From Stratfor, a series on Obama, McCain and US foreign policy (and part 2 and part 3 and part 4). From Commentary, articles on Obama's leftism and McCain's honor. Cut, kill, dig, drill: Jonathan Raban on Sarah Palin’s cunning. Bruce Ackerman on abolishing the vice presidency. From The American Conservative, a review of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement by Justin Raimondo; Claes G. Ryn on the coup the intellectuals wrought; and Andrew Roberts, the Anglosphere’s greatest modern mythologist, may be perfectly suited to sanitize the Bush presidency. Whose conservatism is it? President Bush in his final days is getting tagged as a socialist. Before he died, William F. Buckley Jr. put his young grandson on the firing line. A review of Stefan Collini's Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain. A review of The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder (and more and more and more). The introduction to Plato's Ghost: The Modernist Transformation of Mathematics by Jeremy Gray. From Edge, a special report on a short course on behavioral economics. The wonders of the horseless carriage no longer impress Peter Baker, who wants to get back on his feet. Carol Williamson on her so-called glamorous life as a foreign correspondent. A review of Glamour: A History by Stephen Gundle.
From Small Wars Journal, an essay on Sisyphus and Counterinsurgency. Counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan: An interview with John Nagl. "Local wars ahead:" An interview with former soldier and journalist Arkady Babchenko on the Russian military action in South Ossetia and Georgia. A look at how ethnic fragmentation undermines good governance. From Strange Maps, an article on Transnistria, a Soviet fly in geopolitical amber. Coming in from the cold: Why UN membership is needed for the phantom republics. A review of Clearing a Space: Reflections on India, Literature and Culture by Amit Chaudhuri. The worldwide popularity of yoga proves that globalization is flowing in every direction, and has been for a while. The Rise of the Numerati: With the explosion of data from the Internet, cell phones, and credit cards, the people who can make sense of it all are changing our world (and more). From TED, Steven Pinker on innate traits and the blank slate; and Eve Ensler explores our modern craving for security — and why it makes us less secure. A review of Unmaking the Public University: The Forty-Year Assault on the Middle Class by Christopher Newfield. Amid worries about examining practices, Times Higher Education asked ten academics to mark a first-year paper; verdicts ranged from zero to a 2:1, but the markers identified an inherent consensus (and more).
Janaki Bakhlea (Columbia University): Music as the Sound of the Secular. What is music for? A review of The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature by Daniel J. Levitin. From Maisonneuve, why are literary readings so excruciatingly bad? P.D. Smith on Faust, the Physicists and the Atomic Bomb. The Indian Diaspora: The new face of success has a caramel-brown hue to it — introducing the worldwide rise of Bollystan. From The L Magazine, an essay on The White Negro: Appropriation, guilt and Hollywood’s new minstrels. Nicole Rudick reviews Nobody’s Home by Dubravka Ugresic. From Democracy, Theda Skocpol and Suzanne Mettler on higher-education access for all; Joseph Nye, Jr. on picking a president; Michael Lind on a new physical and financial infrastructure; Robert Shapiro on the next globalization; Eric Lane on America 101; and a review of The Freedom Agenda: Why America Must Spread Democracy (Just Not the Way George Bush Did) by James Traub. A review of Larry Diamond's The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World. A review of The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism by Andrew J. Bacevich and America and the World: Conversations on the Future of American Foreign Policy by Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft (and more and more).
From History & Policy, Ben Jackson (Oxford): How to Talk About Redistribution: A Historical Perspective. From Scientific American, an article on the science of gossip: Why we can't stop ourselves; and a look at how randomness rules our world and why we cannot see it. From Literary Review, a review of The Man Who Invented History: Travels with Herodotus by Justin Marozzi; and a review of The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes. Muscular Christianity: A review of Playing with God: Religion and Modern Sport by William J. Baker. From Beliefnet, an article on the twelve tribes of American politics in the '08 election. If you live in an American swing state you may have received a copy of "Obsession", a documentary produced by The Clarion Fund. An interview with Bill Maher on "Religulous" (and more and more). The real Americans: Forget red and blue, the real battle is over the allegedly authentic and the allegedly inauthentic. Writing sex and gallows humor: An interview with Anne Enright. Uncle Sam’s Harem II: Thomas Fleming on Christianity and marriage. The religious dating game: How evangelicals, Catholics, Mormons and Orthodox Jews have developed alternative ways to engineer marriage. An article on western sexual mysticism: The hidden links between sexuality, spirituality, and nature.
From the tenth-anniversary issue of Cultural Logic, Stephen C. Ferguson (NCA&T): Social Contract as Bourgeois Ideology; Michael Mikulak (McMaster): Cross-pollinating Marxism and Deep Ecology: Towards a Post-humanist Eco-humanism; Philip Tonner (Glasgow): Freud, Bentham: Panopticism and the Super-Ego; Paula Cerni on the Age of Consumer Capitalism; Philip Bounds on George Orwell and the Dialogue with English Marxism; and Roland Boer on Socialism, Christianity, and Rosa Luxemborg; and a review of Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine and Peter McLaren and Nathalia Jaramillo's Pedagogy and Praxis in the Age of Empire. Johannes Grenzfurthner (Vienna): Every Five Seconds an Inkjet Printer Dies Somewhere. An excerpt (on tenure) from From Student to Scholar: A Candid Guide to Becoming a Professor by Steven M. Cahn. How fast you can read this online: How John McCain’s techno-monopolism will hurt the economy. Dreams of leaving: A review of Naked Airport by Alastair Gordon and Politics at the Airport. From CJR, an article on The Ploughman and the Professor: Consumer reporting in the age of the wise crowd. France has vomited on Bernard-Henri Levy and Michel Houellebecq for too long. The blogosphere has introduced some lazy writing, but brave new words continue to rise — Shakespeare would've loved it all.
From PS: Political Science and Politics, Kenneth Mulligan (SIU): The “Myth” of Moral Values Voting in the 2004 Presidential Election; Scott Sigmund Gartner (UC-Davis) Gary M. Segura (UW): All Politics are Still Local: The Iraq War and the 2006 Midterm Elections; and Seth C. McKee (USF): Rural Voters and the Polarization of American Presidential Elections; and Cindy Simon Rosenthal and Ronald M. Peters Jr. (Oklahoma): Who is Nancy Pelosi? From The Believer, an interview with Nico Muhly, twenty-six-year-old composer and Philip Glass protege. From Lacan.com, Slavoj Zizek on masturbation, or sexuality in the atonal world; and smashing the neighbor’s face: On Emmanuel Levinas’ Judaism. The introduction to Reckless Rites: Purim and the Legacy of Jewish Violence by Elliott Horowitz. From The Hedgehog Review, an article on blueberries, accordions, and Auschwitz: The evil of thoughtlessness. A review of Law, Antisemitism and the Holocaust by David Seymour. The Khugistic Sandal: A review of Jews and Shoes. A look at the dismaying close-mindedness of Austria. From The New Criterion, John Derbyshire on Hazlitt's philocaption: a very child in love; a review of Worshipping Walt: The Whitman Disciples by Michael Robertson; and a review of Upstream: The Ascendance of American Conservatism by Alfred Regnery.
Here's the inaugural issue of The Manchester Review. From Geist, Alberto Manguel on Jewish gauchos, European Jewish artisans on horseback in Argentina. From San Diego CityBeat, a la recherche du Taco Bell: One gabacho’s run for the border. From NYRB, Freeman Dyson reviews Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World by Paul Stewart; and is this a "victory"? Peter Galbraith wants to know. Intelligence officials are worried, Richard Clarke writes, that al Qaeda may try to affect elections. While America’s markets plummet, formerly moribund Arab economies are thriving after embracing the same principles that Washington carelessly discarded. So much for Bush's freedom agenda: Right now, global authoritarianism is worse than ever. From The Economist, a poll of economists on the candidates' economic plans. CQ's "Cabinet Maker" lets you assemble that group of advisers for an Obama or McCain administration. Why Obama's agenda shouldn't be compromised by the government's new spending. When Michelle Met Barack: How romance in the sedate corridors of a corporate law firm changed everything for the woman who might become the first African American first lady. From IHE, Scott McLemee profiles Bernard-Henri Levy, the playboy philosopher (and more on Left in Dark Times). The perfect book review? There's nothing like a ban to give a book a good reputation.
From Fortune, why the bailout may not be enough: Cleaning up banks' balance sheets is a start, but the government may need to do more. From Business Week, what does Henry Paulson do now? A look at why the Paulson package is not the end of capitalism. We don't just need to recapitalize the banks — we need to reconceptualize capitalism. From Newsweek, Francis Fukuyama on The Fall of America, Inc.: Along with some of Wall Street's most storied firms, a certain vision of capitalism has collapsed. Capitalism to the Rescue: Can the venture capitalists at Kleiner Perkins reduce our dependence on oil, help stop global warming and make a lot of money at the same time? He foresaw the end of an era: A review of The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means by George Soros. Jeffrey Sachs on how to fix the US financial crisis. How free should a free market be? It appears that we still have not had enough central planning in finance. Tim Harford on why Americans should stop complaining about the "moral hazard" problem and enjoy the bailout. How today's debacle recalls James Madison's nightmare at the founding that none would have the virtue to lead. Alan Wolfe on why the economic crisis won't transform America. Let there be markets: An article on the evangelical roots of economics. A look at why your boss is white, middle-class and a show-off.
From Vanity Fair, Christopher Hitchens on The Eton Empire: A fresh look at the bastion of privilege, which may have rebranded itself just in time. Hangman, spare that word: The English purge their language. Horace Engdahl of the Nobel Prize committee doesn't think American authors are good enough for the world's top literary honor. The Nobel Committee has no clue about American literature (and more). The Ambition of the Short Story: There are virtues associated with smallness — it is the realm of elegance and grace, it’s also the realm of perfection. From Evolutionary Psychology, whence poetic fiction: A review of Comeuppance: Costly Signaling, Altruistic Punishment, and Other Biological Components of Fiction by William Flesch; and a review of The Rape of Troy: Evolution, Violence and the World of Homer by Jonathan Gottschall. Apply all the science to novels you want, Literary Darwinists — you'll still never quantify the human experience. Christian creationists have long railed against the theory of evolution, but you may not have heard anything yet. This years' Ig Nobels Awards honor studies of lap dancing, soft drink-based contraception. The U.S. News &World Report rankings of colleges and universities are largely arbitrary, according to a new mathematical analysis. Higher art: Universities should become society's great patrons of the arts.
From TAC, whose Palin? The old Buchanan Brigades now ride to the sound of the neocon guns; and here's an open letter to Sarah Palin by the editors. A look at why some women hate Sarah Palin, and a look at why Sarah's sex life matters. David Gargill travels to Anchorage to examine the roots of Sarah Palin’s spectacular and sudden ascent. The politics of the Last Frontier are a strange brew of libertarianism, moralism, privacy and a love of government handouts. An article on Palin's small-town snobbery: Why it's time to bury the myth of rural virtue. Alaska vs. Hawaii: Why is Seward's Folly the "real America" and the Aloha State not? Are you an elitist? 18 revealing ways to know for sure. Stephen Pinker on why voters should focus on Gov. Sarah Palin’s facile governing philosophy that is symbolized by her speech style, not the red herrings of accent or dialect. The next decider: The election isn't just a referendum on ideology — it's a contest between two modes of thinking. An interview with Philip Tetlock, author of Expert Political Judgment. This is your brain on politics: A look at the work of Drew Westen, author of The Political Brain. Is Sarah Palin a "muscular feminist" or simply a dumb jock? If something is too absurd for words, why not draw a cartoon? Voila: Palinworld. An article on Alaska's Little Diomede island: You CAN see Russia from here.