From TAC, a review of If Not Us, Who? William Rusher, National Review, and the Conservative Movement by David B. Frisk. The introduction to Mothers of Conservatism: Women and the Postwar Right by Michelle M. Nickerson. Joseph Bottum on conservatism, North Dakota style. He’s on the warpath against the right — what’s gotten into David Frum? Russell Jacoby on dreaming of a world without intellectuals: Confronted by social upheaval, conservative scholars tend to blame other scholars — that's a dangerous game. From Salon, what killed social conservatism? Technological progress has made it impossible for conservatives to obscure the truth about Americans' sex lives; and why do conservatives hate freedom? The conservative idea of “freedom” is a very peculiar one, which excludes virtually every kind of liberty that ordinary Americans take for granted. Ayn Rand and Jim Crow have driven the American right into moral bankruptcy; two conservatives argue that there's no comeback in sight until they repudiate both.
Marc Champagne (York): What About Suicide Bombers? A Terse Response to a Terse Objection. Shiny objects are people, too: Why the Romney campaign’s distinction between “economic” and “social” issues is false. America's last prisoner of war: Three years ago, Bowe Bergdahl walked off his base in Afghanistan and into the hands of the Taliban — now he’s a crucial pawn in negotiations to end the war. A review of The Roots of Radicalism: Tradition, the Public Sphere, and Early Nineteenth-Century Social Movements by Craig Calhoun. Nadeem Fayaz on Pierre Bourdieu and the Distinctive Body. CUP features some of the photographs from Picturing Algeria, taken during the years of 1957-1960 when Pierre Bourdieu was working there as a university lecturer. An ancient sex curse discovered on ancient tablet in Cyprus. Call Me, Maybe: Dan Renken on cooperation and coercion in the music of Carly Rae Jepsen.
Robin L. West (Georgetown): A Marriage is a Marriage is a Marriage: The Limits of Perry v. Brown. Jeffrey A. Parness and Zachary Townsend (NIU): Procreative Sex and Same Sex Parents. Vivian Eulalia Hamilton (William and Mary): The Age of Marital Capacity: Reconsidering Civil Recognition of Adolescent Marriage. George W. Dent Jr. (Case Western): To Promote Marriage and the Natural Family. Is marriage constitutional? If the Supreme Court took seriously the language, history, and structure of the First Amendment, it would declare laws authorizing same-sex marriages unconstitutional — and void every other existing marriage law too. An interview with Elizabeth Brake, author of Minimizing Marriage: Marriage, Morality, and the Law. Defenders of the status quo: Imagine there’s no marriage. Long a nation of economic extremes, the United States is also becoming a society of family haves and family have-nots, with marriage and its rewards evermore confined to the fortunate classes.
Christopher Morehart (GSU): What If the Aztec Empire Never Existed? The Prerequisites of Empire and the Politics of Plausible Alternative Histories. Nietzsche is dead: The battle for Nietzsche's legacy began when Count Hary Kessler met Elisabeth Forster-Nietzsche. Reclaiming travel: Beginning with "Gilgamesh", our impulse to wander was forged in mythic significance — the culture of tourism has changed all that. Jack Gilchrist, star of Romney’s “My Hands Didn’t Build This” ad received millions in government loans and contracts (and more and more). The Wall Street Journal's Gordon Crovitz jumped on the "you didn't build that" distortion and gets everything wrong (and more and more). People tend to start businesses for the wrong reasons: People undertaking strategic analysis or some type of strategic planning to develop ideas and strategies for a new potential business could not be further from the truth — this is part of the textbook fantasy that business schools have taught us to believe.
Brian D. Earp (Yale): The Extinction of Masculine Generics. Martin W. Lewis on the Altaic family controversy. Unknown language found stamped in ancient clay tablet: Women's names listed on a 2700-year-old clay tablet are in a language never seen before — perhaps a sign that they were forced from their homeland. Esperanto's advocates envisioned nothing less than a revolution of human language, but the universal language has a different strength: it flourishes in local contexts and committed communities. Why computers still can’t translate languages automatically: We need to teach machines to understand the meaning of words — that’s really hard. Linguistic and biological diversity overlap — but why? From TLS, Tom Shippey on the myth of English as a global language: A review essay. Nicholas Ostler on the progress of the spoken word from 3000 BC to today, how two languages disappear every month, and the 50,000-word novel written without using the letter “e”.
Baogang He (Deakin): Four Models of the Relationship between Confucianism and Democracy. Stephan Feuchtwang (LSE): Civilization and its Discontents in Contemporary China. Paul Stempel (USAF): The Soul of the Chinese Military: Good Order and Discipline in the People's Liberation Army. Alexander Vuving (APCSS): What is China Rising To? Assessing China's and America's Primacy Potentials. From the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, a special issue on Global Flows with Chinese Characteristics. China's continuing rise has put virtually every Western power on alert, but it would be a big mistake to see Chinese State Capitalism as inevitable. An interview with Tom Mullaney, author of Coming to Terms With the Nation: Ethnic Classification in Modern China. A review of Tiger Head, Snake Tails: China Today, How It Got There and Where It is Heading by Jonathan Fenby. Alan Moran on why the rise of China is the real End of History. Caroline S. Hau on becoming “Chinese” — but what “Chinese”? — in Southeast Asia. One billion fans, one terrible team: Why is China’s national soccer team so bad?
David Price (St. John’s): The Unnatural Creature: How the Production of Knowledge Reflects Western Cultural History in Frankenstein. From Religion and Gender, a special issue on gender and religiosity in multicultural societies. A review of Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood, and Invented Modern Horror by Jason Zinoman. A review of A Short History of Diaries: From Pepys to Blogs by Alexandra Johnson. From Not So Reviews, Mike Brown on Zizek and the age of advertising; Jason Muller on the irony of indie; and Robert Hainault on why Tories take cocaine. Science fiction, science fact: Does infinity exist? The greatest threat to our freedom: Of all the dangers to the freedom of the American people, Jacob G. Hornberger would rank the enemy-combatant doctrine as the greatest. From Cosmopolitan Journal, an article on exploring conflict as a source of peace in Kant. Why do we say that someone is “hot”?
From New Humanist, thinking machines, eternal life, space colonisation, neon bunnies — no, not science fiction but soon-to-be-realised science fact, according to a new generation of futurologists; but who are they, and can they be serious? The strange neuroscience of immortality: Kenneth Hayworth wants to plastinate his brain and have it uploaded to a computer to achieve an immortal consciousness — is he brilliant, crazy, both? The posthuman mind: An interview with Joel Rudinow, author of Invitation to Critical Thinking. Bionic brains and beyond: High-tech implants will soon be commonplace enhancements under our skin and inside our skulls, making us stronger and smarter. The introduction to The Machine Question: Critical Perspectives on AI, Robots, and Ethics by David J. Gunkel. A review of Robot Ethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Robotics. A look at what's problematic about transhumanism from the perspective of a Catholic worldview. An interview with Michael Anissimov on the Singularity. Welcome to the Hybrid Age: We are on the verge of living in a human-technology civilization.
Tristan Nguyen (WHL): Are Extreme Events Still Insurable? Explaining the Role of Government in Insurance Solution. A special Randomness versus Stupidity issue of the Annals of Improbable Research is now online. From Swans, Paul Buhle on the unending (C.L.R. James) saga. Spanning thirty-odd years of academic endeavour, Jairus Banaji’s Theory as History is a collection of essays exploring the role of labour and exploitation within the wider research programme of historical materialism. Institutionalized, punitive hysteria: Laura Agustin on specialness of (some) sexual crimes. How Amazon survives the state: In a world of convoluted rules, capitalism finds ways to get goods cheaply to the people who want them. Bonfire of the Cliches: There is a problem with the relationship between literature and business, but it’s not the one you think.
Maria Alejandra Vanney (Austral): Do We Need Jerusalem “and” Athens? A Straussian Reflection on the Role of Religion and Medievalism. From TLS, a review of The War on Heresy: Faith and Power in Medieval Europe by RI Moore. The development of relations between Christians and Jews in the 50 years since Vatican II's Nostra aetate was the focus of a conference hosted by the Pontifical Angelicum University. From Christian Century, why would Jews vandalize a Holocaust memorial? From PUP, the introduction to The Jewish Jesus: How Judaism and Christianity Shaped Each Other by Peter Schafer. Why does the Catholic League's William Donohue feel he can dump on Jews with impunity? A review of The Jewish Gospels: The Story of the Jewish Christ by Daniel Boyarin. From Forward, what should Jews call the Christian Bible? A review of The Immoral Bible: Approaches to Biblical Ethics by Eryl W. Davies.