From The Browser, an interview with Mary Beard on books about ancient history in modern life. A review of The War That Killed Achilles: The True Story of Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War by Caroline Alexander (and more and more and more). The first chapter from Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece by Joan Breton Connelly. From BMCR, a review of The Feminine Matrix of Sex and Gender in Classical Athens by Kate Gilhuly; a review of Abusive Mouths in Classical Athens by Nancy Worman; and a review of Greek Sport and Social Status by Mark Golden. The dinner party from Hell: The 2,000-year-old history of the intimidating dinner host. From The Nation, a review of The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found by Mary Beard. The first chapter from The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy by Adrienne Mayor. The great Roman orator Cicero is a politician who speaks loud and clear to our own times. Robin Wood on Seneca, the philosopher accused of fiddling while Nero fiddled while Rome burned. A review of Marcus Aurelius: A Life by Frank McLynn. A review of 428 AD: An Ordinary Year at the End of the Roman Empire by Giusto Traina. From Standpoint, a review essay on the fall of the Roman Empire. A review of How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower by Adrian Goldsworthy. A review of The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages 400-1000 by Chris Wickham. On the edge of an empire: On the curious English nostalgia for the days when Rome divided and conquered Britain. A review of The Golden Age of the Classics in America: Greece, Rome, and the Antebellum United States by Carl J. Richard.
The difference between deaths here and "over there": Thirteen soldiers die in Texas and it's all we talk about; two million die in Afghanistan and Iraq and we don't notice. From Boston Review, an essay on God, the Army, and PTSD: Is religion an obstacle to treatment? If gays can openly serve, will straights still want to? How the quest for sex shaped the modern man: Meet Faye Flam, a talented journalist and media personality who makes science sexy and makes sex “sciencey”. Grand Conversations: Small, elite groups of writers are forming salon-like blogs, which are some of the more interesting nodes of content on the Web. How to shrink the banks: The only way to restore sanity and security to finance is to stop banks growing so big. From The New Yorker, James Surowiecki on how the tax code makes debtors of us all; and what’s the recipe? Adam Gopnik on our hunger for cookbooks. Jumping the Snark: In an age of Yes Men, flash mobs, birthers, and fake pundits, is the prank dead? The real enemies of reason: Ophelia Benson and Dan Hind go head-to-head on the threat to Enlightenment values. Conquering fate: Frank Furedi on the birth of a world “made by man”. What if you had a remote-sensing mechanism that could record how millions of people around the world were feeling on any particular day? Hauntings, ghosts, and prophets can be found within the pages of Swords from the Desert and Swords from the West by Harold Lamb. The case for the seeing-eye horse: What if a blind man with a guide dog had taken on a Muslim bed-and-breakfast owner?
Richard H. Kohn (UNC): Always Salute, Never Resign: How Resignation Threatens Military Professionalism and National Security. A review of The Fourth Star: Four Generals and the Epic Struggle for the Future of the United States Army by Greg Jaffe and David Cloud. A review of The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency by Matthew Aid. How the CIA used magic with spies: A now-declassified manual by magician John Mulholland taught American spies the arts of deceit. From Vogue, as Obama's surprise (and reluctant) pick for Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton brings her star power and stamina to the global stage (and a look at the gaffes of Hillary Clinton). A review of Daryl Copeland's Guerrilla Diplomacy: Rethinking International Relations. The introduction to The Great American Mission: Modernization and the Construction of an American World Order by David Ekbladh. U.S. Africa Command was launched to controversy and has been met with skepticism ever since; behind two years of mixed messages, a coherent mission might finally be emerging. Destroying al Qaeda is not an option (yet): If the world's most notorious network goes down, terrorism will get a whole lot messier. From The Nation, welcome home, war: How America's wars are systematically destroying our liberties. From Slate, Dahlia Lithwick on the right's nonsensical arguments against trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York (and more); Christopher Hitchens on seven salient facts about Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan; and does Obama need to speak more harshly about Islam?
From Artforum, a review of Words Without Pictures. The first era of photography: The British Library unveils an important archive of historic images tracing the development of the medium from its beginnings in 1839 to the early 1900s. For decades, a unique collection of historic photographs of the Orient lay forgotten at the Hamburg Museum of Ethnology; now, the stock of 18,000 pictures has been catalogued and made accessible. Jordan Bear reviews Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits by Linda Gordon and Daring to Look: Dorothea Lange’s Photographs and Reports from the Field by Anne Whiston Spirn (and more and more). A review of Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present (and more). Susan Sontag's On Photography is an essential text for anyone working on the still image. Exposure time: Too often, photography is a tool of deception, but future technology could change all that. From Bomb, an interview with Mitch Epstein on American Power, a book of photographs dealing with energy production and consumption (and more and more). A makeshift world: For the photographer Thomas Demand, Germany is like any other country because it is haunted by history. The Restless Medium: A review of Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before by Michael Fried. A review of Photography and Science by Kelley Wilder. A review of Photography and Literature by Francois Brunet. If you just want tips on cameras, try Popular Photography; however, if you value the art and culture of photography, give American Photo a look-see. Meet the next best street photographer: Has Google joined the ranks of Robert Frank and Helen Levitt?