From Human Geographies, Zsofia Papp and Agnes Raffay (Pannoni): Factors Influencing the Tourism Competitiveness of Former Socialist Countries. Russian-born, American-trained economist Andrei Shleifer on seven things he learned about transition from communism. Pravda may be gone, but Russia’s propaganda machine is stronger than ever, thanks to cable network RT. David Satter on his book It Was a Long Time Ago, and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past. The stillborn project of a Eurasian Union: Andreas Umland on why post-Soviet integration has little prospects. A passport to utopia: The satirical NSK State movement was founded in socialist Yugoslavia in 1984 — it has now opened four embassies. A review of The Socialist Car: Automobility in the Eastern Bloc (and more). The Red Army loved it, foreigners despised it: How Maotai became the world's only Socialist luxury brand. A review of Pleasures in Socialism: Leisure and Luxury in the Eastern Bloc by David Crowley and Susan Reid. How Gogol explains the post-Soviet world (and Chekhov and Dostoyevsky): The case for (re)reading Russia's greatest literary classics.

A new issue of Foreign Service Journal is out. Joan Stivala (ANU): Death Before Dishonour! Suicide of Christian Victims of Rape. From Enculturation, a roundtable on “Master Hands”, a 1936 film sponsored by the Chevrolet Motor Company that shows the inner workings of a Chevrolet plant in Flint, Michigan. The trouble with Black Studies: Fierce debate breaks out yet again about an ever-controversial field of scholarship — Scott McLemee keeps his eyes on the prize. From SSRC’s Possible Futures blog, Matthew Noah Smith on Occupy’s May Day: All play doesn’t work. Dating fashionable middle-aged people: Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands, 1325–1515 is like many medieval storybooks. The healing power of sex: Put aside your stereotypes about the sex industry and consider that many people, of all sexes and genders, can find the work empowering and healing. Mythos and logos: Paul Kingsnorth on an introduction to Dark Mountain’s aims and its history. Society of the spectacle: Benjamen Walker explores situationism and the legacy of French philosopher Guy Debord's famous phrase (and more).

Lena Ekelund (SUAS) and Hakan Jonsson (Lund): How does Modernity Taste? Tomatoes in the Societal Change from Modernity to Late Modernity. From M/C Journal, a special issue on coffee. From AHR, a special section on Food in Our Culture. Did people eat fruits and vegetables in prehistoric times? A review of Ancestral Appetites: Food in Prehistory by Kristen Gremillion. A review of Calories and Corsets: A History of Dieting over 2000 Years by Louise Foxcroft. If you were to point to the most marvelous product kicking around in your pantry right now, would it be your loaf of bread? A review of Aaron Bobrow-Strain's White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf. A review of Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil by Tom Mueller. Battle for the banana: An excerpt from Something's Rotten in Compost City: A Primer on the Politics of Food by Spring Gillard. An interview with Tyler Cowen, author of An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies (and more and more and more and more and more). From New York, is the Brooklyn artisanal movement a step forward for food? A new book on food panics puts the "pink slime" scare into perspective.