From Dissent, an article on Ghandi's burden — and ours; and does European social democracy have a future? A review of You Can't Be President: The Outrageous Barriers to Democracy in America by John R. MacArthur. When William Styron published The Confessions of Nat Turner 40 years ago, black writers objected to his use of dialect and his invocation of inflammatory stereotypes. Brave New World of Digital Intimacy: The effects of News Feed, Twitter and other forms of incessant online contact. Counting our towns: Are we a nation of big cities or of small towns? There it is: The absolute nightmare scenario, from the standpoint of political procedure: A tie in the Electoral College. An excerpt from Amnesty After Atrocity? Healing Nations After Genocide and War Crimes by Helena Cobban. A review of A Greener Faith: Religious Environmentalism and our Planet's Future by Roger S. Gottlieb. There are so many good and tasty reasons to eat insects that the 20-per-cent minority of Earthlings who don’t practice entomophagy should listen up. A review of An Elusive Science: The Troubling History of Education Research by Ellen Condliffe Lagemann. The war on terrorism, between World War IV and optical illusion: The introduction to The Politics of Chaos in the Middle East by Olivier Roy. More on Grand New Party by Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam.
From Open Source, an interview with James Q. Wilson on Understanding America: The Anatomy of an Exceptional Nation; and an interview with Rory Stewart, post-imperialist poster hero. The Taliban and Al Qaeda have established a haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas along the Afghan border; this is where the war on terror will be fought — and possibly lost. No matter how much we voters know about a candidate, the truth is we never can tell what kind of president he’ll be. The Sixty-Day War: With one hastily made decision, John McCain upended the presidential race — an investigation of the bloody new political realities; and is Joe Lieberman really supporting John McCain out of principle? David Frum on the vanishing Republican voter: Why income inequality is destroying the GOP base. From Salon, an interview with Markos Moulitsas Zuniga on how to build a vast left-wing conspiracy. Jonathan Yardley on William Strunk, Jr.'s The Elements of Style, a "little book" bursting with the write ideas. Memory-weaving 101: A review of The Autobiographer's Handbook. A review of The Author Is Not Dead, Merely Somewhere Else: Creative Writing Reconceived by Michelene Wandor. The most complicated love story in post-war Germany: The electric and torturous correspondence between Germany's legendary poets, Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan, has now been released in book form.
From First Monday, P.D. Magnus (Albany): Early response to false claims in Wikipedia; and Steve Jones, Sarah Millermaier, Mariana Goya-Martinez, and Jessica Schuler (UIC): Whose space is MySpace? A content analysis of MySpace profiles. From Lettre International, an essay on the society of the query and the Googlization of our lives. Today, learning, shopping and social networking can all be done online; this is a revolution not only of technology, but also one of sensibility. Robert Jensen on technological fundamentalism in media and culture. An excerpt from Crowdsourcing: How the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business by Jeff Howe. From The Economist, the idea of “crowdsourcing”, or asking crowds of internet users for ideas, is being tried out in some unusual quarters; minds of their own: One day, a machine will outsmart its maker; from plug-ins to planktonic algae, technology is part of the solution to climate change, but which technology?; and as well as trying to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, scientists have plans to re-engineer the Earth. From Good, scientists have begun to contemplate the unthinkable: the end of the sea’s abundance. Roger Altman on how the Fed can fix the world. From NYRB, George Soros on the perilous price of oil; Anthony Lewis reviews books on "official American sadism"; and Oliver Sacks reviews books on madness.