Saskia Sassen (Columbia): The Limits of Power and the Complexity of Powerlessness: The Case of Immigration. From The Atlantic Monthly, why Japan’s young consumers are turning away from luxury goods; and Michael Pettis is a finance pundit by day, a Beijing rock impresario by (very late) night. From Touchstone, Maclin Horton on Marilyn Monroe and Hugh Hefner, together at last; Eleanor Bourg Donlon on Hollywood’s disgrace and Jane Austen’s wisdom; Frederica Mathewes-Green on Bible lessons for the Disney Generation; John Granger on what he learned about the Great Books and Harry Potter; thirty-one years after its original publication, The Light and the Glory maintains a prominent place on the bookshelves of Evangelical Christians — but it must be read with caution; and an article on the remarkable 50-Year White House ministry of Billy Graham. From Tikkun, an article on the trouble with liberals — they are not who you think they are; and a review of How to Win a Fight with a Liberal and How to Win a Fight with a Conservative by Daniel Kurtzman. An interview with Peter J. Stanlis on the legacies of Edmund Burke and Robert Frost. Did China cause the crisis? In its present and worsening convulsions, the wild economic beast which we call the global market has a fearful symmetry. A review of Science in Civil Society by John Ziman.
From The Objective Standard, Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and the world today: An interview with Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute; and an essay on altruism, the moral root of the financial crisis. Matt Welch on the liberaltarian jackalope: The liberal-libertarian rapprochement is probably dead on arrival. A review of Michael Shermer's The Mind of the Market. A look at why the GOP really hates unions. Obsessed academics and ordinary thieves alike are willing to do almost anything to obtain ancient and priceless maps or pages that will fill a gap on their bookshelves. A review of The Bloody White Baron: The Extraordinary Story of the Russian Nobleman Who Became the Last Khan of Mongolia by James Palmer (and more). Katha Pollitt on how the global economic crisis is showing how wishful was the notion that philanthropy could save the world. Harm subsidies: Why the so-called nuclear renaissance ought to be aborted. A review of Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century by PW Singer; War Bots: How US Military Robots Are Transforming War in Iraq Afghanistan, and the Future by David Axe; and Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong by Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen (and more and an interview; and a review at Bookforum). Unnatural selection: An article on how robots start to evolve.
From Vanity Fair, William Langewiesche on the ruthless calculus behind a new age of piracy. People are beginning to say that the Big One has arrived — but how will we know? A review of Maddalena Bearzi and Craig B. Stanford's Beautiful Minds: The Parallel Lives of Great Apes and Dolphins. A review of Waiting for the Etonians: Reports from the Sickbed of Liberal England by Nick Cohen. A review of Crazy for God by Frank Schaeffer. From FT, a review of Cyburbia: The Dangerous Idea That’s Changing How We Live and Who We Are by James Harkin; a review of Halliburton’s Army: How a Well-Connected Texas Oil Company Revolutionized the Way America Makes War by Pratap Chatterjee; and a review of books on James Lovelock. How we worship the internet, genuflect at the altar of Google and give thanks for the big, webwide world that has broadened our horizons beyond our wildest dreams. Server Error: Millions of people a day rely on Google to search, email, schedule, map, work, study and YouTube — so what happens if it fails? Down with Facebook! What nobody bothers to mention about the social-networking site is that it's really dull — mind-numbingly dull. Steven Johnson on why software that aids thought isn’t cheating; it’s a legitimate part of the creative process. A review of 13 Things That Don't Make Sense by Michael Brooks.
From The American Scholar, does sexual selection really explain enough? A review of The Genial Gene: Deconstructing Darwinian Selfishness by Joan Roughgarden. From Prospect, Jonathan Ree reviews Beauty by Roger Scruton. From Vermont Commons, an interview with Kirkpatrick Sale on secession and sanity; if at first you don’t secede: Or – why secession is still a tough sell in Vermont and beyond; and a review of Secession: How Vermont and All the Other States Can Save Themselves from the Empire by Thomas Naylor. How science fiction found religion: Once overtly political, the genre increasingly employs Christian allegory. A review of Autophobia: Love and Hate in the Automotive Age by Brian Ladd and Republic of Drivers: A Cultural History of Automobility in America by Cotten Seiler (and more from Bookforum). A '"Truth Commission" is not enough: Why we must have a criminal investigation into Bush's lawlessness (and more). Why did The New York Times kill this image of Henry Kissinger? (not for his naked butt cheeks!) Lionel Rolfe is The Fat Man On The Left. The Daily Beast reveals novelist Peter Abrahams has been living a double life — as bestselling mystery writer Spencer Quinn. Barbie turns 50: An interview with M. G. Lord, author of Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll (and more).