From Ovi, an article on Vico and the nexus between history and the self. From The American Scholar, apologies all around: Today's tendency to make amends for the crimes of history raises the question: where do we stop? From The Chronicle, is women's history history? It might be, if it's not rescued from the legitimate but more-abstract study of gender relations. A review of A History of Histories by John Burrow. Civilisation the sequel: It's nearly 40 years since Kenneth Clark lectured the nation about the history of our culture in the landmark TV series "Civilisation". Now Matthew Collings is about to update that colossus with a four-part documentary. A review of Heroes: From Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar to Churchill and de Gaulle by Paul Johnson. Lewis Lapham Mad Libs! How to write the sentence he has been redrafting for 40 years.
From Time, an article on the death of French culture: The land of Proust, Monet, Piaf and Truffaut has lost its status as a cultural superpower — can it regain its glory? From TLS, a review of books on Nicolas Sarkozy. Passion for justice: An interview with human-rights academic Caroline Fournet, who grew up in a French town haunted by wartime horrors. When Paris suburbs burn: An interview with sociologist Laurent Mucchielli. End of the secret garden: The French used to see a person's private life as sacred, but now Anglo-Saxon "transparency" is taking over. Anthemic themes: If we're no longer urging God to save the Queen, what should be the message of a new national anthem? A review of Scotland the Autobiography: 2,000 Years of Scottish History by Those Who Saw it Happen (and more). A review of Blair Unbound by Anthony Seldon. Where are the anti-fascists? A look at the danger of Germany's strange silence on Ahmadinejad. In Italy since September 11, the dangers of radical Islam were addressed soley by right-wing rabble-rousers — finally Reset magazine has kicked off a proper debate. From The Observer, in an orgy of savage violence Radovan Karadzic's forces slaughtered tens of thousands of Muslims in the Bosnian war. Ed Vulliamy returned to Bosnia to discover why the West has failed so abjectly to bring him to justice (and part 2 and part 3 and part 4). An essay on Edward Said and Kosovo. From Eurozine, normality as materiality: It was eastern Europeans' resourcefulness during times of scarcity that prepared them for the change and ensured the continuity of experience. Looking back now on the "Velvet Revolution" of 1989, things have since gone wrong.
From Arts & Opinion, an article on the rise and fall of Jerzy Kosinski: As a child stigmatized by the war, the adult was the enigma that became the media's favourite game. From Sign and Sight, Bucharest in a trance: Jorg Plath visits Romanian author Mircea Cartarescu, the man who has made Bucharest mystical; and treasure in the mountains: The harsh climate and hostile living conditions in the Urals are proving to be fertile territory for literary minds. A look at the latest trend in immigrant lit: Young Iranian American women are grabbing the spotlight, but they want the attention for the right reasons. The internationally trendy fiction genre known as "chick lit," popularized by Bridget Jones's Diary and "Sex and the City," now has an Indian avatar. A review of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler. The trouble with twit lit: This season's bestsellers reveal the British male is undergoing a surreally extended midlife crisis. Mapping Will Self's mind: The author's "psychogeographical" journeys offer fascinating insights into the sources of his work (and more and more and an interview).
From Newsweek, at last, intel agencies seem to be on the right track about Iran's nuke program — Christopher Dickey goes inside the latest assessment; and a look at the winners and losers after the report. The Gates Keeper: The man in charge of America's warmaking machinery is also the best insurance it won't be used against Iran (and more). A look at how the report has given the military option a new lease of life with the allegation of past proliferation activities. From The Nation, an article on the steps toward a sane relationship between the US and Iran. An excerpt from The Iran Agenda: the Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis by Reese Erlich. From Politics and Culture, a review of Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope by Shirin Ebadi; Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi; and Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America and American in Iran by Azadeh Moaveni. A review of Afghan Women: Identity and Invasion by Elaheh Rostami-Povey. Through a different lens: Female photographers depict their Iran. A review of Opium Season: A Year on the Afghan Frontier by Joel Hafvenstein. A look at how Army social scientists calm Afghanistan, make enemies at home.
From The New Criterion, a special issue on art, including a look at the rise of the "starchitect", and an article on Tom Wolfe, radical un-chic. From NYRB, a review of A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917–1932 by John Richardson. An interview with Umberto Eco, and more and more on On Ugliness. Appetite for Destruction: A review of Modernism: The Lure of Heresy by Peter Gay (and more and more). Art, humanity and the "fourth hunger": Half-awakened, humans are constantly engaged in a battle to make sense of the world and our experiences within it — and a great work of art, especially music, helps us to do just that. Is photography dead? The last art form to be tethered to realism, its factual validity has lately been manipulated and pixelated to the point of extinction. A review of The Writer's Brush: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture by Writers by Donald Friedman.
National Journal asked more than 200 Congressional and Political Insiders how political partisanship can affect the legislative process in Washington (and more on Us versus Them and More of the Same). Doomed to failure: David Gordon reviews Conservatism in America: Making Sense of the American Right by Paul Edward Gottfried. More on Michael Gerson’s Heroic Conservatism. A review of Confronting the New Conservatism: The Rise of the Right in America. Joel Kotkin and Fred Siegel on the gentry liberals: They're more concerned with global warming and gay rights than with lunch-pail joes. Here's the postscript to the new edition of What’s Left? How The Left Lost Its Way by Nick Cohen. Scott McLemee reviews Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman by Cathy Wilkerson. How to really love your country: A Top 5 list of criteria for a better America. An interview with Noam Chomsky on the responsibility of the intellectual. All the News That's Fit to Depress: Staying informed has become a moral obligation that feels like hell.
Andrew Felton Brimmer (Mass): The Political Economy of John Kenneth Galbraith: Glimpses of His Eclectic Academic Life. Brad DeLong reviews Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction by Thomas K. McCraw. From Laissez-Faire, an article on the economics of Alexander Solzhenitsyn. A review of By Force of Thought: Irregular Memoirs of an Intellectual Journey by Janos Kornai. From NYRB, survival of the richest: Robert Solow reviews A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World by Gregory Clark. Blame the Rich: They made us who we are, some researches now say. A review of How Rich Countries Got Rich and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor by Erik Reinert. More on The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. A review of How Capitalism Was Built: The Transformation of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia by Anders Aslund. A review of Invested Interests: Capital, Culture and the World Bank by Bret Benjamin. James D. Wolfensohn says farewell to development’s old divides. From The Economist, the panic about the dollar: A full-blown dollar collapse would be disastrous — thankfully, it need not happen; and how long will the dollar remain the world's premier currency? Could changes in psychology be big enough to tip us into a world recession? From Der Spiegel, a special report on the dollar nosedive: Why America's currency is the world's problem. Who gains when the dollar sinks? US consumers and companies may lose first; other global players stuck with the greenback will soon follow. The dollar is falling, and that’s good news.
From The New Criterion, a review of Literary Essays and Reviews of the 1920s & 30s and Literary Essays and Reviews of the 1930s & 40s by Edmund Wilson. From TNR, James Wolcott reviews Faint Praise: The Plight of Book Reviewing in America by Gail Pool. From The New Yorker, woke up this morning: Why do we read diaries? Louis Menand wants to know. From NYRB, the wand of the enchanter: Michael Dirda reviews The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates, 1973–1982 and Joyce Carol Oates: Conversations, 1970–2006; The Gravedigger's Daughter and The Museum of Dr. Moses: Tales of Mystery and Suspense by Joyce Carol Oates. From Good Magazine, an article on Anne Trubek on the allure of collecting hypermodern literature. What a carve-up: More and more modern classics are appearing "restored", with the handiwork of editors removed — is it mere meddling or vital to understanding authors' intentions. Alan Taylor on the literary world’s excremental fall into depravity. Creating nonfiction: Why does it seem like the only time undergraduates encounter "literary nonfiction" is in composition courses? What’s wrong with the American essay: A review of The Best American Essays 2007. A look at how to write a book really, really fast: It helps to have a supportive girlfriend.
Gregory H. Fox (Wayne State): Humanitarian Occupation. From Democratiya, a review of War Crimes and Just War by Larry May; a review of Terror, Insurgency, and the State: Ending Protracted Conflicts and Understanding Global Terror; a review of Power, Faith, and Fantasy. America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present by Michael B. Oren; an interview with Joshua Muravchik on the neoconservative persuasion and foreign policy; and an interview with Mary Kaldor on new wars and human security. Are human rights more important than American national security? Immanuel Wallerstein investigates. If there was ever a possibility that President George W. Bush would drop bombs on Iran, the chances have now shrunk to nearly zero with the publication of one of the most dramatic National Intelligence Estimates. From the Middle East Policy Council, an essay on diplomacy in the age of terror. John Bolton thinks diplomats are dangerous. An interview with Frank Furedi, author of Invitation to Terror: The Expanding Empire of the Unknown. More on Day of Empire by Amy Chua. An interview with Bill Sammon, author of The Evangelical President: George Bush's Struggle to Spread a Moral Democracy Throughout the World. From the Claremont Institute, an essay on American statecraft and the Iraq War. Iraq's hidden human costs: A review of One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer by Nathaniel Fick Mariner and Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American War by Evan Wright. A review of Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy behind the Military Mind by Nancy Sherman. An interview with Douglas Macgregor, author of Transformation under Fire: Revolutionizing the Way America Fights. From TCS Daily, an article on the logic of torture. From Politics and Culture, a special issue on Guantanamo. A review of The Guantanamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America's Illegal Prison by Andy Worthington. The Radar Guide to CIA Hospitality: A group of former detainees takes you on a tour of the agency's top secret network of interrogation facilities.
From The Chronicle, the constitutional-law professor Bill Murphy didn't plan on being a bold political activist, but that's just where his profession and his integrity took him; a professor at Arizona State University teaches film students how to be socially responsible in their work; when professors and students "friend" each other on Facebook, they are moving into uncharted terrain; and a look at how to get what you want in academe (Hint: Incivility is not the best approach). If University College London founder Jeremy Bentham had a grave he'd be spinning in it, thanks to UCL's investments in the arms trade. A review of St John's College: Faith and Education in Western Canada by J. M. Bumsted. More on Tough Liberal: Albert Shanker and the Battles Over Schools, Unions, Race and Democracy by Richard Kahlenberg. Separation anxiety: Are historically black colleges good for blacks? A review of The Michigan Affirmative Action Cases by Barbara A. Perry. Four year plan: University of Delaware students learn that “diversity” means always having to say you’re sorry. Caught in the Web: A look at how the Internet age has posed a new set of challenges to student newspapers. U.S. News and World Report, as part of its expanded rankings business, unveiled its first list of top high schools. Once a common course offering, consumer math is being phased out as school systems raise their expectations of how much math students should know when they graduate. A look at how free online materials could save schools billions.