A new issue of Common-place is out. From Eurozine, an interview with Mike Davis on the new ecology of war. Jeff Madrick on how the entire economics profession failed: At the annual meeting of American economists, most everyone refused to admit their failures to prepare or warn about the second worst crisis of the century. Here are five things Google could do for newspapers (and more). Getting the economy back on its feet, giving taxpayers a break, saving your retirement fund and your kid's college tuition? Done — and it won't cost you a penny. Dickonomics: A look at how 5 everyday businesses trick you. The Obliging Order: An article on William F. Buckley’s war on totalitarianism and blandness. The War on Rhetoric: When politicians declare war on something, it's not usually a good sign. John Judis worries that Obama doesn't realize just how bad things are. An interview with Len Fisher, author of Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life. We've come undone: The short history of an un-trend. A review of The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America by Steven Johnson (and more and more and an interview). From JBooks.com, an article on Heinrich Heine, father of Secular Judaism; the medium shapes the message, and that is as true for Torah as for anything else; and Ken Gordor on being a marginally Jewish reader.


A new issue of Print is out. Damon Linker on Liberalism: Political and/or metaphysical? Who are you calling anti-Semitic? Slavoj Zizek responds to TNR's critiques. From Prospect, one two three articles on Israel and Gaza. Onward Christian Zionists: Rod Liddle on the crazed, quasi-fascist evangelicals in Britain and America who believe war in Gaza heralds the Second Coming of Christ. An interview with Loretta Napoleoni, author of Terror Inc: Tracing the Money Behind Global Terrorism. Experts on how the incoming administration should deal with the legal legacy of the war on terrorism. The Enigma in Chief: We still don't know how or why Bush made the key decisions of his administration. Can political speeches make a difference? The geeks behind Obama's Web strategy: A group of Boston geeks helped Barack Obama turn the Web into the ultimate political machine; will he use it now to reinvent government? Can the new president's team of no-life, sleep-is-for-wimps workaholics last for four whole years? How can you tell if you're an Obama insider? Follow these simple rules. Hack your brain: How to hallucinate with ping-pong balls and a radio. From Sirens, an article on the recession as birth control. Reinventing morality: Evolutionary biology and neuroscience are adding to our understanding of a historically unscientific area. Never ask a gay man for directions.


Marko A. Rodriguez and Vadas Gintautas (LANL) and Alberto Pepe (UCLA): A Grateful Dead Analysis: The Relationship Between Concert and Listening Behavior. An article on the Edgar Allan Poe Bicentennial: The real horror story is how poorly he's taught in schools. Extending Darwinism: Is there more to heredity, natural selection, and evolution than genes and DNA? A review of Banquet at Delmonico's: Great Minds, the Gilded Age, and the Triumph of Evolution in America by Barry Werth (and more from Bookforum). Barney’s Great Adventure: The most outspoken man in the House gets some real power. From The New York Observer, meet the Media Mensches, 2009; and it's geek to you, but not to them: Meet the early adopters. Why we are hard-wired to become attached to a particular piece of land — and how these primal tendencies may be playing out in Israeli-Palestinian disputes. The introduction to Shaping Strategy: The Civil-Military Politics of Strategic Assessment by Risa Brooks. Paul Kennedy on how American power is on the wane. Cutting-edge legal mind Lawrence Lessig turns to an age-old problem: corruption. From Reason, chiefs, thieves, and priests: An interview with Matt Ridley on the causes of poverty and prosperity; and would you have been a Nazi? A new test of Milgram's obedience experiment asks if it can still happen here.


From The Wilson Quarterly, P. W. Singer on Robots at War: The New Battlefield (and a review of Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century from Bookforum). A review of Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry by P. W. Singer. From Mother Jones, why the mess Obama inherits might be his greatest opportunity; and forget FDR — Reagan is the presidential role model Obama needs now (and more). As a politician, Lincoln's greatness lay in his capacity for growth — can Obama follow suit? Eric Foner wonders (and more). Chucky Taylor was an ordinary suburban teenager — until he went to live with his father, one of Africa's most brutal dictators; how did a kid from Orlando end up as the first U.S. citizen on trial for torture abroad? An article on mass suffering and why we look the other way. Children of the Left, Unite! A new anthology of radical children’s literature shows that Marxist principles have been dripping steadily into the minds of American youth for more than a century. An excerpt from Frontiers: A Short History of the American West by Robert V. Hine and John Mack Faragher. The importance of being honest: The wild claim that Oscar Wilde sexually abused children is just another bout of hero-bashing. Gentle Jason Ashlock ignores recession, opens literary shop in the Hamptons.


From Dissent, Michael Walzer on the Gaza war and proportionality. Doing the math to find the good jobs: Mathematicians land top spot in new ranking of best and worst occupations. Obama's appointees will soon be at hand; the following is a guide to surviving the confirmation process. From FP, a roundtable on Samuel Huntington’s legacy. In Granada, home of the Alhambra and former center of Moorish Spain, a multicultural revival is taking shape that sees Christians and Muslims coexisting in mutual respect. A review of Nylon and Bombs: DuPont and the March of Modern America by Pap Ndiaye; and a review of books on Garibaldi. Jefferson vs. Plato: If one is searching for the causes of today's moral crisis, it is the premises of giants one should examine, not those of midgets. From Cato Unbound, William Burns on The Path Well Taken: Making the right decisions about risks from terrorism. From Ceasefire, an interview with Noam Chomsky. Reading the Signs: Gestural politics and disturbing reality at a Paris Metro stop. From CJR, in his finest work, Norman Mailer applied subjective journalism to the powerful, and to himself. From Cosmos, a look at five catastrophes that could wipe out civilisation. An excerpt from Snark by David Denby (and interview). Beyond the nine planets: We are only beginning to discover how vast and strange our solar system truly is.


From The National Interest, Richard Perle on being Ambushed on the Potomac. Body Count Nation: It may finally be 2009, but in some ways, given these last years, it might as well be 800 BCE. American Rimbaud: An interview with Steve Richmond, meat poet. The standard story is that prevention saves health-care dollars, but if we're to get better at averting illness, we're going to have to spend more. Savings and Moan: Americans are finally stashing more money away — and that’s a bad thing. An interview with Stephen Baker, author of The Numerati. Of course Tintin's gay. Ask Snowy. Watching Plain People: Among the busloads of tourists that spill every day into Pennsylvania Dutch country. More on Benny Morris' 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War. An interview with Matt Miller, author of The Tyranny of Dead Ideas: Letting Go Of The Old Ways Of Thinking To Unleash A New Prosperity. A review of The Chicagoan: A Lost Magazine of the Jazz Age by Neil Harris. Time for a cull in the art world: The art world is plunging, along with the rest of the economy — hooray. Moguls of Winnipeg: Two books examine the controversial Asper media legacy. Clive Thompson on how YouTube changes the way we think. Is the Web helping us evolve? The truth lies somewhere between "Google is making us stupid" and "the Internet will liberate humanity".


Jeffrey Sims (Bishop's): Seeking a Mnemonic Turn: Interior Reflections in Gadamer's Post-Platonic Thought. From The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Robert Higgs (II): The Complex Course of Ideological Change and Viktor J. Vanberg (Freiburg): On the Economics of Moral Preferences. From Foreign Policy, an interview with Art Lerner-Lam on the world’s disaster hot spots; a look at the worst places to be a terrorist; and a photo essay on the people caught in between. Philosophical dispute as a way of life, then and now: A review of The Philosopher in Early Modern Europe: The Nature of a Contested Identity by Conrad Condren, Stephen Gaukroger, and Ian Hunter. More and more on The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul  by Patrick French (and more from NYRB; and more from Bookforum). Will investing ever make sense again? Yes, if you stop thinking short term. From Democratiya, an interview with Matthias Kuntzel, author of Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11. More on The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 by Paul Krugman. More on The Kingdom of Infinite Space: A Fantastical Journey Around Your Head by Raymond Tallis. From TLS, a review of books on Emily Dickinson. Jonathan Wolff on how philosophers' working practices have changed.


From First Principles, a review of Anita Clair Fellman's Little House, Long Shadow: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Impact on American Culture; and an excerpt from George Panichas’s Restoring the Meaning of Conservatism: Writings from Modern Age. Timothy Noah on how Amazon cons the press. Jack Shafer on how newspapers tried to invent the Web — but failed. Interracial Babies-R-Us: Time for everyone to get over the novelty of mixed-race babies and relationships. From The Sun, Lois Judson is not a sex goddess. Our past within us: The new field known as archeogenetics is illuminating prehistory. A review of Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West by Deanne Stillman. Dalton Conley reviews Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (and more and more). From Mental Floss, a look at 5 vastly overrated historical events; and some wars seem to go on forever, and others actually do — here are a few wars that have outlasted entire generations of people (and three really short ones). A Tribe Apart: Afghan elites face a corrosive past. A review of Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground, The Red Army Faction, and Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies by Jeremy Varon. The Public Lending Right means that every time you take a book out of the library, you make its author just a little bit happier. 


From New Left Review, Peter Gowan argues that the origins of the global financial crisis lie in the dynamics of the New Wall Street System that has emerged since the 1980s; Francis Mulhern on the idea of culture in Raymond Williams’s classic work, and discrepant readings of it, fifty years on; a former MEP discusses the actual workings of the Europarliament, and the realities of "European construction" in the realm of culture; Peter Campbell writes on the aesthetics, ethics and technology of war photography; and Fredric Jameson reviews Christoph Henning's Philosophie nach Marx. View from Behind: Mainstream culture used to consider a big butt "lowly" and "vulgar", so why is it now the standard of beauty? Here are accounts of some of the lives lost this year whose effect during their time here will outlast the pulp of newspapers are printed on. Irrational Economic Man: If human beings are naturally risk-averse, then what the heck happened on Wall Street? For consumers, interactive entertainment is an opportunity — for critics, it’s a challenge. Common Cause: Abbas Mmilani on real help for Iranian democrats. How Bush Broke the Government: To gain a true sense of Bush's legacy, TAP surveys the systematic and politically motivated ways he undermined the federal government. A review of The Theology of Money by Philip Goodchild.


From History and Policy, John Tosh (Roehampton): Why History Matters; Ludmilla Jordanova (King's): How History Matters Now; and John Arnold (Birkbeck): Why History Matters - and Why Medieval History Also Matters. Government leaders fret about ongoing conflicts and economic crisis, but few admit that a climbing population exacerbates any problems. A review of The End of Ethics in a Technological Society by Lawrence E. Schmidt and Scott Marratto. Who said students today were apathetic? They have simply found new ways to protest, and new targets. The first chapter from Heroes and Cowards: The Social Face of War by Dora L. Costa and Matthew E. Kahn. A review of Screening Sex by Linda Williams. Discounts on democracy in Europe: Who should determine how one self-determines? The Nature-Nurture Debate, Redux: Genetic research finally makes its way into the thinking of sociologists. Johann Hari reviews American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau. Who Would Jesus Smack Down? Seattle minister Mark Driscoll is out to transform American evangelicalism with his macho conception of Christ and neo-Calvinist belief in the total depravity of man. An interview with Ronald Aronson, author of Living Without God: New Directions for Atheists, Agnostics, Secularists, and the Undecided.

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