From The Observer, a special report on the financial crisis: Reasons to be fearful. Iceland’s banking collapse is the biggest, relative to the size of an economy, that any country has ever suffered; there are lessons to be learnt beyond its shores. An interview with Eileen Myles, author of The Importance of Being Iceland. An uber language for the Zeitgeist: Seen from the other end of the dictionary the increasing use of German words in English is a surprise. I believe because it’s impossible: Memories lie because they build on memories; photographs lie more convincingly because they offer proof. Modern software has made manipulation of photographs easier to carry out and harder to uncover than ever before, but the technology also enables new methods of detecting doctored images. Twilight of the color photo: As printed snapshots vanish, we're losing more than shoe boxes full of mementos. Alan Brinkley on learning from FDR's mistakes. Here are the five rules that make college football great. With his reputation for romanticism and rambling and his love of gossip, Herodotus was dismissed by the serious thinkers of his day , yet his work is both entertaining and deeply moral. A review of Keith Yellin's Battle Exhortation: The Rhetoric of Combat Leadership. A review of Sex, Drugs & Chocolate: The Science of Pleasure by Paul Martin. More on Hubert's Freaks by Gregory Gibson.
From First Things, Richard John Neuhaus on causes beyond Left or Right; a review of The Nature of Biblical Criticism by John Barton; a review of The Return of Ulysses: A Cultural History of Homer’s Odyssey by Edith Hall; a review of History Lesson: A Race Odyssey by Mary Lefkowitz; a review of Save the World on Your Own Time by Stanley Fish; and iPhones have consequences: More on Mark Bauerlein’s The Dumbest Generation. Of music, murder and shopping: It is time to turn to Darwin to explain human behaviour. From FT, a look at why 1958 changed our lives. Big Middle-Class Sister: We shouldn’t apologize for teaching poor kids how to move up in America. Here are surprising insights from the social sciences (and more). A review of The Elfish Gene: Dungeons, Dragons and Growing Up Strange by Mark Barrowcliffe (and more). An article on 7 (stupid) people who sued the scientific method. The future is another country: A world of colleges without borders should benefit everyone, including students who stay at home. From Forward, no longer in power, free to talk, neocons seek to rewrite history. An interview with Guantanamo whistleblower Stephen Abraham (and part 2). A former MI6 agent, Alastair Crooke worked in varied trouble spots worldwide; now he has gone freelance as a go-between for the west and radical Islam’s political leaders.
From First Principles, a symposium on contemporary conservatism (and part 2 and part 3). From New English Review, Theodore Dalrymple on Beauty and the Best; Nidra Poller on how peace is war by other means; and an essay on Jihad and the roots of Europe’s religious identity. An interview with Fr. James V. Schall on the openness of the Christian mind. An interview with Rev. Richard P. McBrien on life as a theologian, commentator — and lightning rod. An article on how to solve the Greek dispute over Macedonia's name. The Phosphorescent List: A modest invective against telling people what you want for Christmas. Sierra Leone and life on 70 cents a day: From a cradle of liberty to one of the poorest places on earth. An article on Panama's Darien Gap: The most dangerous (absence of a) road. The economic downturn is routinely billed as the most perilous since the Great Depression; what exactly does that mean? From The Economist, a special report on the sea, including a sea of troubles: Man is assaulting the oceans; they will smite him if he does not take care. A review of The Peculiar Life of Sundays by Stephen Miller. Why Obama really might decriminalize marijuana: The stoner community is clamoring to say it: "Yes we cannabis!" From The New York Times Magazine, a special issue on The Lives They Lived. Where aren't they now? 15 overlooked deaths of 2008.
A new issue of The Next American City it out. From New York, a look at how Tony Blair is like Barack Obama and George Bush — and why Bush is rooting for Obama. Because it's not just the economy, Miller-McCune experts offer some solutions to problems that were under-discussed during the campaign. From The New York Times, experts on the domestic challenges facing Barack Obama when he takes office. John B. Judis on the best books to help you make sense of Marx, Keynes, the Great Depression, and how we got where we are now. Harold James on the Marx Renaissance. Risk Mismanagement: Were the measures used to evaluate Wall Street trades flawed, or was the mistake ignoring them? A review of The Terrorist in Search of Humanity: Militant Islam and Global Politics by Faisal Devji. Scruffy-haired, home-schooled organizer Nate Westheimer is the fresh young punim on every panel and at every party — buy him a beer before the next big meetup! From NYRB, David Cole reviews books on torturers; a review of books on peace in the Middle East; a review of books by and about Gene Stratton-Porter; and never in recent history had The Guardian faced a libel suit from a major corporation. A review of The Triumph of Music: The Rise of Composers, Musicians and Their Art by Tim Blanning. The Web Masters: Five who are changing the face of the Internet.
A new issue of Common Ground is out, including an article on Life on Google Earth. The scent of a man: To attract a woman by wearing scent, a man must first attract himself. As politicians weigh economic stimulus for cities, research suggests a surprising way to succeed: make it fun. A review of America Aged: How Pension Debts Ruined General Motors, Stopped the NYC Subways, Bankrupted San Diego, and Loom as the Next Financial Crisis by Roger Lowenstein (and more). Dawn of the robots: They're already here — driving cars, vacuuming carpets and feeding hospital patients; they may not be walking, talking, human-like sentient beings, but they sure are clever, and a little creepy. A review of History’s Greatest Heist: The Looting of Russia by the Bolsheviks by Sean McMeekin. A look at 5 homeless guys who accomplished amazing things. Ian McIntyre, author of a new biography about Hester Thrale, on why Dr. Johnson's leading lady was a thoroughly modern eighteenth century woman (and read an erotic love letter from Johnson to Thrale). A review of The Age of Aging: How Demographics are Changing the Global Economy and Our World by George Magnus. From Spiked, an article on the problem with Pinteresque politics. From Eurozine, forget Europe: An interview with Homi Bhabha; and forget journals: An interview with Mark C. Taylor.
From Commentary, an article on the Jewish State and its Arabs: Can an angry, alienated, and growing minority be accommodated without dismantling the rule of the majority? The year in maps: A cartography boom offers new ways to see the world. From The Economist, easy as 1, 2, 3: People come into the world ready to count its wonders; and a look at when 1, 2, 3 is not enough: Arguments over what counts as a number. An interview with Seymour Hersh: "After 9/11 we became a different country". Why don't librarians make good detectives? It's all to do with melting in with a crowd. Twins may appear to be cut from the same cloth, but their genes reveal a different pattern. Michael Lewis and David Einhorn on The End of the Financial World as We Know It and How to Repair a Broken Financial World (and more on Panic). A modest blogging proposal: If "pay per post" lets online writers shill for cash, why not go all the way and sell real-life opinions, too? A review of Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff by Fred Pearce. More on The Great Inflation and Its Aftermath by Robert J. Samuelson. CQ profiles Henry Waxman, savvy operator with new power base. Men like Bernie Madoff understand wealth, they understand power — and they prefer to keep women away from both. Everybody does it: Who has a closet without a skeleton?
From The Atlantic, if the end of white America is a cultural and demographic inevitability, what will the new mainstream look like — and how will white Americans fit into it? And is race over? (and more and more) From The American Spectator, an article on what conservatives must now do. Are Americans ready to put cataclysmic consumption and hedonism behind them? Climate economics in four easy pieces: Conventional cost-benefit models cannot inform our decisions about how to address the threat of climate change. Omar Call preaches atheism on Tempe's Mill Avenue. Seeing through Wall Street: Restoring trust to the economy will require bringing transparency to the markets. A review of Copyright's Paradox by Neil Weinstock Netane. Can Obama sustain the interest of his online constituents? So far, yes, says Pew study. Move on up: The case for having the inauguration right after New Year's. A review of Killing Civilians: Method, Madness, and Morality in War by Hugo Slim. Newspaper without a country: Its lonely fight against the occupation of the West Bank made Israeli newspaper Haaretz internationally famous; at home, the paper is fighting for survival. Here are 5 things we learned from The Grand Inquisitor's Manual. A review of Quine by Peter Hylton. Translating Our Bodies, Ourselves: The feminist health manual's message has evolved as its impact has spread globally.
From Nova, a special episode on Mars. From Plenty, here are 10 global-warming policy recommendations for the Obama administration. An interview with Eric Wilson, author of Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy. Black philosopher, White academy: A review of The Career of William Fontaine by Bruce Kuklick. When Dockets imitate drama: Literature and drama have provided plenty of models for the sort of outlandish scheme that the embattled trader Bernard L. Madoff allegedly conceived. A review of Law and the Media: The Future of an Uneasy Relationship by Lieve Gies. Lives of the Saints: An article on doing relief work in dangerous places. Gorillas in their midst: Is it possible to protect Rwanda’s mountain gorillas while also helping some of its poorest citizens? Clive Crook on constraints on Obama’s soft power. The Competence Dodge: The experience and competence of Obama's economic team are not substitutes for true progressivism. Getting rich quick — and having much more money than you ever need — will look as pointless as taking bodybuilding too seriously. The Year of the Nerd: Screw the jocks and prom queens — in 2008, geeks took control of entertainment, pro sports, even the White House. Tears, tantrums and murder: Far from being a cold and rational exercise, maths can provoke the full range of human emotions.
A new issue of Open Letters Monthly is out. From The Believer, an interview with political philosopher Tom Dumm on how misguided American ideas of self-reliance make for an incredibly lonely society; and the sentence is a lonely place: What is it that gives every line — in certain works of fiction — the force and feel of a climax? From World Politics Review, an article on the war in Gaza: Can Israel have military success? An excerpt from Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape. Kudos for the contrarian: It is mostly people who appreciate the uncertainty of our complex world who have worthwhile things to say about the future. Two academic groups — one funded by collegiate sports' governing body — aim to provide "factual" research regarding athletic issues. Should we be wary of political dynasties? David Liebers investigates. Blockbuster or Bust: Why struggling publishers will keep placing outrageous bids on new books. Accidental astrophysicists: They started with algebra and ended up learning about gravitational lensing. More on Jay Parini's Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed America. Who is a civilian? The bloodied children are clearly civilians; men killed as they launch rockets are undisputedly not — but what about the 40 or so young Hamas police recruits on parade? A review of A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity by Bill O' Reilly (and more).
From TAS, Peter Ferrara on Robert Nozick and liberal utopians. From TPM Media, here are ten young progressives to make you hopeful for the future. Design loves a depression: Few of the arts benefited from the late economic boom more than design, but a little austerity could give designers a new sense of relevance. Ariel Levy reviews a new edition of The Joy of Sex. Is it possible Mike Barnicle is still the most obsessed-about journalist in town? Thomas Frank on how the "market" isn't so wise after all. Tuning In: What to listen to when you're pretending to be a pilot. The commercial world, according to three new books, has a grip on our children and is trying to take the fun out of being a parent (and more). James Traub on shaking up the boardroom at World Government Inc. Mismarriage of convenience: Iran and Israel are stuck in a dysfunctional relationship that neither party can escape on its own — here’s how to break up their fight. A review of Hamas: Politics, Charity and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad by Matthew Levitt. Book publishers and booksellers are faltering, but don’t blame the recession — it’s all the fault of the Internet used books market. The Plot Curdles: A modest proposal for bailing out the publishing industry. Carlin Romano on philosophers at work, and hoping for it. At MLA, academic conference sex isn’t just for the hotel room, but for a scholarly panel.