From Der Spiegel, an interview with Lieutenant-Colonel Harald Jager, the guard who opened the Berlin Wall: "I gave my people the order — raise the barrier" (and more on the unanswered phone calls and misunderstood memos that helped bring down the wall). From ResetDoc, a special section on the day that changed Europe. From FT, an in-depth report on the fall of the Berlin Wall (and review essay). Three new books argue over how the fall of the Berlin Wall came to pass (and more). From City Journal, a symposium on Communism’s defeat, 20 years later: Have we learned the right lessons? Twenty years on, did we learn the wrong lesson from the fall of the Berlin Wall? The fall of the Berlin Wall may seem like ancient history, but the economic debate has never moved beyond it. 20 years of collapse: Slavoj Zizek on how the Berlin Wall fell, but capitalism did not necessarily rise. The future of markets: 1989 marked the victory of markets over vested interests — 2009 has witnessed the reverse. What today’s capitalist crisis has in common with the crisis of state socialism in 1989. A review essay at The Economist. Tyranny can never be excused, but its sudden absence, as in 1989, leaves a literary vacuum. The Observer profiles Mikhail Gorbachev, the forgotten hero of history. The Gipper or the Guard: If there is a lesson in the fall of the Berlin Wall, it has to do with the dangers of mythmaking. Reagan didn't end the Cold War — leftist intellectuals did. A look at how the West hijacked the Berlin Wall revolution. A look at why 1979 was the year that truly changed the world.
From First Things, Mary Eberstadt on how pedophilia lost its cool. E.T. phones the Pope: Astrobiology has arrived, and religious and social institutions — even the Vatican — are taking note. Chris Lehmann on How Capitalism Will Save Us: Why Free People and Free Markets are the Best Answer in Today's Economy by Steve Forbes and Elizabeth Ames: "The whole point of being Steve Forbes is never having anything explained to you". Where are all the lady bloggers?: An interview with Marian Wang. From Failure, what happened to Joseph White, the last American soldier to defect to North Korea? Beef! is like Esquire, but with meat instead of suits. When a building collapses or a train wrecks, specialized rescue teams can extricate trapped people often in a matter of minutes. Scientific advice may suggest how dangerous things are — like smoking cannabis and horse riding — but risk is not all about numbers. The history of hello is long and mired in many vowels. Not just Hitler's fool: A mistress’s diary shows Benito Mussolini was a rabid anti-Semite. The Explorer: Caryl Phillips reviews American Writings by Lafcadio Hearn. Edward Skidelsky on Ernst Cassirer, the last philosopher of culture. Like the flu, a person's emotional state can be contagious; now a study suggests that we can also catch someone else's irrational thought processes. The dark side of volunteer tourism: Do-gooders on vacation call it voluntourism — but is it doing anyone any good? A look at the top 10 bad messages from good movies. Zen and the Art of Bicycle Riding: An interview with Philip Diprose, editor of The Ride Journal.
A review of The Constant Economy: How to Create a Stable Society by Zac Goldsmith (and more and more). From Esquire, what makes a nation rich? Daron Acemoglu's big answer: Start with free elections. A review of Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet by Tim Jackson. A review of How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities by John Cassidy (and more). From First Things, Reuven Brenner (McGill): The Rule of Law and the Wealth of Nations. From The Atlantic Monthly, did Christianity cause the crash? For millions of followers, the prosperity gospel encouraged financial risk in the name of God; and Lead Us Not Into Debt: Finance guru Dave Ramsey wins followers with a simple message — find God and lose your credit cards. An excerpt from Econoclasts: The Rebels Who Sparked the Supply-Side Revolution and Restored American Prosperity by Brian Domitrovic. Supply-side economics, RIP: An interview with Bruce Bartlett, author of The New American Economy: The Failure of Reaganomics and a New Way Forward (and more and more and more). Simon Johnson on America's economic "doom loop". The Lost Decade: Daniel Gross on why the last 10 years have been an economic disappointment for most Americans. A review of Past Due: The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy by Peter S. Goodman. A review of Rich Democracies, Poor People: How Politics Explain Poverty by David Brady. More on Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett's The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better. The economics of trust: A review of The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life by Paul Seabright.
From The New Yorker, how different are dogfighting and football? Malcolm Gladwell investigates. Michael Oriard on how the NFL became the American war game. Matthew Futterman goes behind the NFL's touchdown binge. The forgotten ghosts of college football: Four schools that had it all — and lost it. From THES, a review of Globalization and Football by Richard Giulianotti and Roland Robertson. How the "Dream Team" changed the world: As a legendary basketball cast is honored, reflections on a global phenomenon. How to fix the WNBA: Why the NBA's plan for selling women's basketball will never work — and what might. Bracingly devoid of triumphalist homily, Andre Agassi’s is one of the most passionately anti-sports books ever written by a superstar athlete (and Brian Gallagher reviews Open: An Autobiography and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). A review of Life in the Ring: Lessons and Inspiration from the Sport of Boxing by John Oden. People with progressive politics shouldn’t reflexively shun sports, says Dave Zirin. Either/Or: Ariel Levy on sports, sex, and the case of Caster Semenya (and more). A look at how better-looking sportsmen more likely to win. Bodies without Bodhis: Karl Palmas on a philosophy of surfing. An interview with Tony Leonardo, author of Ultimate: The Greatest Sport Ever Invented by Man. An article on 6 ancient sports too awesome for the modern world. A new style of sports films: ESPN branches out with 30 original movies from Spike Jonze, Albert Maysles and others. The first chapter from Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football by Wayne L. Winston.