From Music & Politics, Patricia Hall (UCSB): Music and Politics: A Class for Non-Majors; May Beal (UCSC): Politics and Protest in American Musical History; and Guido Fackler (Wurzburg): Music in Concentration Camps 1933-1945. From The New York Review of Magazines, a review of Liberty and Reason; a review of Skeptic and Skeptical Inquirer; and a review of Guilt & Pleasure and Heeb. From Book Design Review, try not to smile when you see this amongst other books next time you're in the bookstore. From ScribeMedia, is art more important than real life? Artist Martin Creed doesn’t agree; and an article on the fight over content and its manipulation. Wonders and whoppers: Following in Marco Polo's footsteps through Asia leads Mike Edwards to some surprising conclusions. From Amateur Economists, a review of Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge by Cass R. Sunstein; and a review of University, Inc.: The Corporate Corruption of American Higher Education by Jennifer Washburn. From Standpoint, an article on the mysterious appeal of Alan Furst's historical espionage novels. From Radical Middle, an article on why the Bible is our one essential political book. The Serenity Prayer is about to endure a controversy over its authorship that is likely to be anything but serene. Fannie, Freddie, Folly: Why the two mortgage giants can't be allowed to fail.
From Axess, a special issue on religion, including Roger Scruton on The Return of Religion; Richard Wolin on Religion and Public Reason; and an interview with Gordon Lynch on The New Atheism. Republicans have been able to count on the Cuban-American vote for decades; but Cuba is changing, slowly, and the exile community of South Florida may be changing. More and more and more on Strange Fruit by Kenan Malik. The National Football League draft for 2008 is an extraordinary collision of economic theory and American sporting obsession. Published in 1958, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's The Leopard reads like the last 19th-century novel, a perfect evocation of a lost world. The year that really changed everything: The Spirit of '78, Stayin' Alive. Pill-popping pets: Americans are spending millions on mood-altering drugs for their cats and dogs; is it because we’ve driven them mad? The disciple of Dangerous Writing, Chuck Palahniuk, reveals his unusual creative process, and the one place that he won't go in his notoriously bad-taste fiction. A review of Hip-Hop Revolution: The Culture and Politics of Rap by Jeffrey Ogbonna Green Ogbar. "Honour" in most societies is premised on women’s bodies and behaviour, and any perceived deviation meets with violence of many kinds. Female socialization: A look at how daughters affect their legislator fathers’ voting on women’s issues.
Richard J. Bishirjian (Yorktown): Why I Am a Conservative. Henry Regnery reviews Odyssey of a Friend: Whittaker Chambers’ Letters to William F. Buckley, Jr., 1954-1961. From IHE, in culture wars or Duke-bashing, do facts matter? Have you heard the one about the psychology chair who won’t hire Republicans? From New York, a special issue on Clay Felker (and a look at why magazine legend Clay Felker is the father of Google). From Smart Set, an article on the Googlized unpredictability of Internet shopping today; and what were the best parties in history — and what were they like to attend? A review of Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol by Iain Gately. From Newsweek, an article on broken artwork and the challenge of protecting masterpiece. A review of The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art by Don Thompson. As Christie's auctions off Jean-Antoine Watteau's long-lost work, TNR's art critic Jed Perl explores the tension and indecisiveness of his favorite painter. Meet the Press Now: The commentariat Russert leaves behind has never been larger, or louder — but is it really any more powerful? Philosopher Peter Sloterdijk on the Tour de France: "The riders are just regular employees". The psychology of the rodeo: What runs through a bull rider's brain during the most extreme eight seconds (or less) of his life?
From Scientific American, a cover story on the migration history of humans: DNA study traces human origins across the continents (and more and more). Here's the full text of The Bounds of Reason: Game Theory for the the Behavioral Sciences and the full text of A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and its Evolution, by Herbert Gintis. Are Democrats and Republicans finally agreeing on a new economic philosophy? 61 flip-flops and counting: Here's a list of clear 180-degree switches by John McCain on the biggest issues of the day. French philosopher BHL supports Obama; post-Jesse Jackson bump goes flat. Britain's bestsellers are under fire, but are they any worse than their American counterparts? Here come the muhajababes! How sex, booze and heavy metal fit into the world of hip young Arabs today. The web is the most conservative force on Earth: Charles Leadbeater on how digital technology has made us a society of mass archivers. The internet and its enemies: A chorus of Cassandras claim that the internet is ruining our brains; Christian Lorentzen clicks through the evidence. A review of The Future of the Internet by Jonathan Zittrain. From Discover, an article on the world's largest dump: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. From Dance, dance is, by its very nature, a sensual art form, but is it sexist to be sexy?
Louis J. Sirico Jr. (Villanova): How the Separation of Powers Doctrine Shaped the Executive. From New Left Review, the leading historian of modern Tibet Tsering Shakya discusses the background to recent protests on the Plateau; how should the Left think about the Communist experience today? A founding theorist of Il Manifesto reflects on the need for critical examination of the past; and here's Walter Benjamin’s last, unpublished report to Max Horkheimer on the literary situation in France. A review of The Ancient Greeks at War by Louis Rawlings. A review of Trials of Reason: Plato and the Crafting of Philosophy by David Wolfsdorf. A review of The Greeks and Greek Love: A Radical Reappraisal of Homosexuality in Ancient Greece by James Davidson. A review of Images of Ancient Greek Pederasty: Boys Were Their Gods by Andrew Lear and Eva Cantarella. A review of Dishonorable Passions: Sodomy Laws in America, 1861-2003 by William N. Eskridge. Unorthodox sex in the animal kingdom: Homosexual behavior is common in nature, and it plays an important role in survival. Are gender stereotypes boring? Suggestions one sex is more intelligent, witty, sympathetic, moral or interesting than the other do tend to be objectionable. Lori Gottlieb raised a furore among women by arguing that they should settle for Mr Good Enough, but alas, she gets a lot right.
From Counterpunch, are there really oil wars? Kevin Phillips on why the economy is worse than we know. Page by page, a good book can rewire your brain. From ResetDOC, a referendum on America: A forum with Andrew Arato, Benjamin Barber and Jim Sleeper (and part 2). From TAP, a look at why Obama is not a God; and an article on how the Left can avoid a new education war. Obama wonders what's up with all those "English-only" whiners — learn Spanish, already; and debates over language reflect the anxiety that some people feel about America's changing cultural landscape. Jesus loves you and your orgasm: The religious right is celebrating sex to stroke its conservative message; liberals better rise to a secular defense soon (and more on the war on sex). Why Fox News shouldn't be allowed to talk about sex. A review of The Tremendous World I Have Inside My Head: Franz Kafka: A Biographical Essay by Louis Begley, and a review of Kafka's Letter to My Father (and more). A review of The Road He Travelled: The Revealing Biography of M. Scott Peck by Arthur Jones. From Modern Age, Robert Beum on the divinization of democracy. Ex-prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi accuses Bush of murder. After 40 years and 1,500 concerts, Joe Queenan is finally ready to say the unsayable: new classical music is absolute torture, and its fans have no reason to be so smug.
From Ethics & International Affairs, Campbell Craig (Southampton): The Resurgent Idea of World Government; a review of International Legitimacy and World Society by Ian Clark; James Sterba reviews Freedom from Poverty as a Human Right: Who Owes What to the Very Poor?, ed. Thomas Pogge; and a review of A Climate of Injustice: Global Inequality, North-South Politics, and Climate Policy by J. Timmons Roberts and Bradley Parks. From Carnegie Council, torture, rights, and values: Why the prohibition of torture is absolute. Was the new Pixar film “WALL-E” inspired by an American cultural theorist? Scott McLemee goes over the moon to find out. Frank Furedi on why facts won’t demolish the conspiracy theories. How the media ruined the G-8: It’s time to bring the Group of Eight back to its elitist roots. More on Richard Rorty: The Making of an American Philosopher by Neil Gross. From TLS, a review of Semi-Invisible Man: The life of Norman Lewis by Julian Evans; a review of A Poisonous Affairs: America, Iraq, and the Gassing of Halabja by Joost Hiltermann. Benjamin Wittes and Andrew McCarthy try to figure out how best to adapt our laws and retain our freedoms in a world of enemy combatants. Books pages in newspapers and magazines are shrinking, while reviewers are paid peanuts; where did it all go wrong?
Richard L. Kaplan (Illinois): Top Ten Myths of Social Security. From Boston Review, a special issue on Incarcerated America; Andrew Bacevich goes Inside Rumsfeld's Pentagon; American dreamers: William Hogeland on Pete Seeger, William F. Buckley, Jr., and public history; and Lew Daly, author of God and the Welfare State, weighs in on why Obama's policy embodies a genuine vision for fighting poverty, and why it is destined to fail. From The Wilson Quarterly, the Atlantic and Pacific now dominate the world’s politics and trade, but the Indian Ocean is emerging as a new locus of power that increasingly unites China, India, the Middle East, and Africa. From Christianity Today, a review of The Scandal of Evangelical Politics: Why Are Christians Missing the Chance to Really Change the World? by Ronald J. Sider; and a review of God in the White House: How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush by Randall Balmer. From TNR, Josie Delap and Robert Lane Greene on the Arab world vs. Barack Obama; how Islam and Christianity have dealt differently with their Jewish roots—and what that means for anti-Semitism today; and Javier Marias on how filthy, rude, tactless tourists are ruining the world's most treasured cities. From Harper's, Frank Bures goes in search of the magical penis thieves. William Saletan on why public toilets should pay you.
From The Believer, “an original adventure”: Elizabeth Hardwick eluded domesticity and became a pioneer of New York women intellectuals; an article on Freud, Dora (no, not that Dora), and surfing's secret Austro-Hungarian roots; and American black metal bands specialize in a uniquely brutal, homegrown sound, but they don't actually kill people; so why should they be taken seriously? Why implausibility sells: An article on the strange quest to write history in the absence of evidence. A review of Rousseau's Platonic Enlightenment by David Lay Williams. More and more and more and more on Hammer & Tickle: A History of Communism Told Through Communist Jokes by Ben Lewis. Why female South American leaders succeeded while Clinton’s run sputtered to a halt. An excerpt from Bill Bishop's The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart (and more). Meet the Council of Conservative Citizens — a group that offers a biblical defense of slavery and laments the survival of African babies. We can measure eyesight and hearing — so why not smell? A review of books on the highs and lows of covering the war. From FP, an article on the world's dirtiest cities: Arsenic-laced drinking water, lead-contaminated soils and choking air pollution are sadly just the start in some of the world's dirtiest places; and a list of the world’s lost environmental causes.
From Harvard Magazine, an article on the causes and consequences of the wide—and growing—gap between rich and poor. A review of We Shall Overcome: A History of Civil Rights and the Law by Alexander Tsesis. A review of First Stop in the New World: Mexico City, the Capital of the 21st Century by David Lida. Stalin was right? More on Slavoj Zizek's In Defense of Lost Causes. A review of The Importance of Being Trivial by Mark Mason and Real Men Eat Puffer Fish by Robert Twigger. A review of The Populist Vision by Charles Postel. Who needs the humanities? Steve Fuller wants to know. What the authors of the Second Amendment did not foresee is that when people own a gun, they unwittingly raise their risk of getting hurt and killed — because the odds that they will one day use their gun to commit suicide. Mark Krikorian on The Real Reconquista—Mass immigration and American sovereignty. The first chapter from Identity and Control: How Social Formations Emerge by Harrison C. White. Scientists in popular culture are inevitably mad, bad and dangerously keen on bubbling vials of ghastly liquids — should this bother them? Battle for the 'burbs: An excerpt from Reihan Salam and Ross Douthat's Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream (and more and more).