From Virginia Quarterly Review, a special series of Dispatches from Afghanistan. A review of Simon Critchley's Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance. What are we thinking when we (try to) solve problems? A review of The Really Hard Problem: Meaning in a Material World by Owen J. Flanagan. From Philament, Julian Pinder (Sydney): The Codex Unbound: The (Failed?) Promise of the Hypertext Novel. This Magazine goes behind the rise of investigative cartooning. From Zeek, against mourning: Jews are not the only people ravaged by memory; for African Americans, it is the long arm of slavery that holds back the living. How will technology change the way we shop, learn and entertain ourselves? A look ahead 10 years, and imagine a whole different world. AC Grayling reviews Counterknowledge: How We Surrendered to Conspiracy Theories, Quack Medicine, Bogus Science and Fake History by Damian Thompson (and more and more and more). The Science Adviser: Chris Mooney on how the top science post in the White House needs to be pulled from the shadows of the Cold War and reestablished as a cornerstone of crucial, rational advice for the US presidency. A review of Democratic Faith by Patrick J. Deneen. A review of The Monopoly of Violence: Why Europeans Hate Going to War by James J. Sheehan (and more and more).
From Portfolio, the Britney Economy: A back-of-the-napkin calculation of just how much the scandal-plagued star is worth to the multitudes who make money off her; and five years after he stepped down as chairman of AOL Time Warner, Steve Case is trying to rewrite the rules of health care, real estate, and personal finance — what's taking so long? From TNR, a panel of eggheads and eminences announces its votes. The death of nations: An article on a powerful modern myth: Free markets are either attainable or desirable. From Outskirts, a special issue on feminist engagements in other places. From Women's Review of Books, the stay-at-home pushmepullyou: A review of Opting Out? Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home by Pamela Stone and Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success by Sylvia Ann Hewlett. A review of Playing With My Dog Katie: An Ethnomethodological Study of Dog – Human Interaction by David Goode. Death in Georgia: Jeffrey Toobin on the high price of trying to save an infamous killer’s life. From Theandros, a review of Christianity and the Transformation of the Book by Anthony Grafton and Megan Williams. John Allen Paulos on God, science and an unbeliever's Utopia. An interview with David Frum on Comeback: Conservatism.
From The Public Eye, Heritage is hip to culture: The think tank turns to family values; an article on the ideal and the reality of the Christian Right family; and a review of Pledging Allegiance: The Politics of Patriotism in America's Schools. From The Quarterly Conversation, a special issue on Hispanic literature. From The Walrus, half of the world’s population now lives in cities; how do they make it work? A review of Forgotten Continent: the Battle for Latin America’s Soul by Michael Reid (and more and more and more). Do Wall Street wheeler-dealers ever create jobs? Could lessons learned from Mother Nature help airport security screening checkpoints better protect us from terror threat? A legend with teeth: A new film updates an age old male fear. An excerpt from Sex, Time and Power: How Women's Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution by Leonard Shlain. A review of Sex, Paranoia and Modern Masculinity by Kenneth Paradis. How do you learn a dead language? If you can't find a word, just borrow one. A review of Heaven's Fractal Net: Retrieving Lost Visions in the Humanities by William J. Jackson. The man who glimpsed utopia: A modern Moscow stage is a dangerous place for Russia's great 19th-century exiles, which is exactly why Alexei Borodin puts them there. An interview with Jerry Kellman, the man who gave Obama his first job in community organizing.
From Carnegie Ethics, can Antarctica be preserved? The introduction to Why Are There So Many Banking Crises? The Politics and Policy of Bank Regulation by Jean-Charles Rochet. Here's a curse on mean-spirited intellectuals and literary scholars above all; and an article on the perils of popularising science. Humans have altered Earth so much that scientists say a new epoch in the planet's geologic history has begun, from the Holocene to the Anthropocene (and more). It may sound like science fiction, but it’s only a matter of time before the world’s militaries learn to wield the planet itself as a weapon. Tango goes inside the 2008 candidates' marriages (an more from Slate). Feeling short-changed by the self-help books he consulted, Tal Ben-Shahar built his own route to wellbeing. A new study suggests that moderate happiness may be preferable to full-fledged elation. A review of Philosophers Behaving Badly by Nigel Rodgers and Mel Thompson. From History and Policy, an essay on the prime minister as world statesman. From Prospect, book reviewing may seem in reasonable health. But the authority of critics is being undermined by a raucous blogging culture and an increasingly commercial publishing industry. What if scholarly books were peer reviewed by anonymous blog comments rather than by traditional peer reviewers?
John Quiggin (Queensland) The Risk Society: Social Democracy in an Uncertain World (and a response at Quadrant, and a reply by Quiggin). From Prospect, Michael Lind on how America still works; and A review of Describing Inner Experience? Proponent Meets Skeptic by Russell T. Hurlburt and Eric Schwitzgebel. An excerpt from How Round Is Your Circle? Where Engineering and Mathematics Meet by John Bryant and Chris Sangwin (and more). Just who is the real Martin Amis? Johann Hari finds out. As online matchmakers compete for customers using algorithms in the search for love, the battle has intrigued academic researchers who study the mating game. Was there a better time for a recession? David Warsh wants to know. Atheism is the new black: A review of God and the New Atheism: A Critical Response to Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens by John F. Haught. Labour leaders have always feared the Daily Mail, Britain's most successful newspaper: An excerpt from Flat Earth News: An Award-Winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion and Propaganda in the Global Media by Nick Davies. From The Wilson Quarterly, Samia Altaf on Pakistan Picaresque. From Harp & Altar, Elise Harris travels to Pakistan and interviews Maryam Jameelah, a convert from Judaism who became a public intellectual affiliated with the Islamic party Jama’at-i Islami (and part 2).
From the new The Washington Independent, Spencer Ackerman on how the CIA is largely in the dark on interrogation tactics. From NYRB, a review of Swimming in a Sea of Death: A Son's Memoir by David Rieff (and more). From H-Net, a review of In the Beginning: Fundamentalism, the Scopes Trial, and the Making of the Antievolution Movement by Michael Lienesch; and a review of Suffering for Science: Reason and Sacrifice in Modern America by Rebecca M. Herzig. From Prospect, a profile of Charles Taylor, the most important philosopher writing in English today. An interview with Kathleen A. Bogle, author of Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus. From Christianity Today, an essay on C. S. Lewis and the Star of Bethlehem: Recovering the medieval imagination. The Truth About Jena: Why America’s black-and-white narratives about race don’t reflect reality. The original sellout reconsidered: John McWhorter on why Booker T. Washington is finally getting some play. A look at how Bill Clinton has morphed from statesman into attack dog. From Philosophy Now, who caught that ball? Raymond Tallis ponders the fields of action in which our freedom is expressed. From LRB, Terry Eagleton reviews Creation: Artists, Gods and Origins by Peter Conrad. How it’s couched: Can a television show make a case for therapy?
From The Next American City, an article on the architecture of memory: 9/11 and the litany against forgetting. A review of Torture and Democracy by Darius Rejal. A review of Punishment and Political Order by Keally McBride. A review of Extraordinary Justice: Military Tribunals in Historical and International Context by Peter Richards. A look at how Fear, by Jan Tomasz Gross, has sparked an emotional debate in Poland, where anti-Semitism is not a popular subject. From CHE, a look at why universities have the responsibility to tackle the world's toughest problems. From The Atlantic Monthly, a modest proposal to fix the schools: First, kill all the school boards. What does a progressive tax policy look like? Ezra Klein investigates. A review of The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America by Hugh Wilford (and more). Ending Global Apartheid: An interview with Lant Pritchett on immigration and the least-popular—and most-proven—idea for helping the world's poor. Thomas Pogge on understanding recent trends and political choices on growth and inequality. Frank Rich on the Billary road to Republican victory. From Wired, foreigners keep out! How tech mapping starts to redefine international borders. The manufacturers of Monopoly have launched a competition between 68 world cities in a bid to find 22 cities for a new global version of the board game.
From Vanity Fair, a vast right-wing hypocrisy: Richard Mellon Scaife, billionaire bankroller of conservative crusades, spent heavily to expose Bill Clinton’s "Troopergate", but now Scaife’s divorce is providing another unsavory saga. Robert Samuelson on why capitalists are capitalism's most dangerous enemy; and a look at how the free-marketeers abhor the crutch of the state — until they start limping. An interview with Deborah Cameron, author of The Myth of Mars and Venus: Do Men and Women Really Speak Different Languages? Todd Gitlin on eight questions reporters should ask John McCain. A look at why race and gender do matter. How to talk foreign policy: Democrats need to find a cohesive, defensible way to talk about their foreign policy and how it differs from that of Republicans. More and more on Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg and more on They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons. A review of The Cure Within: A History of Mind-Body Medicine by Anne Harrington. From More Intelligent Life, an article about the pleasures of reading Herodotus (and more). An interview with Lee Siegel, author of Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob (and a review). Political animals (yes, animals): Some brainy animal species, besides humans, campaign across sophisticated and far-flung social networks.
From Policy Review, an article on a moral core for US foreign policy; and more on the "March of Freedom": From Reagan to Bush Two presidents, one idea. From Der Spiegel, a special report on Our Hungry Planet and the choice between food and fuel. A look at how to choose among presidential candidates you don't particularly like. Symbolitics as usual: John DiIulio on a guide to non-instant election analysis. What if the Muslim armies hadn’t been stopped at the French border? More on God’s Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570 to 1215. From Boston Review, all that is given: An article on Hannah Arendt on being Jewish. Fictional figures can be as vivid to us as real people; but just what, exactly, is a character, asks James Wood. Three decades of Suharto's kleptocratic rule are not going to be eradicated easily (and more). Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies, a full-throated (and heavily footnoted) defense of Joe McCarthy, is getting attention on the right. Statements made in the media can surreptitiously plant distortions in the minds of millions; learning to recognize two commonly used fallacies can help you separate fact from fiction. An excerpt from Paradoxes of Political Ethics: From Dirty Hands to the Invisible Hand by John M. Parrish. An article on the sex diaries of John Maynard Keynes.
Daniel Drezner (Tufts): The Future of US Foreign Policy. Waving Goodbye to Hegemony: Just a few years ago, America’s hold on global power seemed unshakable — but a lot has changed while we’ve been in Iraq. How Bush stacks up: Like Rorschach tests, a growing stack of Bush books reveals very different presidents—Evangelical Bush, Frat-Boy Bush, Weepy Bush—as authors try to explain his failure and his "success". William Saletan on the tragic stubbornness of George W. Bush. Jay Rosen on why campaign coverage sucks: Horse-race journalism works for journalists and fails the public. A review of It's so French! Hollywood, Paris and the Making of the Cosmopolitan Film Culture by Vanessa B Schwartz. From TED, an interview with Frank Gehry. An article on the network of thought leaders, donors and corporations behind the TED conference's audacious projects. More and more on The Mind of the Market by Michael Shermer (and an interview). How green is their growth: A new argument that economic progress can help to ease environmental woes, just so long as the governance is good too. Benjamin Franklin plays Sudoku: Founding father entertained himself devising beautiful mathematical puzzles. From LRB, Eric Hobsbawm on life during the Weimar Republic. An article on piecing together the dark legacy of East Germany's secret police. An article on ten extraordinary literary suicides.