From Nthposition, a look at why nonsense sharpens the intellect. The origins of morality do not matter: Mothers will makes sacrifices for their children, whether they believe in God, karma, or a mindless evolutionary process. From Guernica, an interview with Ted Conover, author of The Routes of Man: How Roads Are Changing the World and the Way We Live Today; and an interview with Alice Walker on the similarities between Tibet and Palestine, womanism versus feminism, and Carl Jung. So you want to be a futurist? Better be ready to do a lot of reading. A review of Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State by Gary Wills (and more at Bookforum). From The Curator, an essay on Posthumanism: A Christian Response. Demasculinisation and other side effects: The chemical environment is a vast, unchecked experiment on human health. A review of Music and the Irish Literary Imagination by Harry White. An interview with Harry Kreisler, host of "Conversations with History". An excerpt from A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God by John Piper. These days, it seems, everyone has a habit that he can't control; for millions, this habit is overeating — never have so many human mastodons bestridden the earth as now. An interview with James Purnell on books on power and ideas. A review of Connected: The Amazing Power of Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler. An interview with Barry Marshall, the doctor who drank infectious broth, gave himself an ulcer, and solved a medical mystery. A review of In the Land of Believers by Gina Welch (and more). The "vicious" new tween obsession: What is the online trash-talk phenomenon, — and why are attention-hungry kids seeking out its anonymous insults?

From The University Bookman, a review of Conservatism in America: Making Sense of the American Right by Paul Gottfried; and a review of Restoring the Meaning of Conservatism: Writings from Modern Age by George Panichas. The introduction to The Rise and Fall of Modern American Conservatism: A Short History by David Farber. Wisdom from a 14-year-old? A review of Defining Conservatism: The Principles That Will Bring Our Country Back by Jonathan Krohn. Believing “people are rational as consumers and irrational as voters”, many conservatives would favor free markets without democracy. Andrew Klavan on why conservatives should embrace more of our popular culture. From The Washington Monthly, it’s a big-government-dependent tool to fight climate change that was championed by Carter, is now dominated by the French, and has never competed in the marketplace — so why, exactly, do Republicans love nuclear power so much?; there is something exquisite about the moment when a conservative decides he needs more government in his life; and conservatives have discovered the virtues of investigative journalism — but can their reporting survive their politics? Sarah Posner on the Christian Right's new racial playbook. White Tea Party supporters blame black disadvantage on not working hard enough, not the legacy of discrimination (and more). Does the Tea Party represent an early stage in the fulfillment of Sam Francis’s grand political design? The Tea Party Jacobins: A review essay by Mark Lilla on American conservatism. A look at the strange career of Tea Party Populism. Christopher Malone on Tea Party populism and the return of Social Darwinism. Are the tea baggers really wealthy and highly educated? They're more likely to be middle-class. So you wanna join the Tea Party?

From The Intercollegiate Review, a look at the Fifty Best and Fifty Worst Books of the (20th) Century. From Anthropoetics, Kyle Karthauser on Popular Culture after Postmodernism: Family Guy, Borat, The Office, and the Awkwardness of Being Earnest. The Margaret Mead of the North American Weirdo: An article on Christopher Owens and the Children of God. Many of the pavilions at the 2010 Expo in Shanghai are phenomenal, both inside and out; the USA pavilion, however, is neither. The weakest link: Why BP's rivals should be doing much more to stop the Gulf oil spill. News of every oil spill is illustrated with pictures of dead or oily animals; this is good for the animal, but bad for the environment. In the toilet: There are distinct similarities between what comes out on the page and what comes out in the w.c. Martin, Maggie, and Me: An excerpt from Christopher Hitchens' Hitch 22: A Memoir (and more). Carmen Reinhart and Vincent Reinhart on five myths about the European debt crisis. Europe is no model: Jeffrey Bergner on the genius of American politics. Surviving the Age of Humiliation: Public humiliations define our society today — here's how to conduct yourself to avoid being targeted. An interview with Michael Wolff: "Rupert will do anything". Charlotte Higgins on Gordon Brown's Ode to Post Neo-classical Endogenous Growth Theory. Philosophers Football: In a hard-fought game Socrates Wanderers asked questions of Nietzsche Albion, but in the end the German team’s sheer will to power won through. The ten biggest issues Elena Kagan will face. The return to elitism in education: A society's attitudes to innate intelligence are closely correlated with its levels of inequality. Rex Hammock on the benefits of having your disaster snubbed by the national media. Matthew Shaer reviews Risk by Colin Harrison.

Lauren Joseph (Stony Brook): Finding Space Beyond Variables: An Analytical Review of Urban Space and Social Inequalities. Eric Gordon on his book The Urban Spectator: American Concept Cities from Kodak to Google. The first chapter from From the Ground Up: Translating Geography into Community through Neighbor Networks by Rick Grannis. The "Mega-Eights": An excerpt from The Leviathan Returns: The Rise of the Megacity and Its Threat to Global Security by PH Liotta and James Miskel. Introducing the Master Plan: A chronicle of New Urbanism and exurban decay. An interview with Christopher Carrick on regional inequality and life after Richard Florida. A review of American Moderns: Bohemian New York and the Creation of a New Century by Christine Stansell and Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places by Sharon Zukin (and more). Christian Madera on the future of cities in the Internet era. New library complexes rejuvenate urban centers around the world by including theaters, shops, cafes, offices and even gyms. A review of The Situationists and The City. A review of Planning Twentieth-Century Capital Cities by David LA Gordon. Define a "great" city: H.V. Savitch data-crunches and theorizes about the "greatest" American cities. The Metro Moment: The 21st century calls for overhauling the bloated networks of metropolitan governments; how to restore order to local chaos. A UN report on the world's biggest cities merging into mega-regions finds "endless cities" could significantly affect population and wealth in the next 50 years. An interview with Alex Lehnerer, author of Grand Urban Rules. Preachers of post-industrial revivalism say the future can be bright for dying manufacturing towns — too bad their formula for rebirth doesn’t work.

From Ancilla Iuris, Gerhard Struck (Hamburg): Law as “Tohu-Bohu” and as a Dream of Humankind, Or: Is There a Concept of Law? Mary Ziegler (Yale): The Framing of a Right to Choose: Roe v. Wade and the Changing Debate on Abortion Law. From the Department of State's eJournal USA, a special issue on the U.S. Supreme Court: Equal justice under law (and more on jury trials). A review of In Defense of Judicial Elections by Chris Bonneau and Melinda Gann Hall. A review of Circle of Greed: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of America’s Most Feared and Loathed Lawyer by Patrick Dillon and Carl M. Canno (and more). A review of A Time to Speak: Selected Writings and Arguments by Robert H. Bork. Dahlia Lithwick reviews Habeas Corpus: From England to Empire by Paul D. Halliday (and more). Our Fill-in-the-Blank Constitution: Constitutional law is not a mechanical exercise of just “applying the law”. When the law is an ass: A review of Life Without Lawyers: Liberating Americans from Too Much Law by Philip K. Howard. Gun Points: History reveals a long-standing local authority to regulate guns — shouldn't that matter? So Many Origins: Sanford Levinson reviews The Citizen's Constitution by Seth Lipsky (and more) and The Annotated U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence by Jack Rakove. From The Jury Expert, Jessica M. Salerno and Bette L. Bottoms (UIC): Unintended Consequences of Toying with Jurors' Emotions: The Impact of Disturbing Emotional Evidence on Jurors' Verdicts; and the rules don't apply to me: Why do some apologies work and some fail, or even backfire? Hawaii's Probation Experiment: Maverick judge Steven Alm stresses mild but immediate punishment. Truth and consequences: In the Whitewater investigation, the biggest loser was the legal profession.

From Ethic@, Emilie Dardenne (Rennes): The reception of Peter Singer’s theories in France. From National Review, goodbye supply-side: An elegy for economic happy talk. A statistical-physics-based model may shed light on the age-old question, "how can morality take root in a world where everyone is out for themselves?" A review of A Good Talk: The Story and Skill of Conversation by Daniel Menaker. People don’t disappear nearly as often in real life as they do in fiction — we’re fascinated, as a culture, by the idea of vanishing. Megan Doll reviews Beauty Salon by Mario Bellatin. A review of Escape Routes: Control and Subversion in the 21st Century by Dimitris Papadopoulos, Niamh Stephenson and Vassilis Tsianos. Here are 20 things you didn't know about light. From City Limits, how to survive in New York on $0 a day: Amid crisis-level black unemployment, government benefits, family support and off-the-books labor help make ends meet. Thomas Fleming on a few plain truths that should be obvious, whether the subject is welfare, foreign policy, criminal justice, or education. Daniele Archibugi reviews Peter Leeson's The Hidden Economics of Pirates. A review of Fat: A Cultural History of Obesity by Sander Gilman. Philanthropy is my co-pilot: Pete Peterson, Michelle Rhee, and the dilemma of private foundations setting the public agenda. A new book by Osama’s former bodyguard has just come out in France, filled with revelations — what is Osama Bin Laden’s worst nightmare? The Dasam Granth is all rhymed poetry but in the controversy about it there is growing vitriolic diatribe. A review of The Rule of Law and the European Union by Erik Wennerstrom and The Sovereignty of Law by Francis Jacobs. The question is as simple as it is hard to answer: Why do Catholic priests molest kids?

A new issue of Earth Island Journal is out. From Human Ecology Review, a special section on Human/Environment Relationships; and Adam Douglas Henry (Harvard): The Challenge of Learning for Sustainability: A Prolegomenon to Theory; and a review of The Jevons Paradox and the Myth of Resource Efficiency Improvements by John M. Polimeni, Kozo Mayumi, Mario Giampietro, and Blake Alcott. Depending on who’s talking, oil shale is either the answer to our prayers or an environmental disaster in the making (and more). From Earth First! Journal, an interview with KKKanadian urban guerilla Juliet Belmas; and an article on the outcome of organizing with too large of a heart. Recycling is leveling off, trash is piling up and cities are broke; in a throwaway society, who should pay for waste disposal? Camilla Flodin explains how Adorno offers an alternative, non-coercive understanding of nature. Greg Unruh, the "cheap Al Gore", on the real significance of the UN Global Compact. A review of Earth, Inc.: Using Nature's Rules to Build Sustainable Profits by Gregory Unruh (and the introduction). After years of being told that products are eco-sensitive, author Daniel Goleman says consumers are finally getting a better sense of which ones really are. From The Atlantic Monthly, a large chunk of Kansas City’s real estate lies 100 feet below ground, and offers a creative solution to global warming; and runoff from old mines poisons Colorado’s rivers — why are enviro groups trying to stop locals from cleaning them up? From the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, a series of book reviews. The natural world vanishes: How species cease to matter. The rise of transition culture: A movement aimed at tackling the energy crisis with aplomb has been stepping on the gas since its formation.

From New Internationalist, a special issue on globalization. Slavoj Zizek on Joe Public v the volcano: We are living in an age when we are both able to change nature and more at its mercy than ever — as the Icelandic volcano has proved. From Electronic Book Review, Roderick Coover, Larry McCaffery, Lance Newman and Hikmet Loe explore the question of how desert ecologies are shaped through creative expression and actions; and through a close formal analysis of two new critical collections, Paul Benzon ponders the state of media studies as field. Conceding to our human weakness, we should pursue all that psychology has to offer in the understanding of the human condition; but, at the same time, we should be the last to blur the distinctiveness of the Christian gospel. Each year, half a million students visit Panama City Beach for a week of partying; there to meet them are Christian groups intent on talking about sin and salvation. From The Awl, Abe Sauer on Real America: Go on, move here then. A look at the 7 most disastrous typos of all time. Living architecture: A review of Design Energetics: The Ancient Pulse of Feng Shui in the Modern World by Michael Warden. Bill McKibben on why future prosperity means socializing with your neighbors. It’s time to add a new phrase to our vocabulary: “Pulling a Goldman”, which would describe any plan designed in advance to fail. Justin Taylor reviews Under the Dome by Stephen King. Time in the Age of Immediacy: Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, Gawker, Politico, these are our Newsweek, our Time, our Life — for better and worse. Queens of darkness: The deluge of books on the Tudors continues as publishers happily respond to an apparently insatiable market. The Reverse Katrina: If this disaster-filled week tells us anything, it’s that government works.

The inaugural issue of LeaderLab Quarterly is out. Brad DeLong (UC-Berkeley): “Malefactors of Great Wealth”: The Modern Corporation, Private Property, and Public Politics. Simon Johnson on Jamie Dimon, the most dangerous man in America. The celebrity effect: The magical effect of putting a famous face on a company's board. A review of Money for Nothing: How the Failure of Corporate Boards Is Ruining American Business and Costing Us Trillions by John Gillespie and David Zweig. When the state cracks the glass ceiling: Norway's novel approach to bringing equality to the board room. Abolish caveat emptor: Why should the buyer beware? It's up to companies to be honest and transparent about the products they are selling. Roger Bybee on Corporate America’s counter-stimulus strategy: Firms decide to shut profitable plants while spurning buyers. The economic crisis has revived the old debate about whether firms should focus most on their shareholders, their customers or their workers. Replacing the "dumbest idea in the world": In the search for a way forward, business leaders are upending the nostrums of 30 years — particularly the relentless focus on shareholder return. Dan Ariely on why businesses don’t experiment. For all the talk about economic stimulus and the real estate crisis, many small businesses will rise or fall this year based on something far more quotidian: the weather. What Blockbuster Video can teach us about economics: Sometimes companies need to go bankrupt. In search of high CQ: A trendy management idea for the age of globalisation. A review of Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism That Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs by Muhammad Yunus. A look at how that firms in the rich world have not fully digested the rise of the emerging markets.

From 49th Parallel, Louisa Jayne Hodgson (Leeds): Transatlantic Little Women: Louisa May Alcott, the Woman Writer and Literary Community; and Penny Woollard (Essex): Derek Walcott and the Wild Frontier: The Ghost Dance. A review of Shakespeare and the Middle Ages. From Flashpoint, a special issue on James Joyce's Finnegans Wake. Scholars make 9,000 corrections to James Joyce classic: Does the new edition of Finnegans Wake express or distort the author's intention? A review of The Domestication of Genius: Biography and the Romantic Poet by Julian North. Christopher Hitchens on why Charles Dickens was among the best of writers and the worst of men. A review of Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World by Claire Harman (and more and more and more). Juliet Lapidos reviews The Hemingway Patrols: Ernest Hemingway and His Hunt for U-boats by Terry Mort. A review of Prefaces to Shakespeare by Tony Tanner. Much as William Shakespeare has entered into our language as “the Bard” who changed our understanding of art and life’s great philosophical questions, Henrik Ibsen should be the literary and dramatic icon of the modern age. An interview with Elaine Showalter, author of A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx (and more). A review of The Cambridge Companion to English Novelists by Adrian Poole. Allan Massie salutes Sir Walter Scott, master of historical fiction and author of Rob Roy and Waverley. The ultimate conspiracy theorist: One of the glories of Peter Porter's poetry, and the joys of his conversation, was his ability to see connections everywhere. Each autumn, a group of Southern literature students and their professor set out for Oxford, Mississippi, to seek the spirit of William Faulkner.

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