The first chapter from Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism by Sheldon S. Wolin. From TLS, Edward Said still dominates debate: Robert Irwin reviews Daniel Martin Varisco's Reading Orientalism: Said and the unsaid and Ibn Warraq's Defending the West: A critique of Edward Said’s Orientalism; and a review essay on Dante, Primo Levi and the intertextualists: Language makes us capable of talking about ourselves and itself, and does one only by doing the other. How we know global warming is real: An article on the science behind human-induced climate change. The introduction to Saving the Constitution from Lawyers: How Legal Training and Law Reviews Distort Constitutional Meaning by Robert J. Spitzer. Tongue tied: Lynn Harris on the romantic, bumpy road to learning a new language. Sorry, but family history really is bunk: The current craze for genealogy reflects an unhealthy combination of snobbery and inverse snobbery, and is a poor replacement for national history. A review of Susan Neiman's Moral Clarity. From the Mises Institute, Robert Higgs on the dangers of Samuelson's economic method. If there's anything wrong with the modern male, the answer is in his wallet, not his pants. Forget Paris: Why is the capital of French snobbery starting to look like a mini-America?
The end of time: We used to think the universe was never-ending in both age and extent, but recent research is challenging this idea — can the universe die? The first chapter from Split Decisions: How and Why to Take a Break from Feminism by Janet Halley. A look at how Herodotus' use of oracles clashes with our modern sense of divinity and rationality. Hey kid, why are you such a moron? Professor Ted Gup says his students are ignoramuses, and he has evidence to prove it. A review of All the Sad Young Literary Men by Keith Gessen (and an interview, and more and more and more and more and more and more). Endangered stuntmen: Computer graphics imagery has supplanted stunt work in many movies, and that's destroying one of the oldest pleasures of the silver screen. The introduction to What is Analytic Philosophy? by Hans-Johann Glock. The introduction to Extinction: How Life on Earth Nearly Ended 250 Million Years Ago by Douglas H. Erwin. More on Founding Faith by Steven Waldman. A review of Understanding America: The Anatomy of an Exceptional Nation. Intellectual sneering is no joke: The low opinion academics have of the public will not change until scholars open themselves up to debate. The introduction to International Law on the Left: Re-examining Marxist Legacies. A look at how Karl Marx predicted Hannah Montana would go nude.
From City Journal, is the criminal-justice system racist? No: the high percentage of blacks behind bars reflects crime rates, not bigotry; and a look at how Jeremiah Wright draws on a long line of Afrocentric charlatans. From Taki's Top Drawer, an article on what’s going right in Europe: How localism might save the continent. Teaching Imperialism 101: Without RAND, our military-industrial complex, as well as our democracy, would look quite different. The Canadian pop star who shocked a billion people: How a 27-year-old rapper from Richmond, B.C., sparked the biggest celebrity sex scandal in China's history. From Left Business Observer, a review of Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine (and more); and with Obama, never did the possibility of disappointment offer so much hope. From The Progressive, yes ("can bring ground-breaking change") and no (a "vacuous opportunist") on Obama. A review of Badiou and Derrida: Politics, Events and their Time by Antonio Calcagno. More on Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely. A review of Fatal Misconception: the Struggle to Control World Population by Matthew Connelly. A review of Education's End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life by Anthony T. Kronman. Josef Joffe on how America looks to the world.
From CQ Politics, which is better: the No. 2 spot... or going back to the Hill? Francisco Ayala is a roving defender of evolution, and of room for God. From Seed, counting down to the election, America's science community is asking itself some deep questions about the interplay between science and politics. From Secular Web, an essay on Charles Darwin and the evolution of the human mind. From CUP, the introduction to Darwinism and its Discontents by Michael Ruse; and the first chapter from Evidence and Evolution: The Logic Behind the Science by Elliott Sober. Do white right-wing preachers have it easier than black left-wing preachers? EJ Dionne wants to know. Niall Ferguson reviews Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century by Tony Judt (and more and more). Why does going to a Rush show still feel almost like sneaking into a NAMBLA convention? The Southerner as historian (and vice versa): A review of Clyde N. Wilson's Defending Dixie: Essays in Southern History and Culture. From Good, at Somalia’s largest privately run refugee camp, they don’t wait for peacekeepers and aid workers; and invest in international news: There’s money to be made for commercial media in the business of global news. From abattoir to disco: Gregor Dotzauer travels through Croatia, a small land of great poets, all writing their way of the wreckage.
From Foreign Policy, human rights groups are rightly outraged about China’s abysmal record, but it is foolhardy to treat a rising superpower like a tin-pot dictatorship — sometimes, a little pragmatism goes a long way; and you’ve heard the frightening statistics, seen the riots, and watched the food lines grow across the world: Have we entered some kind of permanent Malthusian trap? From LiveScience, here are 10 things you didn't know about you; and a look at the top 10 worst hereditary conditions. Anyone who dreams of a "classless society" may be disheartened by the results of a brain-scanning study. When does kinky porn become illegal? Jonathan Franzen says Michiko Kakutani is "the stupidest person in New York City". The introduction to Impossible? Surprising Solutions to Counterintuitive Conundrums by Julian Havil. From The Washington Monthly, an idea whose time has gone: Conservatives abandon their support for school vouchers; a look at why a resurgent labor movement is closer than you think; and how to dump the Electoral College without changing the Constitution. In her new book Wild Nights!, Joyce Carol Oates takes on the (largely male) Western literary canon. From Wired, a look at how websites go crazy tracking urban eccentrics. Hurdles on J Street: America's new liberal Israel lobby could change the middle east debate in Washington, but it faces major obstacles.
From City Journal, six authors recall a spring that shook the world, May 1968: 40 years later. Martin Amis is feeling vulnerable: The once-bilious author talks about life as an "Islamismophobe". It's one small step for chumps in my brave new world: The trend among historians these days is to write histories of abstract concepts. More on The Uses and Abuses of History by Margaret MacMillan (and an interview). From Der Spiegel, a look at how Josef Fritzl created his regime of terror. A review of The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008 by Sean Wilentz (and an interview); a review of Reclaiming Conservatism: How a Great American Political Movement Got Lost—And How It Can Find Its Way Back by Mickey Edwards. A review of Pure Goldwater by John W. Dean and Barry Goldwater Jr. and Flying High by William F. Buckley Jr. (and more). A review of Strictly Right: William F. Buckley Jr. and the American Conservative Movement by Linda Bridges and John R. Coyne, Jr.; and Cancel Your Own Goddam Subscription by William F. Buckley, Jr. If gang violence was an infectious disease, how would you stop it? A Chicago epidemiologist thinks he has the answer. Amy Rosenberg reviews Etgar Keret’s The Girl on the Fridge. Where do all the neurotics live? On the East Coast, of course — a psychological tour of the United States, in five maps.
From Dissent, an essay on private equity and public good; and who’s afraid of Friedrich Hayek? A look at the obvious truths and mystical fallacies of a hero of the Right; and an article on the “Duke” and democracy: On John Wayne. From The New Yorker, who says big ideas are rare? Malcolm Gladwell on Nathan Myhrvold’s breakthrough factory; James Surowiecki on Toyota’s self-improvement system; and does technology drive history? A review of The Power Makers: Steam, Electricity, and the Men Who Invented Modern America by Maury Klein; and A Culture of Improvement: Technology and the Western Millennium by Robert Friedel. A review of Maps and Legends Reading and Writing Along the Borderlands by Michael Chabon. The National Book Critics Circle announces the Spring 2008 NBCC Good Reads List. Lenora Todaro reviews Gary Amdahl’s I Love Death: Two Novellas. From World Net Daily, David Kupelian on how Hillary will lead America into hell. Here are the juiciest bits from Carol Felsenthal's Clinton in Exile. Will John McCain undo a half-century of US-led internationalism? Why McCain’s big idea, a summit of the world’s democracies, is a bad idea. Damon Linker on how the Christian Right has damaged America. What Paul Pierce's hand gesture — and his $25,000 fine — say about the fast-evolving world of gang signs.
From Boston Review, William Hogeland on American Dreamers: Pete Seeger, William F. Buckley, Jr., and public history. Jim Sleeper on a literary prophet's bad faith: If Martin Amis is the self-styled bad boy of English letters, Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of The New Republic, is the rabbinic scourge of "fine" writers who stray into public intellection. From Scientific American, an article on The Bigot in Your Brain: Deep within our subconscious, all of us harbor biases that we consciously abhor — and the worst part is we act on them. From TLS, whatever happened to Old Europe? A review of Bernard Wasserstein's Barbarism and Civilisation: A history of Europe in our time; a review of Cass Sunstein's Republic 2.0; more on Alex Ross' The Rest is Noise; and James Bond's TLS: Ian Fleming "Desert Island" paper shares a long history with the author of the Bond novels. Happy spamiversary! Spam reaches 30. Here is a reconsideration of Robert Nozick and the coast of utopia. "Then no one would be a Democrat anymore": An excerpt from Rick Perlstein's Nixonland (and more from Bookforum). The first chapter from The Persuadable Voter: Wedge Issues in Presidential Campaigns by D. Sunshine Hillygus and Todd G. Shields. Caught Red Handed: Sexually transmitted Communism has been removed from the left's history books and other hagiographic treatments.
From Open Democracy, in the effort to contain global warming and create an environmentally viable world, is democracy help or obstacle? From First Things, Joseph Bottum on The Judgment of Memory; an essay on How to Read the Bible; was Shakespeare a closet Catholic, a proud Protestant, or none of the above?; a review of Why Classical Music Still Matters by Lawrence Kramer; and a review of Why the Democrats Are Blue: Secular Liberalism and the Decline of the People’s Party by Mark Stricherz. Is liberal Catholicism dead? There's a liberal argument for the study of the classics, but Yale isn't making it. From The New Criterion, what was a liberal education? Roger Kimball introduces a special issue, including Alan Charles Kors on the sadness of higher education: On comparing the university life then with now; Robert L. Paquette on the world we have lost: A parable on the academy; Victor Davis Hanson on the new learning that failed: On the value of classical learning; James Piereson on liberalism vs. humanism: On the battle between learning for the sake of learning and learning for utility; and Charles Murray on the age of educational romanticism: On requiring every child to be above average. Andrew Sullivan on Obama-Clinton, a hate-filled dream ticket. Emily Barton reviews Morrison H. Heckscher’s Creating Central Park.
From Vanity Fair, an excerpt from The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America by Thurston Clarke; what’s it like to write a mega-selling memoir, then become a household word for “liar”? An interview with James Frey; an excerpt from Audition: A Memoir by Barbara Walters; and Jamie Johnson on the decline of the Wasp Establishment. How hard is it to review the Bard? Martha Nussbaum reviews Shakespeare the Thinker by A.D. Nuttall, Shakespeare's Philosophy: Discovering the Meaning Behind the Plays by Colin McGinn, and Double Vision: Moral Philosophy and Shakespearean Drama by Tzachi Zamir. How to see this Mission Accomplished: Nine experts on military affairs identify a significant challenge facing the American and Iraqi leadership today. From Technology Review, where are they? Nick Bostrom on why he hopes the search for extraterrestrial life finds nothing. The .su Boom: Tucked away in one of the Web's dark corners, the Soviet Union continues to thrive as an internationally recognized entity. From The Telegraph, a look at the 50 most influential US political pundits. “Everybody in the world except US citizens should be allowed to vote and elect the American government”: An interview with Slavoj Zizek. From Commentary, an essay on 1948, Israel, and the Palestinians—The True Story (and more and more on Benny Morris' 1948).