Oskar Engdahl (Goteborg): Economic Crime as Hiding Behavior. Crime fighters vs. the constitution: Where's the authority for federal laws aimed at hate crimes and sex crimes? From Newsweek, a cover story on True Crime and the roots of an American obsession (and more). Why did gay-rights activist Carol Anne Burger stab her wife with a screwdriver 222 times? A review of This Is for the Mara Salvatrucha: Inside the MS-13, America's Most Violent Gang by Samuel Logan. Psychopathic killers are the basis for some must-watch TV, but what really makes them tick? Despite the large sums the country spends on law enforcement, experts are largely at a loss to explain what makes the crime rate go up or down. A review of Ryan Grim's This is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America. In spite of efforts at law enforcement, illegal drug use is as widespread as ever. New White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske says he wants to end the drug war, but other men in his position have tried and failed to do just that; Ricardo Cortes shows how science, politics, ego, and scandal transformed a public-health initiative into a century-long military campaign. An article on the immorality of marijuana prohibition. Michael Huemer argues we shouldn’t fight a war on drugs, we should legalise them.
From Foreign Affairs, a review of books on Afghanistan. Karzai in his labyrinth: The Afghan president is isolated and distrusted, and even if he is re-elected this month, that’s not likely to change. A review of In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan by Seth Jones. If you thought the longtime head of the Taliban was bad, you should meet his no. 2 (and an interveiw with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar). Afghans, they're just like us: The younger generation is rejecting traditional music for modern, some say immoral, Western pop. From Esquire, C.J. Chivers on Afghanistan (and its future) as you've never seen it; and Thomas P.M. Barnett on seven rules for America's (long) future in Afghanistan. Are there lessons for America in its own revolution that can be applied to Iraq and Afghanistan? A review of The Iraq War and International Law. A review of The Rape of Mesopotamia: Behind the Looting of the Iraq Museum by Lawrence Rothfield. Will we really be out of Iraq by the end of 2011? The architecture of war: A look at Saddam Hussein’s palaces. No matter what happens in Iraq, we can’t forget what a mistake it was. From HNN, the belief in regenerative war: Why so many American intellectuals supported the Iraq war; and an article on explaining why we fight to the American home front.
A review of Science: A Four Thousand Year History by Patricia Fara. A review of The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes (and more and more and more and more and more and more). From Seed, here's their first State of Science, an examination of the radical changes within science itself by assessing the evolving role of scientists and the shifting dimensions of scientific practice. Can science reveal the truth? What questions can science answer? A review of William James at the Boundaries: Philosophy, Science, and the Geography of Knowledge by Francesca Bordogna. A review of Karl Popper's Philosophy of Science: Rationality Without Foundations by Stefano Gattei. A review of Thomas Kuhn's "Linguistic Turn" and the Legacy of Logical Empiricism by Stefano Gattei. Philosophy as complementary science: Hasok Chang sees a new role for the history and philosophy of science. Gordon Rugg and Sue Gerrard on philosophy of knowledge in an age of artificial intelligence. Is science inherently illogical, because it relies in part on assumed theories that reach beyond what we can ever observe? A look at why studies of popular science are often wrong. Here are 5 atrocious science cliches to throw down a black hole.
A review of Winning the Presidency 2008 (and more). Stories and Stats: The truth about Obama’s victory wasn’t in the papers. For the modern GOP, it's a return to the "white voter strategy". From Esquire, Nate Silver to Republicans — Raise Taxes: The GOP is no longer the party of the rich; it's a populist party now, and the deficit can be its ticket back; and when did Americans turn into a bunch of raving lunatics? A look back at how we got to this apex of the "birther" movement and a road trip into the heart of Obama hater country. Here is Salon's handy-dandy guide to refuting the Birthers; and Obama isn't just Kenyan, he's also the Antichrist? Why Armageddon stands between the president and the evangelical vote. With Obama in the White House, America is better liked around the world — so what? Barack Obama is the getting-things-done president, but is GTD any way to run a country? Martin Cohen examines Barack Obama's political philosophy and finds parallels with Machiavelli's Prince — behind the rhetoric, the President is a pragmatist who will do whatever it takes (and more on The Prince). Inside the mind of illustrator Barry Blitt: how he created that controversial New Yorker cover, the reaction it provoked and what he thinks about his Obama fist-bump now.
From Women's Review of Books, a review of Finding the Movement: Sexuality, Contested Space, and Feminist Activism by Anne Enke; and an essay on what women writers’ lives look like these days, from behind the editor’s desk. A review of Nichola D. Gutgold's Seen and Heard: The Women of Television News. A review of Gendered Talk at Work: Constructing Gender Identity through Workplace Discourse by Janet Holmes. Do women make better bosses? Hillary's Challenge: Would putting women first make for better foreign policy? Like mother, like daughter: Mothers teach girls about body image years before the media becomes an issue. Girls gone wild: A look at how feisty females took over pop culture. A review of The Noughtie Girl’s Guide to Feminism by Ellie Levenson. Lizzie Skurnick on Lois Duncan's disturbing teen classic Daughters of Eve, the book that taught her to hate men. From First Things, a review of Catholic and Feminist: The Surprising History of the American Catholic Feminist Movement by Mary J. Henold (and more). From The Chronicle, Christina Hoff Sommers on persistent myths in feminist scholarship (and a response). Scientific fundamentalist Satoshi Kanazawa on where feminists have gone wrong and why modern feminism is illogical, unnecessary, and evil.
The Observer visits Bradford, a city transformed by mass immigration, but cited in a recent survey for its essential "Englishness" and ask what that means today; and they sold our streets and nobody noticed: Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty-First-Century City by Anna Minton argues that a flawed urban-planning strategy has turned our cities into unfriendly, suspicious places (and more and more and more). In place of strife: The British pub was once a mainstay of working-class morality (and a look at Britain’s colourful pub signs). Let's relax about fairness: This talk of social mobility is a poor form of radicalism, says Alan Ryan. A review of A Radical History of Britain by Edward Vallance (and more and more). Labour may be struggling but there is more intellectual energy on the left than for a generation. A review of Waiting for the Etonians: Reports from the Sickbed of Liberal England by Nick Cohen. A review of "There Is No Alternative": Why Margaret Thatcher Matters by Claire Berlinski. A review of Julia Stapleton’s Christianity, Patriotism, and Nationhood: The England of G.K. Chesterton. An excerpt from Jonah Raskin's The Mythology of Imperialism: A Revolutionary Critique of British Literature and Society in the Modern Age.
Goodbye, Jumbo: An article on the identity crisis of the modern zoo. An article on the only zoos in the world where the animals are smuggled through tunnels. A review of The Wauchula Woods Accord: Toward a New Understanding of Animals by Charles Siebert. Unnatural selection: Animals have personalities, too — that may be biasing studies of them. When "what animals do" doesn’t seem to cover it: A precise definition of behavior? From Notre Dame Magazine, an essay on the natural goodness of dogs. From NPR, look at that puppy! But be careful what you say. Dogs in a deadly crossfire: Confronted by the family pet, police often shoot first and ask questions later. Kill, Baby, Kill: Sarah Palin’s war on wolves and bears has been a disaster not just for Alaska but for the moose and caribou it is supposed to benefit. There is a huge chasm between American citizens who feel good about living with other species and those who don't give a damn — why? A review of The Death of the Animal: A Dialogue. From Reason, an article on the shifting frontiers of animal rights: Activists yawn as animals lurch toward a hybrid future. How do we decide which animal genome to map next? New creatures in an age of extinctions: Newly discovered species continue to emerge as we bulldoze our way into the unknown.
The first chapter from Mathematicians Fleeing from Nazi Germany: Individual Fates and Global Impact by Reinhard Siegmund-Schultze. From The Chronicle, what if you pull a literary hoax and nobody notices? From Cabinet, games of chance: D. Graham Burnett on testing at the limits of the normal. Disturbing the peace: Brandon O'Neill on the inalienable right to "excessively noisy sex". Pixar's artists release a racy side project, the Ancient Book of Sex and Science. Ron Paul is the inspiration behind a new online dating site called Ron Paul Singles; "We put the LOVE in Revolution," the Web site proclaims. And we have learned what? John McWhorter on the real lesson after the beer. The message is the message: Barack Obama’s ubiquitous appearances as professor-in-chief, preacher-in-chief, father-in-chief, may turn out to be the most salient feature of his presidency. The Lobbying Web: By putting health care in the hands of Congress, Obama may have given an edge to special interests. Linking, within common sense rules of decency, is good for everyone. For some that write for sites that get linked to, aggregators are stealing content. An omen no one saw: When Talk magazine was introduced at a decadent party, no one knew what the Internet would do to the business.
From H-Net, a review of Reading Virginia Woolf by Julia Briggs; and a review of Faulkner and the Great Depression: Aesthetics, Ideology, and Cultural Politics by Ted Atkinson. Ever the completist, John Updike had managed to finish his life-long project of drawing and connecting the things of his world. Did Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes change the memoir genre? (and more and more) From TLS, a review on the real Raymond Carver: How an editor’s pencil created an author’s literary style — and how an author’s wife has undone it. As a ghostwriter, Sandford Dody was expected to suppress his personality and channel the voice of the credited author, yet often his own writing style crept in. A review of The Wounded Animal: J.M. Coetzee & the Difficulty of Reality in Literature and Philosophy by Stephen Mulhal. Writers who drink are old hat, but what about writers who quit drinking? "Romance" is never a dirty word at Romance Writers of America conference. Here are the top 10 geeky things you don’t know about romance writers. A new subgenre has emerged in the escapist realm of romance novels: Gay love & lust, written by women for women. Home on the Range: Wade Rouse may be thought of as the gay love child of Henry David Thoreau and David Sedaris.
From the Journal of Third World Studies, Young-Choul Kim (Evansville) and Sangmook Lee (KRILA): Constitutional Designs and Democratization in the Third World; George Klay Kieh, Jr. (Ibadan): Reconstituting the Neocolonial State in Africa; and Marnia Lazreg (Hunter): The Colonial in the Global: Where Does the Third World Fit in? A high-stakes game of real-life Monopoly is leading to a modern colonialism to which many poor countries submit out of necessity. The Amazon’s indigenous groups regularly embrace technology, formal education, and modern healthcare — yet Western NGOs prefer a romanticized caricature. The world is bumpy: Joshua Kurlantzick on deglobalization and its dangers. Dani Rodrik on mercantilism, reconsidered. James Surowiecki reviews Ha-Joon Chang's Bad Samaritans. An interview with Paul Collier on how to help low-income countries during the current crisis. Where are the global problem solvers? Jeffrey Sachs wants to know. William Easterly on Jeffrey Sachs’ misguided African geography. Why we are less at risk of major famines today than in the past: An excerpt from Cormac O Grada's Famine: A Short History. Why geeks can save the world: The average person looks at disease victims in Africa and goes numb; Bill Gates looks at them and runs a moral algorithm.