From NYRB, Michael Massing on how to cover the one percent: “Digital technology offers journalists new ways to cover the world of money and power in America, and that’s especially true when it comes to philanthropy”. How to make a difference in 2016: Give your money, or at least your attention, to Mark Zuckerberg. Lila Corwin Berman on how Zuckerberg and Chan are us. Why Zuckerberg’s critics are wrong: James Surowiecki writes in defense of philanthrocapitalism. Justin Fox on why philanthropy should be controversial. Mark Karlin on the limits of trickle-down philanthropy. Why it’s time to say goodbye to “doing good and doing well”: Being simultaneously rich and radical is certainly seductive, but the conflicts that have animated history can’t be wished away. King for a day: Roland Nadler on what’s wrong with changing the world for the better.
Sarah Lazare on how the ultra-rich “philanthrocapitalist” class is undermining global democracy: As foundations and wealthy individuals funnel money into global development, what “solutions” are they pursuing? Anne Applebaum on why Mark Zuckerberg should spend $45 billion on undoing Facebook’s damage to democracies. Why philanthropy actually hurts rather than helps some of the world’s worst problems: George Joseph interviews Linsey McGoey, author of No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy.
Guy Kahane (Oxford): If Nothing Matters. Sharon Street (NYU): Nothing “Really” Matters, but That’s Not What Matters. The Pentagon’s missionary spies: Matthew Cole on how the U.S. military used a Christian NGO as front for North Korea espionage. Yeonmi Park on what it’s like to escape from North Korea. Guinea worm is set to be the second disease we’ve ever managed to eradicate. The 100 jokes that shaped modern comedy: From the Marx Brothers to The Simpsons, Richard Pryor to Amy Schumer, Jesse David Fox on 100 bits, sketches, and one-liners that changed humor forever. Jaime Weinman on how Ann Coulter inspired Donald Trump — and how Coulter has, in the Trump era, resurrected her fading career. Kurt Eichenwald on how Right-wing extremists are a bigger threat to America than ISIS. Why the Pilgrims wore beer goggles: Sarah Hepola reviews Drinking in America: Our Secret History by Susan Cheever.
From Public Seminar, Jeffrey C. Isaac on Clinton vs. Sanders: Who’s the real progressive? Bernie Sanders has all the upsides and all the downsides of a political outsider; Hillary Clinton has all the upsides and all the downsides of a political insider. Why Bernie Sanders can’t govern: Hillary Clinton’s realistic attitude is the only thing that can effect change in today’s political climate. “We are so Lockean we don’t even realize it”: Jonathan Schlefer on Louis Hartz and why America is too liberal to elect Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders, public menace: Because the Democratic Party is currently the only major U.S. party devoted to moderation and rational empiricism, Sanders’s robust campaign for president is consequently a threat to the U.S. Bernie Sanders’s strong campaign is solving Hillary Clinton’s biggest problem: The reality is that no matter how annoying Clinton, her team, and the dozens of senior party figures backing her may find it, Sanders’s attacks are in Clinton's long-term best interest.
Jonathan Chait on why liberals should support a Trump nomination. Emily Ekins and Jonathan Haidt on how Donald Trump supporters think about morality differently than other voters: Moral Foundations Theory was invented to compare different human cultures — but it can also explain our political landscape. If “establishment” is code for “moderate”, media need to stop calling Rubio the establishment candidate. Jeb Bush may actually have a shot at the Republican nomination.
This is what makes Republicans and Democrats so different. America’s political parties are just tribes now: In 2015, once high-minded disagreements over policy and ideology descended into something much more primitive. Julia Azari on the political power of going negative: The most negative advertisements can also be the most informative and Twitter is empowering female candidates to be more aggressive. Are attack ads good for democracy? Laura Reston on how all that negativity on the airwaves in Iowa and New Hampshire might just be serving a purpose.
Leslie Kendrick (Virginia): How Much Does Speech Matter? UN demands Zika-infected countries give women access to abortion and birth control. Carolyn Y. Johnson on how a Zika-like illness helped change Americans’ views of abortion: A German measles outbreak in the mid-1960s led to 20,000 infants with birth defects. Erwin Chemerinsky and Michele Goodwin review Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine by Paul A. Offit. Does Davos still matter? Evaluating the Burkean defense of the World Economic Forum. Everyone hates Martin Shkreli — everyone is missing the point. Sanders rallies take a darker turn: The Vermont senator’s hardcore supporters have turned up the vitriol against Clinton. Miriam Diaz-Gilbert reviews American Governor: Chris Christie’s Bridge to Redemption by Matt Katz.
From NYRB, the collision sport on trial: David Maraniss reviews Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto by Steve Almond; The Game’s Not Over: In Defense of Football by Gregg Easterbrook; Billion-Dollar Ball: A Journey Through the Big-Money Culture of College Football by Gilbert M. Gaul; and League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions, and the Battle for Truth by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru. If football is deadly, why do we still watch? Mark Leibovich on Roger Goodell’s unstoppable football machine: For all the revelations about its brutality, pro football is more popular and profitable than ever — how the N.F.L. commissioner and a group of billionaire owners have kept the league on offense. The NFL’s Donte Stallworth on what it’s like to manage millions as an athlete. Is American football the new international sport?
Steven A. Ramirez (Loyola): Rodrigo’s Abstraction: Capitalism, Inequality, and Reform Over Time and Space. This Kardashian headline shows why two Nobel winners say the economy is broken: Jeff Guo interviews George Akerlof and Robert Shiller, authors of Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception (and more and more). Danny Dorling reviews Plutocracy in America: How Increasing Inequality Destroys the Middle Class and Exploits the Poor by Ronald P. Formisano. Challenging the oligarchy: Paul Krugman reviews Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few by Robert Reich. Robert Reich on the rigging of the American market. All hollowed out: Victor Tan Chen on the lonely poverty of America’s white working class. Noah Smith on the decline and fall of America’s working class. Mark Thoma on three ways to help the working class. Jared Bernstein on how good things happen at full employment.
Kathryn Chan (Victoria): The Advancement of Religion as a Charitable Purpose in an Age of Religious Neutrality. Julie Gould on how to build a better PhD: There are too many PhD students for too few academic jobs — but with imagination, the problem could be solved. Erick Fernandez on how the Panthers are the most unapologetically black team in NFL history. Dave Schilling on why Cam Newton is conservative white America’s heel from hell: The Carolina Panthers quarterback has been set up as the polar opposite of Peyton Manning in Super Bowl 50 — and that tells us a lot about America. Timothy B. Lee on the fascinating economics behind Playboy’s decision to drop nudes from its magazine. Obama shifts to final “fuck it” phase of his presidency, proposes $10/barrel fee on oil to fund clean transportation. Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice received sensitive info through private emails.
From NYRB, Drew Gilpin Faust on John Hope Franklin, race and the meaning of America. Aziz Rana on race and the American creed: Recovering black radicalism. Deva Woodly on Black Lives Matter and the politics of race and movement in the 21st century. Derrick Jackson on race and representation in the twilight of the Obama era: Will the eight years of America’s first black president lead to more political voice for black citizens or less? Don’t settle for speeches: Fix the racial wealth gap. The federal job guarantee: Darrick Hamilton on a step toward racial justice. Michael Learmonth on why more black engineers aren’t being hired in Silicon Valley. Terrence McCoy on how companies make millions off lead-poisoned, poor blacks. Don James McLaughlin on the anti-slavery roots of today’s “-phobia” obsession: Before “homophobia” and “Islamophobia”, there was “colorphobia” and “Negrophobia”.
Alex Prayson (Northcentral): Autism, Genetics, and Inbreeding: An Evolutionary View. From the new Chicago Review of Books, Adam Morgan on how 400 Amazon bookstores could weaken America’s literary culture. From Sports Illustrated, Richard Deitsch on how sexual harassment toward female sports reporters is far too common. David Graham on how Marco Rubio proves Obama’s point about Islam. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has a plan to force Bundy militants, not taxpayers, to foot bill for occupation. Are we postcritical? Matthew Mullins reviews The Limits of Critique by Rita Felski. Zika is the latest example of how hard it is to be a woman in Latin America. Sarah Seltzer on the abortion rights dystopia brought on by the Zika crisis. Zika virus joins lack of paid leave, unaffordable child care as reasons woman afraid of getting pregnant.
EJ Dionne on why Democrats can’t seem to decide between Clinton and Sanders. Elizabeth Bruenig on Bernie and Hillary’s battle for the soul of progressivism: It got ugly this week — and couldn’t be better for both of them. This one moment perfectly captures the Clinton-Sanders war over progressivism. Max Ehrenfreund on how big a threat Sanders has become to Clinton. Amy Chozick and Yamiche Alcindor on how young Democrats flock to Sanders, spurning Clinton’s polish and poise. Sam Stein and Amanda Terkel on how Clinton’s problem isn’t that she’s not progressive, it’s that she’s cautious. Clinton’s real theory of change can work — but liberals may not like all the changes. Give a little thought to what a GOP campaign against Sanders might look like. Sanders will be unelectable if he keeps this up. What then would be the differences between a Clinton and a Sanders presidency? Two major differences, but which candidate, Clinton or Sanders, has the better chance to win? Dara Lind on Bernie Bros, explained (and more).