From THES, is history fact or fiction? Ronald Hutton's early experience of discerning reality from fantasy has coloured his view of the subject since; the value of past masters: Historians separate fact from fiction, keeping politicians honest and clearing the way for better thinking; and whatever the genuine lessons of history, policymakers constantly make opportunistic use of the past to justify their decisions — a team of historians are fighting back against the "Bad History" all around us. More and more and more on Dangerous Games by Margaret MacMillan. From HNN, an interview with David Kaiser on what's wrong with the New History; and how do historians think? Michele Lamont investigates. How historians repeat themselves: Norman Naimark on the joys and challenges of mentoring the historians of the future. Kelly Kennington, a newly minted Ph.D. in history, hunts for academe's holy grail: a tenure-track position. A review of David Brown’s Beyond the Frontier: The Midwestern Voice in American Historical Writing. Is Andrew Roberts really an inadequate historian?: A savage review of The Storm of War puzzles Simon Heffer. The Observer profiles Andrew Roberts, the history man who loves to party. Obituary: John Burrow. The first chapter from History Man: The Life of R. G. Collingwood by Fred Inglis (and more and more). A review of The Angel of History: Rosenzweig, Benjamin, Scholem by Stephane Moses. For Benjamin, history was more than a series of dispassionate facts; he showed how the struggle for the past shapes our future. Jacob Soll reviews Thucydides: The Reinvention of History by Donald Kagan (and more and more and more).
From Granta, Javier Marias on airships and fear of flying. From Air & Space, an article on the electric airplane: Quiet, smooth, dependable — shouldn’t we be flying these by now?; and look at the perfect airplane: Fast, green, and quiet. Flights are the fastest-growing polluter in transport, and 95% of the world’s population has never been on a plane — do the rest of us have a right to fly? From Salon, Patrick Smith answers all your questions about in-flight horrors; an article on how we're blowing airline security: The TSA wastes a lot of time and money on an inefficient fight against the wrong enemy; a look back at some of the worst airline-related terrorism of the '70s, '80s and '90s; and are we safer than we were eight years ago?: We're still looking for pointy objects when we should be looking for bombs. Flying is now safer than at any time since the Wright Brothers, but beware the looming threats: exploding laptops, runway chaos, and cockpit rookies. Are some airlines just too dangerous to fly? The answer just might be yes. An interview with flight psychologist Reiner Kemmler: "We are more and more at the mercy of technology". A review of Fly by Wire: The Geese, the Glide, the Miracle on the Hudson by William Langewiesche (and more and more). From The New Yorker, Judith Thurman is still searching for Amelia Earhart. Enough About Amelia: She was an interesting, adventurous, and accomplished woman who lived and died unconventionally — but so did many of her peers. Here are five things Alain de Botton learned as Heathrow's philosopher-in-residence (and more and more). A look at the world's strangest airport attractions, from teeth cleaning to “4-D” movies.
Jean-Paul Fitoussi on the revolt of the meritocrats. Fashion Disaster: How the House of Versace went from rags to riches — and back again. The “death panel” episode shows how the news media, after aiding and abetting falsehood, were unable to perform their traditional role of reporting the facts. Why do we like to think everyone with autism is especially gifted? Steven Kellman reviews Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). Steve Chapman on how America only seems polarized: We're still a country full of political moderates. An article on the underground market of sperm donors: Do you really know what you’re getting? An interview with David Plouffe on The Audacity to Win (and more and more). If you have worked in an office in the Western world in the past 25 years, you will probably have sat through a PowerPoint presentation. Squawking Hawks: The current deficit debate is for the birds. A review of The Real Wizard of Oz: The Life and Times of L. Frank Baum by Rebecca Loncraine (and more and more and more). The 8½ laws of rumor: Why some ideas spread and others die and why rumors are a regular feature of our social landscape; and it is one of life's most undervalued and instructive pleasures — so why does gossip have such a bad reputation? (and more) Should we regard suicide under the right circumstances as the logical end of the Good Life? Scientists hope a better understanding of when, where and how mammoth oceanic waves form can someday help ships steer clear of danger. Harry Reid is always interrupting Mozart or Bach or Beethoven for legislation — oh well, nobody's perfect.
A review of A Brief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and Faith by John Rawls. Cornel West, Jurgen Habermas, Charles Taylor, and Judith Butler discuss "Rethinking Secularism: The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere" (and more). Jay Michaelson on how religion is actually spirituality. From PUP, the first chapter from Religious Experience Reconsidered: A Building-Block Approach to the Study of Religion and Other Special Things by Ann Taves. A review of The Faith Instinct: How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures by Nicholas Wade (and more on the evolution of the God gene). A review of Flickering Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith by Shane Hipps. Sharon Begley on why religion may not be hard-wired. The ethics of being a theologian: The religion researcher is related to the theologian as the biologist is related to the frog in her lab. Mathew Iredale meets Bernard d’Espagnat, the winner of the £1million Templeton Prize. A review of Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies by David Bentley Hart. Atheists, it's time to stand up to Jesus: Civility has its uses, but atheists should not be afraid to mock faith to undermine religious power. Having lost the power of the gun in the West, apologists of religion have a new weapon: being offended. Is there an atheist schism, are there really two camps of non-believers? How to be agnostic: Mark Vernon argues against atheism and belief. Here's the complete text of Why I Believed: Reflections of a Former Missionary by Kenneth W. Daniels.