From TLS, Joshua Cohen and Thomas Nagel on how Rawls's political philosophy was influenced by his religion. A review of Pessimism of the Intellect? A History of New Left Review by Duncan Thompson. An article on treasonous clerk Stanley Fish and the lasting professoriate. A review of Vote for Caesar: How the Ancient Greeks and Romans Solved the Problems of Today by Peter Jones. Blow up the Manhattan Project: When someone says we need a new Manhattan Project, do they really mean what they think they mean? Farewell, etui: An article on the changing language of crosswords. From The August Review, the radical polarization of law enforcement: Patriots, Christians and concerned citizens are increasingly in the cross hairs of the U.S. intelligence community. The lonely planet guide: Attempts to find alien life on Earth and elsewhere. To a striking degree, "Lonely Planet" readers no longer travel in Bolivia or Thailand, but within the elastic, infinitely portable boundaries of the Lonely Planet nation. From Bookforum, Eric Banks reviews Waveland by Frederick Barthelme. The certainty principle: From evolution to climate change, the real culture wars are about language, not science; to win these wars, science needs to change the way it talks about knowledge. Should basketball's top prospects go to college, should they even go to high school?
From Lost, escape from America: Christopher Buckingham as "The Real Jackal"; articles on gravestones and clotheslines; and dispatches from the Women's Army Corps. The financial crisis has created an industrial crisis — what should governments do about it? Foreign Policy's survey of international relations professors reveals they’re worried about climate change, Russia’s rise, and their own irrelevance. A review of Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line by Martha A Sandweiss. While most university press books don't have much commercial appeal, they are finding that they can still be the targets of pirates. The local news is seldom good, but Johannesburg is still a place that can capture your heart. A review of Free Expression and Democracy in America: A History by Stephen M. Feldman. From New Statesman, David Hillstrom gives his take on faith, science and philosophy. From L'Homme, feminism, biography and cheshire cat stories: A geopolitical journey through a biographical dictionary. Cop for a day: To help fund expensive crime-fighting tools, New York's finest allow paying members of the public to take command. Blame it on Keynes: Everyone's got a view of the theory, but what about the man? (or blame it on the Keynesians?). Russell Jacoby reviews BHL's Left in Dark Times. From Dissent, Michael Katz on the death of "Shorty".
From Foreign Policy, memo to Iraq, from Colombia: How to go from being a conflict-ridden deathtrap to a sunny tourist haven; and an article on Somalia, the most dangerous place in the world. Private companies have become major players in all types of modern warfare; the implications for fighting wars — and fighting against wars — are more complicated than you think. No competition: We say we believe in competitive markets; in practice, we usually don’t want them. From Fortune, a look at how Facebook is taking over our lives (including old fogies' lives); and an article on why we need a 9/11-style commission on the financial crisis. Nouriel Roubini on how laissez-faire capitalism has failed. A review of Falling off the Edge: Travels Through the Dark Heart of Globalization by Alex Perry. Why Microsoft will never be cool (and should stop trying). More and more and more on Flannery by Brad Gooch (and more from Bookforum). What is it about the lilac-haired international "gigastar" Dame Edna Everage that has proven so enduring? Would you take off your clothes in front of a room full of strangers if the money were right? Love and layoffs: How do you best stand by your jobless man? So many laws, so little time: The law — all 100 million words of it — stands between President Obama and his capacity to act (and an excerpt from Life Without Lawyers; and a review).
From First Monday, Carolyne Lee (Melbourne): Wordlings in a Web 2.0 World; Ryan McGrady (Emerson): Gaming against the Greater Good. From Slate, did Charles Dickens' 1867 trip to America inspire the first stirrings of modern celebrity culture? Matthew Pearl investigates. When Charles Dickens died, his British contemporaries were quick to blame his recent trip to America — certainly his relationship with the New World was peculiar. Phillip Blond's “Red Tory” thesis is attracting support from left and right, and the man emerging as the Conservatives' philosopher-king is a grave threat to Labour. A review of Simon Sebag-Montefiore's Heroes: History’s Greatest Men and Women. A review of Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. Alan Wolfe on the politics of opera. Volunteering for duty: Veterans of the Iraq war try to complete their mission in a new way — charity. A review of Experiencing War: Trauma and Society from Ancient Greece to the Iraq War. Could a guy who once starred in "Half Baked" actually help Benyamin Cohen get into heaven? A review of Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop by Adam Bradley. Liberty Hyde Bailey was part Al Gore, part Indiana Jones. Finding the lost city: Does the Amazon jungle conceal a vanished empire? The slumming of suburbia: The poor are fleeing our cities, but life is not always greener, even when affordable housing comes with a two-car garage. A review of Two Billion Cars: Driving Toward Sustainability by Daniel Sperling and Deborah Gordon.
From Public Space, a special issue on sex and mercy; and Desmond Manderson (McGill): Desert Island Disks: Ten Reveries on Inter-Disciplinary Pedagogy in Law. English is coming: A look the adverse side-effects of the growing dominance of English. From FT, a review of books on India. From Ny Tid, there is a light in the darkness of Belarus — a Belarusian university in exile provides future generations with internationally approved degrees and the ability to think independently. Critics say Afghanistan can’t be saved, but a new push from America and Kabul could work. A look at the 5 most retarded wars ever. The world needs a coordinated response to the current economic crisis, in which each country commits to undertake stimulus that's appropriate to the size of its economy and to its position in the global balance of trade. Don't get depressed: A writer's guide to surviving the recession. Here are 20 things you didn't know about television. Are Hollywood and the Internet killing reading? Diane Ravitch investigates. A review of Wittgenstein and Reason. A review of Alexander Waugh’s The House of Wittgenstein: A Family at War (and more and more and more; and more from Bookforum). More on We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land by Jimmy Carter. An interview with Gene Healy, author of The Cult of the Presidency: America’s Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power.
From Dissent, Kevin Mattson remembers John Patrick Diggins; we cannot urge President Obama into a role of transformational leadership — we have to help him by building a transformational electorate; and after the stimulus: now what? A review of Stephen A. Marglin's The Dismal Science: How Thinking Like an Economist Undermines Community. From Business Week, an article on debunking six social media myths. Green cities, brown suburbs: To save the planet, build more skyscrapers — especially in California. A review of Lori Anne Ferrell's The Bible and the People. Words of warning: 2,500 languages under threat worldwide as migrants head for city. The guides to life that lead nowhere: Where is the book on how to give up self-help books? From American Sexuality, "Melville Unfolding" and beyond: Looking at culture, sexuality, and the fluid text; and an article on sex, romance, and companionship: Can all three exist in one? relationship? Very little house on the prairie: An article on a new vogue for little living. An interview with Jerry Coyne, author of Why Evolution Is True. Scientists have debunked the myth that one in 10 children are illegimate without their legal father's knowledge. Is patriotism a subconscious way for humans to avoid disease? An interview with Burton A. Weisbrod, author of Mission and Money: Understanding the University.
From Gender Forum, Jennifer Esposito and Bettina Love (GSU): The Black Lesbians are White and the Studs are Femmes: A Cultural Studies Analysis of "The L Word"; Magda Romanska (Emerson): Performing the Covenant: Akedah and the Origins of Masculinity; a review of Heterosexual Africa? The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS by Marc Epprecht; and a review of Deborah Clarke's Driving Women: Fiction and Automobile Culture in Twentieth-Century America. A review of Film, Politics & Education: Cinematic Pedagogy Across the Disciplines. Mrs. H.E. Wilson, mogul? The curious new history of an American literary original. From Bookforum, William Giraldi reviews Laish by Aharon Appelfeld. Research suggests that university students who download a podcast lecture achieve substantially higher exam results than those who attend the lecture in person. A review of The Art and Politics of Science by Harold Varmus (and an excerpt). Do those who demonstrated against Salman Rushdie have any regrets? An interview with Karen J. Greenberg, author of The Least Worst Place: Guantanamo's First 100 Days. Is economic recovery even possible on a planet headed for environmental collapse? The Killing in Room 515: Three weeks after fatally stabbing his neighbor, Melvin Earl Parker is back in his apartment.
From Krisis, Albrecht Wellmer (FUB): Rereading Rorty; "the state is a limitation on human existence": An interview with Simon Critchley (and a review of Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance); Regina Kreide (Goethe): Power and Powerlessness of Human Rights: The International Discourse on Human Rights; Ernst van den Hemel (Amsterdam): Included but not Belonging: Badiou and Ranciere on Human Rights; a review of Lynn Hunt's Inventing Human Rights: A History; a review of Rainer Forst's Das Recht auf Rechtfertigung; and a review of Pheng Cheah's Inhuman Conditions: On Cosmopolitanism and Human Rights. From The University Bookman, error has no rights: A review of Orestes Brownson: American Religious Weathervane by Patrick W. Carey; the witness revisited: An article on Whittaker Chambers and American conservatism; a review of Powers of the Mind: The Reinvention of Liberal Learning in America by Donald N. Levine; and a review of Dante: The Poet, The Political Thinker, The Man by Barbara Reynolds. A review of The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power by David Sanger (and an interview). Center stage for the twenty-first century: Robert Kaplan on power plays in the Indian Ocean. Are social networking sites really infantilising our teenagers?
From Workplace, a special issue on mental labor, including David B. Downing (IUP): Autonomy vs. Insecurity: The (Mis)Fortunes of Mental Labor in a Global Network; George Caffentzis (Maine): From the Grundrisse to Capital and Beyond: Then and Now; Charles Thorpe (UCSD): Capitalism, Audit, and the Demise of the Humanistic Academy; an essay on ideology and the crisis of capitalism; a review of Three Strikes: Labor’s Heartland Losses and What They Mean for Working Americans by Stephen Franklin; a review of Taking Back the Workers’ Law: How to Fight the Assault on Labor Rights by Ellen Dannin; and a review of After Multiculturalism: The Politics of Race and the Dialectics of Liberty by John F. Welsh. A review of The New Feminized Majority: How Democrats Can Change America with Women’s Values by Katherine Adam and Charles Derber. More and more and more on The Book of Dead Philosophers by Simon Critchley. A review of The World: A Brief History by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto. From Bookforum, nobody’s everyman: Novelist Richard Ford considers Frank Bascombe’s role as a stand-in for the rest of us. First were the buses — now atheists get a student society. The ladies with all the answers: The women who have penned some of the most sought-out advice columns are experts in a kind of social history.
A new issue of Open Letters Monthly is out. From William James Studies, John Lachs (Vanderbilt): Human Blindness (and a response); a review essay on pragmatism in the 21st century; and a review of The Soul of Classical American Philosophy: The Ethical and Spiritual Insights of William James, Josiah Royce, and Charles Sanders Peirce by Richard P. Mullin. Charles Murray on the Europe Syndrome and the challenge to American exceptionalism: America’s elites must once again fall in love with what makes the United States different. All boarded up: The next stage of the national foreclosure crisis is how to deal with abandoned neighborhoods and trolling pillagers. A look at how the recession is good for the environment. From New Statesman, the magnitude of the global economic crisis means that we have to change completely the way we live — to do that, we need a new kind of politics; and so are there too many of us? If so, how long before our planet becomes unfit for purpose? (and more) From Ovi, articles on Jurgen Habermas on the vision of a post-secular Europe and on Jacques Derrida, a philosopher who cuts the ground from the under of philosophy's feet. From Vision, an article on life without children: The new nurture gap; an interview with Paul Ehrlich, author of The Dominant Animal; a review essay on our biological place in nature; and a review essay on social cooperation.