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.