From New Geography, an article on the real state of Metropolitan America. Another angle on immigration: Not everyone wants to live in America. Sweet land of conformity: Americans aren’t the rugged individuals we think we are. A review of The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity by Richard Florida (and more). Counting on the census: Will 2010's tally reflect the changing face of America? Gary Alan Fine and Bill Ellis on five potent rumors about illegal immigrants that don't bear close inspection (and more). Citizen Alioune: Stephan Salisbury on how not to deal with Muslims in America. A review of The Union of Their Dreams: Power, Hope, and Struggle in Cesar Chavez's Farm Worker Movement by Miriam Pawel (and more). How to save Cleveland: Turning around America’s dying cities is difficult, improbable, and necessary. Sally Kohn on why ethnic studies are good for America. Migration patterns underlie a national trend in which the suburbs of major cities are becoming poorer than the cities themselves. A review of Welcome to Utopia: Notes From a Small Town by Karen Valby (and more). The US is groping towards a national ID card system — in doing so it could learn some lessons from Hong Kong. From Too Much, a review of History of the Great American Fortunes by Gustavus Myers; and a look at a historic breakthrough for US billionaires. Richard Florida on the most and least bohemian cities in the US. American Capitalism 6.0: The form of capitalism the U.S. has pursued for three decades has been discredited — what's next? Larry Schweikart on his book Seven Events that Made America America: And Proved That the Founding Fathers Were Right All Along. If Puerto Rico were to become a US state, what would the flag look like?
From Forum for Inter-American Research, Christoph Schaub (Columbia): Beyond the Hood? Detroit Techno, Underground Resistance, and African American Metropolitan Identity Politics; and Martin Luthe (Liebig): "Damn Straight, It’s Called Race!" Rap and the Transcultural Logic of Race. Time for some consistency: If Greece is the new Lehman, the new rules for banks should become the new rules for sovereigns — Alan Beattie offers a four-point plan. Bryan Walsh on the Gulf disaster: Whose asses need kicking? Sizing up the nightlife is a study of status distinction: Lauren Rivera infiltrated the nightclub scene in New York to uncover how doormen make split-second status decisions. The battling Hitchens brothers: Christopher and Peter both have new memoirs — while Peter wrestles with his absent sibling throughout, Christopher essentially ignores his brother. More and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more on Hitch-22 by Christopher Hitchens. This is not Obama’s Katrina; if anything, it’s Bush’s second Katrina — what other ticking time bombs await? From New Scientist, a look at how religion made Jews genetically distinct. Israel without cliches: Tony Judt on six reasons that the Middle East debate is frozen in place. S.O.S.: Israel faces an existential crisis — and Benjamin Netanyahu is making things worse. Jessica Loudis reviews On Rumors by Cass Sunstein. The World Cup is some sort of larger meditation on poverty or east/west relations or diplomacy and/or women’s rights, or maybe it’s just an exotic sport some people play involving the kicking of a ball into a net. A review of The Spears of Twilight: Life and Death in the Amazon Jungle by Philippe Descola. A review of Gadamer and the Legacy of German Idealism by Kristin Gjesdal.
From Daedalus, a special issue on the future of news, including Herbert Gans (Columbia): News and the News Media in the Digital Age: Implications for Democracy; Kathleen Hall Jamieson (Penn): Are There Lessons for the Future of News from the 2008 Presidential Campaign?; Mitchell Stephens (NYU): The Case for Wisdom Journalism — and for Journalists Surrendering the Pursuit of News; and Loren Ghiglione (Northwestern): Does Science Fiction — Yes, Science Fiction — Suggest Futures for News? A review of Newspeak in the 21st Century by David Edwards and David Cromwel. Capital Flight: Watchdog reporting is at an alarming low at many federal agencies and departments whose actions have a huge impact on the lives of American citizens. W. Joseph Campbell on how media-driven myths can take on lives of their own and persist even after being rejected by the people involved. Colleen Cotter, author of News Talk on how to be a language savvy news consumer. From Bookforum, Michael Lind reviews Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power by James McGrath Morris and The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century by Alan Brinkley; and Michael Calderone reviews War at the Wall Street Journal: Inside the Struggle to Control an American Business Empire by Sarah Ellison (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). Rupert Murdoch’s conquest of the Wall Street Journal was never in doubt, but it may herald the end of an era in the newspaper business. All the dirt that's fit to print: We're used to National Enquirer stories on "shocking" plastic surgery, but in 2010 the rag almost won a Pulitzer; Alex Pappademas chronicles its evolution from tabloid to breaking-news contender (and more from AJR).
From The Economist, a special report on South Africa: the price of freedom. The censor and the censored, linked by literature: A South African author learns too late who was watching and editing him during apartheid. South Africa’s Forgotten War: White South Africans who fought in the long "Border War" to maintain apartheid now find themselves in a country run by their former enemies. 32 Batallion: Gavin Haynes on the history of South Africa’s preeminent black-ops unit. The day I ended apartheid: Twenty years ago today, FW de Klerk addressed South Africa's Parliament — and stunned the world (and more). In South Africa, good intentions and poor follow-through are helping to spread deadly drug-resistant tuberculosis. Ian Volner reviews Portrait with Keys: The City of Johannesburg Unlocked by Ivan Vladislavic. From The Guardian, South African writers take stock of their country as it prepares to host the World Cup. Zuma’s people: Ahead of the World Cup, South Africa’s politics is in as dismal a state as its national football team (and more). Fans looking for an authentic experience of Africa during the upcoming World Cup may be disappointed; Ellen Knickmeyer on how multinationals have a lock on the soccer business. A journey across Africa: In a five-part series, Frank Bures explores the meaning of travel when arrival is not guaranteed. From Afrik.com, an article on Africa’s cultural heritage treasure war with Europe (and more). Homophobia is rife in Africa, but to combat it we must understand religion, history and gender politics all play a part. All across Africa, new tracks are being laid, highways built, ports deepened, commercial contracts signed — all on an unprecedented scale, and led by China. A recent economic study rejects the conventional depiction of Africa as a basket case.
From Strategic Studies Quarterly, Leonard Cutler (Siena): Bush vs. Obama Detainee Policy Post-9/11: An Assessment; and Justin Logan and Christopher Preble (Cato): Washington’s Newest Bogeyman: Debunking the Fear of Failed States. Everyone does everything: James O’Nions meets two members of the Italian novel-writing collective Wu Ming as they publish Manituana, their "story from the wrong side of history". Justin Fox on how banks took big risks because shareholders wanted them to. An interview with Dan Ariely, author of The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home (and more). From HiLobrow, Joshua Glenn on Camp, Kitsch & Cheese: "Camp and cheese are reactions to kitsch — i.e., to cultural products intended to be high quality, but highly flawed in conception or taste. People who enjoy kitsch in a naive way may lack good taste, but at least they haven’t lost the capacity to feel. Spare your pity for those hipsters who merely pretend to enjoy kitsch as part of some anti-hip put-on"; and on Fake Authenticity: "The authenticity-seeking ironist-artist knows that authenticity is not out there somewhere. It needs to be created. Authenticity is always a point of departure, never a destination". Why can't we categorize comedy the way we do books, or music, or film? A pessimist's guide to life: Roger Scruton was hounded out of liberal academia, then shamed by his links to big tobacco — but is the "old geezer" of conservative philosophy ready to embrace David Cameron's Big Society? From CRB, Charles Muray reviews books on Ayn Rand (and more at Bookforum). Learning from soap operas: Soap operas appeal across a broad spectrum, from the most intellectually sophisticated to people with little or no formal education.
From Interface: A Journal for and about Social Movements, a special issue on crises, social movements and revolutionary transformations. David Lane (Cambridge): Global Perspectives on European and Central Asian Trajectories of Change from State Socialism. Sebastian Berg (Humboldt): "Post-Communism", Radicalism, and the Intellectual Left: A Comparative Approach. The Thinking Man’s Marxist: More on Why Not Socialism? by G.A. Cohen. Present perfect, or the time of post-socialism: Suspended between negation and anticipation, post-socialist societies are a beginning with no end. Unlike in eastern Europe, Marxism in the West was never entirely discredited by proximity to state socialism; this has led to divergent intellectual tendencies in the last twenty years. An interview with Cyrus Bina on economic crises, Marx's value theory, and 21st century capitalism. The main strategy open to crisis-ridden capitalism that doesn't directly risk class antagonism, is the creation of artificial scarcity through regimes of intellectual property. From Anarchy, Jason McQuinn on Max Stirner, the anarchist every ideologist loves to hate; Lawrence Jarach on why he's not an anti-primitivist; and a review of Possibilities: Essays on Hierarchy, Rebellion, and Desire by David Graeber. You'd be forgiven for thinking that a group of zine-publishing techie squatters into rock music, baiting the State and defending the working class were part of the anarchist left, but Italy's Casa Pound movement is symptomatic of the Right's growing ability to assimilate progressive agendas into a toxic and populist political brew. Gavin McInnes, a “race-mixing, gay-loving, pro-choice, atheist, anarchist who hates all liberals”, on the innate supremacism of the anti-racist movement. Gary Tedman on determining your philosophy dialectically.
From M/C Journal, a special issue on the ambience of ambience, including Alison Bartlett (UWA): Ambient Thinking: Or, Sweating over Theory; Alfred Hermida (UBC): From TV to Twitter: How Ambient News Became Ambient Journalism; and Christine Teague, Lelia Green, and David Leith (Edith Cowan): An Ambience of Power? Challenges Inherent in the Role of the Public Transport Transit Officer. From Rolling Stone, Tim Dickinson on the spill, the scandal and the President: The inside story of how Obama failed to crack down on the corruption of the Bush years — and let the world's most dangerous oil company get away with murder. From Creative Nonfiction, here's an armchair guide to stunt writing: Keep middle-age boredom at bay, drive your spouse nuts and become a best-selling author — in 11 easy steps! We need bigger deficits: In normal times, deficit spending has all sorts of negative effects on economic activity — these are not normal times. A review of Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World (and Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer) by Stan Cox (and more). Tim Griffin reviews All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems by Charles Bernstein. From Policy Review, Ronald Dworkin (the other one) on the rise of the caring industry. The New York Observer profiles Clay Shirky. Maria Bustillos on how the Internet is making you smarter. From Yes, a special issue on water. Overtaxation is our phoniest problem: Friends of the financially fortunate are trying to turn reality upside-down — and save our undertaxed rich mega billions in the process. An interview between Martin Gardner and Michael Shermer (1997). From Saturday Evening Post, a series of articles on trains in America. Fracking, oil sands, and deep-water drilling: Daniel Gross on the dangerous new era of "extreme energy".
From The American Scholar, what can it mean to devote oneself to the classics, a discipline that likes to think that it is timeless, that it has cheated the centuries, the millennia? Get your Ph.D. in Lady Gaga: The editors of an online academic journal on Gaga Studies explain why you should take the pop star seriously. Most humanities "research" is the self-indulgent pursuit of obscure hobbies that neither need nor merit funding, and produces only unsold, unread and unreadable books. From C-Span, an interview with Martha Nussbaum, author of Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities (and more at Harper's). History for Dollars: As the job market slides, it can be easy for college students picking their majors to forget why humans need the humanities. Analysis questions why so many orientation programs are built around books about multiculturalism or the environment, but educators who organize these efforts say the critique confuses their choices. From Radical Notes, Pothik Ghosh on academics, politics and class struggle. Love in the Time of Capital: An interview with rising intellectual star Eva Illouz on how commodities create feelings, the modern lingua franca of therapy-speak, and Israel’s emotional style. From LRB, Keith Thomas on academic working methods, "an omnium gatherum of materials culled from more or less everywhere". From THES, attractive forces at work: Being brilliant academically isn't enough any more — if you want your career to soar you need to cultivate your erotic capital assets; and flaunt your beauty and intellect: As universities are being forced into the commercial world, academics shouldn't be shy of launching a charm offensive. If you just don't go: Professors need to understand that the life of the mind is also attainable outside academe.
Steven Metz (AWC): Unruly Clients: The Trouble with Allies. The first chapter from Rational Theory of International Politics: The Logic of Competition and Cooperation by Charles L. Glaser. Walter Russell Mead on the end of Trilateralism. Are we watching the eclipse of the transatlantic epoch? From FP, Colum Lynch on the revenge of the middle powers. Ian Bremmer on China vs America: fight of the century. Is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization a Sino-Russian counterweight to NATO? An interview with Stephen F. Cohen on US-Russian relations in an age of American triumphalism. The World According to Barack Obama: The new National Security Strategy says more about the views of the man in whose name it was written than it does about what America must do next. From CRB, Angelo M. Codevilla on Why We Don’t Win: Nearly a decade after 9/11, the U.S. government hasn't managed to ensure our peace, safety, and freedom. A review of The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris by Peter Beinart (and more and more and more) and American Dreams: The United States Since 1945 by H.W. Brands. Richard H. Immerman on his book Empire for Liberty: A History of American Imperialism from Benjamin Franklin to Paul Wolfowitz (and more and more). The Siren Song of Pax Americana: A review of The Power Problem: How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe, Less Prosperous, and Less Free by Christopher A. Preble. A review of The Leading Rogue State: The U.S. and Human Rights. From Ethics & Global Politics, Daniele Archibugi and David Chandlerba debate international interventions: When are they a right or an obligation? From The New Yorker, entertainment mogul Haim Saban sets his sights on foreign policy. Zoopolitics: How caged animals became a tool of statecraft.
From the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, a new issue of Crusade magazine is out; and an article on tracing the glorious origins of priestly celibacy. Part fashion bible and part throwdown on all things obnoxiously hip, Gavin McInnes’ Street Boners satirizes the street-style photography phenomenon. A review of "Can There Be a Theory of Law?" by Joseph Raz. Sympathy Deformed: Theodore Dalrymple on how misguided compassion hurts the poor. We the People are the watchers: A new open source-style project promotes Open Source Sensing. With their heads in their hands: Suzanne Menghraj on saints, icons, and presence of mind in the absence of brain. Marc Abrahams on the science of soggy cereals and a lesson in how to compose far less readily digestible patent applications. A review of David Masciotra's Working on a Dream: The Progressive Political Vision of Bruce Springsteen. The quality of English writing has declined, The Spiritual History of English claims, in tandem with a decline in widespread public belief in Christianity. What does the BP oil spill reveal about the global consequences of corporate — and national — risk-taking cultures and preferences? From Freethought Today, an article on the mother of all Daily Show ambushes. From Literary Review, a review of E M Forster: A New Life by Wendy Moffat and Concerning E M Forster by Frank Kermode (and more by Dale Peck at Bookforum). From Print, Rick Poynor on the missing critical history of illustration. Platonic Ideal: An article on the romance and seduction of female friendship. A review of War Without Fronts: The USA in Vietnam by Bernd Greiner. From the Mises Institute, Jeff Riggenbach on Karl Hess and the death of politics. A review of Chomsky Notebook, ed. Jean Bricmont and Julie Franck.