From The Economist, a cover story on the invasion of the sovereign-wealth funds (and more); and a special section on corporate social responsibility. The Education of Ben Bernanke: Banks won’t lend money; oil has reached $100 a barrel; unemployment is up — what’s a Fed chief to do? A review of Art in Crisis: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Struggle for African American Identity and Memory by Amy Helene Kirschke. Alan Wolfe reviews Sellout by Randall Kennedy (and more and more). Rights vs. Rights: While the civil rights movement and the women’s movement have been philosophical allies, sharing goals and ideals, there have also been periodic collisions. Paul Starr on how the Democrats could blow it again. Beauty Secrets: When it comes to attraction, does the golden ratio still apply? Big brain theory—have cosmologists lost theirs? It could be the weirdest and most embarrassing prediction in the history of cosmology, if not science. Has AT&T lost its mind? A baffling proposal to filter the Internet. Peter Singer reviews Kwame Anthony Appiah's Experiments in Ethics. The Death Effect: Terry Teachout on the mystery of posthumous fame. These days, a number of independent bookstores have been drawing more than pity from devotees. David Held maps the pressing needs of global governance in a perilous age. And he shall be called: How do you name someone you hardly know?
From NYRB, a review of unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity... and Why It Matters and The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus: What's So Good about the Good News? More on John Allen Paulos' Irreligion. Carlin Romano on the triumph of "smugism": The philosopher John Gray's certainty is certainly unwarranted. What makes a biopolitical space? An interview with Toni Negri. Instead of promoting the sharing of ideas among friends, social networking sites promote posturing and marketing, friendship as spectatorship, and give us the attention we crave (and how Facebook is like Ikea). The secrets of attraction: What makes a person desirable? From TLS, a review of Freedom and Neurobiology by John Searle. Jonah Lehrer on misreading the mind: If neuroscientists want to understand consciousness, they'll need new methods (and here's Bookforum's review of Proust Was a Neuroscientist). From The Magazineer, an article on how to read The New Yorker in 10 easy steps. Ruth Franklin on the nasty truth about a new literary heroine, Irene Nemirovsky. Yuval Levin and Ramesh Ponnuru on conservative populism, rightly understood. From IHE, an article on solving "The English Student’s Dilemma"; and here are eight academic debates that aren’t worth the calories, let along the anguish. A review of Life's Too F*ing Short by Janet Street Porter.