From International Social Science Review, a review of Hillary Rodham Clinton: Polarizing First Lady by Gil Troy; a review of Memo to a New President: The Art and Science of Presidential Leadership by Michael Genovese; a review of Sanford Levinson's Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (and How We the People Can Correct It); and more on Paul Collier's The Bottom Billion. Learning to love the bomb: A review of The Dynamite Club: How a Bombing in Fin-de-Siecle Paris Ignited the Age of Modern Terror by John Merriman and The Day Wall Street Exploded: A Story of America in Its First Age of Terrorism by Beverly Gage (and more from Bookforum). Only makes you stronger: Walter Russell Mead on why the recession bolstered America. From New Scientist, a series on the six biggest mysteries of out solar system. Davos Man, confused: Why the world's economic leaders blame the catastrophe on the system instead of themselves. Disco Fever: Disco isn’t dead, but you might be surprised where it’s still kicking. How to sell your soul to Corporate America: Some graduates are taking this whole "entering society" thing a little lighter than others. A review of Why Us? How Science Rediscovered the Mystery of Ourselves by James Le Fanu. Correctiquette: Ready to improve someone's language? Hold on.
From Human Organization, an article on the prevalence of male clients of street prostitute women in the United States. An excerpt from Creating a World Without Poverty by Muhammad Yunus. A review of Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential by Dan Pallotta. The Bushification of Barack Obama: They have already begun — but attempts to paint the new U.S. president as little more than a clone of his predecessor have only a slim chance of success. A review of Popular Ideologies: Mass Culture at Mid-Century by Susan Smulyan. From The Daily Beast, the Internet has already changed the way the way movies are made, viewed, and distributed, but is the film industry — or the audience — ready to face what technology can actually do? Who wants to friend a millionaire? A Facebook for the rich tries its best to “keep out the average guy”. A review of Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin by Norah Vincent. Lib and Let Die: John McWhorter on why the well-intentioned effort to reclaim the word "liberal" is doomed (and a response). A look at what Elizabeth Cheney's 1988 college thesis tells us about the Bush presidency. Yes, swearing can be a substitute for real humour — but used wisely and judiciously it can also be subversively witty. Do humanlike machines deserve human rights?
A new issue of Lost it out. From the Journal of Third World Studies, a review essay on Africa in the neo-liberal world (dis)order; and a review of From Pilgrimage to Package Tour: Travel and Tourism in the Third World by David Gladstone. Who will throw the book at the Bushies? If Congress won't, these folks might. A review of The Language of Law School: Learning to "Think Like a Lawyer" by Elizabeth Mertz. Did Charles Darwin believe in racial inequality? From The Guardian, Steve Jones explores the obscure chapters of Darwin's life; and more on Darwin's Sacred Cause: Race, Slavery and the Quest for Human Origins by Adrian Desmond (and more and more and more; and more from Bookforum). An interview with Adam Gopnik, author of Angels and Ages: A Short Book about Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life (and more and more). A review of books on Lincoln. In a shrinking world, Joshua Kurlantzick reports that the role of tyrants isn’t. From New Matilda, an article on the joy of violent Muslim sex. From Nerve, sex sells, but who's buying? How a billion-dollar industry faces the recession; and dirty movies and you: Here's a brief history of pornography in America. From Seed, 2009 will be a year of panic: From the fevered mind of Bruce Sterling and his alter-ego, Bruno Argento, a consideration of things ahead — while the true 21st century begins.
To mark the bicentenary of Darwin's birth, New Scientist asked eminent evolutionary biologists to outline the biggest gaps remaining in evolutionary theory. An article on The Hipster Rent Boys of New York: In frigid economy, striving young men are turning to the oldest profession to make the city work for them. More on Book of Dead Philosophers by Simon Critchley. From First Things, Ralph Wood on G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy, "his most prophetic book", at a hundred; and a review of Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari’a by Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im. A review of Democratic Values in the Muslim World by Moataz Fattah. A review of The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama by Gwen Ifill and What Obama Means: For Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Future by Jabari Asim (and more and more). Robin Blackburn reviews The Age of Aging: How Demographics Are Changing the Global Economy and Our World by George Magnus. An interview with Clay Risen, author of A Nation on Fire: America in the Wake of the King Assassination. Graveyard of analogies: Are the Americans destined to meet the same fate in Afghanistan as the Russians? Out of Africa: An article on the Kenyan politician who made Barack Obama. A review of Pulitzer's Gold: Behind the Prize for Public Service Journalism by Roy J. Harris Jr.
From The Jury Expert, Samuel R. Sommers (Tufts): On the Obstacles to Jury Diversity. Anna Wintour, meet Mike Tyson: Will two controversial new documentaries on Vogue’s editor and the former champ transform their very public personas? A review of Ceremonial Violence: A Psychological Explanation of School Shootings by Jonathan Fast. From the Journal of College Student Development, a review of The First Year Out: Understanding American Teens After High School by Tim Clydesdale; and a review of Inside Greek U.: Fraternities, Sororities, and the Pursuit of Pleasure, Power, and Prestige by Alan D. DeSantis. JuicyCampus, the controversial Web site that encouraged college students to gossip about one another, closes down after revenues evaporate. From Minding the Campus, an article on the conspiracy against faculty friendship. Repeated oscillations between neoclassical and Keynesian economics in defining mainstream economics reveal the profession's opportunistic subservience to business needs. From Diplomatic Courier, an article on Europe's tempestuous youth. Is Obama's regulatory czar a "radical animal rights activist"? Why a big business front group is going rabid over Cass Sunstein. American Gorbachev: The America our new president inherits bears an uncanny resemblance to our old enemy, the Soviet Union — right before it went under.
From First Things, Richard John Neuhaus on reconciling East and West; Antony Flew replies to Richard Dawkins; John E. Coons writes in defense of the sovereign family; Joseph Bottum on children’s books, lost and found; an article on the forgotten story of postmodernity; and a review of God and the Between by William Desmond. Do conservatives need to get beyond Reagan? Rush Limbaugh investigates. How firm a foundation? George Nash on the prospects for American conservatism. The radical conservative: An interview with Andrew Bacevich, author of The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism. An interview with Roberto J. Gonzalez, author of American Counterinsurgency: Human Science and the Human Terrain. A review of The Mind of Jihad by Laurent Murawiec. Cosmic cannibals: An article on the hunt for supermassive black holes. An interview with Matthew Stein, author of When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability and Surviving the Long Emergency. An interview with James Howard Kunstler on life as it is, life as it could be, and life as we may encounter. A review of Counterculture Green: The Whole Earth Catalog and American Environmentalism by Andrew Kirk. When altruism isn't moral: Our nation’s current organ donation system relies on altruism alone — a regime of donor compensation would be better.
From The Economist, a special report on the future of finance, including how the golden age of finance collapsed under its own contradictions — why it went wrong and what to do next; mathematical models are a powerful way of predicting financial markets, but they are fallible; and how to play chicken and lose: Finance suffers from reverse natural selection. A review of Mitchell Bryan Hart's The Healthy Jew: The Symbiosis of Judaism and Modern Medicine. Is there such a thing as Jewish art? Jackie Wullschlager investigates. A look at why science fiction is the genre that dare not speak its name. A review of The Natural History of Unicorns by Christopher Lavers. "Young Europeans would like to be Scandinavian": An interview with Cecile Van de Velde, author of Devenir adulte: Sociologie comparee de la jeunesse en Europe. A review of Dark Side of the Tune: Popular Music and Violence by Bruce Johnson and Martin Cloonan. A review of Near Black: White-to-Black Passing in American Culture by Baz Dreisinger. FP looks at five countries on the verge of following Iceland to economic ruin and political meltdown; and here's a list of the world's most notorious prisons. The Flaws of Facebook: The social network site ignores the care with which academics need to calibrate the mix of private and professional in their lives.
From Claremont Review of Books, an article on the audacity of Barack Obama. From Economic Principals, the eight years of the Bush administration may wind up looking more than ever like Woodrow Wilson’s time in office; and here at the outset, let’s set out a possible goal for the US Treasury — nobody forecasts eight years ahead. In order to understand the crisis of contemporary global finance, we should be turning not to Smith or Marx, with their emphasis on the value of work, but rather to Walras, the first to posit desire as cause of value. A review of The Strangest Man: the Hidden Life of Paul Dirac by Graham Farmelo (and more). From Obama to Madoff, "transparency" is the new buzzword — and it’s bogus. An interview with J.D. Trout on why we have an empathy deficit and why charity doesn’t necessarily begin at home. From The Economist, fixing a broken world: The planet’s most wretched places are not always the most dangerous; and a review of The Dynamics of Violence in Central Africa by Rene Lemarchand and Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe by Gerard Prunier. Obama Nation, what now?: 22 influential citizens on the New American Era. Bill Kauffman reviews Armageddon In Retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut. From Forbes, an article on the richest people you've never heard of.
Two heroes of contemporary philosophy: A review of James V. Schall's The Mind That Is Catholic: Philosophical & Political Essays and Robert Sokolowski's Phenomenology of the Human Person (and an excerpt). Why computers can't kill Post-Its: MIT researchers argue that computers need to become as easy to use as those yellow sticky notes. Long-starving poet Katy Lederer considers her unlikely transition to the world of hedge funds, and what it's meant for her art. The call of the mall: Americans of all ethnic groups are increasingly living and going to school together — shopping is another matter. A small clique of deputies and advisers will wield great power and influence on the president’s foreign policy — a guide to real inside players. A review of The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century by George Friedman. A review of The Day Wall Street Exploded: A Story of America in its First Age of Terror by Beverly Gage. Are you better off having a degree from Princeton or Purdue? As the economy tumbles, it may not be so obvious anymore (and more). Click and Jane: What are kids learning to read when they learn to read online? A review of Joel L. Kraemer's Maimonides: The Life and World of One of Civilization’s Greatest Minds. (Nearly) nothing to fear but fear itself: Olivier Blanchard says that policymakers should focus on reducing uncertainty.
From First Monday, Kalev Leetaru (Illinois): Mass book digitization: The deeper story of Google Books and the Open Content Alliance; Katherine Ehmann, Andrew Large and Jamshid Beheshti (McGill): Collaboration in context: Comparing article evolution among subject disciplines in Wikipedia; Andre Oboler (Bar-Ilan): The rise and fall of a Facebook hate group; and a review of Lee Siegel's Against the machine: Being human in the age of electronic media. Dumb and Dumber 2.0: An old joke gets a digital remake — and attracts consumers in a down economy. Every silver lining has a cloud: Plans to engineer the climate may be less effective than had been hoped. Stanley Fish on The Last Professor (and a response). From FP, an interview with Michael Gelles, a psychologist who helped design an interrogation model for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo who says that legal, morally sound interrogations would have worked; the risks posed by released detainees are overblown — closing the prison at Guantanamo won’t be easy, but that’s a small price to pay to right a legal and moral wrong seven years in the making; and even for Barack Obama, winning over the Muslim world is going to take far more than just well-received interviews and eloquent speeches. District of Corruption: Norman Ornstein on how Washington's new riches destroyed Tom Daschle.