From World Affairs, PJ O'Rourke on the Cleveland of Asia: A journey through China’s Rust Belt. Bryan Walsh reviews The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom by Simon Winchester (and more and more). From National Geographic, a special issue on China. From NPQ, Francis Fukuyama on China, strong states and liberty. From TLS, a review of books on China (and more). With the Games approaching, a question: Can an irritating monkey help China become conversant in English? High school's worst year? For ambitious teens, 11th grade becomes a marathon of tests, stress and sleepless nights. This is your Mom on drugs: Aging doesn't stop drug use. From Editor & Publisher, is it the end of the newsroom as we know it? Travels in the former Soviet Union: South Ossetia is a self-proclaimed independent country that is, in fact, neither. From Wishtank, an article on the evolution of the Humanist Manifesto; here's a primer on the co-operative business model; an interview with Justin Boland on Fifth Generation Warfare; and what does the exchange of a gift mean to the giver and the recipient? Is altruism a myth? Examining the ideas of Marcel Mauss, Jacques Derrida and Ralph Waldo Emerson. From Cracked, here's a list of the 6 most frequently quoted bullsh*t statistics.
From ARPA, a review of Why is There No Labor Party in the United States? by Robin Archer; and a review of Religion in American Politics: A Short History by Frank Lambert. Is the House of Representatives too small? Research suggests that districts may now be getting too big for adequate representation. From American, a scramble is underway to redraw boundaries, from the Balkans to the Arctic. What does it all mean?; and Don’t Know Much About Geography: At some point, America decided that providing kids with a geography education didn’t matter. That was a mistake. The Dumbest Generation?: George Santayana, too, despaired of a generation's ignorance, warning that "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" — that was 1905. From Mclean's, an interview with Jill Price, the woman who can't forget anything. A review of Ingmar Bergman, Cinematic Philosopher: Reflections on His Creativity by Irving Singer. Nicole Lanctot reviews Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture, edited by Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky. On a tour of India to promote his latest book, A Prisoner of Birth, Jeffrey Archer says that he doesn’t depend on controversies. A review of A Treasury of Foolishly Forgotten Americans: Pirates, Skinflints, Patriots, and Other Colorful Characters Stuck in the Footnotes of History by Michael Farquhar.
From Newsweek, a cover story on Barack Obama and race. Can identity politics save the Right? Fresh out of other options, the Republican Party's bid to regain power is likely to come in the form of a pander to "real Americans." How did conservatives overtake the American political scene? By stoking a rhetoric of resentful individualism—and playing the race card with a new finesse. Rethinking the Right: Why conservatives should embrace new ideas and local governance. Is tradition anti-historical? An excerpt from Josef Pieper’s Tradition: Concept and Claim. Shouldn't honoring your country be about serving your country? E.J. Dionne, Jr. on The New Patriots. Johannah Rodgers reviews Missy by Chris Hannan. A review of Trials of Reason: Plato and the Crafting of Philosophy by David Wolfsdorf. Still debating with Plato: Mathematicians debate whether mathematical truths are discovered or invented. Publishers battle to sign up Europe's sex sensation: Charlotte Roche's exploration of filth in all its meanings now tops Germany's literary charts. A review of Boxing: A Cultural History by Kasia Boddy. A review of Raymond Williams: A Warrior's Tale by Dai Smith. A review of Leisureville: Adventures in America's Retirement Utopias by Andrew D. Blechman. No place like home: What experts know about why home teams do better.