From NYRB, Elizabeth Drew on the thirty days of Barack Obama; Amartya Sen on capitalism beyond the crisis; Cass Sunstein on the enlarged republic — then and now; what you can learn from Reinhold Niebuhr: A review of The Irony of American History by Reinhold Niebuhr; The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism by Andrew Bacevich; and The Freedom Agenda: Why America Must Spread Democracy (Just Not the Way George Bush Did) by James Traub. From The Nation, a special issue on reinventing capitalism, reimagining socialism. From TNR, what should Obama do about Darfur? A roundtable. The parent company of the political jewel, The New Republic, is in peril — what is the fate of the magazine? From FT, a review of books on health care; and daily local titles no longer match the desires of readers and advertisers — much reporting is better done by an enthusiastic amateur for very little than a reporter sent in a taxi. Stephen Webb on how soccer is ruining America — a Jeremiad. From Tikkun, an essay on the moral dimension of sports: Patriotism at the Ballpark (and more). From PopMatters, an article on the state of the slasher film genre: "We've come a long way, baby"; and the majority of us aren't coal miners, we don't know coal miners, and we wouldn't last a week in a coal mine — are coal mining songs, then, still relevant?
From The Threepenny Review, P. N. Furban on altruism, selfishness, and genes; Clifford Thompson on Mingus, Marcus, and us; and an appreciation of Susan Sontag's Under the Sign of Saturn. More and more on Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963 by Susan Sontag (and more from Bookforum). From Women's Review of Books, a review of Women for President: Media Bias in Eight Campaigns by Erika Falk; a review of Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage: Valuing All Families Under The Law by Nancy Polikoff; a review of The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics by Riane Eisler; a review of Playing with the Boys: Why Separate Is Not Equal by Eileen McDonagh and Laura Pappano; and a review of books on the awesome body. From Archeology, Olduvai, evolution, and Darwin: An interview with philanthropist David H. Koch. From TAS, a review of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War by H. W. Crocker III; a review of Funding Fathers: The Unsung Heroes of the Conservative Movement by Nicole Hoplin and Ron Robinson; and you may think scanning the Acknowledgments page first is like reading the weddings in the New York Times' "Sunday Styles" section before hitting the news. The future has begun: Vertical farms will take eating local to the next level — but are they safe? A review of Epistemology and Emotions.
A new issue of NBER Digest is out. From Unbound, Slavoj Zizek (Ljubljana): Legal Luck; Mladen Dolar (Ljubljana): Freud and the Political; Maria Rosaria Marella (Perugia): Radicalism, Resistance, and the Structures of Family Law; Kambiz Behi (Columbia): The “Real” in Resistance: Transgression of Law as Ethical Act; Irene Gendzier (BU): Does Knowing Matter? U.S. Congressional Records and the Arming of Iraq; and Hamid Dabashi (Columbia): The American Empire: Triumph of Triumphalism. From Touchstone, a review of Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America by Matthew Avery Sutton; a review of What’s So Great About Christianity by Dinesh D’Souza; and a review of God's Continent: Christianity, Islam and Europe's Religious Crisis by Philip Jenkins. A review of books on Pope Benedict XVI. An interview with Andrew Nikiforuk, author of Pandemonium: Bird Flu, Mad Cow Disease, and Other Biological Plagues of the 21st Century. A review of Ryan Seacrest Is Famous by Dave Housley. A review of Bernard-Henri Levy's Left in Dark Times: A Stand Against the New Barbarism. A review of Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben and Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility by Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger (and a response).
Ilan Pappe (Haifa): Histories and Historians in Israel & Palestine. From Guernica, the daughter of a Jewish-American peace negotiator narrates the drama of her father’s surprisingly — and perhaps inappropriately — close relationship with Yasir Arafat; and a conversation with Irshad Manji and Edgar M. Bronfman on challenging their respective religions to embrace doubt, democracy, and openness. From Tricycle, a review of China's Tibet? Autonomy or Assimilation by Warren W Smith, Jr; here's an introduction to Zen; an interview with Mark and Taitetsu Unno on the subtle wisdom at the heart of Pure Land Buddhist practice; Adam Frank ponders the relationship between Buddhism and the nature of time; to Zen nun and animal-welfare journalist Mira Tweti, Buddhism is indeed for the birds; and which Buddhist Personality Type are you? Is the Special Olympics discriminating against the kids it's supposed to help? From PopMatters, free-for-all shows are like a "cool" parent trying to be your friend, instead of your authority figure; and are CNN journalists writing news headlines these days, or t-shirt slogans? From Tikkun, an essay on the irresponsibility of Thomas Friedman. Literary witness in a world of terror: Nadine Gordimer on the inward testimony (and a review of Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black at Bookforum). A review of Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin by Nicholas Ostler.
From Folio, from Internet nickels to digital dollars: Conde Nast and others are on a push to finally make digital work. Netizens and the news business are locked in a mutually destructive death spiral — can anything arrest the decline? The Kindle Revolution: Digital readers will save writers and publishing, even if they destroy the book business. A look at why books aren't dying and why the end of newspapers is not the end of news. What comes after a golden age? Reports of the impending death of print are greatly exaggerated. The economy of reading is rapidly collapsing — if we can bail out banks, why not the book industry? From Fortune, someday you may be reading your newspaper on an e-paper device, a thin piece of plastic the size of a legal pad that can be taken to the beach or on the train — that day may be a lot closer than you think; and here's a defense of Obama's budget. A look at five hidden (and possibly real) agendas in Obama's new budget. Know your right-wing speakers: Though more conservative than Republican, the Washington Post columnist George Will is no stranger to getting it wrong. A review of How We Decide: How the Brain Makes Up its Mind by Jonah Lehrer (and more and more and more and more; and from Bookforum, a review of Lehrer's Proust Was a Neuroscientist). More on The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century by George Friedman.
From Prospect, the case for compulsory civic service: Most people think that young people should be asked to give something back — politicians agree, yet a compulsory scheme has seemed too ambitious — until now; attitudes to pay can change sharply from one era to the next; we are now entering a period of greater restraint at the top — but is it just a pause?; and bonus bashing is good politics, but is it also good economics? Peter Singer on capitalism’s new clothes. From Time, here's a list of the Internet's 99 Greatest Hits. An interview with Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen. A look at why there is a deep reason to reject the long run as a guide to future investment policy. The time has come to re-engineer the planet: Once written off as sci-fi fantasy, geoengineering now looks like the last best hope to avert harmful climate change. Bill Clinton had the Vince Foster "murder," George W. Bush had 9/11 Truth, and the new administration has brought with it a new culture of conspiracy: The Birthers. Do we want to be a moderately more equal country or not? E.J. Dionne, Jr. wants to know. Damon Linker on Carl Schmitt and the American Right. The Conservative Political Action Conference always produces a breakout star — this year’s winner: a hip-hop artist whose artistic inspirations include Nancy Pelosi. Lecturers who (used to) lunch: Is Jonathan Wolff working while he's in the shower?
From the first issue of Public Diplomacy, Nicholas J. Cull (USC): Designing Out the Mess: A Historically Literate Approach to the Re-launch of U.S. Public Diplomacy; Kristin Lord (Brookings): The USA-World Trust: Bringing the Power of Networks to U.S. Public Diplomacy; Benjamin Barber on public diplomacy in the Obama Era; an interview with James K. Glassman on evaluating his tenure at State; an interview with USAID's Walid Maalouf on foreign aid as public diplomacy; and a review of American Idol after Iraq: Competing for Hearts and Minds in the Global Media Age by Nathan Gardels and Mike Medavoy. From American Diplomacy, here's a prescription for the renaissance of American diplomacy. Diplomacy from Defense: With his letter to Russia, it looks like President Obama has finally taken Robert Gates' advice. Will the Obama administration reaffirm the civic mandate of the Postal Service that was damaged during the Bush years? A review of James Waller's Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing. The Sea is My Brother, the first novel Jack Kerouac ever wrote, when he was a merchant mariner in 1942, will be published in its entirety for the first time (and from Bookforum, David L. Ulin on the fiftieth anniversary of Kerouac's On the Road). A review of Mother of God: A History of the Virgin Mary by Miri Rubin (and more and more).
From In Character, were the 9/11 terrorists cowards or courageous? Six views; is courage a masculine virtue? Harvey Mansfield and Ayaan Hirsi Ali debate; a look at why a good man is hard to find; an interview with James Grant on investing in a time of fear; and Joe Queenan on the "My Bad" syndrome: "This may get me into a world of trouble, but I find the French annoying. I just do." From Politico, a look at how media sucks up to White House. From TAP, Obama is looking more and more like a progressive Reagan with a dual mission: Can one president transform democracy and capitalism? From The Nation, America's transformation to a clean-energy economy could merge the aims of environmental protection and social justice; and a Global Green Deal: America must step up and lead an international campaign to curb emissions; done properly, it will green the planet and our wallets. America's love affair with really soft toilet paper is causing an environmental catastrophe. Is there a Higgs? In a very pure sense you build the accelerator you need when you know what the question is. An excerpt from Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor by Brad Gooch (and more and more and more and more; and a review at Bookforum). From The Believer, an interview with Mike Leigh; and as moviegoers leave dank, smoke-filled basement theaters behind, how will contemporary cinema change?
From Democratiya, a special issue on Israel/Palestine. More on The Bin Ladens by Steve Coll (and more from Bookforum). From Challenge, Edward Wolff and Ajit Zacharias (Bard): The Impact of Wealth Inequality on Economic Well-Being; Julie A. Nelson (Tufts): Economics for Humans: Conscience, Care, and Commerce?; and an interview with George Akerlof on the new case for Keynesianism. From Canadian Dimension, an article on the return of Mr. Keynes; and Canadian democracy is under threat, and the threat is the Harper government. From Maclean’s, interviews with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, and Perez Hilton. From LRC, a review of Stampede! The Rise of the West and Canada’s New Power Elite by Gordon Pitts. NAFTA and the unmanning of America: A trade case with Canada highlights the evidence linking everyday products to the feminization and outright disappearance of males from every species — including ours. Opening the files on Bush's secrets: Freedom of Information wish list — What did Treasury do with the TARP money, and who authorized torture? Yoo complete me: Jeffrey Rosen on the civil libertarian defending the Bush torture theorist. From The American Scholar, John Lukacson on Putting Man Before Descartes: Human knowledge is personal and participant, placing us at the center of the universe.
Luke Robinson (SMU): Moral Principles are not Moral Laws. From Doublethink, a collection of essays assessing the Gipper’s Legacy in the dawning Age of Obama. Small, green and good: Catherine Tumber on the role of neglected cities in a sustainable future. Slums of hope: For displaced peasants, the world’s vast urban ghettos are a gateway to a better future. What is wrong with guns in churches? Scott McPherson wants to know. A review of The Liberal Defence of Murder by Richard Seymour. Where is the bailout for book critics? In the context of the worldwide financial meltdown how relevant are Ayn Rand’s books and their ideology today? A review of “American Revolution: The Fall of Wall Street and the Rise of Barack Obama”. From Labor Notes, can unions win without the Employee Free Choice Act? Are labour unions a blessing or a curse? From Miller-McCune, history professor and blogger Juan Cole succeeds at debunking American myths about the Muslim world — it's the policy prescription that's trite; and our national pastime: A look at studies analyzing Major League Baseball's race relations, economics and pop-ups. From The Nation, a review of The Scientific Life: A Moral History of a Late Modern Vocation by Steven Shapin; and a review of Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before by Michael Fried and After Photography by Fred Ritchin.