From Mediations: Journal of the Marxist Literary Group. a special issue on Marx or Spinoza. From the new online journal Religion and Politics, Mark Oppenheimer on Jon Stewart, religion teacher extraordinaire; Molly Worthen on John Stott, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien: Why American evangelicals love the British; and Timothy Dalrymple, Michael Ruse and Amy Sullivan debate what is fair game to discuss in the media about a candidate’s religion. Peter Frase on the problem with (sex) work. From The New Criterion, a special issue on remembering Hilton Kramer. How will the future change your politics? Whatever your values are, there is a chance that you may soon be arguing for the opposite of your usual policies. From First of the Month, Franz Boas as culture hero: Stephen J. Whitfield on the anthropologist as public intellectual. Academia becomes occupied with the Occupy movement. We appear to be heading into a future where "pink collar" jobs — empathy-driven, largely performed by women — are the most significant set of careers without any real machine substitute. Tom Slee on why the "Open Data Movement" is a joke.
From Resurgence, a special section on Animals: A New Ethics. From THES, a review of Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight by Timothy Pachirat; and a review of Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights by Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka. The case against born-again carnivorism: Pigs, chickens, and other animals raised for food are sentient beings with rich emotional lives — they feel everything from joy to grief. Who would intentionally kill blackbirds? Martha Rosenberg wonders. From Rain Taxi, a review of books on animals. Why cockfighting persists: The blood sport is defended as a rural tradition under fire from the long, government arm of the law. Mark Bittman on the human cost of animal suffering. What animals don't need: Strips of land linking wildlife reserves are one of the most widely used tools in conservation, but do they even work? Chris Jones on the Zanesville Zoo Massacre, the most dramatic story of the year. Are animal rights activists terrorists? The law concerning animal rights protest is too broad, protecting commercial interests and making terrorists out of people who want to voice concerns.
Rebecca Weitz-Shapiro (Brown) and Matthew S. Winters (Illinois): The Link Between Voting and Life Satisfaction in Latin America. Live Drange Danbolt (NLA): The Challenge of Bilingualism in a Multilingual Society: The Bolivian Case. Cristina Amescua Chavez (UNAM): Intangible Cultural Heritage in Mexico. Where the world's jobs are: Lauded for its economic stability and entrepreneurial opportunities, interns and career changers alike are looking to Latin America to launch their careers. Climate change is wreaking havoc in Central America. A review of Revolutionary Doctors: How Venezuela and Cuba are Changing the World’s Conceptualization of Health Care by Steve Brouwer. Edmundo Paz Soldan on how Garcia Marquez explains Latin America (and Roberto Bolano and Tomas Eloy Martinez). Plumbing the isolated depths of Chilean Patagonia: Faustino Barrientos is the loneliest cowboy in the world. Imagining the land of the future: A review essay on new histories of Brazilian modernity. Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales And Rafael Correa: Steve Ellner on the distinguishing features of Latin America's New Left in power. A review of The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes by Scott Wallace.
From The Pomegranate, Caroline Jane Tully (Melbourne): Researching the Past is a Foreign Country: Cognitive Dissonance as a Response by Practitioner Pagans to Academic Research on the History of Pagan Religions; and a review of Theater in a Crowded Fire: Ritual and Spirituality at Burning Man by Lee Gilmore. The Lives of Transgender People presents the findings from a 3500-person survey; Scott McLemee takes a walk on the wild side. From The Baffler, Maureen Tkacik on the omniscient gentlemen of The Atlantic: “The more omniscient types are the ones more naturally inclined to keep up the Thought Leader lists, and assign themselves a place at the top of them.” From U.S. Intellectual History, the first entry on a round table covering The Baffler, No. 19 (March 2012). From New York, Jonathan Chait on the legendary Paul Ryan: Mitt who? Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein say it: The Republicans are the problem. As the guilty verdict in the five year-long trial of Charles Taylor, former president of Liberia, was handed down in the Hague, Liberians looked to the sky and saw an ominous sign: a perfect circular rainbow around the sun.
Dangis Gudelis (MRUNI): Reconsidering Liberalism: An Approach to Ideologies, Democracy, and Political Parties. From the Journal of World-Systems Research, a special section on Giovanni Arrighi's The Long Twentieth Century. A review of Thinking the Twentieth Century by Tony Judt with Timothy Snyder (and more and more and more and more and more and more). From New Left Review, Dylan Riley on Tony Judt: A cooler look (and more by Eric Hobsbawm). A review of Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea by Alberto Toscano. Why don’t liberals write big books anymore? Michael Kazin wants to know. Walter Russell Mead on the once and future liberalism: We need to get beyond the dysfunctional and outdated ideas of 20th-century liberalism. David Goodhart on the last hope for the left: The liberal, secular world view may hold sway over western elites, but it is struggling to answer the conservative challenge. Samir Amin reviews The Modern World System IV: Centrist Liberalism Triumphant, 1789–1914 by Immanuel Wallerstein. Ben Alpers on Tony Judt, Francis Fukuyama and the last twentieth-century ideology standing.
The inaugural issue of American Political Thought: A Journal of Ideas, Institutions, and Culture features a set of articles titled "American Exceptionalism: Is It Real, Is It Good.", including Rogers M. Smith (Penn): “Our Republican Example”: The Significance of the American Experiments in Government in the Twenty-First Century; and Patrick Deneen (Georgetown): Cities of Man on a Hill. From New English Review, Mark Anthony Signorelli on how the typical attitude of American exceptionality needs a great deal of tempering. Michael Kazin explains what Americanism is and how it differentiates from other nationalisms around the world. How Joseph Stalin invented “American Exceptionalism”: The phrase is often attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville, but the real author was the Soviet dictator — and it wasn't a compliment. American politicians love American exceptionalism — or at least to talk about it; Scott McLemee wonders if they know the concept's odd history. Enough with "Only in America": Mitt Romney digs his country. What are some of the most interesting or shocking things Americans believe about themselves or their country?
A new issue of Humanities Diliman is out. From Evolutionary Psychology, Alan W. Gray and Lynda G. Boothroyd (Durham): Female Facial Appearance and Health; Francis T. McAndrew (Knox) and Carin Perilloux (Texas): Is Self-sacrificial Competitive Altruism Primarily a Male Activity?; and a review of Altruism in Humans by C. Daniel Batson. From The New Inquiry, an interview with George Scialabba on his most recent collection of essays, The Modern Predicament, his definition of modernity, and his new work as an editor at the rebooted Baffler. Until recently, the United States has operated 22 U.S. military bases in Latin America, 800 worldwide; now there are two more, one in Chile and another in Argentina, the first in either country. Colin Firth campaign for Brazilian tribe breaks records in just 3 days. Maria Popova on 27 of history’s strangest inventions. The Atlantic’s “Money Report” is a month-long project on why things cost what they do. Matt Drudge’s rescue mission: The conservative mogul has been pumping traffic to the Washington Times — where two of his editors write columns.
From Gizmodo, Matt Honan on the case against Google. Marissa Mayer is Google’s Chic Geek: This self-proclaimed “girly girl” runs one of Google’s fastest-growing services. A look at how bots nearly destroyed YouTube — and how YouTubers got Google to fix it. Once you’re in the weird part of YouTube, there’s no way out. From Wired, how one response to a Reddit query became a big budget flick. Hunter Moore, creator of “revenge porn” website Is Anyone Up? is the Internet’s Public Enemy No. 1 (and more at The Village Voice and more at The New Inquiry). IsAnyoneUp.com shuts down, sells domain to anti-bullying group (but Moore wants everyone to know he’s still a horrible person). Max Read on Celebrities With Big Dicks and other tales from the weird world of Wikipedia books. If Wikipedia is really going to close its gender gap, the editors are going to need more balanced and impartial reporting on the issues at hand. The "undue weight" of truth on Wikipedia: Timothy Messer-Kruse has written two books about the Haymarket riot and trial; in some circles that affords a presumption of expertise — not, however, on Wikipedia.
David Meyer (UC-Irvine) and Deana Rohlinger (FSU): Big Books and Social Movements: A Myth of Ideas and Social Change. From NYRB, why finish books? Tim Parks wonders. Elevated Reading Club: Ralph Gardner writes about a book club where participants gather to deconstruct the articles in the New York Review of Books. From Meanjin, Lili Wilkinson on why teenagers today are the first generation of true readers. From Interface, “everything we do is niche”: A roundtable on contemporary progressive publishing. To be read by all parties: An article on the impact of books on Washington policy. Maria Bustillos on romance novels, the last great bastion of underground writing. Do you have any bizarre nonfiction recommendations? The new tastemakers: Few newspapers review books these days — so who does? As society embraces all forms of digital entertainment, a latter-day Noah is looking the other way; Brewster Kahle, who runs the Internet Archive, a nonprofit, hopes to collect one copy of every book. How does one review a book like BibliOdyssey? This feels like a book and looks like a (very handsome) book, is anything but.
A new issue of Cultura: International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology is out. Ronald Osborn (USC): Seyla Benhabib, Wendell Berry, and the Question of Migrant and Refugee Rights. From TNR, Eric Cantor last week became the highest-ranking Republican poobah to say, pretty much outright, that we need to soak the poor; and Florida Governor Rick Scott uses line-item veto on program to fund rape crisis centers, a preview of what a Romney/Ryan agenda would do to America. What makes heroic strife: Computer models that can predict the outbreak and spread of civil conflict are being developed. From Cato Unbound, Brandon Garrett on learning what we can from DNA. The nation-state and its discontents: Ulrich Beck on the reality of cosmopolitanism. From Transcript, a special issue on the literatures of stateless nations. Does this smartphone make me look stupid? Meet the "ladyphones". It is perhaps not widely appreciated that the Cold War was actually won in the summer of 1959 by the noted lounge-chair designers Charles and Ray Eames. Which direction now? Just ask the north-facing map in your head.