. Molecules, minimalism and role of individuals: Scientists with vision can become leaders far beyond the laboratory, says John Polanyi. The story of life: An interview with Richard Dawkins. From Seed, we've seen the future, and it is us: As we drive the evolution of species, humans may be building a future with ever more diverse pests and pathogens and without the creatures we value most. From Physics Today, an article on the physics of climate modeling: Climate is a large-scale phenomenon that emerges from complicated interactions among small-scale physical systems. Yet despite the phenomenon's complexity, climate models have demonstrated some impressive successes. From TLS, a review of Plows, Plagues and Petroleum: How humans took control of climate; The Weather Makers: The history and future impact of climate change; The Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth is fighting back – and how we can still save humanity; and Animate Earth: Science, intuition and Gaia; and a review of The Chronologers' Quest: The search for the age of the Earth; and Weighing the World: The quest to measure the Earth. A review of Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth. A review of The Goldilocks Enigma: Why Is the Universe Just Right for Life? by Paul Davies. A review of The Never-Ending Days of Being Dead and The Universe: A Biography. And the universe gives up its deepest secret: It is the invisible material that makes up most of the cosmos. Now, scientists have created the first image of dark matter
[Jan 10] Brian Leiter (UT-Austin): Science and Morality: Pragmatic Reflections on Rorty's Pragmatism. Rashmi Dyal-Chand (Northeastern): Human Worth as Collateral pdf. A review of Why Arendt Matters by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl. A review of Derrida on Deconstruction. A review of Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism by Paul Boghossian. A review of Contemporary Debates in Cognitive Science. A review of Does Consciousness Cause Behavior? From TNR, a review of Israel on the Appomattox: A Southern Experiment in Black Freedom From the 1790s Through the Civil War by Melvin Patrick Ely. A review of The Wanderer: The Last American Slave Ship and the Conspiracy That Set Its Sails. Chained to the past: The bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade does not mean it is over. An American Tory: A review of The Essential Russell Kirk. The evolution of an antifeminist: Cathy Young on the legacy of Elizabeth Fox-Genovese. A purple patch on the task of the modern historian by Thomas Babington Macaulay. From Demographic Research, what kind of theory for anthropological demography? Cosmopolitanism is not to be confused with multiculturalism: An article on anthropology as cosmopolitan study. From The Scientist, ethnicity tied to gene expression: SNP-driven differences in gene expression help distinguish ethnic groups. An article on neuro economics: Science or science fiction? The future of economics isn’t so dismal: Economists have been using their tools — mainly the analysis of enormous piles of data to tease out cause and effect — to examine everything from politics to French wine vintages (and a look at economists to watch). Behold Marx's twitch: What does it take to kill an idea whose time has passed? At Anarchist U, it's all about structure: The four-year-old free school has survived partly because it's, um, well organized. From Harvard Magazine, an article on the science of happiness: Psychology explores humans at their best. A study has found that you are more likely to perform well if you do not think too hard and instead trust your instincts. Is the latest rush of guides to manners, mores and being a man – just in time for the new year self-improvement season – a sign of the ‘Oprahfication’ of publishing? A review of The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again). By taking a residency on the island where George Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four, Will Self senses he is being drawn to follow in the wake of a tragic literary antecedent. Learning to read: A reflection on the early joys of the written word. An “Oracle of Aqua”: Robert France is besotted by water, in its natural state and in human nature. And a purple patch on the spoilsport by Theodor Adorno
[Jan 9] From Japan Focus, an article on the Euro-American Psyche and the Imaging of Samoa in the Early 20th Century. From Smithsonian, Americans in Paris: In the late 19th century, the vibrant French capital attracted US artists from John Singer Sargent to Childe Hassam and Mary Cassatt, and an interview with Arthur Lubow on the Paris of today compared with the one that inspired Manet, Monet and Renoir; and architect Michelle Kaufmann believes she's found the key to designing prefabricated houses that are not only "green" but beautiful. From New York, Mr. Tendentious Norman Mailer has a bone to pick. With you. And you. And ...; and is this book worth getting? A no-frills buyer’s guide to the just-published fiction shelf. From The New Yorker, Mother Russia: Terrors old and new from Martin Amis; and Patricia Marx talks with Nancy Franklin about the Harvard Lampoon, SNL and Marx’s new novel. From California Literary Review, watchman, what of the night? The novel as a perpetually-remade form of high style and sophistication is, in our commerce, scarcely recognized, let alone understood. From The American Scholar, going native: When American literature became good enough for Americans, what happened to the literary canon?; and an article on Teaching the N-Word: A black professor, an all-white class, and the thing nobody will say. Historians, War, Responsibility: Professors vote for end to Iraq conflict, but AHA leaders call for rare poll of all members. Historicising the historians: Stefan Reinicke looks at the history of those who have told the history of the National Socialist era. A review of The German Way of War: From the Thirty Years' War to the Third Reich. A review of The Fire: The Bombing of Germany, 1940-1945. And a woman hopelessly devoted to Hitler: A review of Winifred Wagner: A Life at the Heart of Hitler's Bayreuth
[Jan 8] From The American Scholar, genome tome: Twenty-three ways of looking at our ancestors; and getting it all wrong: Bioculture critiques cultural critique. From Wired, untangling the mystery of the Inca: The ancient Andean empire built great cities but left no written records – except perhaps in mysterious knotted strings called khipu. Can an anthropologist and some mathematicians crack the code? A review of Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations. A review of The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, vol. 2: The Middle Ages. A review of The Anchor Book of Modern Arabic Fiction. A review of Dangerous Knowledge: Orientalism and its Discontents by Robert Irwin. From Sign and Sight, one fifth of the population of Chechnya has died in the war there. The West has played deaf. Studies Without Borders is the initiative of a few French students to bring Chechen students to Europe to study. A review of Over Here: How the G.I. Bill Transformed the American Dream. Now that rape charges have been dropped, some faculty members are expressing regret over what some saw as bias against their own students. From Inside Higher Ed, Sara Martinez Tucker, U.S. under secretary for education, discusses her new job, the Spellings commission and affirmative action; and a freewheeling academic freedom debate: Stanley Fish, Elena Kagan and others mull recent case studies and hypothetical situations in a law school context. Monographomania: From small colleges to major research universities, publish or perish is now the law of the land. I got an A in Phallus 101: The list of the 12 most bizarre college courses in the US includes offerings such as "The Phallus" and "Queer Musicology". Good Times 101: College students make a study of having fun. Montessori, now 100, goes mainstream: Once considered radical and elitist, method creeping into public schools. The Preteen, betwixt and bedeviled: The debate over how to educate young adolescents is about as stubborn and mercurial as a 13-year-old. Tutoring software that knows when students' are losing interest in a lesson and can adjust to keep them on track is being tested by researchers. How to Speak a Book: The speech-recognition software the author uses to write is remarkably precise, far more accurate than most typists. Unlike onscreen e-books, which never quite caught on, downloadable audiobooks have taken off, driven by the explosive popularity of the iPod. Independent bookstores have been under siege for decades. Now the battle is reaching some of the last redoubts, like Micawber Books, a 26-year-old independent bookstore. And a look at how book clubs evolve as page-turners
[Weekend] Potpourri: From Cogito, an interview with Martha Nussbaum on philosophy's influence in public life, the future of political liberalism, and radical feminism. Michael Barone remembers Seymour Martin Lipset, exceptional American, and an old Lipset essay on the problem with class in America on TNR. A review of Utopian Dreams: A Search For a Better Life by Tobias Jones (and more and more). The introduction to Double Vision: Moral Philosophy and Shakespearean Drama. Poets and novelists have often tried to describe happiness. Andrew Oswald has found a way of counting it. A review of Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind by Peter D. Kramer. Why a little mess is good for you: A review of A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder. Two Strategies for Avoiding Truth: Elites and the masses both have strategies for avoiding the truth. An interview with Ophelia Benson on Butterflies & Wheels. Lucy Eyre's If Minds Had Toes is a clever and funny book shows young adults how philosophy can change their lives for the better. Crying Censorship: Shocking the bourgeoisie--it's nice work if you can get it. As a Wal-Mart heiress buys up American masterpieces for her Bentonville art museum, New York and Philadelphia claim that some paintings are off limits. Are these cities protecting their cultural heritage -- or just being snobs? A review of Point to Point Navigation: A Memoir by Gore Vidal. And a review of Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties
[Jan 5] From Sign and Sight, farewell to spice and curry: Claudia Kramatschek introduces a new generation of Indian writers, a far cry from the senior cultural ambassadors of yesteryear; and modern and mythless: Zafer Senocak looks at the mythological vacuum in a Turkey that remains divorced from its past. The Paris Review Interviews, I, which contains 16 extensive interviews with writers taken over the last 50 years, is a series of excursions, alternately purposeful and capricious, complete with side trips. Jonathan Yardley on The Great Gatsby, the greatest of them all. To have and have not: From Bogart and Bacall to Brad and Angelina, Hollywood relationships have always reflected the romantic values to which we aspire. Books that read women: The feminine punditry genre is supposed to tell us about ourselves, but does that mean we're all the same? A review of Men: evolutionary and life history. Receiver of wisdom: Meets James Flynn, the unassuming moral philosopher who reshaped our understanding of IQ. It is a terrible thing for an academic to have to admit, but journalists do a much better job of educating the public than we do. And why you should learn algebra: Those who complain about its impracticality ignore that math teaches the mind how to think
[Jan 4] From Essays in Philosophy, José Medina (Vanderbilt): How to Undo Things with Words: Infelicitous Practices and Infelicitous Agents; Adèle Mercier (Queen's): Meaning and Necessity: Can Semantics Stop Same-Sex Marriage?; Matthew Crippen (York): The Totalitarianism of Therapeutic Philosophy: Reading Wittgenstein Through Critical Theory; and Elvis Buckwalter (Paris III): Lacan: An Adapted Approach to Postmodern Language. From Daedalus, a special issue on Identity, including Ian Hacking (College de France): Genetics, biosocial groups & the future of identity; Akeel Bilgrami (Columbia): Notes toward the definition of 'identity'; Glenn Altschuler (Cornell): The convictions of Peter Debye; Kwame Anthony Appiah (Princeton): The politics of identity; David Hollinger (UC-Berkeley): From identity to solidarity; Courtney Jung (New School): Why liberals should value 'identity politics'; Sydney Shoemaker (Cornell): Identity & identities; Carol Many Rovane (Columbia): Why do individuals matter?; Wendy Doniger (Chicago): Many masks, many selves; and Todd Feinberg (AECM): Our brains, our selves. A review of The Philosophy of Need. A review of Alex Callinicos' Making History: Agency, Structure, and Change in Social Theory. From New Scientist, could there be forbidden sequences in the genome - ones so harmful that they are not compatible with life? One group of researchers thinks so; and research suggests the collapse of civilisations is linked to monsoon changes. Archaeologist Clemens Reichel finds traces of "humanity's first war" in Syria. From NBER, why do women outnumber men in college? From City Journal, an article on CUNY’s virtuous circle: Donors reward a return to high standards. From Inside Higher Ed, new strategy for small Ph.D. programs: German doctoral programs at Chapel Hill and Duke hope to merge; experts see model that could be applied to many disciplines; and friends and colleagues: Just how close should we be with those with whom we work? Zionist Vs. Zionist: Controversy breaks out within the Israel on Campus Coalition. And an obituary: Seymour Martin Lipset
[Jan 3] Matthew Iredale (UCL): Towards a Scientific Conception of Free Will (PhD Thesis). Free will, now you have it, now you don’t: Experiments suggest that the conscious choice is an illusion, but some philosophers and physicists choose to disagree. A review of Dark Ages: The Case for a Science of Human Behavior. How the brain "sees" the future: Whether imagining the future or recalling the past, the human mind calls on the same brain regions. Put your mind to it: Research shows that mental exercises can boost brainpower, just as physical workouts can make a body more fit, and a look at when the brain stalls at disjunction junction. A review of The Evolutionary Mind: Conversations on Science, Imagination and Spirit. Simulating Evolution in a Computer Game: Will Wright, the inventor of the bestselling computer games SimCity and The Sims, is working on a game unlike anything virtual-reality aficionados have seen before -- a simulation of nothing less than the history of life on earth, from the first single-cell organism to space travelers. From Esquire, never fight bigger boys or dogs: James Watson on what he's learned. Unraveling your DNA's secrets: Do-it-yourself genetic tests promise to reveal your risk of coming down with a disease. But do they really deliver? Ronald Numbers -- a former Seventh-day Adventist and author of the definitive history of creationism -- discusses his break with the church, whether creationists are less intelligent and why Galileo wasn't really a martyr. Putting God in His Place: New Jersey student-warrior for the constitution Matthew LaClair gets a death threat. Stop all the clocks: Julian Baggini on the tyranny of time. From Inside Higher Ed, against phalloblogocentrism: A panel at MLA discusses academic blogging and the “old boys’ network”, and marked the end of one prominent blogger’s prolific career online. Scott McLemee reports from the digital “parlor.” Blogging, the nihilist impulse: Media theorist and Internet activist Geert Lovink formulates a theory of weblogs that goes beyond the usual rhetoric of citizens' journalism. Our new friend, the English language: Facebook's constant chatter is building a generation of surprisingly thoughtful writers. Pessimism about distance learning: A review of Hubert Dreyfus' On the Internet. New debate series, Intelligence Squared, addresses pressing questions of the day. Libraries for the Internet Age: These centers of wisdom are not just about books anymore. They're diversifying, and designers are focusing on their social role. A machine that electronically stores 2.5 million books that can then be printed and bound in less than seven minutes is to be launched early next year. Software that generates a list of reading material tailored to a person's individual interests has been developed by Alexander Wissner-Gross, a physics student at Harvard. And an article on the uneasy relationship between money and morals in book publishing
[Jan 2] Here's the Edge Annual Question 2007: What are you optimistic about? Why?, with contributions from Robert Trivers, Nathan Myrhvold, Martin Rees, Nicholas Humphrey, Helen Fisher, Douglas Rushkoff, Ray Kurzweil, Jared Diamond, Nassim Taleb, Rebecca Goldstein, Steven Pinker, Marc D. Hauser, Howard Gardner, Daniel Goleman, Sue Blackmore, and Daniel C. Dennett, and more on how thinkers see the future. The unselfish gene: The human paradox is that it may have been our propensity to murderous violence that caused us to evolve altruism. From Essays in Philosophy, a review of The Spirituality Revolution: The Emergence of Contemporary Spirituality; and a review of The Death of God and the Meaning of Life. A review of The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus. A review of A Royal Affair: George III and his Scandalous Siblings. A review of Madison’s Managers: Public Administration and the Constitution. A review of National and Regional Parliaments in the European Constitutional Order. From Economic Principals, a look at The Year in Economics. From The Boston Globe's "Ideas", slush life: A new online project aims to reinvent the writers' workshop and circumvent the slush pile -- changing the way new fiction gets published; this one goes out...: Tonight, in karaoke bars around the world, something more profound than you might realize will be happening; and in the contemporary art world, the most influential artist of the last century seems to have disappeared. What has become of Picasso's influence today? And Hollywood enjoys nothing better than a nasty legal battle, which is what may happen if book publisher Judith Regan proceeds with a lawsuit her lawyers have threatened against the News Corporation
[Jan 1] Ethan Leib (UC-Hastings): The Perpetual Anxiety of Living Constitutionalism. A review of Orwell in Tribune, compiled and edited by Paul Anderson. The year in Ideas: Feed your head with the best big, bad, bold ideas. A look at how anti-intellectual arguments against anti-intellectualism are always such fun! From Inkling, Canada’s very first female professor tells it like it was: An interview with Ursula Franklin; even if you don’t know it, your brain clocks things like naked ladies and muggers at breakneck speed; and a look at how the pheromones produced by biological fathers may influence a girl's sexual maturity. A review of Sperm Competition in Humans: Classic and Contemporary Readings pdf. From The Hudson Review, Joseph Epstein on My Brother Eli and Dean Flower on Justice to Edmund Wilson pdf. A review of American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau: Their Lives, Their Loves, Their Work. From The Claremont Institute, an essay on why the GOP is flunking higher education. And from The Weekly Standard, an article on BCS Reform: It's easier than you think; and The Beauty of the BCS: It's not perfect, but it has something for everybody