From the IMF's Finance & Development, a special issue on the financial crisis, including Olivier Blanchard (IMF): Cracks in the System: Repairing the Damaged Global Economy; Noel Sacasa (IMF): Preventing Future Crises: Priorities for Regulatory Reform after the Meltdown; an article on the crisis through the lens of history; here's a view from Japan; and a look at how recessions accompanied by credit crunches or asset price busts are deeper and longer lasting. Brad DeLong reviews Panic! The Story of Modern Financial Insanity. Ezra Klein reviews The Private Abuse of the Public Interest: Market Myths and Policy Muddles by Lawrence D. Brown and Lawrence R. Jacobs and The Case for Big Government by Jeff Madrick. A review of Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life by John Bogle. The End of the End of the Revolution: Fidel Castro’s Cuba has been dying for years — what can be done to help bring the island into the 21st century? Carlin Romano describes an American scholar's defense of the vigor and cosmopolitan modernity of Scandinavian culture. A review of Experimental Philosophy. From The Philosophers' Magazine, a review of The Ethics of Climate Change by James Garvey; a piece of iMe: An interview with David Chalmers; and why did philosophers come together in a world congress for a whole week? (and more and more)
From TAP, is the Labor Party of Israel on the verge of becoming history? With elections set for Feb. 10, polls show the party fading away; and are cows worse than cars? Everyone knows driving an SUV or leaving the lights on is bad for the earth, but what's on your plate is just as important. From Slate V, here's Obama's first month in two minutes. A look at how "political archaeologists" are finding surprises during the transition. Only in America? The wrongheaded American belief that Barack Obama could only happen here. Marc Ambinder on the Republican Lockbox. Slogans we’ll remember: An excerpt from Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too: Famous Slogans and Catchphrases in American History by Jan R. Van Meter. How do we learn math? Keith Devlin investigates. A review of Unbecoming Subjects: Judith Butler, Moral Philosophy, and Critical Responsibility by Annika Thiem. Beethoven and the Illuminati: How the secret order influenced the great composer. After a brutal financial Autumn, some boomers are mourning the loss of a golden retirement. It's official: Men really are the weaker sex. All you need is a keyboard and a few good ideas — inside the influential new world of econobloggers. We’ve all heard about dumbing down, but there is evidence that the opposite is also true — is this, in fact, the age of mass intelligence? A look at the fine art of literary rejection letters.
A new issue of Democratiya is out. From Culture, a special issue on Good and Evil, including Amy Gilbert (Virginia): Vigilance and Virtue: In Search of Practical Wisdom. From The Hedgehog Review, a review of Russell J. Dalton’s The Good Citizen: How a Younger Generation Is Reshaping American Politics, a review of Jason A. Scorza’s Strong Liberalism: Habits of Mind for Democratic Citizenship, and a review of Craig Calhoun’s Nations Matter: Culture, History, and the Cosmopolitan Dream. The European Left and Ours: Peter Berkowitz on Bernard-Henri Levy, on point and off. Feel you have no real culture? Join the club. From Education Review, a review essay on educational transformation. The truth about hypocrisy: Charges of hypocrisy can be surprisingly irrelevant and often distract us from more important concerns. Too big not to fail: Eliot Spitzer on why we need to stop using the bailouts to rebuild gigantic financial institutions. A review of The Art of the Public Grovel: Sexual Sin and Public Confession in America by Susan Wise Bauer. America is not declining: Demographic and economic trends suggest that the age of American dominance won’t end anytime soon. An excerpt from All the Art That's Fit to Print (And Some That Wasn't): Inside The New York Times Op-Ed Page by Jerelle Kraus. From Time, here's the Top 10 Everything of 2008.
From Newsweek, luxury shame: Why even the very rich are cutting back on conspicuous consumption. From Vanity Fair, with Wall Street hemorrhaging jobs and assets, even many of the wealthiest players are retrenching; and behind the debate over remaking financial policy will be a debate over who’s to blame — it’s crucial to get the history right. From Policy Review, an article on the 2008 Democratic Shift: How voters have changed and why; progressive dreams: A review of When the White House Was Ours by Porter Shreve; and a review of Ending Poverty by Joseph V. Kennedy. Will Obama continue to build the Democratic Party organization? Should liberals be disappointed in Obama so far? Absurd, they should be thrilled. Peter Daou on the Revolution of the Online Commentariat. Newspapers are done for: Andrew Sullivan on how print media are in dire trouble, but blogs are no substitute. Content and Its Discontents: Why new forms of media must evolve along with new technologies. How blogs give non-fiction books happy endings. Judge a book by its cover: Publishers should think artistically when packaging novels. How do we track trends in amorphous quantities, such as the usage rate of a certain literary device or sensibility? In a final bizarre twist in the story of the supreme Gonzo journalist, his widow offers new insights into his life, death and legacy.
From History Today, globalization in the making: Neil Cossons describes how factory methods gave rise to a worldwide marketplace; Jean-Francois Mouhot traces a link between climate change and slavery; and one of the most popular ways in which to view the history of the modern world is through the prism of colonialism. The primacy of perception in the era of communication: An essay on Maurice Merleau-Ponty. From Fast Company, an interview with Sims creator Will Wright on what's wrong with Grand Theft Auto, the dearth of women in gaming, and the value of his empire; and mountains of cash, beautiful women, and a nonstop round-the-world party; life was good for Calvin Ayre, founder of the online gambling powerhouse Bodog — then he was gone. A review of On Life After Death by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. A review of Concrete Reveries: Consciousness and the City by Mark Kingwell (and more). No, really, that wasn't me: Danit Brown on three dangers of writing about sex. Thoreau's worst nightmare: Are the new ascetics masters of self-denial or just self-promotion? Abortion, the moral stalemate: How do we come to policy decisions about issues that stir people’s most elemental emotions? Paul Gottfried on the decline and rise of the alternative Right. Here are 11 stamp stories worth retelling. An excerpt from Txtng: The Gr8 Db8 by David Crystal.
From Bitch, an article on the ambition condition: Women, writing, and the problem of success; multiply and conquer: How to have 17 children and still believe in Jesus; factory girl: Dora the Explorer and the dirty secrets of the global industrial economy; an article on deconstructing bunk reporting in 5 easy steps; paging through feminism’s lost & found classics; and are eating disorders the Lavender Menace of the fat acceptance movement? From The Futurist, an article on the 21st-century writer; here are ten forecasts for 2009 and beyond; a review of The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability by James Gustave Speth; a review of The Coming Convergence: The Surprising Ways Diverse Technologies Interact to Shape Our World and Change the Future by Stanley Schmidt; and a review of Technology’s Promise: Expert Knowledge on the Transformation of Business and Society by William E. Halal. A review of The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America by Robert Scheer. How should Obama use his millions of online supporters now that he's won? George Packer on the lessons of Mumbai. From Entelechy, Simon Baron-Cohen on the biology of the imagination. A look at how unconscious mechanisms affect thought.
From Vanity Fair, an article on the complex connections — political, intellectual, and romantic — behind the ineffably stylish world of Pat and Bill Buckley; and the Man in the Rockefeller Suit: By snatching his seven-year-old daughter from her mother’s custody, after a bitter divorce, the man calling himself Clark Rockefeller blew the lid off a lifelong con game which had culminated with his posing as a scion of the famous dynasty. From UN Dispatch, Susan Rice on the root causes of conflict. Are we really ready for life without American cars? Chris Hedges on confronting the terrorist within. From The Exiled, the real junk is inside National Geographic: Why drug addiction isn’t that bad. When Richard Cheney exits his undisclosed location next month, he will probably be the last major figure in American life to answer to the name "Dick". A review of Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population by Matthew Connelly and Conceiving Parenthood: American Protestantism and the Spirit of Reproduction by Amy Laura Hall. A review of The Hollow Hope: Can Courts Bring About Social Change? by Gerald N. Rosenberg. A review of Lewis Carroll in Numberland: His Fantastical Mathematical Logical Life by Robin Wilson. More on The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies by Bert Holldobler and E.O. Wilson (and an excerpt).
From The New Yorker, how do we hire when we can’t tell who’s right for the job? Malcolm Gladwell investigates (and more on Outliers); and team of brainiacs: Lauren Collins on a bad week for the Ivy League. From New York, short-seller Jim Chanos, whose hedge fund is up 50 percent, is having the time of his life; and more women are drinking, and the women who drink are drinking more, in some cases matching their male peers — this is the kind of equality nobody was fighting for; and who will bail out the publishers? How Random House is like General Motors. Fought over any good books lately? Book club trouble often has little to do with books. The Oddball Know-It-All: Paul Collins writes in praise of George Herter — mail-order genius, rustic self-help poet, All-American crank. How Detroit's lost clout in Washington may actually help the auto industry. From Wired, how a rogue geologist discovered a diamond trove in the Canadian Arctic; an article on digging for diamonds 24/7 under frozen Snap Lake, and a look at how DeBeers digs deep for diamonds. The Mathematical Tourist Ivars Peterson on improved pancake sorting, on Stooges statistics; a fractal in Bach's Cello Suite; and random walks to football rankings. The Numbers Guy writes in defense of the BCS computers. A look at what the rise of Southern football says about America.
From Southern Spaces, Anthony E. Kaye (PSU): "In the Neighborhood": Towards a Human Geography of U.S. Slave Society. From Too Much, an article on Detroit's "underpaid" top auto execs; and why have-it-alls don't know it all: More on Gar Alperovitz and Lew Daly's Unjust Deserts. From n+1, Nikil Saval on how Bombay became Mumbai. From Guernica, in the Sri Lankan city of Batticaloa, an American peace worker watches one woman bravely face the worst the world can offer; and the inhabitants of the Marshall Islands have endured waves of immigration, exploitation, and America’s nuclear testing; now under threat from rising sea levels, their storytelling culture offers us a cautionary tale. William Easterly reviews The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It by Paul Collier. A review of From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and American Comic Books by Arie Kaplan. The irony of American politics: A reissued Reinhold Niebuhr classic sheds light on current follies. More on Claude Levi-Strauss turning 100. From Print, it’s BabyMod time! From swanky strollers to haute couture high chairs, modernism — or a version of it — has conquered the kids’ market; a guide to 40 years of standards and practices in presidential campaign design; and have fake news graphics taken over the role of the political cartoon?
From Strategic Studies Quarterly, Colin S. Gray (Reading): Understanding Airpower: Bonfire of the Fallacies. From Air & Space Power Journal, a review of Uneasy Balance: Civil-Military Relations in Peacetime America since 1783 by Thomas S. Langston; and a review of Who Guards the Guardians and How: Democratic Civil-Military Relations. A review of Constructing America's War Culture: Iraq, Media, and Images at Home. A look at why Americans are reluctant to admit their presidents are kings. Where were they ever?: The 40 greatest lost icons in pop culture history, from Kato Kaelin to Joey Buttafuoco. From Ducts, an essay on how to fail at being a lesbian. From Books & Culture, a review of books on happiness — given, lost, regained. A review of The Constitution's Text in Foreign Affairs by Michael D. Ramsey. From Dissent, an essay on the three lefts of Latin America. From Commentary, Jon Levenson on Chosenness and its Enemies: Few religious doctrines have attracted more virulent criticism than the idea of the chosen people; and Paul R. McHugh on Hysteria in Four Acts: A little history, medical and otherwise, helps in understanding such contemporary epidemics as multiple-personality disorder and reports of childhood sexual abuse. The remains of an ancient gate have pinpointed the location of the David and Goliath city of Sha'arayim.