Amitai Etzioni (GWU): No Marshall Plan for the Middle East. Jill I. Goldenziel (Harvard): Veiled Political Questions: Islamic Dress, Constitutionalism, and the Ascendance of Courts. The Gulf States demonstrate what Arabs can accomplish when given the necessary freedom. The New Arab Man: Marcia Inhorn on reconceiving Middle Eastern manhood (and more). Steven Cook on three myths about the Muslim Brotherhood. Judith Miller on the American University of Beirut, a bastion of American values in the Arab Middle East. Abolish the idea of the "Middle East" — rooted in imperial phantasies of the past, the term is neither descriptive nor value-free. The building boom in the Middle East is the latest chapter in that region’s centuries-old struggle between its cultural identity and its utopian dreams. Reda Benkirane on the role of social networks and new media in the Arab Spring. A review of Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States by Adam Hanieh. Elizabeth Dickinson on the rise of the Islamist technocrats. Yes, there are comedians in Qatar, and no, they can’t tell jokes about anything they want — Hosni Mubarak, however, is fair game.
A new issue of First of the Month is out. Salar Ghahramani (Penn State): A Kenyan Birth? Still Natural Born. From Interface, a special issue on the season of revolution: the Arab Spring and European mobilizations. Ben Smith on a political users guide to the trolls of Twitter. Richard Posner on why there are too many patents in America. The antidepressant wars: Sandra J. Tanenbaum on how a fierce debate that ignores patients. A beautiful, dirty mind: Rick Rosner, the world’s smartest man — almost — is a TV joke writer and admitted pornoholic. From The New Yorker, will civil war hit Afghanistan when the U.S. leaves? Razib Kahn on how you offload the task of reasoning about issues which you are not familiar with, or do not understand in detail, to the collective with which you identify, and give weight to specialists if they exist within that collective. A review of Power over Peoples: Technology, Environments, and Western Imperialism, 1400 to the Present by Daniel Headrick (and more). A Brief History of Wrestling Fakery: How a century of pretend fighting led to the Reality Era.
A new issue of Nieman Reports is out. From Lapham’s Quarterly, Gregory Shaya on the myth of the fourth estate. Why legacy-newspaper media reporters get their own industry so wrong: An excerpt from Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights: The Collapse of Journalism and What Can Be Done To Fix It by Matt Welch. What is an alt-weekly? We’ve been trying to figure that out for 35 years. Money talks: If you cover Wall Street, should you take Wall Street speaking fees? As more newspapers get on the paid-content bandwagon, there are a few promising models popping up — here’s what to learn from them. NPR rethinks its reporting: Will “he said/she said” go away for good? Jack Shafer on how the byline beast was born and on the great newspaper liquidation. The Seattle Times takes on hometown Amazon: A tough series on the dark side of the booming local company. Political cartoons don’t deserve a Pulitzer Prize — give one for infographics instead. Breaking news used to be “news of transcendent importance” — now it’s a joke.
A new issue of World War 4 Report is out. Bernard Harcourt (Chicago): Fantasies and Illusions: On Liberty, Order, and Free Market. John M. Kang (St. Thomas): Hustler V. Falwell: Worst Case in the History of the World, Maybe the Universe. Why does Wall Street hate Obama? Naivete. The scam Wall Street learned from the Mafia: How America's biggest banks took part in a nationwide bid-rigging conspiracy — until they were caught on tape. The May 2012 issue of American Ethnologist has three open-access articles focused on the Occupy movement. The Chronicle profiles David F. Skrbina, the Unabomber's pen pal. Never ending story: Helen Bamber has been listening to the victims of torture, cruelty and genocide for more than 60 years, but she retains her faith in humanity. From BBC Magazine, why do autocrats do strange things? Wyatt Kash on when government gets things right. David Horowitz is homeless: The 1960s radical decades ago switched his politics, fleeing the New Left to become a conservative provocateur — then the right wing left him behind.
From Cosmos and History, a special issue on the future of philosophy. Carlo Salzani (Monash): The Notion of Life in the Work of Agamben. From Radical Philosophy, Gary Hall on pirate radical philosophy; and what’s left of biopolitics? A review essay. A review of Introduction to Antiphilosophy by Boris Groys (and more and more). Paul Taylor draws upon his first-hand experience of giving a public talk with Slavoj Zizek to show how the media's worst tendencies risk being adopted by audiences who should know better (and part 2). A review of The Faith of the Faithless: Experiments in Political Theology by Simon Critchley (and more). Against all ends: Liam Sprod on Hauntology, Aesthetics, Ontology. A review of Anti-Nietzsche by Malcolm Bull. From The New Inquiry, Adam Kotsko on Quentin Meillassoux and the Crackpot Sublime. From NDPR, a review of Improper Life: Technology and Biopolitics from Heidegger to Agamben by Timothy C. Campbell; a review of Time and Philosophy: A History of Continental Thought by John McCumber; and a review of After Poststructuralism: Transitions and Transformations.