From The New York Times Magazine, a special issue on college teaching. From Nerve, here's a look at the 50 buzziest blog posts of all time. From NYRB, Steven Weinberg is without God. With the publication of Vanity Fair, The Portraits: A Century of Iconic Images, Christopher Hitchens charts the magazine’s omnivorous yet discriminating sensibility; and across the board — from "The Sopranos" and "Weeds" to "Bones" and the "C.S.I." franchise — television is eating the movies’ lunch. From The American Scholar, the censor in the mirror: It’s not only what the Chinese Propaganda Department does to artists, but what it makes artists do to their own work; and in a remote part of Chile, an evil German evangelist built a utopia whose members helped the Pinochet regime perform its foulest deeds; Bill Kovach asks twelve questions for the future of journalism; and in a speech given at Harvard 22 years ago and never before published, Leonard Bernstein offered a warning that remains timely. What if the impossible happens and Obama loses the election? Among Democrats, expect a rash of rage, depression, angst and finger-pointing at the media. The Politics of Schadenfreude: Why taking pleasure at the pain of political opponents can hurt everybody. From The Chronicle, online literacy is a lesser kind: Slow reading counterbalances Web skimming. More on Crowdsourcing by Jeff Howe.
From Esquire, a list of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century; and a look at the 75 books every man should read. From The Times, here are 10 books not to read before you die. How to read a hundred books: It’s easy, once you know how to discover new authors. Reading Exercise: Devouring books as an extreme sport. From The Telegraph, a look at the 50 greatest villains in literature. Talking amongst your shelves: A novel way to organise your books is to use different titles to spell out new phrases. Laurie Taylor tries a bit of continental drift. From Law and Politics Book Review, a review of Honor Bound: Inside the Guantanamo Trials by Kyndra Miller Rotunda; a review of Power Play: The Bush Presidency and the Constitution by James P. Pfiffner; a review of The Preeminence of Politics: Executive Orders from Eisenhower to Clinton by Ricardo Jose Pereira Rodrigues; and a review of White Enough to Be American? Race Mixing, Indigenous People, and the Boundaries of State and Nation by Lauren L. Basson. What privileges do McCain and Palin receive because they're white? From PUP, the introduction to God and Race in American Politics: A Short History by Mark A. Noll; and the introduction to The Art of the Public Grovel: Sexual Sin and Public Confession in America by Susan Wise Bauer. More and more on The Wrecking Crew by Thomas Frank.
From National Journal, Jonathan Rauch on Bush's Legacy: Small ball after all? What Bush Meant: Ron Suskind on the lasting influence of the last eight years. From Culture11, an article on the wrong side of populism: How to walk the line between populism and identity politics. We’re witnessing the passing of more than a venerable firm — we’re seeing the death of a culture. From TAP, Robert Kuttner on the seven deadly sins of deregulation — and three necessary reforms. A look at the long history of the 2008 financial mess. How do we get out of this mess? Perhaps, it’s time to play offense. Joseph Stiglitz on why the financial crisis is the fruit of dishonesty on the part of financial institutions. Glenn Greenwald on the complete (though ever-changing) elite consensus over the financial collapse. The collapse of Lehman Brothers has got the mainstream media hitting the panic button and talking of systemic crisis — but the crisis isn't just spreading to the real economy, it began there. Tax the Speculators: Here's a fair plan to pay for economic recovery. Robert Shiller on the mortgages of the future (and an interview). Laughter in the dark: In general, the easiest way to locate the Humor section in any bookstore is to go through the front entrance of the bookstore and to the farthest point from the entrance. Mallika Sarabhai’s idea of socially conscious art is to use various media to comment on the times we live in.
A new issue of Triple Canopy is out. The late David Foster Wallace didn’t settle for satire; Scott McLemee says farewell to a wild talent. Obsessive, ironical, needy: David Foster Wallace’s voice was the voice in your head. From n+1, Benjamin Kunkel on DFW, 1962-2008, and Jared Roscoe on Wallace, teacher. Here's a list of DFW material on the web. Here's the latest issue of Jewish Literary Supplement. From Brevity, Leslie Miller on how writing is a piece of cake. Debtor's prison: Margaret Atwood looks at the history and meaning of being in hock. From CJR, the business press is missing the crooked heart of the credit crisis. From FP, an interview on why you shouldn’t panic about the financial crisis; and a look at the world’s biggest bailouts. From ProPublica, here's a history of US government bailouts (and more on the Mother of All Bailouts) From Mother Jones, will the government bailout work? Many economists skeptical of the bailout. William Greider on how the Paulson bailout plan is a historic swindle. More on The Numerati by Stephen Baker. From The Village Voice, a look at the strange history of final games in stadiums slated for demolition. What would Thomas Jefferson think of Sarah Palin? From The New Yorker, a review of The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed; and freeing the elephants: Adam Gopnik on what Babar brought.