Nythamar de Oliveira (PUCRS): Rawls’s normative conception of the person: A Kantian reinterpretation. A review of Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy by John Rawls. Robert Nozick and the immaculate conception of the state: An excerpt from Murray Rothbard's The Ethics of Liberty. A review of Michael Oakeshott on Religion, Aesthetics, and Politics by Elizabeth Campbell Corey. From Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Alan Gross (Minnesota): Habermas, Systematically Distorted Communication, and the Public Sphere. "And to define America, her athletic democracy": Jurgen Habermas on the philosopher and the language shaper, in memory of Richard Rorty. "I’m bringing more people to philosophy": Simon Blackburn has strong views on politics and religion. One of most relevant thinkers you’ve never heard of: A review of The Life and Thought of Hans Jonas: Jewish Dimensions by Christian Wiese. A challenge for philosophy: Penn's Anita Allen is at the top of her field, but she has serious concerns about its lack of openness and diversity.
A new issue of The New York Times' "Play Magazine" is out. Michael Lewis on baseball’s losing formula: There are a variety of ways to drum up fan interest, from free-hat days at the park to post-game fireworks, but the best way is to field a competitive team. A review of I Dream in Blue: Life, Death, and the New York Giants by Roger Director and The Blueprint: How the New England Patriots Beat the System to Create the Last Great NFL Superpower by Christopher Price. A study of former high-school American football players has found that more than a third said they had had sexual relations with other men. A look at the world's most ridiculous sports team names. Sequins & Scandals: Why figure skating's popularity is in freefall — and no, it ain't just the costumes. London's Olympic venue has been unveiled with much fanfare, but what do national stadiums really say about the countries they are in?
From Vanity Fair, William Langewiesche on The Mega-Bunker of Baghdad: The new U.S. Embassy in Iraq may be fortified to the teeth and lavished with all the amenities, but it sure isn’t built for diplomacy. From Salon, an article on the Battle of the Bushes; how George Bush really found Jesus; how Cheney took control of Bush's foreign policy: Excerpts from The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America's Future by Craig Unger. How Bush saved Iran’s neocons: Not long ago, Tehran’s hardliners were just one faction among many. But a series of diplomatic blunders by the Bush administration has put these guardians of Iran’s Islamic Revolution in the driver’s seat—and made war much more likely. Pervez W. Busharraf: The language Musharraf uses to justify his state of emergency seems lifted from Republican talking points. Can Pervez Musharraf hang tough in Islamabad? An interview with Najam Sethi, editor of Pakistan's Daily Times. Jazz, Rock 'n' Roll, and Diplomacy: Can American culture make Muslims love us? The Revolt of the Comic Books: America's superheroes take on preemptive war, torture, warrantless spying, and George W. himself.
From New Statesman, a cover story on how to stop climate change, the easy way: Changing your light bulbs may not be enough to save a single polar bear, but there are things we can do collectively - and easily - that will really make a measurable difference in the battle against global warming. A review of The Onion's reference book, Our Dumb World: Atlas of the Planet Earth, 73rd Edition. A review of The Geography of Hope: A Tour of the World We Need by Chris Turner. From Plenty, Travis Price's The Archaeology of Tomorrow: Architecture & the Spirit of Place makes a case for restoring the green building movement to its spiritual and aesthetic center. But will his ideas take hold? Alain de Botton on Remembrance of Things Built. A review of The World in a City: Traveling the Globe Through the Neighborhoods of the New New York by Joseph Berger. A review of Renewable City: A Comprehensive Guide to an Urban Revolution by Peter Droege. Call it New Urbanism, but it's still the oldest way there is to make a city neighborhood. From The New Yorker, is there any hope for the automobile? Elizabeth Kolbert reviews Zoom: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future by Iain Carson. Life in the Slow Lane: An article on the potential of a toll booth-free America. An article on why students, schools, and governments should care about mass transit. Oversized and overhyped, the world's biggest plane is here. Is the Airbus 380 the "most hideous airliner ever conceived"?
From The Nation, a review of My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir by Clarence Thomas; Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas by Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher; and The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin. From The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin reviews My Grandfather's Son. From Flak, an article on John Roberts and the Supreme Strike Zone; and a look at the unmitigated gall of John Roberts. Who are the bench's judicial activists? Looking at the Supreme Court justices' voting records, the lines between activism and restraint may surprise you. A review of The Supreme Court in the American Legal System by Jeffrey A. Segal, Harold J. Spaeth, and Sara C. Benesh. A review of Law Lit: From Atticus Finch to The Practice: A Collection of Great Writing About the Law.
Slavoj Zizek (Ljubljana): From Che vuoi? to Fantasy: Lacan with Eyes Wide Shut. From The New York Times Magazine, a special issue on How the Western Was Won. Hollywood, year zero: Now that the internet brings us uncensored footage of the Iraq War, film-makers must move quickly to stay relevant. Whose cultural identity is it, anyway? TV producer Phil Redmond on the role of a nation’s cultural institutions. From Vanity Fair, Showdown at Fort Sumner: Two years after Paramount purchased DreamWorks, Hollywood is transfixed by one of the nastiest breakups ever. As Sumner Redstone and David Geffen went to war (over Steven Spielberg?), the author got it from both sides. A review of Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would Be King by Foster Hirsch (and more). Fasten your seatbelts: A review of Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis by Ed Sikov (and more and more). 90% smart, 10% silly: Arriving at a successful formula for screen spoofery is an art form — meet Jake Kasdan, the man who cooked up the legend of "Dewey Cox".
From Reason, an interview with Matt Taibbi, author of Smells Like Dead Elephants: Dispatches from a Rotting Empire. See How They Ran: Richard Ben Cramer wrote not just the most ambitious of the great campaign books, but perhaps the last. Mass media, the communications technology that became supreme in the 20th century, has ruined political debates — but technology could save them. From TNR, a look at why any effort to reform the primary process is doomed. A real popularity contest: As we gear up for a major national election, there's a renewed momentum in the states to circumvent the Electoral College by switching to a popular vote. From National Journal, for the presidential contenders trying to manage a successful campaign while serving in Congress, life on the Hill can be a real drag — but duty calls. Primary Pain: James MacGregor Burns and Susan Dunn on how to win elections, FDR style: Clinton's campaign is too broad and vague, say critics, but that's how Roosevelt ran. Hillary plays the winning gender card: Male politicians have always cast themselves as rescuers to women. Clinton's also playing a rescuer — but as a feminist. Here are the rules for female candidates and male candidates. The Republican candidates' female staffers seem more concerned with one particular woman — Hillary Clinton — than with the American woman voter. It's hard to imagine them closing their gender gap any time soon. From Time, Rich Lowry on The World of Hillary Hatred. From The Weekly Standard, an article on The Real Obama: Missing in action. From The Atlantic Monthly, Is Iraq Vietnam? Who really won in 2000? Which side are you on in the culture wars? These questions have divided the Baby Boomers and distorted our politics. One candidate could transcend them (and an interview with Andrew Sullivan on supporting Barack Obama, becoming a blogger, and why he's not afraid to change his mind).
From Cafe Babel, bad university! Overworked professors, lack of space, prostitution to finance studies: A review of the worst of Europe's universities. From Zenit, getting a Master's in Bethlehem isn't easy. From The Wall Street Journal, a look at how business students from abroad are learning to talk the talk. Instruction for a future MBA in the art of networking: That sound? The last gasp of your ethics. From Campus Progress, a look at why graduation doesn’t mean you have to sell your soul to work for a corporate empire. From The Weekly Standard, death by political correctness: Who killed Antioch College? Swanee Hunt, the head of the women and public policy program at Harvard's Kennedy School, is rallying female millionaires to support women's causes worldwide. DNA of the KKK: A Nobel laureate's comments about black inferiority speak volumes about racism in American academia. From The Chronicle, no matter how much their work is praised, many academics feel they have not earned the recognition. They suffer from "impostor syndrome". Who's the hottest teacher in the US? A poll of the best university and college teachers in the US maybe completely unreliable, but it does raise some awkward questions. From Cracked, a look at YouTube's 7 scariest teachers.
A review of Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism by James Piereson. A review of The Liberals' Moment: The McGovern Insurgency and the Identity Crisis of the Democratic Party by Bruce Miroff (and more). A review of Write It When I'm Gone: Remarkable Off-the-Record Conversations With Gerald R. Ford. A review of Beyond the White House: Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope by Jimmy Carter. An interview with Charlie Savage, author of Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy. David Gordon reviews A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency by Glenn Greenwald. Joseph Stiglitz on The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush: The next president will have to deal with yet another crippling legacy of George W. Bush: the economy — a Nobel laureate sees a generation-long struggle to recoup. A review of The Second Civil War: How Extreme Partisanship Has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America by Ronald Brownstein. From Vanity Fair, the grand hostesses are history, the president would rather be in bed, and there’s a price tag on every evening these days. Who killed Washington society?
From The New York Times, a look at a towering writer with matching ego, and more by Michiko Kakutani. From The New York Post, more on the literary pug and original hipster. From The Washington Post, more on the blustery force in life and letters. From The Los Angeles Times, more on the provocative, prolific novelist and essayist. From The Guardian, more on the pugilist who wrote the story of America. From Sunday Herald, an appreciation by Alan Taylor. From Salon, here are remembrances by Marlon Brando, Liz Smith, Irving Howe, Diana Trilling, Edward Abbey, Germaine Greer and other notables; and this entry from The Salon.com Reader's Guide to Contemporary Authors takes us on a tour of Mailer's best, his worst and his bravest. From Slate, Christopher Hitchens on Norman Mailer: Remembering the pint-size Jewish fireplug. From Time, a look at why Mailer mattered. From BBC, a look at Mailer's life in pictures. From National Post, Robert Fulford on the failed career of Norman Mailer. [In the Feb/Mar 2007 issue of Bookforum, Mary V. Dearborn, author of Mailer: A Biography, reviewed The Castle in the Forest.]