From Cafe Babel, a special issue on stories from Schengen: The European Union relaxed border controls to include the EU entrants in 2004; and a series of articles on Pristina, "capital" of a state called Kosovo. Independence Daze: Who deserves to be free? An article on the case against Kosovo independence. Rampant inflation and journalists' concerns about government censorship are causing problems for Slovenia, Europe's model pupil. Bulgaria —why would you go there? Ask the European families lured by a plentiful supply of cheap housing. From an archaeological point of view, Bulgaria has some of the richest digs around — the problem is, plunderers are aware of the valuable treasure as well, and they often get there first.
From The Atlantic Monthly, no country for young men: The Baby Boomers’ retirement will change the texture of society in ways we’ve scarcely begun to contemplate — a dispatch from America’s coming silver age. From American, what’s left for government to do? On the question of whether governments really have "inherent" or "core" functions. More on Nanny State by David Harsanyi. A review of Homo Politicus: The Strange and Scary Tribes That Run Our Government by Dana Milbank (and more and more and an excerpt). Where do all the dollars go? America lags behind its peers in preventing avoidable deaths. More on Robert Kuttner's The Squandering of America. A look at how subsidies keep small-airport flights in the air.
From LRB, a review of The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1855-72: Volume I and 1855-72: Volume II. From Argumentum, Sztranyiczki Zsafia on Saul Bellow’s Ravelstein: Diffusion of spaces and times. Why John Milton sides with the angels: A review of John Milton: Poet, Pamphleteer and Patriot by Anna Beer. A review of Melville: The Making of the Poet by Hershel Parke. From Poetry, Adam Kirsch on Heidegger and the taste of silence. A review of On Eloquence by Denis Donoghue (and an excerpt). An interview with Ian McEwan on Bellow, the Internet, atheism, and why his books are still scary. Literature in an era of social ferment: A review of Alfred Kazin by Richard M. Cook.
From Catalyst, an article on the history (and maybe the future) of U.S. health care. Robert Reich on the road to universal coverage: Health care mandates are a sideshow, and fighting over them risks turning away voters from the main event. Could comparative-effectiveness studies rein in health-care costs? Arrogant doctors criticize their patients who go online to research ailments, but they're wrong: The best health sites are a boon to patients and doctors alike. A review of Junk Medicine: Doctors, Lies and the Addiction Bureaucracy by Theodore Dalrymple. A review of The Cure Within: A History of Mind-Body Medicine by Anne Harrington. More on Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer by Shannon Brownlee.
Richard M. Magee (Sacred Heart): Food Puritanism and Food Pornography: The Gourmet Semiotics of Martha and Nigella. Don’t let it spoil your appetite: Ever try adding a pound of sugar to that roasting chicken? Modern trends in cooking are blurring the boundaries between dessert and dinner. An article on food and how it's going to change the world. What makes a pig organic? In reality, choosing something blameless to eat may not easily free consumers from the industrial, compromised products they are trying to avoid. More and more on Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food. A review of An Apple a Day: The Myths, Misconceptions and Truths about the Foods We Eat by Joe Schwarcz. A review of Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World by Dan Koeppel.
From the latest issue of Education Next, learning separately: The case for single-sex schools; and Nathan Glazer reviews Tested: One American School Struggles to Make the Grade by Linda Perlstein and "It’s Being Done": Academic Success in Unexpected Schools by Karin Chenoweth. Ted Kennedy on how the No Child Left Behind law has become a political football, but sound bites don't reflect what's happening on school reform. The early bird gets the bad grade: Would children do better if school started later? At the top of their lungs: Kids young and old make a joyful noise at Music Together classes. Portrait of the Artist as a Kindergartner: When you’re yearning to impress a teacher, drawing outside the lines is just the beginning.
What awaits the Met: What happens next at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has relevance for all major institutions undergoing a generational shift — and all museums in this young century (and more). An interview with Lewis Hyde, author of The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World. From City Journal, a review of The Architecture Reader: Essential Writings from Vitruvius to the Present; and Written into the Void: Selected Writings, 1990–2004 by Peter Eisenman. Evidence seems strong that Edouard Manet used photographic prints and lighting to make some of his best-known paintings, but for him "photography seems to have motivated, and even abetted, a kind of counter-photographic style".
From Collegium, a special issue on The Trouble with Ribs: Women, Men and Gender in Early Modern Europe. A review of Sad, Mad and Bad: Women and the Mind-Doctors from 1800 by Lisa Appignanesi. A review of Growing Up Female in Nazi Germany by Dagmar Reese. A new plague facing women: Three graphic new books about depression by women writers will cast new light on Britain's hidden epidemic. It takes a family (to break a glass ceiling): Hillary Clinton’s rise to power, unsettling as it is, follows a time-tested pattern for the breaking of gender barriers. Think Botox is a beauty step too far? How about a skull-lift? Or a fat-harvested bust augmentation? On the what the future holds for women and the beauty industry.
From The Wilson Quarterly, the brief history of a historical novel: Thomas Jefferson was an enigma to everyone he met; a century and a half after his death, one writer strives to understand, if not the man himself, then at least the world as it knew him. A review of The Great Upheaval: America and the Birth of the Modern World, 1788-1800 by Jay Winik (and more). A review of American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic by Joseph J. Ellis. A review of Sheppard Lee, Written by Himself by Robert Montgomery Bird and A Nation of Counterfeiters: Capitalists, Con Men, and the Making of the United States by Stephen Mihm.
From Science News, small infinity, big infinity: A mathematician develops a new proof showing that infinity comes in different sizes. Math as popular entertainment: Can number crunchers go mainstream? Medieval mosque shows amazing math discovery The never-repeating geometry of quasi crystals, revealed 500 years early. Tours de force on physics and man: A review of The Universal Force Gravity: Creator of Worlds by Louis Girifalco and Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics by Gino Segre. The most massive known black hole in the universe has been discovered, weighing in with the mass of 18 billion Suns. Cosmic cloud on collision course: Hydrogen beast is closing in on the Milky Way.