From Homeland Security Affairs, Philip Palin on Resilience: The Grand Strategy; Thomas L. Rempfer (NPS): The Anthrax Vaccine: A Dilemma for Homeland Security; Marcus Holmes (OSU): Just How Much Does That Cost, Anyway? An Analysis of the Financial Costs and Benefits of the “No-Fly” List; a review of Thomas Ridge's The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege And How We Can Be Safe Again and Michael Chertoff's Homeland Security: Assessing the First Five Years. What happened to teen movies? Sacco and Vanzetti were executed not in spite of global protest but because of it: Moshik Temkin on his book The Sacco-Vanzetti Affair: America on Trial. A riddle of life and death proportions: Richard T. Hughes on why conservative Christians so often fail the common good (and part 2). From History Today, Peter Mandler gives a fairly short introduction to Very Short Introductions. Let us now praise jet lag. Only Direct: Ed Gillespie on why conservatives should not cede the precincts of popular culture. In different voices: Indo-Canadian author Shauna Singh Baldwin holds forth on writing, xenophobia and life. From New Humanist, the last of the bohemians: Tom McDonough celebrates the subversive poetic vision of the Situationists; and from the latrine to the loo, the pissoir to the powder room, Sally Feldman explores the sexual politics of toilets. Dennis Baron, author of A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital Revolution, on the success of the Internet and Wikipedia. A shift in the Earth's axis, pricier paper? Chile's catastrophic quake is triggering some unexpected consequences. A review of Irving Thalberg: Boy Wonder to Producer Prince by Mark A. Vieira. Minutemen return to the border — this time locked and loaded.
The inaugural issue of the Journal of Art Historiography is out. It's exciting to think about new and expanded models for architecture criticism; but of course the immediate test of survivability — of whether the job is doomed — won't be conceptual but economic. Going to a museum of contemporary art is now a bit like being present at a tacit contest in which "the art world" attempts to do everything but what was once called "art", in order to assert its continued dominion over all the arts. From Antiquity, a review of Cave Art by Jean Clottes. Why so many artists, from Proust to Warhol, are frequently under the weather. Oh Yoko!: 20 ways of looking at an art-world icon. Witold Rybczynski on Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, and why we're still fascinated by the Bauhaus. Donald Dewey on how hard times and humour are as inseparable as cinema and celluloid. Are artists shaped by their times, or do they shape them, and does it matter where you see a piece of art? Surprising new research suggests non-experts’ receptiveness to modern artworks may be lessened when contextual information is presented. Are Vettriano, Lloyd Webber and Dan Brown really so naff?: Our judgements about art and culture are beset with insecurity and anxiety. The Museum of Bad Art: The artists of MOBA suffered for their art — now it's your turn. Robert Bruegmann on the Architect as Urbanist (and part 2). Knock Knock: Who’s There? That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore examines the delicate relationship between art and humor. Twenty years after the Gardner heist, detective Charles Hill says art thieves aren’t so clever. What's with exhibition names that are unmemorable and uninviting? A review of Rogues’ Gallery: The Secret History of the Moguls and the Money That Made the Metropolitan Museum by Michael Gross.
From Vanity Fair, Michael Wolff on how Britain seems ready to elect David Cameron, a man who has re-invented his party, as well as himself, by airbrushing out all divisions. What if: Cameron is worse than we imagined — much worse. A group of evangelical Christians has formed a power base within the Conservatives — will a victory at the general election give them influence over social policy? Fat cats and evangelicals: Johann Hari on what a Tory win would really mean and on how Cameronomics has already been tried — in Ireland. Will Britain's Conservatives blow it? From Lawrence & Wishart Books, you can download Is the Future Conservative? for free. Anthony Barnett on Red Blondism. A review of The Conservative Party: From Thatcher to Cameron by Tim Bale (and more and more). An excerpt from Andrew Rawnsley's The End of the Party: The Rise and Fall of New Labour (and more and more and more). Could Gordon Brown become the Harry Truman of British politics? Camila Bassi (Sheffield Hallam): The Anti-Imperialism of Fools: A Cautionary Story on the Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard of England’s Post-9/11 Anti-War Movement. The white far-right BNP and the Islamist fringe Hizb ut-Tahrir fight for their survival. An interview with Peter Kellner on books on British democracy. An Age of Anger: An article on the London Review of Books and the British crisis of democracy. Jonathan Jones on the strange death of liberal England. The baby boomers had everything — free education, free health care and remarkable personal liberties — but they squandered it all, and now their children are paying for it. A review of The Pinch: How the Baby Boomers Stole Their Children's Future — And How They Can Give it Back by David Willetts (and more and more and more and more and more).
The latest issue on Harp & Altar is out. From Genders, Jennifer Reed (CSU-Long Beach): Lily: Sold Out! The Queer Feminism of Lily Tomlin; and Purnima Bose (Indiana): From Humanitarian Intervention to the Beautifying Mission: Afghan Women and Beauty without Borders. The mutual inspiration of art and mathematics: Economics, origami and other fields trigger new and original creations. Starbucks’ midlife crisis: The coffee giant can’t quite accept its own customers’ tastes. More and more and more and more and more and more and more and more on The Big Short by Michael Lewis. From h+, here's the geek’s guide to getting girls. The perils of pay less, get more: Demand for government services grows, but taxes don’t — this is the main reason for our budget problems. Clive Crook on why taxes will go up — get used to it. What can lists tells us about the personality of the list-maker? This is officially Not Good: Jamais Cascio on pushing back against the Methane Tipping Point. Post Romantic: A love letter to mail carriers everywhere. A world without signs: Does the advent of GPS mean we'll no longer need them? A review of Ernst Cassirer: The Last Philosopher of Culture by Edward Sidelsky. Macmillan is introducing software that will allow college instructors to edit digital editions of textbooks without consulting the original authors or publisher. A review of Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack by Marc A. Thiessen (and more). The writing advice industry: Fiction is near death, but advice about writing fiction? It’s thriving. Did you know that no two farts are exactly alike? An interview with proctologist Lester Gottesman. Omega males and the women who hate them: They're unemployed, romantically challenged, and they're everywhere.
Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule (Harvard): Conspiracy Theories. A look at 6 elements every conspiracy theory needs. Making sense of the paranoid mind: Robert A. Goldberg reviews Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History by David Aaronovitch and Strange Days Indeed: The 1970s: The Golden Age of Paranoia by Francis Wheen (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). A nation of conspiracies: Coup plots and growing extremism — why the West can't ignore Turkey's paranoia. Conspiracy Theory With Jesse Ventura presents a world divided into elites and Joe Sixpacks, where the hidden masters of the universe plot against you and me. A review of American Conspiracies: Lies, Lies, and More Dirty Lies that the Government Tells Us by Jesse Ventura (and more). A review of Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation by Mitch Horowitz. The Illuminati X-Factor: Richard Leon on the mind-controlled showbiz celebs. Why the Templars have always attracted obsessives: A Vatican filing error helped to fuel centuries of conspiracy theories. Lodges, aprons, and funny handshakes: The first chapter from Freemasons for Dummies by Christopher Hodapp (and more); and everything you know is wrong: The first chapter from Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies for Dummies by Christopher Hodapp and Alice Von Kannon. From Reviews in History, a review of The Hell-Fire Clubs: Sex, Satanism and Secret Societies by Evelyn Lord; and a review of Invented Knowledge: False History, Fake Science and Pseudo-religions by Ronald H. Fritze.
A carefully crafted f@&% you: An interview with Judith Butler, the gender-theorist-turned-philosopher-of-nonviolence, on the choices that make people expendable, and the role grief can play in setting a new course. No jacket required: A review of The Oxford Companion to the Book, ed. Michael F Suarez SJ and Henry Woudhuysen; The Case for Books: Past, Present and Future by Robert Darnton; Reading Matters: Five Centuries of Discovering Books by Margaret Willes; and The Book in the Renaissance by Andrew Pettegree. The way things are and how they might be: An interview with Tony Judt. A manifesto for a new politics As a culmination of his political thinking, Tony Judt, paralysed by motor neurone disease, makes an impassioned plea for a new arrangement of society. A review of The Culture of Flushing: A Social and Legal History of Sewage by Jamie Benidickson. On December 30, in one of the deadliest attacks in CIA history, an Al Qaeda double agent schemed his way onto a U.S. base in Afghanistan and blew himself into the next life, taking seven Americans with him — how could this have happened? Richard Hayman traces the changing significance of the Green Man, a term coined in the 1930s for a medieval image of a face sprouting foliage, the meaning of which has transformed itself across the centuries. Born to Blush: Dacher Keltner reveals why embarrassment is good for all of us. Elif Batuman on dangerous friends in literature. More and more and more and more and more and more and more on The Possessed: Adventures With Russian Books and the People Who Read Them by Elif Batuman (and more at Bookforum). Fast Changes: An interview with David Paterson from a month ago shows how quickly politics can shift.
From National Affairs, Tevi Troy on Bush, Obama, and the Intellectuals. From Tikkun, Bob Anschuetz on why Obama is disappointing us, and what we can do about it. Help for the too-conscious liberal: An excerpt from Fran Hawthorne's The Overloaded Liberal: Shopping, Investing, Parenting, and Other Daily Dilemmas in an Age of Political Activism. What would happen if people just refused to buy health insurance even if a law ordered them to? The feminist case for flawed reform: The anti-abortion provisions of both the House and the Senate versions of health care are a serious setback for reproductive rights — we need to support it nonetheless. Sink or Swim: Jonathan Chait on the GOP’s Dickensian fix for health care (and more). The bogus Republican claim that Obamacare is a government takeover of one-sixth of the economy. Today, loose, dangerous talk about "government tyranny" is back in vogue and on a political amptitude far beyond where it was during the Age of McVeigh a generation ago. Oath Keepers and the Age of Treason: Meet the fast-growing "patriot" group that's recruiting soldiers to resist the Obama administration. An interview with Michael Wolraich, author of How Bill O’Reilly Saved Christmas: A Fair and Balanced Account of Right-Wing Persecution. Inside the White House Press Corps: Tommy Christopher interviews WorldNetDaily correspondent and radio host Lester Kinsolving (and part 2). The making of the president, then and now: The great campaign books of the past are about more than the back-room drama that dominates recent releases. What is the least-accurate political memoirs ever written? More and more and more and more and more and more and more on Courage and Consequence by Karl Rove.
From Collegium, a special issue on World Music. David Cope’s software creates beautiful, original music — why are people so angry about that? (and more on how artificial intelligence will change music). From Vice, an essay on Transcendental Black Metal. How we describe pop music proves that we find moral significance in music (and more). From ABBA to ZZ Top, all the good band names are taken. Greg Milner on The Beatles: Some titles to consider when you feel like getting back to where you once belonged. Does a new anthology devoted to a hip-hop classic elevate the genre to its rightful place as a literary form? Alex Ross on why it's time to show our appreciation for classical music: Let our applause be heard. A review of I Am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne (and more and more and more and more and more). A look at 6 albums by rock legends that were thinly veiled "F#@k You"s. A review of Ted Gioia's The Birth (and Death) of the Cool. Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon eclipses concept album classics. Audiences hate modern classical music because their brains cannot cope. The first chapter from Elvis for Dummies. A review of Sells Like Teen Spirit: Music, Youth Culture, and Social Crisis by Ryan Moore. A review of The Music Instinct: How Music Works and Why We Can’t Do Without It by Philip Ball (and more and more and more and more and more and more). How Britain is using classical music as a form of social control. Techno lives: A review of Lost and Sound: Berlin, Techno und der Easyjetset by Tobias Rapp. Was Jimi Hendrix's ambidexterity the key to his virtuosity? From Splice Today, how search engines and blogs have changed the way we discover music; and more on the challenges of finding new music, 2.0. Symphony in J flat: An article on the curious quest to re-invent music. Hip-hop can, and should, promote the historical and cultural ideals that underscore the value of historical awareness. The inside scoop on the indie-rock scandal that’s rocking the world of indie-rock.
Denis Donoghue (NYU): Three Presences: Yeats, Eliot, Pound. Edward Clayton (Central Michigan): Aesop, Aristotle, and Animals: The Role of Fables in Human Life. From TNR, a review of books on Raymond Carver. From Evergreen Review, a review of Naked Lunch @ 50: Anniversary Essays; and a review of Beats at Naropa: An Anthology. An interview with creator of feminist sleuth VI Warshawski Sara Paretsky on fiction, power and the open case of race in America. A review of Jenny Woolf's The Mystery of Lewis Carroll. On the social muse: Contemporary poetry is woefully limited by its over-reliance on the lyric form, but the lyric itself is today further reduced by the absence of the dramatic element, by the loss of voices (and of milieux) other than the poet’s own. Simon Van Booy reviews The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them by Elif Batuman. Relentless careerism: Jim Behrle on how you can become the most important poet in America overnight. Why don’t Jews write more fantasy literature, and a different, deeper but related question: why are there no works of modern fantasy that are profoundly Jewish in the way that, say, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is Christian? A review of Robert Frost: The Poet as Philosopher by Peter Stanlis. A review of Dostoevsky: Language, Faith, and Fiction by Rowan Williams. Will the real Zadie Smith please stand up? From NYRB, Margaret Atwood reviews Anthill by E.O. Wilson; and Cathleen Schine on Austenolatry. From Humanities, a recollection of Wallace Stegner; and an article on Ben-Hur, the book that shook the world. Paul Johnson on how Leo Tolstoy was kind of a dick. The smuttiest French novel ever written, still shocking 50 years later: A new graphic novel based on Story of O.
And check out Paper Trail, Bookforum's new blog on publishing, literature, and our favorite authors.
Siobhan Phillips (Harvard): What We Talk About When We Talk About Food. Full of Beans: How a classically trained chef reinvented fast food. A taste of junk food's ground zero: Deep-fried Pepsi, anyone, or would doughnut upside-down cake hit the culinary G-Spot? Nicole Allan on the dark side of food porn. The Fake-Food Detectives: Food fraud has been around almost as long as food itself; finally, some experts are starting to get tough. A review of An Edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage. A review of Ripe: The Search for the Perfect Tomato by Arthur Allen. A Matter of Convenience: Is there anything Americans won't put in their mouths? China is expected to consider banning a centuries-old culinary tradition: the consumption of dog and cat meat. Australia’s bush meat is tasty, healthy, and enviro-friendly — but can you get people to eat it? A review of Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan. Raw food — what is it good for? Rosecrans Baldwin on popcorn, cinema's worst enemy. An excerpt from Cheesemonger: A Life of the Wedge by Gordon Edgar. Jan Heufer (Dortmund): In Vino Veritas: The Economics of Drinking. Drink Like a Tuscan: Cheap Chianti is often better than the expensive stuff. A review of I Drink Therefore I Am: A Philosopher’s Guide to Wine by Roger Scruton. A good wine is like an art exhibit, or a film, or a book — and you're not paying $80 to get into an art museum, are you? You drink what you think: Your experience of wine can be fooled. Bubbles and flow patterns in champagne: Is the fizz just for show, or does it add to the taste of sparkling wines? Hipster Moonshine: Hooch isn’t just for hillbillies anymore. Alcohol is an important part of life in many cultures throughout the world, but there are many misperceptions about this common social lubricant.