From LARB, John B. Thompson reviews Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War by Stephen R. Platt and What Remains: Coming to Terms with Civil War in 19th Century China by Tobie Meyer-Fong; and Nick Holdstock interviews Lisa Ross, author of Living Shrines of Uyghur China. How do Chinese intellectuals construe social instability? Deng Yuwen on how to understand China's foreign policy: China can become a beacon for the world — if it trades in its conservative foreign policy for one that emphasizes universal values. On criticizing China: James Fallows on a unified field theory on assessing goods and bads. Andrew Sheng and Xiao Geng on China and the night-watchman state’s last shift. Benjamin F. Carlson on China's France fetish: The new rich want wine, cheese, and savoir vivre — underemployed Frenchmen are glad to deliver it.
A new issue of the Journal of Conflictology is out. Nicolas Salamanca (Maastricht) and Daniel S. Hamermesh (Texas): Endophilia or Exophobia: Beyond Discrimination. Jonathan Chait on how Yuval Levin has harnessed himself, at least rhetorically, to a series of falsifiable claims; they are being falsified, but the restraints of his ideology give him no room to do anything but obfuscate. UN reinscribes Polynesia on list of non self-governing territories, France calls it "blatant interference". From Fathom, an interview with Michael Walzer on excavating the Jewish political tradition; and an interview with Richard Perle on George W. Bush, Barack Obama and the Arab Spring. Jean-Clement Martin on the multiple meanings of revolution: Upheaval, crisis and imponderables. Death of the Salesmen: Derek Thompson on technology's threat to retail jobs — should we mourn them?
From Edge, Lee Smolin on thinking about nature and how to make a theory of the universe as a whole system. James Gleick reviews Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe by Lee Smolin. Lisa Randall’s Guide to the Galaxy: The famed cosmologist unveils her latest theories on the invisible universe, extra dimensions and human consciousness. Dark matter is the commonest, most elusive stuff there is — can we grasp this great unsolved problem in physics? Big news from the annals of science last week: A British newspaper reports that the mysteries of the universe may have been solved by a hedge-fund economist who left academia 20 years ago. Jon F. Wilkins on Eric Weinstein and an outsider’s Theory of Everything. Philosophy isn't dead yet: Far from having replaced metaphysics, fundamental physics is in a metaphysical mess and needs help — Einstein saw it coming.
From Interface, a special issue on anticolonial and postcolonial social movements. From New York, Jennifer Gonnerman on the stop-and-frisk trials of Pedro Serrano: NYPD rat, NYPD hero. From LARB, Anne Richardson reviews The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo Bay by Jess Bravin (and an interview); and Jon Wiener interviews Jeremy Scahill, author of Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield. Why are Republicans determined to waste money on government? Neil H. Buchanan on the upside-down logic of taking responsibilities (and funding) away from the IRS. Unacceptable: Judith Levine on recovering Paul Goodman. “Politics and Ideas: A Think Net” is a joint initiative of researchers and practitioners to produce and share innovative knowledge linking ideas and politics in developing and emerging economies. Is it the end of Sykes-Picot? Patrick Cockburn on the war in Syria and the threat to the Middle East.
Robert Marantoa (Arkansas) and Matthew Woessnera (PSU): Diversifying the Academy: How Conservative Academics Can Thrive in Liberal Academia. Why is communist iconography still cool? Dalibor Rohac wants to know. Aspiring line: Why Eric Alterman, as a young lefty writer, let conservative brahmin William F. Buckley make a monkey out of him — over and over again. An excerpt from An Atheist in the FOXhole: A Liberal's Eight-Year Odyssey Inside the Heart of the Right-Wing Media by Joe Muto. How to Save the GOP: Molly Ball on what Republicans can learn from the Democrats’ revival. Stephen Kruger on American semi-totalitarianism. Progressives with bombs: Peter Collier on the whitewashing of the Weather Underground. Adam Kokesh, leader of armed march on Washington, calls for “revolutionary army” to topple government. This is how to convince conservatives to recycle: A new study reveals how to appeal to different political ideologies.