From FT, a special section on The Future of Capitalism; and Amartya Sen on how Adam Smith’s market never stood alone. From TNR, Jonathan Chait reviews The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes, Herbert Hoover by William E. Leuchtenburg; and Nothing to Fear: FDR's Inner Circle and the Hundred Days that Created Modern America by Adam Cohen. From The New Yorker, F.D.R. was called a lot worse names than socialist — he didn’t let it stop him; these days credit-card companies are trying to get rid of customers; and why do vampires still thrill? Joan Acocella wants to know. From PHD Comics, beware the Profzi Scheme. The household is flat: An article on the rise of the Core Competency Mom. A group of Shakespeare scholars and art historians say that a recently discovered portrait is the only known likeness to have been painted in his lifetime. A review of Moral Relativism by Steven Lukes (and more). Two new novels by Roberto Bolano have reportedly been found in Spain among papers he left behind after his death (and a review of Distant Star, a review of Last Evenings on Earth, a review of The Savage Detectives, and an excerpt from Nazi Literature in the Americas). Has Stephen Wolfram designed a better search engine? (and more) How Michelle Obama’s “Sleevegate” should help retire dated racial stereotypes.
From The Atlantic, Robert Wright on One World, Under God: Why did early Christians preach tolerance and brotherhood? From Islamica (reg. req.), an article on Al Jazeera and the information warfare; what went wrong with Bernard Lewis? Firas Ahmad on one academic who should have remained in his ivory tower; a review of Reflections in a Bloodshot Lens: America, Islam, and the War of Ideas by Lawrence Pintak (and a series of articles on Shaping Islam in America); and why did the current global economic crisis leave Islamic finance relatively unscathed? From PENNumbra, implicit race bias and the 2008 presidential election: Much ado about nothing? Laura Tyson defends Obamanomics. Those with a political agenda will demonize congressionally directed spending, but we are a country of states, we are states of cities, we are cities of neighborhoods — and earmarks bring our tax dollars home, so earmarks aren't the real problem; in fact, take away the small-ball game, of which earmarks are a significant part, and Republican members of Congress and Senators face a bit of a dilemma (and more by Thomas Mann of Brookings). More on The Case for Big Government by Jeff Madrick. Small Tent Conservatism: An article on questioning the Dear Leader, Rush Limbaugh. Here's a profile of Jonathan Krohn, the 14 year old conservative pundit. Christopher Hitchens remembers Sir John Mortimer.
Saskia Sassen (Columbia): The Limits of Power and the Complexity of Powerlessness: The Case of Immigration. From The Atlantic Monthly, why Japan’s young consumers are turning away from luxury goods; and Michael Pettis is a finance pundit by day, a Beijing rock impresario by (very late) night. From Touchstone, Maclin Horton on Marilyn Monroe and Hugh Hefner, together at last; Eleanor Bourg Donlon on Hollywood’s disgrace and Jane Austen’s wisdom; Frederica Mathewes-Green on Bible lessons for the Disney Generation; John Granger on what he learned about the Great Books and Harry Potter; thirty-one years after its original publication, The Light and the Glory maintains a prominent place on the bookshelves of Evangelical Christians — but it must be read with caution; and an article on the remarkable 50-Year White House ministry of Billy Graham. From Tikkun, an article on the trouble with liberals — they are not who you think they are; and a review of How to Win a Fight with a Liberal and How to Win a Fight with a Conservative by Daniel Kurtzman. An interview with Peter J. Stanlis on the legacies of Edmund Burke and Robert Frost. Did China cause the crisis? In its present and worsening convulsions, the wild economic beast which we call the global market has a fearful symmetry. A review of Science in Civil Society by John Ziman.
From The Objective Standard, Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and the world today: An interview with Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute; and an essay on altruism, the moral root of the financial crisis. Matt Welch on the liberaltarian jackalope: The liberal-libertarian rapprochement is probably dead on arrival. A review of Michael Shermer's The Mind of the Market. A look at why the GOP really hates unions. Obsessed academics and ordinary thieves alike are willing to do almost anything to obtain ancient and priceless maps or pages that will fill a gap on their bookshelves. A review of The Bloody White Baron: The Extraordinary Story of the Russian Nobleman Who Became the Last Khan of Mongolia by James Palmer (and more). Katha Pollitt on how the global economic crisis is showing how wishful was the notion that philanthropy could save the world. Harm subsidies: Why the so-called nuclear renaissance ought to be aborted. A review of Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century by PW Singer; War Bots: How US Military Robots Are Transforming War in Iraq Afghanistan, and the Future by David Axe; and Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong by Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen (and more and an interview; and a review at Bookforum). Unnatural selection: An article on how robots start to evolve.
From Vanity Fair, William Langewiesche on the ruthless calculus behind a new age of piracy. People are beginning to say that the Big One has arrived — but how will we know? A review of Maddalena Bearzi and Craig B. Stanford's Beautiful Minds: The Parallel Lives of Great Apes and Dolphins. A review of Waiting for the Etonians: Reports from the Sickbed of Liberal England by Nick Cohen. A review of Crazy for God by Frank Schaeffer. From FT, a review of Cyburbia: The Dangerous Idea That’s Changing How We Live and Who We Are by James Harkin; a review of Halliburton’s Army: How a Well-Connected Texas Oil Company Revolutionized the Way America Makes War by Pratap Chatterjee; and a review of books on James Lovelock. How we worship the internet, genuflect at the altar of Google and give thanks for the big, webwide world that has broadened our horizons beyond our wildest dreams. Server Error: Millions of people a day rely on Google to search, email, schedule, map, work, study and YouTube — so what happens if it fails? Down with Facebook! What nobody bothers to mention about the social-networking site is that it's really dull — mind-numbingly dull. Steven Johnson on why software that aids thought isn’t cheating; it’s a legitimate part of the creative process. A review of 13 Things That Don't Make Sense by Michael Brooks.
From The American Scholar, does sexual selection really explain enough? A review of The Genial Gene: Deconstructing Darwinian Selfishness by Joan Roughgarden. From Prospect, Jonathan Ree reviews Beauty by Roger Scruton. From Vermont Commons, an interview with Kirkpatrick Sale on secession and sanity; if at first you don’t secede: Or – why secession is still a tough sell in Vermont and beyond; and a review of Secession: How Vermont and All the Other States Can Save Themselves from the Empire by Thomas Naylor. How science fiction found religion: Once overtly political, the genre increasingly employs Christian allegory. A review of Autophobia: Love and Hate in the Automotive Age by Brian Ladd and Republic of Drivers: A Cultural History of Automobility in America by Cotten Seiler (and more from Bookforum). A '"Truth Commission" is not enough: Why we must have a criminal investigation into Bush's lawlessness (and more). Why did The New York Times kill this image of Henry Kissinger? (not for his naked butt cheeks!) Lionel Rolfe is The Fat Man On The Left. The Daily Beast reveals novelist Peter Abrahams has been living a double life — as bestselling mystery writer Spencer Quinn. Barbie turns 50: An interview with M. G. Lord, author of Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll (and more).
Dennis Soron (Brock): Cruel Weather: Natural Disasters and Structural Violence. From The Washington Quarterly, Gideon Rachman on democracy and the case for opportunistic idealism; and remember the Magnequench, an object lesson in globalization. From CT, a review of Sketch for a Self-Analysis by Pierre Bourdieu. A review of Ignorance and Imagination: The Epistemic Origin of the Problem of Consciousness by Daniel Stoljar. A review of How Judges Think by Richard Posner. You might as well face it: You're addicted to success. From The Texas Observer, a review of Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children's Literature; a review of Blue Dixie: Awakening the South's Democratic Majority by Bob Moser; a review of The Dynamite Club: How a Bombing in Fin-de-Siecle Paris Ignited the Age of Modern Terror by John Merriman (and more from Bookforum); and can Janet Napolitano stop the border-fence boondoggle? Images of cute, cuddly animals have replaced sad-eyed children in the latest campaigns to market charitable giving to Africa — but what does it really mean to buy a village a goat? From Three Monkeys Online, a review of Adam Smith in Beijing by Giovanni Arrighi; a review of The Power and the Glory: Inside the Dark Heart of Pope John Paul II's Vatican by David Yallop; and an interview with Tariq Ali on The Leopard and the Fox.
From Vanity Fair, what led Iceland, a tiny fishing nation, population 300,000, to decide, around 2003, to re-invent itself as a global financial power? Michael Lewis wants to know; the five hotshots who took Fortress Investment Group public were worth billions at first — today they look like arrogant showboats; Mark Seal gets behind Bernie Madoff’s affable facade, to reveal his most intimate betrayals (and more); and David Kamp on rethinking the American Dream. Battling Obama by "going Galt": Conservatives look to Atlas Shrugged for answers to Keynesian policies (and more). An interview with Slavoj Zizek. Save the GOP crocodile tears: Rahm Emanuel's role in the current Limbaugh fiasco is no more calculating than any standard-issue campaign tactic. David Frum on why Rush is wrong: A conservative's lament; and Yuval Levin on the Republicans’ road back. The Nation remembers V.G. Kiernan, a historian of the left, an ideological warrior against empire. A review of Planet Google by Randall Stross and What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis (more and more and more and more; and more from Bookforum). From Evolutionary Psychology, a review of Judaism in Biological Perspective: Biblical Lore and Judaic Practices. Read a book, get out of jail: What happens when convicted felons are sentenced to a book club instead of prison?
From TLS, follies of Roman Catholicism: How the Catholic Church failed to save itself from the Reformation. A little-known Egyptian-born priest may be the source of Benedict XVI's ideas on Islam — and the source of his controversial speech about Muslims and violence. From Vox, Willem Buiter on macroeconomics’ crisis of irrelevance: The unfortunate uselessness of most "state of the art" academic monetary economics; and Barry Eichengreen on the G20, global governance, and the missing “vision”. When, exactly, will the misery end? When can we expect to see the economy turn around? 11 experts hazard a guess. The finalists of this year's Lionel Gelber Prize, an annual award for the best writing on international affairs, reflect the difficulties of trying to find light in a dark landscape. Yes, We Plan: How altruism and advertising could change the world. From TNR, from Obama with love: How his "secret letter" to Russia helps isolate Iran, undermine Putin, and save us money; just like Reagan, Obama is using the budget to put his imprint on the federal government — you gotta problem with that, Republicans?; and of course newspapers are in decline, but don't worry: Our democracy will be just fine. Beyond the pale: John Dean on the newly-released, indefensible Office of Legal Counsel terror memos. A show 2 lame 2 miss: Scoff if you must, but Orem, Utah, loves MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice.
From NYRB, Elizabeth Drew on the thirty days of Barack Obama; Amartya Sen on capitalism beyond the crisis; Cass Sunstein on the enlarged republic — then and now; what you can learn from Reinhold Niebuhr: A review of The Irony of American History by Reinhold Niebuhr; The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism by Andrew Bacevich; and The Freedom Agenda: Why America Must Spread Democracy (Just Not the Way George Bush Did) by James Traub. From The Nation, a special issue on reinventing capitalism, reimagining socialism. From TNR, what should Obama do about Darfur? A roundtable. The parent company of the political jewel, The New Republic, is in peril — what is the fate of the magazine? From FT, a review of books on health care; and daily local titles no longer match the desires of readers and advertisers — much reporting is better done by an enthusiastic amateur for very little than a reporter sent in a taxi. Stephen Webb on how soccer is ruining America — a Jeremiad. From Tikkun, an essay on the moral dimension of sports: Patriotism at the Ballpark (and more). From PopMatters, an article on the state of the slasher film genre: "We've come a long way, baby"; and the majority of us aren't coal miners, we don't know coal miners, and we wouldn't last a week in a coal mine — are coal mining songs, then, still relevant?