Andreas Gunnarsson (Gothenburg): The First Swede in Space: The Making of a Public Science Hero. From Sweden's Axess, people's perception of themselves is much more critical in determining their class than occupation, residence or income; it seems to be a law of nature to divide people into groups and identify status; the right-left dimension has long been dominated by the issue of wealth distribution, but now questions about morals, culture and lifestyle are becoming increasingly important; the paradoxes of the halal hippie: Radical people support reactionary clergies, and the nationalist Sweden Democrats attack Islamists, with whom they actually have a great deal in common; and as we in Sweden were losing our ideological battles abroad, it became clear that our sympathy was often simply a pose aimed at disguising a taking of ideological sides. Frankly, IKEA is doing more for the image of Sweden than all governmental efforts combined. From n+1, a review essay on Stieg Larsson, the man who blew up the welfare state; and this is what happens when rich, well-traveled, and well-educated children from a tiny Viking country covered in forest grow up and try to write fiction. Why are Nordic detective novels so successful? (and more). The land of Hans Christian Andersen and Hamlet finds a place in the hearts of everyone who lives or studies there. In Norway, even murders and rapists have a shot at landing in "open prison". A review of Wasteland With Words: A Social History of Iceland by Sigurdur Gylfi Magnusson. Iceland after the fall: Notes from an icy island on the anniversary of its meltdown (and more). Whether Iceland will bring philosophy centre-stage for the first time in the nation’s life, history will tell. Rolf Hugoson on debating the Nordic consensus culture (and a response).
The inaugural issue of The Irish Anarchist Review is out. Table soccer aims to be taken seriously as a sport. From First Monday, a special issue on the digital habitat. Rules for drone wars: An interview with Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions. Philip Bump on Michael Kinsley, opinion, and the evolution of media. From Monitor on Psychology, Daniel Gilbert discusses how his research on happiness changed his own life; the work of Norman R.F. Maier offers an example of how those at the core of the discipline of psychology can thwart those who challenge mainstream views; and Little Albert regains his identity: One of psychology's greatest mysteries appears to have been solved. From JWSR, a review essay on fair trade coffee books. What do we really know about the crucifixion of Jesus? Yasha Levine on Manhattan’s Welfare Kings: How billionaires turned farms into personal tax havens and petty cash machines, allowing them to give less, while taking more. From Forbes, a special report on 25 Ideas to Change the World: Luminaries take on problems from poverty to violence to finance. From the Saturday Evening Post, a look at America’s century of oil problems. Gasbags: Politicians, oilmen, and green-energy boosters love to invoke the idea of energy security — none of them know what they're talking about. A review of American Insurgents, American Patriots: The Revolution of the People by T.H. Breen (and more). At the World Cup, the empire strikes back: The tournament allows former colonies to face their colonizers on a level playing field. Right life in the wrong life: Joachim Gauck talks about Ossis and Wessis, opposition, conformism, and the long-term psychological effects of a dictatorial regime.
From Utopian Studies, John Hickman (Berry): When Science Fiction Writers Used Fictional Drugs: Rise and Fall of the Twentieth-century Drug Dystopia; Sing-chen Lydia Chiang (BC): Visions of Happiness: Daoist Utopias and Grotto Paradises in Early and Medieval Chinese Tales; Jose Luis Ramos-Gorostiza (Complutense): Socio-economic Utopianism in Spain at the End of the Nineteenth Century: La Nueva Utopia by Ricardo Mella; Janet Sarbanes (CalArts): The Shaker "Gift" Economy: Charisma, Aesthetic Practice and Utopian Communalism; Daniel P. Jaeckle (Concordia): Embodied Anarchy in Ursula K. Le Guin's The Dispossessed; and a review of Rhetorics of Fantasy by Farah Mendlesohn. From The New Yorker, what’s behind the boom in dystopian fiction for young readers? Torsten Krol's The Dolphin People is a great utopian parable for our savage times. From Bookforum, a special section on Utopia & Dystopia: Paul La Farge on how perfect worlds are games to be played by following the rules to the letter; and is it time for dystopian novelists to end the reign of the free-market idealists? Keith Gessen investigates. From New American City, an article on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Utopian Dystopia. From Changesurfer Radio, an interview with Russell Jacoby on the decline of both public intellectualism and utopianism, and the prospects for a return of both. Leland B. Yeager on Uchronia, or Alternative History: The history that didn't happen can be just as interesting as the history that did. A review of Technology and Utopia by Howard P. Segal. From e-flux, Hans Ulrich Obrist on Manifestos for the Future. From Fast Company, Jamais Cascio on Futures Thinking: The Basics, Asking the Question, Scanning the World, Mapping the Possibilities (part 2), and Writing Scenarios.
Yuliya Kozyrakis (FUB): Remembering the Future: Ethnic Memory in Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. Parvin Ghasemi and Mitra Tiur (Shiraz): The Promise and Failure of the American Dream in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Fiction. From Standpoint, Craig Raine on poet-novelists or novelist-poets: does it matter? From The Wilson Quarterly, a review of books on Jane Austen. The working-class lover of JM Synge, one of Ireland’s great playwrights, has been airbrushed out of history. Paul la Farge reviews Tintin and the Secret of Literature by Tom McCarthy. Before Milledgeville, Georgia was just another place for Ben Roethlisberger to degrade women, it was the country home of Flannery O'Connor. Terry Teachout reviews Brad Gooch's Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor (and more; and more by Wendy Lesser at Bookforum). A review of Young Romantics: The Shelleys, Byron and Other Tangled Lives by Daisy Hay (and more). From NYRB, a review essay on books about Charles Dickens. Dickens and People: Today’s gossip magazines are like 19th-century serialized novels. Pointing to the Divine: Robert E. Lauder on Eugene O'Neill and the need for God. A review of The Female Gothic: New Directions. A review of The Novel: An Alternative History — Beginnings to 1600 by Steven Moore. Late Renaissance Man: Intellectual adventure characterises the life of George Steiner. Crime fiction used to entertain us with double acts such as Holmes and Watson — but when and why did it lose its sense of humour? An interview with Martin Amis: "It's funny, life". Battle of the Books: Jim Walsh discovers the one place JD Salinger, America’s most famous literary recluse, could always be found — the courtroom. Francine Prose has produced a body of work that, taken as a whole, is without peer in contemporary American fiction.
Stefano Petrucciani (Rome): Rethinking Critical Theory. From Middle East Report, Rochelle Davis (Georgetown): Culture as a Weapon System; Laleh Khalili (SOAS): The New (and Old) Classics of Counterinsurgency; and Noura Erakat (Georgetown): BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement) in the USA, 2001-2010. Camus and Sartre were two different men who travelled briefly together, only to fight bitter battles later — yet they left us richer. The Closers: Maria Streshinsky on how the pros shut down a failing bank. From Archaeology, could Google Earth help us stop looting? From The Medieval Review, a review of Byzantine Slavery and the Mediterranean World by Youval Rotman; a review of God's War: A New History of the Crusades by Christopher Tyerman; a review of City and Cosmos: The Medieval World in Urban Form by Keith D. Lilley; a review of Medieval Dress and Fashion by Margaret Scott; and a review of Merlin: Knowledge and Power through the Ages by Stephen Knight. From New Internationalist, a special issue on Iraq: 7 Years Later. The Evolution of Goldman Sachs: The fraud allegations against them have tarnished the reputation of the firm, but how exactly did they get to this point? A review of The Warsaw Ghetto: A Guide to the Perished City by Barbara Engelking and Jacek Leociak. The Big Jewcy 100 celebrates people doing amazing things. From the MAA, Colm Mulcahy on Mathematical Idol 2010; and exercise your mind daily with MinuteMath. Doing science in the past: The comparative method of historical science helps to explain Haiti's poverty. Walt Disney, Reanimated: A new museum prompts reappraisal of a culture-shaking artist and entrepreneur. Creating Paradise: What can individuals do to solve social problems?
Nani Indrajani T. and Anggie Angeline (Petra Christian): The Types of Argument Structure Used by Hillary Clinton in the CNN Democratic Presidential Debate. Are voters truly sophisticated and rational decision makers? Apparently not — their choices are heavily influenced by superficial, nonverbal cues, such as politicians' appearance. Aaron Renn on the referendum voting: Democracy or disease? Scientists design a more efficient democratic voting system. A review of Numbers Rule: The Vexing Mathematics of Democracy, from Plato to the Present by George G. Szpiro. Saved by the crown: What monarchs offer modern democracy. A review of The Political Morality of Liberal Democracy by Michael J. Perry. From Liberty, Brian Gladish on marketing morality: Competition brings better results in business — why wouldn't it do so in the judiciary as well? Civil servants can make decisions that are better for the long-term good of the country than elected officials can, right?: A review of The Logic of Discipline by Alasdair Roberts. Why not license politicians seeking public office? A panel on Filibustering: A Political History of Obstruction in the House and Senate by Gregory Koger. From CJR, embrace the wonk: Greg Marx on a new opportunity for reporters and political scientists (and more: What if political scientists covered the news?); and more lessons from political science: How understanding the horse race can keep us from obsessing over it. From The Monkey Cage, is 538.com good for political science? For his "Political Science Senior Capstone" course during the spring semester of 2010, Northeastern's Michael Tolley had his students explore the major areas of research and scholarship in political science about the presidency of George W. Bush; some of the papers are now online.
From Mediaspace, Ken Feil (Emerson): Sex, Comedy and Controversy: Kiss Me, Stupid, What’s New, Pussycat?, New Hollywood, and Metropolitan Taste; Kenneth Chan (UNC): The Shaw-Tarantino Connection: Rolling Thunder Pictures and the Exploitation Aesthetics of Cool; and scholars on the subject of Genre in contemporary Cinema and Media Studies. A review of Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy by Raghuram Rajan (and more and more). A look at how Exile on Main St. killed the Rolling Stones. Why can't I feel what I see: What is the happiness that has eluded our generation? The genius of Jackie Chan: He's a cinematic artist on par with Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. A review of 20th Century Travel: 100 Years of Globe-Trotting Ads. From History Now, a special issue on the Great Depression. An interview with Morris Dickstein, author of Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression (and more at Bookforum). Christopher "moot" Poole on the case for anonymity online. Successor states to an empire in free fall: Theories with wonderful names are emerging to describe our post-postmodern culture and society — Alan Kirby is fascinated by the "cultural dominant's" shadow. A review of A Brief History of Nakedness by Philip Carr-Gomm. All the dead are vampires: Michael Sims on a natural-historical look at our love-hate relationship with dead people. Rich people things: Chris Lehmann on Los Angeles compound fever. Beyond Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol: Sarah Breger on the true story of Jews and Freemasons. Why misogynists make great informants: How gender violence on the Left enables state violence in radical movements. A review of Revolutionaries: A New History of the Invention of America by Jack Rakove (and more and more).
The inaugural issue of Review of Economics and Institutions is out. Andres Marroquin (UFM): Economic Anthropology: Past and Future. The first chapter from Innovation, Intellectual Property, and Economic Growth by Christine Greenhalgh and Mark Rogers. The first chapter from Economic Sociology: A Systematic Inquiry by Alejandro Portes. An interview with Ian Ayres on inequality. Breacher of the Peace: A profile of Daron Acemoglu. Monsters in the market: In today’s exchanges, strong programs prey on weak ones, humans are hard to find, and the SEC struggles to keep up. A review of The Invention of Enterprise: Entrepreneurship from Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern Times. An article on maximum wage, an idea whose time has come. More on The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better. Joseph Stiglitz reviews Keynes: The Return of the Master by Robert Skidelsky. Paul Volcker on how the time we have is growing short. A review of The Blood Bankers: Tales from the Global Underground Economy by James S. Henry. The Pay Problem: Jay Lorsch and Rakesh Khurana on why it's time for a new paradigm for executive compensation. The sad state of financial economics teaching: A review of The Economics of Money, Banking and Financial Markets by Frederic S. Mishkin. The Squam Lake Report, a book that represents the consensus of 15 leading economists offers, prescriptions to avert another financial collapse. Nouriel Roubini and Ian Bremmer debate the real meaning of political and economic problems throughout the world. A review of Are the Rich Necessary? Great Economic Arguments and How They Reflect Our Personal Values by Hunter Lewis (and more). Economists think they are invulnerable and intellectually superior — we all suffer for it.
From The Minnesota Review, an interview with Marc Bousquet on labor practices in higher education; a review of Save the World on Your Own Time by Stanley Fish; and a review essay on class, culture, and the decline of the university. Richard Kahlenberg on five myths about college admissions. Everyone remembers their first, especially English professors; Michael Erard confronts a student he busted for cheating — and who caused him to completely rethink plagiarism. A review of The Company He Keeps: A History of White College Fraternities by Nicholas L. Syrett. Learning by Degrees: Is college worth it? Louis Menand investigates (and more on The Marketplace of Ideas). A review of DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education by Anya Kamenetz (and more). NYU President John Sexton is set to open a new campus in Abu Dhabi, expand aggressively at home, and turn his school into a global franchise; next stop: China. UC-Berkeley's Michael Burawoy on a new vision of the public university. Shamus Khan on how need-blind admission ignores the plight of poverty. Wesleyan’s freshman orientation program is not at all a program designed to teach students to throw the words “Racist” and “Homophobic” around like candy — it’s so, so much worse than that. A look at the most legendary college pranks. From Al-Ahram, academia is often seen as the preserve of the critic — it is an empty freedom if society is not transformed via the efforts of criticism. What turns US students' heads? An urban vibe, celebrity alumni, top sports teams, high-profile leaders — oh, and academic reputation; Jon Marcus runs through the student checklist. A look at how Harvard hampers admissions at all top colleges. Whatever happened to the Group of 88 Duke faculty members?
Robert Higgs (Independent Institute): Crisis and Leviathan: Observations Amid the Current Episode. From More Than Thought, Chia-Yen Chang (ASU): The Psychological Development of Harry Potter in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series. An interview with Scott Korb, author of Life in Year One: What the World Was Like in First-Century Palestine. The Why-Worry Generation: Did boomer parents actually do something right? From Al-Ahram, an interview with Noam Chomsky, speaking of truth and power. More and more on books about the Dreyfus affair. The Memory Doctor: William Saletan on the future of false memories. Why did "nerd" become a dirty word? Psychologist David Anderegg wants to do away with America’s anti-intellectual labels. A review of Ancient Greece: A History in Eleven Cities by Paul Cartledge. A look at 7 awesome things that suck if mixed with anything else. A review of Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy by Eric Weitz. A review of Weimar Germany. From Military magazine, Lt. Col. Simon L. “Spider” Webb USMCR on another day in the office. From Intelligent Life, Will Smith learns a new skill: Cage-fighting. She loves politics, God and apple pie — does it get any more American that gay activist Chrissy Gephardt? From Ghetto to Glamour: How American Jews toppled Paris couture and redesigned the fashion industry. Smearing TR: A review on books on Theodore Roosevelt. From Labor Notes, how do we win strikes again? An interview with Peter Olney, organizing director of the Longshore and Warehouse Union (and more); and after a year of disappointment and defeat, where are the pitchforks? Cycling's mystery man shows his face: After years of anonymous opinion on the blogosphere, "Bike Snob" Eben Weiss finally reveals his identity (and an interview).