From The National Interest, a review essay on global warming. Will our grandchildren revile the lost decade? The noughties dawned with a global strategy to fight climate change but ended with the UN system in tatters. Daniel Bodansky (Georgia): The Copenhagen Conference: A Post-Mortem (and more at Foreign Affairs). What really happened in Copenhagen? Anne Petermann and Orin Langelle on the iron fist of the market versus iron in the soul of the social movements. A review of The Enemy of Nature: The End of Capitalism or the End of the World? by Joel Kovel. Global economic growth cannot continue if nations are serious about curbing climate change. You can download Growth Isn't Possible: Why We Need a New Economic Direction by Andrew Simms and Victoria Johnson. Jagdish Bhagwati on how we need to build the new protocol on principles in existing international institutions such as the WTO. In the war against climate change, peasants are in the front line. Measuring economic activity from outer space is a new frontier in the struggle to quantify humanity’s impact on the natural world. The Economist on why it is important to put a price on nature. Small price for a large benefit: The cost of preventing catastrophic climate change would be astonishingly small. When we talk about zero climate emissions, we sound crazy; when Bill Gates does it, bankers pick up the phone. Al Gore on how we can’t wish away climate change. Ronald Bailey reviews Whole Earth Discipline by Stewart Brand and Our Choice by Al Gore. An interview with Stewart Brand, from Whole Earth to nuclear power (and more and more and more and more and more). A Guide to Climate Skeptics: Can't tell the legitimate concerns from the nonsense? Skeptics sound like Simpson's lawyers: If the winter glove won't fit, you must acquit.
From Colloquy, a special issue on Bad Cinema, including Phoebe Fletcher (Auckland): “Fucking Americans”: Postmodern Nationalisms in the Contemporary Splatter Film; Mark Steven (Sydney): Their Time Has Come: Bad Cinema Nerds as Late-Capitalist Paradigm; essays on a scatological gaze in trash filmmaking and gender in 70s/80s slasher films; and on the films The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Snakes on a Plane. Bowen vs. the Bureaucrats: Iraq IG Stuart Bowen has an ambitious plan to overhaul reconstruction oversight, planning, and contracting. The first chapter from The Brain and the Meaning of Life by Paul Thagard. Craig Morgan Teicher on Contemporary Experimental Poets: Many of the most off-the-wall poets are actually writing about the same things as their more straightforward contemporaries but have chosen to describe experience using untraditional means. From Design Observer, Jessica Helfand is obliged to conclude that she's not a logical person. A mind of crime: How brain-scanning technology is redefining criminal culpability. Democrats and Republicans have become identified with two quite opposite economic theories: A primer on supply-side vs demand-side economics. Google may be earning an alleged $500 million a year via companies and individuals who register deceptive website addresses. A review of Sagehood: The Contemporary Significance of Neo-Confucian Philosophy by Stephen C. Angle. A look at how the recession has encouraged many to reconsider the joys of playing with cardboard and plastic pieces. Martyrdom, Interrupted: The former head interrogator in Iraq goes undercover in Indonesia to learn the secrets of their top-notch interrogation program. Sources in libertarian socialism: An essay on poetry and the mystique of the self in John Stuart Mill.
Undying Creed: Joel Kotkin on the acceleration of our exceptionalism; and few have focused on what may well be the US's most historically significant and powerful weapon — its emergence as the modern world's first multiracial superpower. A review of Savages & Scoundrels: The Untold Story of America’s Road to Empire through Indian Territory by Paul VanDevelder. A review of Everything You Know about Indians Is Wrong by Paul Chaat Smith. The first chapter from Native American History For Dummies by Dorothy Lippert and Stephen J. Spignesi. A review of The Making of African America: The Four Great Migrations by Ira Berlin (and more). Richard Posner reviews What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America by Peggy Pascoe and Klara-Stephanie Szlezak (Regensburg): The Ellis Island Experience: Through the Eyes of Lewis Hine. Our Muddled Masses: Urgent economic self-interest as well as ethical demands require a fundamental change in immigration policy. A review of Latino Immigrants and the Transformation of the U.S. South. From The American Conservative, His-Panic: Talk TV sensationalists and axe-grinding ideologues have fallen for a myth of immigrant lawlessness (and more from Reason). From The Nation, Katha Pollitt and Alexander Cockburn debate the Hispanic crime rate. A headquarters for human smuggling: A review of The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream by Patrick Radden Keefe. A review of Driven Out: The Forgotten War against Chinese Americans by Jean Pfaelzer. A review of The Poker Bride: The First Chinese in the Wild West by Christopher Corbett. A review of How Does It Feel to Be a Problem Being Young and Arab in America by Moustafa Bayoumi.
From The New Yorker, an article on the decades-long battle to catch international arms broker Monzer al-Kassar. Nanjing by the Numbers: A new report on the 1937-1938 massacre doesn't settle the contested issue of how many people died — but it points to a much more significant new consensus between Japan and China. A review of The Hollywood Economist: The Hidden Financial Reality Behind the Movies by Edward Jay Epstein. From The Loop 21, an article on ethnic media’s unprecedented access in the age of Obama; and maybe we need a little class warfare. Basically, it's over: A parable about how one nation came to financial ruin. If we look at cocaine as a social hieroglyph — not as a thing, but as a complex relation between networks and organizations of people, as well as between states and bureaucracies — we may glimpse some of the distinguishing features of the contemporary world. The first chapter from The Message Matters: The Economy and Presidential Campaigns by Lynn Vavreck. Poison and Progress: Modern science's race to stay ahead of global terrorists and political assassins began with some devious poisoners in the 19th and early 20th centuries. From Vice, Seamus McGraw on the Battle of Lazy Dog Hill: Even a multimillion-dollar gas company can’t just kill a man’s coonhound and expect to get way with it; an interview with Ted Bafaloukos, the man who taught us everything we know about Jamaica; it’s no secret that tik — a cheap and dirty form of crystal meth smoked through light bulbs — is ripping apart the Cape Flats like nobody’s business; and Hamilton Morris on the Icelandic skin-disease mushroom fashion fiasco. From The Activist, an interview with Doug Henwood of Left Business Observer.
Raphael Cohen-Almagor (Hull): Holocaust Denial is a Form of Hate Speech. A review of A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad by Robert S. Wistrich (and more). Michael Kinsely on how to think about Jewish bankers. The first chapter from Capitalism and the Jews by Jerry Z. Muller (and more and more and more). From FT, Tobias Buck on the rise of the capitalist kibbutz. From Chronicles of Love and Resentment, Eric Gans on Judeocentrism and the Jewish Question. From H-Net, a review of Jean-Paul Sartre and the Jewish Question: Anti-antisemitism and the Politics of the French Intellectual by Jonathan Judaken. More and more on Utopia or Auschwitz: Germany's 1968 Generation and the Holocaust by Hans Kundnani. A review of Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England by Anthony Julius (and more and more). A review of The Colors of Jews: Racial Politics and Radical Diasporism by Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz. More and more and more and more and more on The Invention of the Jewish People by Shlomo Sand. From Forward, the Obi-Wan Kenobi of 20th-century Jewish philosophy, Lithuanian-born French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, has grown in fame and stature since his death in 1995; and the Jewish value of understatement: An article on how simple beauty can outshine complex vulgarity. Fine Young Criminal: Eddy Portnoy on the story of a yeshiva boy who turned to the gang life and lived to write about it. An interview with Yisrael Campbell, comedian, Jewish convert. For Orthodox Jews, matchmaking and dating are more confusing than ever; is secularism to blame, feminism, or is it part of a greater crisis? Hey, Jew, Don’t Make It Bad: Does telling children they’re hated make them mishear lyrics and, eventually, horde Viagra?
The Failure of History: Twenty years ago, a wall came down all over Europe — George Watson recalls the idea that fell. A review of The Red Flag: A History of Communism by David Priestland (and more and more and more and more). Daniel Bensaid on the powers of communism. An interview with Tariq Ali on The Idea of Communism. A review of Engels: A Revolutionary Life by John Green and Marx’s General: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels by Tristram Hunt (and more and more). From Links, an article on Rosa Luxemburg and Marxist politics. Paul Kellogg (Trent): Leninism: It's Not What You Think. A review of Conspirator: Lenin in Exile by Helen Rappaport. A review of Stalin's Nemesis: The Exile and Murder of Leon Trotsky by Bertrand Patenaude (and more and more and more and more) and Trotsky: A Biography by Robert Service (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). A review of The Marxism of Leon Trotsky by Kunal Chattopadhyay and Western Marxism and the Soviet Union by Marcel van der Linden. Peter Thomas on the revolutionary ideas of Antonio Gramsci (and more). What is Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism?: Only then, can one understand what Maoism is all about. An interview with Stephen Lucas on Soviet law. An interview with Robert Service on books on Totalitarian Russia. Maurice Isserman takes measure of the unlamented socialist paradise, twenty years after its demise (and more on the Velvet Philosophical Revolution). Now that Marxism is dead, so it is said, we can read Marx afresh — yet to do so, previous interpretations of Marx need to be corrected. Why did Communism end when it did? Archie Brown discusses the contributions of historians to the understanding of Communism and why it failed.
Emma Short and Isabella McMurray (Bedfordshire): Mobile Phone Harassment: An Exploration of Students’ Perceptions of Intrusive Texting Behavior. From Z Magazine, Laurence H. Shoup on finance capitalists, the CFR, and the Obama administration; Laura Kiesel on the environmental colonialism of Fiji Water and the Vatukoula Dump; and an interview with Helena Norberg-Hodge, director of the International Society for Ecology and Culture. From Cabinet, an interview with Angie Hobbs on the philosophical history of friendship. The pieces of the puzzle are falling into place: Marci Hamilton on Catholic officials, a global web of childhood sexual abuse, and the judgment of history. A look at 6 insane coincidences you won't believe actually happened. Ten years after Elian Gonzalez sparked an international crisis between the US and Cuba, Ed Vulliamy returns to Little Havana to chart the incredible story of a family tug of war that changed the course of history. From NYRB, Tony Judt on identity and "edge people". American Communion: Johnny Cash thought his recording career was over — then he met legendary producer Rick Rubin. Searching for Saddam: Why social network analysis hasn't led us to Osama Bin Laden. From Antiquity, a review of books on roads archaeology. The Bird, the Wave, and the Shaka: Tom Vanderbilt on reading the informal language of road signals. A review of Reinventing the Automobile: Personal Urban Mobility for the 21st Century by William J. Mitchell, Christopher E. Borroni-Bird, and Lawrence D. Burns and Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt (and review by Geoff Nicholson at Bookforum). From Grist, an interview with James Inhofe, Senate’s top skeptic, explains his climate-hoax theory.
From CNN, a special report on Broken Government. From Time, Richard Stengel on fixing our broken government in Washington; and Peter Beinart on why Washington is tied up in knots. From Newsweek, the system’s not to blame, says Jon Meacham — we are. America the Ungovernable? Nonsense, says Charles Krauthammer. The system isn't broken: Partisanship is par for the course. We confront our crisis in a market-driven culture that's suspicious of public sector solutions — and more, of the very idea of the public. A review of I Do Solemnly Swear: The Moral Obligations of Legal Officials by Stephen Sheppard. Mathematicians have made progress in transforming the lazy bureaucrat into a collection of formulas, theorems and proofs. How much should a government employee make? Scott Brown is the latest to mount an attack on "lavish" federal wages — yet another version of the conservative attack on government. A look at how public servants became our masters. Research suggests power corrupts, but it corrupts only those who think they deserve it. Is it corrupt to be grateful? A campaign finance case shows that rationing political activity flies in the face of the Founders' design. Beyond campaign finance: There are ways to ease the two-party stranglehold on our political system, but they require taking a broader approach. How long have politicians wanted to "change the culture of Washington"? What will make people trust government again? Washington’s deficit of trust: Democrats need to counter the narrative of government incompetence. What happens when one party does not see a political upside in solving problems and has the power to keep those problems from being solved? The Nihilist Right: Andrew Sargus Klein on what happens when elected officials stop governing.
The inaugural issue on Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture is out. New Orleans Bounce: What do sissy rappers, sandwiches and Home Depot have in common? From The Humanist, Clayton Whitt on what we talk about when we talk about torture; an interview with Gore Vidal; an interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History (and more); an “eco” systems approach: Reproductive rights go green; a look at how Star Trek can make you an atheist; and an article on naked pumpkins, sex offenders, and terrorists. From The Nation, an interview with Martha Nussbaum, author of From Disgust to Humanity: Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law. Sarah Manguso on writing about not writing, the honest failure, shame, and the sharp self-awareness that comes after failing to write about anything other than failing to write. Statistical time travel helps to answer what-ifs: Researchers devise systems to explore how Supreme Court justices and baseball players compare with their predecessors (and more). From Freedom Daily, Wendy McElroy on the political philosophy of Oscar Wilde. The Kookiest Inventions: Ever had a weird idea for a product? Check out what passes muster with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A look at why the American service sector is all about servitude. From Vanity Fair, a look at the unlikely life and sudden death of The Exile, Russia’s angriest newspaper. Bruce Ackerman on how to keep future John Yoos under control. From WSJ, Eric Felten writes in praise of inefficiency. An interview with Stephen Wolfram: "I'm an information pack rat". Skateboards now hang in galleries, but are they wheelie art?
From Axess, a special issue on architecture for our time, including Theodore Dalrymple on the Inhumane Le Corbusier: He belongs more to criminal history than to architectural history; and in contrast to an antiquated modernism that clings to large-scale construction, classic town plans have been created that take into account local conditions and traditions. A look at how Daniel Libeskind's new prefab house crosses style with speed. The field of architecture is structured in such a way that it keeps the status quo — white, economically privileged men — firmly in place. From NYRB, a review of Alvar Aalto: Architecture, Modernity, and Geopolitics by Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen; and Martin Filler on House Life in a Koolhaas. An article on Christopher Alexander, an achitectural theorist who has inspired smart-growth advocates, counterculture DIY-ers, and computer programmers. Ian Volner reviews Why Architecture Matters by Paul Goldberger (and more and more). From The New Yorker, Paul Goldberger on Jeanne Gang and architecture’s anti-divas. The case of an avant-garde architect, who defied then assisted the Nazi machine, makes hard and fast judgments difficult. A review of Unpacking My Library: Architects and their Books. An interview with Jeremy Till on books about architecture. Whatever it is, I'm against it: Ian Volner on "Ten Days for Oppositional Architecture". The BBC's Great White Elephant: A look at how new media buildings rapidly become old media. An interview with Tony Candido, architect, painter. A look at hallucinatory architecture of the future. Haiti as architectural wake-up call: A major disaster — and a few success stories — show architecture is the problem and the solution for earthquake-prone cities. What does architecture mean now — like, right now?