From TNR, Simon Blackburn reviews Beyond the Hoax: Science, Philosophy and Culture by Alan Sokal; and Sarah Williams Goldhagen on Jean Nouvel — finally, a deserving starchitect. From New Statesman, Slavoj Zizek reviews Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide and the Politics of Containment by Peter Hallward; a look at the tiny island states of the Caribbean are drifting in the dark; Thomas Frank on the plot against liberal America; and nearly forty years ago, an explosion of surreally subversive magazines brought sex, drugs, gay liberation and feminism into the public eye and the courtroom; what survived? From FT, a review of Enough: Breaking Free From the World of More by John Naish; Against Happiness by Eric G Wilson; and Complaint: From Minor Moans to Principled Protests by Julian Baggini. A review of Democracy Stretched Thin: How Complexity Challenges a Liberal Ideal by David J. Blacker. Leon Wieseltier on Google progressivism: No, everything is not changing for the better, and to believe otherwise is marketing propaganda. For the first time, scientists have proven that "beer goggles" are real — other people really do look more attractive to us if we have been drinking. From Rolling Stone, what do Obama and McCain have in common? The same big donors, who will expect to have their way no matter who wins.
From Open Source, an interview with Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former president of Brazil; what would Roger Williams say and do? An interview with Martha Nussbaum and Jeff Sharlet; and an interview with Ethan Zuckerman and Solana Larsen of Global Voices Online. From H-Net, a review of Safehaven: The Allied Pursuit of Nazi Assets Abroad by Martin Lorenz-Meyer; and an essay on cutting through the legends surrounding Mein Kampf. Should Mein Kampf be un-banned? From Forward, training a lens on Israel’s female soldiers: A review of Serial No. 3817131 by Rachel Papo. The race for "Jewish" bedrock has turned a Jerusalem slum's archaeological riches into an existential threat. From Archeology, Moscow's top archaeologist talks about digging in the Kremlin and why Russia and the United States have a lot in common. Adam Michnik remembers Bronisław Geremek. Fact vs. truth: The New Yorker's Joseph Mitchell didn't let the former get in the way of the latter. From Scientific American, an article on the neurological roots of genius: Researchers are finding clues to the basis of brilliance in the brain; and how the brain monitors errors and learns from goofs. Poli Sci Fi: The presidential campaigns are running themselves into the ground; Scott McLemee thinks space is the place. McCain and Obama seem like funny guys, so why are their campaigns anything but?
From PUP, here's Rick Perlstein's introduction to Richard Nixon: Speeches, Writings, Documents; the introduction to When Movements Matter: The Townsend Plan and the Rise of Social Security by Edwin Amenta; the introduction to American Mythos: Why Our Best Efforts to Be a Better Nation Fall Short by Robert Wuthnow; the first chapter from Moral Disquiet and Human Life by Monique Canto-Sperber; the first chapter from Journeys to the Other Shore: Muslim and Western Travelers in Search of Knowledge by Roxanne L. Euben; the introduction to The Medieval Prison: A Social History by G. Geltner; and the first chapter from Sacred Mathematics: Japanese Temple Geometry by Fukagawa Hidetoshi and Tony Rothman. From Asia Times, Spengler on Sufism, sodomy and Satan. From Smart Set, an article on the death of the monoculture. From Dissent, Daniel A. Bell and Michael Walzer debate democracy promotion in China; a review of books on the conservative crack-up; Timothy Canova on the legacy of the Clinton Bubble; and an article on how to resist the growing threat to US education. For most people, college is a waste of time, so why not have job credentials that actually mean something? From Education Review, a review essay on the university at the end of the last century; and a review essay on John Dewey.
From Radar, a look at what the well-dressed racist is wearing; and here's everything you always wanted to know about Michelle Obama (but were afraid to ask). From Esquire, an interview with Stephen Colbert. From THES, a review of Free Riding by Richard Tuck; a review of Europe between the Oceans 9000BC-AD1000 by Barry Cunliffe; a review of Beyond Bullsh*t: Straight-Talk at Work by Samuel A. Culbert; and Terence Kealey reveals how hypocrisy, violence and torture in the America of George Washington have helped create the US of George Bush. An American Fascism? The afterword to Politics and the Occult: The Left, the Right, and the Radically Unseen by Gary Lachman. From FT, a review of Ben Bernanke’s Fed: The Federal Reserve After Greenspan by Ethan Harris; and a review of The Tragic Sense of Life: Ernst Haeckel and the Struggle over Evolutionary Thought by Robert J. Richards and Darwin’s Garden: Down House and The Origin of Species by Michael Boulter. A review of A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World by Tony Horwitz (and more and more and more and more and more). From First Principles, just how much oil the Lord should have provided us on this planet from the beginning is a matter of speculation. From FREEWilliamsburg, an article on Stuff Hipsters Don't Like.
From Phoenix New Times, a cover story on Postmodern John McCain, the presidential candidate some Arizonans know — and loathe. Lincoln Chafee and other prominent GOPers are lumbering toward the left — but at the grassroots, the "Republicans for Obama" movement has been growing for a while (and more). The changing exurbs: Longtime Republican voters are airing new views. Eric Lichtblau defends himself against charges of reckless reporting from Jack Goldsmith (and Goldsmith responds). Sometimes, a tire gauge is just a tire gauge — but not this time. Want to live forever? The human life extension movement sees a glorious future for us all. Plight of the Little Emperors: Coddled from infancy and raised to be academic machines, China's only children expect the world — now they're buckling under the pressure of their parents' deferred dreams. A review of The Importance of Being Honest: How Lying, Secrecy, and Hypocrisy Collide with Truth in Law by Steven Lubet. John McCain is a pro-life zealot — surprised? You shouldn't be. A review of Freedom from Poverty as a Human Right: Who Owes What to the Very Poor?, ed. by Thomas Pogge. A review of Aristotle on Stasis: A Moral Psychology of Political Conflict by Ronald Weed. Forensic science is badly in need of reform; here are some suggestions. A review of Guernica and Total War by Ian Patterson.
From Cato Unbound, Jim Manzi on Keeping Our Cool: What to do about global warming. There's no adaptation to such steep warming: We must stop pandering to special interests, and try a new, post-Kyoto strategy. Human activity is responsible for a sixth extinction of thousands of species, so Paul Ehrlich and a colleague call for educating women to slow population growth. Daniel A. Bell discusses what moves Chinese students and where they look to for answers. What would make China use its army?: An interview with M. Taylor Fravel. Top diplomat Ronald D. Asmus' first-hand account of the missteps by the US and its allies that helped lead to war in the Black Sea. Putin for US president: If Vladimir Putin were president of the US, would Iran try to build a nuclear bomb? Top 10 literary virgins: Some of the greatest authors had never engaged in sexual activity, despite what the BBC would have us believe. Here are the top 10 idiocies of the general election so far. What's the deal with offshore drilling — will it do any good at all? More on Grand New Party by Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam. The latest Philosophical Lexicon is out. James Surowiecki reviews The Gridlock Economy: How Too Much Ownership Wrecks Markets, Stops Innovation, and Costs Lives by Michael Heller. Handle with care: At what point should we consider the long-term ramifications of technological developments?
From The Atlantic Monthly, e-mails and memos reveal the backstabbing and conflicting strategies that produced Hillary Clinton’s campaign epic meltdown (and an interview with Josh Green). Unnecessarily evil: Reclaiming the morality of abortion and the overdue change to the Democratic platform. A review of The Way We’ll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream by John Zogby (and an interview). Should the next president advocate replacing the War Powers Resolution? Naomi Wolf on The Porn Myth: In the end, porn doesn't whet men's appetites—it turns them off the real thing. Whether we’re drinking or fornicating, why are we always being told to "stop, think, proceed with caution"? From Radar, twilight of the rods: An article on the rise and fall of men's magazines. In defense of the soldier of fortune: A review of Highway to Hell: Dispatches from a Mercenary in Iraq by John Geddes. Research shows why an exciting book is just as thrilling as a hair-raising movie. A review of Oscar Niemeyer: Curves of Irreverence by Styliane Philippou. From Vanity Fair, after a glorious efflorescence as the link between Hindu India and Buddhist China, Nepal was isolated from the world until 1950 — the result: Kathmandu Valley, where a medieval past is vibrantly present, architectural marvels are part of everyday life, and the sacred is pervasive.
Living on the ice shelf: Mike Davis on humanity's meltdown. From The Hindu, the American dream is all about the freedom to choose; in a supermarket setting, that can be paralysing to those used to the simpler sabzi mandis. An article on Islamic superheroes going global. Homosexuality may persist because the associated genes convey surprising advantages on homosexuals' family members (and Muslim men are affectionate in ways that would make an American male blush). From Time, an article on the global ambition of Rick Warren. From The Politico, an interview with Dennis Miller. Here's a concept you've probably never heard of: "viral sovereignty". More than 40 years after being named a Westinghouse finalist, futurist Raymond Kurzweil is still inventing. From The Guardian, an interview with Slavoj Zizek. Is the just-christened Morgellons disease an age-old delusion or a disturbing new disease? From Poor, Leroy Moore on the struggle to become a superstar: An Illin n Chillin international report from Uganda. America's fight against poverty has a growing hole; some say it's time to pay attention to the people falling through it: men. PENPals: A correspondence with Markus Zusak & Susan Campell Bartoletti. Crusading with a pen: An interview with Doris Lessing; and more and more on Alfred & Emily (and more from Bookforum).
From TNR, here's what you need to know about the Georgia crisis (and more). Fred Kaplan on the Bush administration's feckless response to the Russian invasion of Georgia. The United States of cheap beer: Salon brings you an incomplete, biased guide to this great piss-beer nation (and more on PBR). Wikipedians meet in Alexandria for its largest gathering ever in meatspace; James Gleick discusses its vast and growing army of ever-clashing editors. Word War III: How a 17-year-old negotiated an Iranian truce (on Wikipedia). Why do we have such a hard time hearing good news from Baghdad? Christopher Hitchens wants to know. The world's biggest boondoggles: A look at some infamous public works projects and what went wrong. A review of Fleeced by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann. Sex and the semicolon: An article on the punctuation mark that makes men tremble. Here are surprising insights from the social sciences. In contrast to the right, Joseph Stiglitz says, the left has a coherent agenda, and it’s one that offers not only higher growth, but also social justice. From Scientific American, a special section on the science of Star Wars. Heather Mac Donald on the NYPD diaspora: Former New York cops bring cutting-edge, effective policing to beleaguered communities. The death of planned obsolescence: Why today's gadgets keep getting better (at least until the battery dies).
From New York, Black & Blacker: A look at the racial politics of the Obama marriage; an article on the well-meaning origins of our national stalemate on race; and why isn't Obama doing better in the polls? The answer no one wants to hear. An article on how Obama won the nomination, and an interactive timeline on the lives of Barack Obama. From Slate, ads we hate: The most annoying commercials in the universe. Competitive poetry might seem like an oxymoron, but this cathartic, performative form has a wide following. Why did Neanderthal man become extinct — was it interbreeding with humans, or did our ancestors wipe them out? From The Monkey Cage, a review of "Sovereignty and the UFO" by Alexander Wendt and Raymond Duvall (and a response and a reply). From Esquire, here's John Yoo in his own words. A review of Habits of Empire: A History of American Expansion by Walter Nugent (and more and more). From New Statesman, PR scum are human, too: A review of The Fame Formula: How Hollywood's Fixers, Fakers and Star Makers Created the Celebrity Industry by Mark Borkowski; and a review of books on capitalism's woes. One great brain v many small ones: Doughty free-marketeer Milton Friedman sparks controversy from the grave. Economists predict whether China will win the most Olympic medals.