A new issue of The Global Spiral is out. From The Observer, how far have we come in 80 years? Post-feminist backlash — or new dawn for equal rights?; and Barbie turns 50 next year: Should women be celebrating this anniversary — or turning their backs in disgust on one of the world's most popular dolls? A review of Night's Black Agents: Witches, Wizards and the Dead in the Ancient World by Daniel Ogden. Running the Government Printing Office (GPO) might not seem like it would attract the most adventurous of spirits, but in 35-year-old Maria Lefevre, GPO has a chief of staff who’s an adrenaline freak. A review of The Great Inflation and its Aftermath: The Past and Future of American Affluence by Robert J. Samuelson. A review of In Search of Bill Clinton: A Psychological Biography by John Gartner. A review of Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong: Reopening the Case of the Hound of the Baskervilles by Pierre Bayard. Dog unto others: Canines have sense of fairness. A review of The Overflowing Brain: Information Overload and the Limits of Working Memory by Torkel Klingberg. A review of The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In by Hugh Kennedy and God’s Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570 to 1215 by David Levering Lewis. College for the few: More on Real Education by Charles Murray.
At the beginning of the century, the chances of socialism making a return looked close to zero; yet now, all around Europe, the red flag is flying again. From The Texas Observer, a review of The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes by Bryan Burrough; and a review of Guilty: Hollywood's Verdict on Arabs after 9/11 by Jack G. Shaheen. A review of 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die by Tom Moon. A review of The Price of Truth: How Money Affects the Norms of Science by David B. Resnick. Laurie Frendich doesn’t see any value in agonizing over the morality of hooking up. From American Diplomacy, an article on defining terrorism: It shouldn’t be confused with insurgency. An excerpt from Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918 by Jeffrey B. Perry. A review of Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity by Talal Asad. A review of From Colony to Superpower. U.S. Foreign Relations since 1776 by George C. Herring. The Remedist: Why John Maynard Keynes is the man of the year. Climate Change, now what? A big beat grows more challenging and complex. More and more and more and more on The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits by Les Standiford. A review of Rights by Duncan Ivison.
Jane Junn (Rutgers) and Natalie Masuoka (Tufts): Asian American Identity: Shared Racial Status and Political Context. A review of Worlds before Adam: The Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Reform by Martin Rudwick. A review of Green, Inc.: An Environmental Insider Reveals How a Good Cause Has Gone Bad by Christine MacDonald. A review of Bush v. Gore: Exposing the Hidden Crisis in American Democracy by Charles L. Zelden. A review of The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America by James Bamford. Is a government that ignores the sentiment of its people what the Founding Fathers had in mind? In a word, yes. Stylish restaurants are notoriously noisy, which is all well and good unless you find your dining partner interesting; David Jenkins investigates the aesthetics of buzz in the dining room. Get Lattes for David Remnick: Culture11's guide to getting a job in the media. An article on the fine art of literary rejection letters. Tailgating, violence, cheerleaders: Actually, NFL football is the most cerebral of sports. From Logos, epistemic convenience: An interview with Steve Fuller; and a review of J. D. Bernal: The Sage of Science by Andrew Brown. From The Hindu, historian of science Arthur I. Miller on his book about Nobel Laureate S. Chandrasekhar and the idea of creativity in science.
From Foreign Affairs, Walter Russell Mead on Change They Can Believe In: To Make Israel Safe, Give Palestinians Their Due; a review of Innocent Abroad: An Intimate History of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East by Martin Indyk; Roger Altman on The Great Crash, 2008: A Geopolitical Setback for the West; and a review of Fixing Global Finance by Martin Wolf. The introduction to The Crisis of American Foreign Policy: Wilsonianism in the Twenty-first Century by G. John Ikenberry, Thomas J. Knock, Anne-Marie Slaughter and Tony Smith. From Michigan War Studies Review, the 2008 George C. Marshall Lecture in Military History: "History, and the History of War" by John Shy. The first chapter from Thinking of Others: On the Talent for Metaphor by Ted Cohen. How Jewish is Hollywood? A poll finds more Americans disagree with the statement that "Jews control Hollywood", but here's one Jew who doesn't. A review of Fugitive Days: Memoirs of an Antiwar Activist by Bill Ayers. The Time of the Book: The chain bookstore, the bloated publishing house, and the specific corporate way of publishing are in peril. At magazines, it's 2.0 steps forward, 1.0 step back: The Web may be the future for magazine publishing, but in the present, ready revenue is winning out and Web writers are getting laid off left and right.
From Dissent, an essay on interrogating the Great Depression. From Big Think, Paul Krugman on the return of depression economics (and a review). Madison Powers on the return of the Wall Street Democrats. The trouble with Starbucks: As Howard Schultz nears his goal to make the coffee chain the world’s most recognised brand, he faces a dilemma. A review of Arthur Miller by Christopher Bigsby. Josh Strawn writes in defense of Zizek. From HNN, should Obama lead from the center or not? A debate. The War Dividend: Will the Pentagon lock the Obama administration into ever-escalating military budgets? Jon Favreau, Obama's chief speechwriter, works on inaugural address while making his own transition. Terry Eagleton on Milton's republic: Our great dissident poet did more than just hymn the praises of revolt. Milton the poet was a bore and a prig, but on liberty he was majestic. James Frey is moving on from his drugs and booze-soaked memoirs to write the third book of the Bible. In the first of a remarkable series of video interviews, Britain's leading green commentator, George Monbiot, charges Yvo de Boer, the UN's leading climate change official, with lacking ambition for a global emissions deal; and more with International Energy Authority's chief economist Fatih Birol. The sex blogger's sex blogger: Fleshbot's Lux Alptraum believes quality porn will survive the Internet free-for-all.
From Folio, a look at How to Get Out of the Traffic Ghetto: Magazine publishers will try anything to ramp up page views. From FLYP, Brewster Kahle wants to give you digital access to every book, film, video, song, TV show and periodical ever published; if he succeeds, the world will be a different place; and color can lift our spirits and put us in a buying mood — or so marketers hope; the top color consultants are doing their best to revive the economy and the nation’s mood. Here's a Field Guide to Financial Scams: Ponzis, pyramids, and bucket shops. From Archeology, forensic archaeologists uncover evidence of a secret massacre — and help convict Saddam Hussein of crimes against humanity; and Paleolithic pastime: An interview with Celine Rainville, captain of the Hurling Ravens, on the new sport of ancient spear-throwing. From Culture11, Malcolm Gladwell is praised and panned. Not just a comedian anymore: An article on Tommy Chong, the unanticipated warrior. What I've learned: Here is wisdom and damn good advice from hundreds of headliners. Web 3.0: What's next after what's next. From Foreign Policy, here are the top 10 stories you missed in 2008; and an interview with Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper on how to kick pirate booty (and more). Pin-striped pirates: Why does the UK retain a handful of colonies? To destroy the world’s taxation systems.
From Adbusters, the growth economy is failing and we have to attempt a steady-state economy, and more on economist Herman Daly. From Britney to Barney, any music can drive you mad if it's played enough — and unlike with physical torture, you can't mentally prepare yourself. Michael Tomasky explains how Milan Kundera's The Joke changed his view of politics. Jack Shafer on what's killing newspapers — the same thing that killed the slide rule; and Peter Osnos on how to save newspapers. Who will mourn local newspapers? From Culture11, beauty or bust: An article on the case against breast implants. Does sex addiction have any basis in science? First Things remembers Avery Cardinal Dulles. From Cracked, here are 7 bullshit rumors that caused real world catastrophes; and here are 6 insane discoveries that science can't explain. From The Daily Beast, Renata Espinosa on the new fashion porn; and an interview with Perez Hilton on Red Carpet Suicide: A Survival Guide on Keeping Up With the Hiltons (and more on how to wreck a home). If aliens decided to destroy humanity, could we blame them? Here's the five obscure bowl games every pro fan should watch. From Esquire, an article on Joshua Prince-Ramus, the young savior of American architecture burying Frank Gehry. Literary band names: What are the bookish bands just begging to come into existence?
From The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, a special issue free online on The Moynihan Report Revisited: Lessons and Reflections after Four Decades. More on Philosophy and Real Politics by Raymond Geuss. From TAS, a review of The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. From First Principles, a longer and deeper view of our cultural divide shows conservatives to be those Americans who take the side of religion and morality against intellectual liberationism; and a review of The Way We Argue Now: A Study in the Cultures of Theory by Amanda Anderson. Politics and poor English: Harvard’s plans to restructure its literature course reveal a confusion about what a college English department is supposed to do. From Campus Progress, an article on the death of intellectual conservatism. Yale brought me to conservatism: How Nicola Karras learned to stop worrying and love the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. From Counterpunch, left control of academia? An article on the case of William Felkner. A look at the 4 craziest right wing fears about Obama. An article on Obama’s cabinet: A diverse center-left team, picked quickly. A review of To Serve the President: Continuity and Innovation in the White House Staff by Bradley H. Patterson. John Bicknell writes in defense of dynasties. Andrew Keen writes in defense of sleazy lobbyists.
From The New York Times Magazine, here's the 8th Annual Year in Ideas issue. From Time, a special report on Barack Obama as Person of the Year. Nobody here but us post-partisans: Does it matter if Barack Obama doesn't call his policies progressive? He's black, get over it: We may not have chosen to be a hybrid people, anymore than we chose to come here in the first place, but that's what we are now. Witness the caganer, or "shitter" in Catalan: You're going to want to sit down for this. The tyranny of the to-read pile: Advice to beat the credit crunch by reading those books you own but never read isn't as straightforward as it sound. The first chapter from Disarmed: The Missing Movement for Gun Control in America by Kristin A. Goss. Bill Moyers interviews Salon's Glenn Greenwald. Headache and indigestion — is your bra to blame? Can a Kimbo Slice protege become a ghetto superstar? Whatever the outcome, Dhafir Harris does it with no fear. What kind of relationship will the Obama White House have with the media? A lot will depend on Robert Gibbs. Don't hold your breath for that unemployment check. For someone who inadvertently triggered a clash of civilizations, Flemming Rose doesn’t look much like a provocateur. A review of The Seduction of Common Sense: How the Right Has Framed the Debate on America’s Schools by Kevin K. Kumashiro.
From Scientific American, a special issue of the evolution of evolution, including a look at why everyone should learn the theory of evolution and put evolution to use in the everyday world; an article on the evolution of the mind: 4 fallacies of psychology; the human pedigree: A timeline of hominid evolution; and a look at the Future of Man: How will evolution change humans? Why music? Biologists are addressing one of humanity’s strangest attributes, its all-singing, all-dancing culture. Consider the Philosopher: An article on the early metaphysical investigations of David Foster Wallace. Which state is the most crooked — Illinois or Louisiana? Why has Illinois always been so corrupt? In a word: adaptability. Leaving literature behind: The professionalization of the field is turning students off. Marc Ambinder on the once and future Democratic Party. An interview with Michael Chabon on The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (and a review at Bookforum). From The American Interest, Niall Ferguson on what “Chimerica” hath wrought. From Dissent, Kirill Medvedev on The Writer in Russia. From InsideCatholic.com, David R. Carlin on liberal Protestantism and liberal Catholicism; and Danielle Ben on glamour moms. Here's a message for sex educators: Sex is not dirty. An interview with Aviad Kleinberg, author of Seven Deadly Sins: A Very Partial List.