From Cato Unbound, a special issue on What Happened? Anatomies of the Financial Crisis. From The New York Times, economic experts write on the challenges facing Barack Obama when he takes office. From International Viewpoint, a crash course in capitalism: The comparison with the fall of the Berlin Wall gives some indication of this historical dimension. Was Marx right? An article on the auto industry and the bailout. Help Wanted: In trying times, the turn to advice books can be a dangerous one. Where is the world's safest place? With all the panic going on in the world, the survivalism movement is making a comeback. An interview with SNL's Amy Poehler: "Smart girls have more fun". From E&P, Obama owes it all to Stephen Colbert. The sector formerly known as private: How Obama intends to use corporations to effect social change. Learning from the Bush legacy: Conservatives sold their soul to back George W. Bush — can they get it back? An article on George W. Bush as multilateralism’s greatest booster? Spreading the Gospel: The Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights has opened its doors in Washington DC — its founder ruminates. From Wishtank, here's an exchange of savants: Kim Peek compliments Daniel Tammet. Who's the world's worst banker? Daniel Gross wonders. An interview with Philip Plait, author of Death from the Skies! These Are the Ways the World Will End.
From The New York Observer, what makes moguls believe they belong in the book business?; and the New Little Miss Missbehave: Editor Lesley Arfin wants to make the Williamsburg women’s quarterly less Vice, more Teen Vogue. How would Kerouac cope with Word? (and from Bookforum, fifty years after the publication of On the Road, the question remains: Where was Kerouac going?) From Cracked, a look at the 13 most baffling book titles. To toss or not to toss? Laura Miller on the well-tended bookshelf. From Folio, an article on community publishing: The next new hope? Laid off recently? Come to Tina, darling! Jason Earls on his submission to Weird Tales magazine. From TAP, the 2008 election was defined as much by things that didn't happen — from racism denying Obama the presidency to working-class men finding him too elitist — as things that did; and after three decades of devolution, there's no turning back from the reality that states, their governors, legislators, and parties will play a central role in our country's political future. Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger on Getting Real on Climate Change: We'll never succeed in making dirty energy too expensive — let's make clean energy cheap; and on A New Inconvenient Truth: Al Gore just updated his prescription for fighting climate change — now other environmentalists have to follow his lead.
From Law and Contemporary Problems, special issues on the law and politics of international delegation; and odious debts and state corruption (and more). From LRB, a review of Franz Kafka: The Office Writings; and a review of The House of Wittgenstein: A Family at War by Alexander Waugh. A look at why the French maid is about to clean up — and save her nation from economic ruin. An article on Angelina Jolie: Lady Madonna or manipulator? AC Grayling on the hard truth about animal research. From Doublethink, we’re on a bus, and it’s 6:45 in the morning — just another day on Foothill Transit, Line 187: the Murder Bus. Should judges be elected or appointed? In the case of international courts, this age-old conundrum has a new twist. Is crime contagious? Experiments vindicate the broken windows theory of how disorder spreads (and more). From TNR, more on Drew Faust's This Republic of Suffering (and more from Bookforum). How secular is America?: Will Barack Obama's presidency usher a new age of tolerance in a country that has seen religious discrimination rise after September 11, 2001? A review of The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death and Happiness by Mark Rowlands. More and more and more on Andrew Bacevich's The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism.
From FT, an interview with Tom Peters, the world’s most famous management guru. Vegetables are the new meat: Real men eat rutabega! Oxford mathematician Marcus du Sautoy takes over from Richard Dawkins as Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science; is he bothered by comparisons with his fearsome predecessor? A review of Obsession: A History by Lennard J. Davis (and more). Stars and Stripes has announced the US Army is about to invest $50m in videogame development over the next 5 years in what is both a PR and recruitment drive. From The Daily Beast, Ana Marie Cox on five ways Obama has already changed Washington. Defining Barack Down: Jonathan Chait on separating the mandates from the boy-dates. Still drawn to comics: Master of the medium Art Spiegelman had it right when he called it an art form (and more from Slate and more from Bookforum). The White Dacha: The Yalta home in which Anton Chekhov spent his last years is filled with treasures but has lately fallen into a dire state. A review of Mrs. Woolf and the Servants: An Intimate History of Domestic Life in Bloomsbury by Alison Light. A review of Lady Worsley's Whim: An Eighteenth-Century Tale of Sex, Scandal and Divorce by Hallie Rubenhold. A review of John Milton: Life, Work and Thought by Gordon Campbell and Thomas N. Corns.
Jonathan Matusitz and Gerald-Mark Breen (UCF): Unethical Consequences of Pack Journalism. From Index on Censorship, civil disobedience is sometimes the only way of making a democratic point, says Leo Murray of Plane Stupid. A review of Beyond Terror and Martyrdom: The Future of the Middle East by Gilles Kepel (and an interview). From Intelligent Life, how thriftily can you drive? You'll need to ape the hypermilers, writes Paul Markillie; and mining William Faulkner's work and biography for inspiration, the Coens have managed to grant the Southern bard the popular acceptance that always eluded him. Researchers found that more male drivers stopped to pick up women hitchhikers with bigger breasts. Let's call John Kerry's loss in 2004 what it is: the luckiest thing to happen to Democrats in 40 years. From Think Tank, are we are what we eat? An interview with Gary Taubs, author of Good Calories/Bad Calories (and an excerpt). From Discover, a look at the 10 most influential people in science; and what if time really exists? Sean Carroll wonders. We have survived as a species and even thrived sufficiently to create credit default swaps that possibly will do what the Soviet nuclear targeters failed to do: bring us to our knees. Why it's time to give the UN some teeth. An interview with Hans Kochler of the International Progress Organization.
From Esquire, a look at how Dean Kamen's Magical Water Machine could save the world; and the American Way of Justice: As his client, Salim Hamdan, is released from Guantanamo Bay, revisit one bold JAG lawyer's inside accounting of how he convinced the Supreme Court that President Bush had breached the Constitution. A review of And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks by William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. Is America’s new declinism for real? Gideon Rachman wants to know. The bad news for Tyrannasaurus Republicans lies in the tens of millions of voters who have yet to make it to the rolls and why, when they do, they are likely to register as Democrats. Recession Realities: A look at why the worst is yet to come. Don't get depressed, it's not 1929: Why all those Great Depression analogies are wrong. It turns out money really does buy happiness — uh-oh. From Cafe Babel, why boo the French national anthem at a football stadium? A look at 5 astounding advances in the science of getting drunk. Here's the latest issue of Sexual Intelligence. From New Scientist, a look at the dizzying diversity of human sexual strategies. From Scientific American, why do men buy sex? Some researchers say johns seek intimacy on demand; others believe they typically want to dominate women. Balls and brain: The quality of a man’s sperm depends on how intelligent he is, and vice versa.
From n+1, at its best, El Malpensante exhibits not only the critical rigor that is expected of a publication of its sort, but also a touch of youthful perversity and mischief, now adult in its methods and motivations. Here are 7 superpowers the world can do without. Strange News: The origin of sex are pinned down — on wild strawberries. It's Living Room 2.0: Boxee, the open-source software that puts the Internet on your TV, is poised to revolutionize how and what we watch; could it reunite the family, too? A chance to join the world: Neal Ascherson on a future for Abkhazia. A weakened economy needs strengthened humanities: Economic freedom has turned toxic because we lack the cultural maturity that the humanities used to provide. Roger Kimball on tenured radicals: Still tenured, still radical. From Mother Jones, an interview with Frank Rich. How much hoops analysis is too much? A review of Free Darko's The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac. A look at how publishing is displaying its split personality. On giant piles of trash left by a generation of New Yorkers, landscape architect James Corner is building a park that has the power to change the way we see the past and the future of the city. Majoring in the unusual: “Out of the box” college programs for Generation Y. More on The Lost Art of Walking by Geoff Nicholson.
A new issue of M/C Journal is out. From LPBR, a review of Holding Bishops Accountable: How Lawsuits Helped the Catholic Church Confront Clergy Sexual Abuse by Timothy D. Lytton; and a review of The Supreme Court on Trial: How the American Justice System Sacrifices Innocent Defendants by George C. Thomas III. A review of Loot: The Battle Over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World by Sharon Waxman. A review of Vindicating Lincoln: Defending the Politics of Our Greatest President by Thomas L. Krannawitter. A review of Swinging: the Games Your Neighbours Play by Mark Brendon. Setting advice columnists straight: A downtrodden girlfriend, a weight watcher, and a cuckold sought counsel — Gelf gives them better answers. Eckhart Tolle is a publishing phenomenon — why are so many people lapping up his distillation of the wisdom of the ages? Difficult times call for brave souls ready to expose forbidden realities to the light of day: Lawrence B. Wilkerson is such a man. Cory Doctorow on willing science fiction into fact. From LRB, an address in Mayfair: Donald MacKenzie on hedge funds. Doppelganger Pop: Does Beyonce Knowles really need an alter ego? Return of the Neanderthals: If we can resurrect them through fossil DNA, should we? Bailout: Michelle Cottle on the redemption of Barney Frank.
From Imprimis, Edward J. Erler (CSU-SB): Birthright Citizenship and Dual Citizenship: Harbingers of Administrative Tyranny. From Multinational Monitor, the system implodes: A look at the 10 worst corporations of 2008. The Tower of Babel does not exist: Clarisse Herrenschmidt considers the mixed blessings of global English and suggests playing a game to overcome the barriers of language. How we will die in 20 years: Here’s a list of reasons why you should (and shouldn’t) fear the reaper in the coming decades. Obama's Reagan Democrats: They weren't crazy about Obama, but they voted for him anyway — now what do they want? Professor-in-Chief: Unlike other egg-headed candidates, President-elect Obama has proven that an intellectual can make it to the Oval Office. The new Cicero: Barack Obama's speeches are much admired and endlessly analysed, but one of their most interesting aspects is the enormous debt they owe to the oratory of the Romans. Why should we be celebrating the “new frugality” imposed by hard times, particularly if we have moved beyond the moral universe plotted by Milton Friedman, Friedrich von Hayek, and Michael Novak? An excerpt from Wage Theft in America by Kim Bobo. A review of Garrett Cullity’s The Moral Demands of Affluence, Tim Mulgan’s The Demands of Consequentialism, and Liam Murphy’s Moral Demands in Nonideal Theory.
A new issue of Europe's World is out. So much for "late capitalism": Greed, speculation, bust, misery — our present economic woes are right there, along with all human life, in Charles Dickens. An interview with Uri Gordon, author of Anarchy Alive! A review of A Citizen Legislature/A People's Parliament by Ernest Callenbach, A review of Everyday Drinking by Kingsley Amis (and more from Bookforum). From Salon, an interview with Richard Rodriguez on why churches fear gay marriage. From American Diplomacy, an article on UN Security Council reform: Unrealistic proposals and viable reform options. Green or die: An interview with Rev. Lennox Yearwood, executive director of the Hip Hop Caucus. From TAP, Paul Starr on the realignment opportunity; and let the conservative whining begin, says Paul Waldman. The odd expletive escapes most people's mouths in times of stress, but when we fall back on swear words just for effect have we really just run out of ideas. A review of Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney by Dennis O’Driscoll. Scott McLemee reviews The Overflowing Brain: Information Overload and the Limits of Working Memory by Torkel Klingberg. From Quodlibet, an article on teaching the parables to a post-modern society. An interview with Dinesh D'Souza on a Christian think tank. The sound of change: Can music save Cuba?