Here's the latest issue of Business and Economic History On-Line. Bill Hatch is provoked by Gerald de Groot's Reflections on The Sixties Unplugged to write in praise of hippies and the counter-culture. From Bryn Mawr Classical Review, a review of Naming the Witch: Magic, Ideology, and Stereotype in the Ancient World by Kimberly Stratton; and a review of Games and Festivals in Classical Antiquity by Sinclair Bell and Glenys Davies. Carl Zimmer on how the more we know about genes, the less we understand. A look at how epidemics helped shape the modern metropolis. Clive Cook on the fiscal consequences of the Bush administration. Wouldn't it by nice if big businesses could operate with good ol' Aristotelian virtue and still make a living? From Fronesis, an interview with Beverley Skeggs on the economy of moralism and working-class properness. Getting poked by Uncle Tom: Confronting the awkward Facebook experience. From Radical Middle, an essay on what the poor need now. Two grammar nerds are traveling across the country, cleaning up America’s mistakes one typo at a time. Susie Linfield reviews Michael Hodges’s AK-47: The Story of a Gun. A review of The Kingdom of Infinite Space: A Fantastical Journey around Your Head by Raymond Tallis. A review of The Uses and Abuses of History by Margaret MacMillan.
From Eurozine, an essay on migrant youth, the RAF terrorist, and German feuilletons. Daniel Radosh tours the Christian comedy circuit in Rapture Ready: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture (and a review). McCain's millionaires' amendment: Conservatives argue that helping poor candidates unconstitutionally hurts rich ones. A review of The Disrespect Agenda: Or How the Wrong Kind of Niceness is Making Us Weak and Unhappy by Lincoln Allison. A review of The Politics of Chaos in the Middle East by Olivier Roy and The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State by Noah Feldman. A review of Russia's Capitalist Revolution: Why Market Reform Succeeded and Democracy Failed by Anders Aslund. A review of The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker by Steven Greenhouse and American-Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA: When FDR Put the Nation to Work by Nick Taylor. A review of Torture Team: Deception, Cruelty and the Compromise of Law by Philippe Sands. The new economics of hunger: A brutal convergence of events has hit an unprepared global market, and grain prices are sky high. Tess Lewis reviews Alain Claude Sulzer’s A Perfect Waiter. Infant language and mind: An interview with Gary Marcus, author of Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind.
Where Alaa Al Aswany is writing from: He’s a secularist; he’s a saloniste; he’s a dentist — and he’s one of the Arab world’s best-selling novelists. When elite get tough: Anti-snobbery is as American as apple pie. Science has seen the future — and it is invisible. A review of Pacifism and English Literature: Minstrels of Peace by R. S. White. Stephanie Zacharek reviews Nina Revoyr’s The Age of Dreaming. How many horn solos does it take to kill a perfect pop song? Joshua Allen applies science and taste to determine the exact best length—down to the second—for the platonic song. A review of A Billion Lives: An Eyewitness Report From The Frontlines of Humanity by Jan Egeland. The press is convinced that badgering candidates about faux scandals is necessary because they "will be raised" in the general election, but it ignores its own crucial role in shaping the terms of debate. An interview with Lester Brown, author of Plan B 3.0. An interview with Amanda Marcotte, author of It's a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments. Even deeper than emergence and its challenge to reductionism in a new scientific worldview is what Stuart A. Kauffman calls breaking the Galilean spell. The enduring mystery of suicide: Ever younger teens are falling victim to severe depression — for professionals, the problem remains as baffling as ever.
From The Washington Monthly, love of family inspired William Jefferson to do great things — it also explains that $90,000 in his freezer. Don't TNT Me, Bro: William Saletan on the moral logic of suicide bombing. Sunset in America: Sean Wilentz on the end of the age of Reagan. A blood libel on our civilization: John Derbyshire on Ben Stein's "Expelled". A review of Body Shopping: The Economy Fuelled by Flesh and Blood by Donna Dickenson. A review of The Man Who Pushed America to War: The Extraordinary Life, Adventures and Obsessions of Ahmad Chalabi by Aram Roston. The Memory Addict: Augusten Burroughs doesn’t just write about his past — he holds seances. Douglas Mullins reviews Nathaniel Mackey’s Bass Cathedral. What lessons can be learned from past attempts to oust seemingly immovable oppressors, and do the lessons apply in the case of Robert Mugabe? The man who invented Mars: Long before the space race and space shuttle, a brilliant, wealthy, charming Boston Brahmin named Percival Lowell popularized the idea that we are not alone in the universe. A review of Do Travel Writers Go To Hell? A Swashbuckling Tale of High Adventures, Questionable Ethics and Professional Hedonism by Thomas Kohnstamm. A review of Misha Glenny's McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld.
From TAP, the Militarist: John McCain may protest that he hates war, but no American leader has promoted it more avidly. Drawing lessons: What arts education can do, and can’t; and forget the art-school aesthetic: Photo-sharing Web sites have their own ideas about beauty. People think Colson Whitehead has it easy, but it’s surprisingly difficult being The Guy Who Got Where He Is Only Because He’s Black. A review of The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century by Steve Coll (and more and more and more and more). Scourge of the corporate pirates: The artist's enemy is obscurity, not piracy, says novelist and Web activist Cory Doctorow. Triple-A Failure: How Moody’s and other credit-rating agencies licensed the abuses that created the housing bubble — and bust. An article on Clinton, Obama and the Narcissist's Tale. In the end, every president talks to the bad guys: A primer on confronting evil dictators. Only the men survive: Aggressive and blunt, Morgan Stanley’s Zoe Cruz didn’t act like a typical female pioneer in a masculine world — and that rubbed a lot of men, who later got her fired, the wrong way. Doris Lessing is still raging — at communists, war, Mrs Thatcher... but most of her venom is reserved for the subject of what she says will be her final book: Her mother (and here is the Bookforum interview).
From The New Yorker, a review of Benny Morris' 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War; and an article on rescuing the victims of the global sex trade. Dahlia Lithwick on getting away with torture: The failures of the legal system for both the torturers and the tortured. You’re an author? Me too! Fewer people are reading books, but these days, more are publishing their own. A look at how savage pirates reign on the world's high seas (and more). The Coming Euroinvasion: First they came for the iPods; then the Europeans snatched up condos in Manhattan — now they’re coming for the companies. A review of Dangerous World: Natural Disasters, Manmade Catastrophes, and the Future of Human Survival by Marq de Villiers. A review of Clinton in Exile: A President Out of the White House by Carol Felsenthal. Craig Seligman reviews Brian Hall's Fall of Frost. Give me the lesson without the spin: A high school student finds conservative bias in his American government textbook (and a response by James Q. Wilson). Harvey Mansfield on how without sexual boundaries, students feel pressure to appear more promiscuous than they are. A review of Writings for a Democratic Society: The Tom Hayden Reader. Hillary vs. Barack is like Yale's Lady Macbeth versus Harvard's Billy Budd. Muslim rebel sisters Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Irshad Manji are at odds with Islam and each other.