From The Nation, a review of The Blue Hour: A Life of Jean Rhys by Lilian Pizzichini (and more at Bookforum). From The New Criterion, the sovereign ghost of Wallace Stevens: William Logan on the poet's place in the American pantheon. Where the Wild Things Weren’t: Maurice Sendak’s classic may be one of those books that are appreciated more in theory, or by adults, than by actual kids. One of the least coveted prizes in literature is the "Bad Sex" award in fiction; if Electric Feather: The Tranquebar Book of Erotic Stories finds a British publisher, Indians will have another shot at that prize (and here are 5 steps to writing successful erotic fiction). With sci-fi filling up every corner of cinema and TV and mainstream literature borrowing its ideas freely, where next for the literary tradition that started the cultural phenomenon? More on Selina Hastings's The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham. From TNR, a review of The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. More and more on A New Literary History of America by Greil Marcus and Werner Sollors. From n+1, Marco Roth on the rise of the neuronovel. From Vanity Fair, in a previously unpublished short story by Kurt Vonnegut, the small town of Crocker’s Falls is turned upside down by a revealing roman a clef. From TLS, a review of Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead by Paula Byrne. A review of Ulysses and Us: The Art of Everyday Life in Joyce’s Masterpiece by Declan Kiberd. From Harper's, why should we look for comfort in poetry? A review of Why Poetry Matters by Jay Parini. A review of The Unraveling Archive: Essays on Sylvia Plath.
An invitation to the many worlds of childhood: The introduction to The Child. Parenting for smarties: A review of NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman (and more and more and more). Good luck raising that gender-neutral child: An interview with Lise Eliot, author of Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps — and What We Can Do About It (and more). A review of Partnership Parenting: How Men and Women Parent Differently by Kyle Pruett and Marsha Kline Pruett. Married writers Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman publish revealing accounts of parenthood. Freestyle fatherhood: An interview with Simon Carr, author of The Boys Are Back. Emily Bazelon writes in defense of the play date: They don't have to be occasions for mothers to silently judge one another. Whose kids are healthier?: A British study says children of working moms don't eat as well as kids whose mothers stay home. Patricia Busa McConnico on overscheduled children. Lara Vanderkam on the myth of the overscheduled child. A review of Let Kids Be Kids: Rescuing Childhood by Mary Muscari. How do parents and teachers instill the proper level of guilt in a child? A look at how universal concerns, not cultural values, may shape kids’ developing notions of right and wrong. The defiant ones: In today’s picture books, the kids are in charge. Are your kids watching enough TV? How the self-esteem generation is raising its children by looking in the mirror. A review of How to Ditch Your Allowance and Be Richer Than Your Parents! by Patti Handy. Not doing it for the kids: The child-free life can be great — why is it almost always presented as second-best, cold and empty?
Just how relevant is political science? Even critics of Sen. Tom Coburn’s proposal acknowledge that political scientists themselves vigorously debate the field’s direction. The crisis of public management: Jeffrey Sachs on the failing U.S. government and why nothing less than an overhaul of the systems that implement federal policies will suffice. Against transparency: Lawrence Lessig on the perils of openness in government (and more). Thomas Frank on the "predator state": It is corporate power, not the government, that we need to worry about. From ex-lobbyist to market watchdog: Why is an ex-lobbyist for an Enron-like firm that manipulated energy prices in line to be a top regulator? Spectacular sellout: As a politician, Dick Gephardt was a champion of progressive reform — now he lobbies for its enemies. From Supreme Allied Commander to ethanol front man: A look at the strange journey of Wesley Clark. Eliot Spitzer on why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce must be stopped — here's how to do it (and more). James Surowiecki on how climate change is shaking up business lobbying. The new progressive CEOs: In a recession, there are few global-warming-denying libertarians in the boardroom. The Obama Recession: When do we stop blaming Bush for the bad economy? Conservatives claim the stimulus has already failed, but it has barely started. Desperate Times: How to stimulate the economy without passing another stimulus. We can afford a second stimulus: As long as unemployment remains high, and interest rates are at rock-bottom lows, the prudent thing for government to do is keep on spending.
From Esquire, a radical solution to end the drug war: Legalize everything. How did New York City become the pot-arrest capital of the country? Get stoked: the MSM are acting less childish about pot. A review of The Candy Machine: How Cocaine Took Over the World by Tom Feiling. From the Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture, Jennifer Cobbina (UMSL): Race and Class Differences in Print Media Portrayals of Crack Cocaine and Methamphetamine; a review of Lies, Damned Lies, and Drug War Statistics by Matthew Robinson and Renee Scherlen; and an article on The Absence of Gay and Lesbian Police Officer Depictions in the First Three Decades of the Core Cop Film Genre. The first chapter from Cop in the Hood: My Year Policing Baltimore's Eastern District by Peter Moskos. Michael Bond on why cops should trust the wisdom of the crowds. The first chapter from When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment by Mark A. R. Kleiman (and a review). Steve Salerno on the flaws and fallacies of the American justice system. Eyewitness testimony is both fallible and irreplaceable — how can we know when to trust it? From Monthly Review, a look at how the role of penal state spending is crucial to understanding the developing crisis of U.S. class society. One in 35 Americans are caught up in the corrections system and incarceration is on the rise — why is this when the crime rate has dropped so remarkably? An interview with Diego Gambetta, author of Codes of the Underworld: How Criminals Communicate. Why would criminals withhold details of their crimes, and can they be made to reveal all?
From Contemporary Review, an interview with the Netherlands' controversial politician Geert Wilders. Immigrant Muslims in Belleville: This multicultural corner of Paris confounds the idea of Europe ultimately being run by an Islamic majority and shows that a melange is more likely. The first chapter from Can Islam Be French? Pluralism and Pragmatism in a Secularist State by John R. Bowen. More and more and more and more on Christopher Caldwell's Reflections on the Revolution in Europe. Will Prime Minister Zapatero's visit to the White House give Spain a nudge on the international stage? From Standpoint, how frightening is a failing democracy? If you want to find out, you don't need to look far — you only have to go to Italy. Setback for Silvio Berlusconi as court lifts his immunity — but why do Italians keep voting for him, and will he ever give up? (and more) Here are five reasons why Italian should be Europe's lingua franca. As Hermann-mania returns to a wary Germany 2000 years after his victory, Clay Risen considers the search for national identity in a post-national age. Who is a European? There are simple, intuitive answers, but the deeper response is still evolving, says Timothy Garton Ash. A review of The European Union and World Politics: Consensus and Division. A new issue of Europe's World is out. Europe-a-Dope: The European Union is becoming ever stronger, and no one seems to care. A look at how Czech president Vaclav Klaus became Europe's public enemy number one. From Strange Maps, a look at Europe, sunny side up. The constitution in verse: Brussels "city poets" slam EU.
From Utne, a special issue on 50 visionaries who are changing your world. Mad about "Mad Men": A review of Kings of Madison Avenue by Jesse McLean. From VQR, a review of Armenian Golgotha by Grigoris Balakian and Black Dog of Fate: A Memoir by Peter Balakian. As Obama grapples with Afghanistan, the final interviews with Robert McNamara and McGeorge Bundy offer the lessons of Vietnam. A review of Roy Sorensen's Seeing Dark Things: The Philosophy of Shadows. From TPM, Daniel Frampton takes a filmosophical view of David Lynch; and while exploring sounds, audition, and sense modalities other than vision contributes to understanding the nature of perception and of its objects, it also reveals difficulties. The "graphic novel" is a great marketing gimmick — so grown-ups can buy comics about men in flashy briefs, unabashedly. Morgan Meis on ''The Legend of Sleepy Hollow'', a bridge between the old myths and the ones yet-to-be-written — oh, and good for Halloween. Imagine how much better you’d feel waking up to next month with your favourite calendar girl: Miss November, Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. From Commentary, a review of Lionel Trilling and Irving Howe: And Other Stories of Literary Friendship by Edward Alexander and The Conservative Turn: Lionel Trilling, Whittaker Chambers, and the Lessons of Anti-Communism by Michael Kimmage. Quirky convergence of two unrelated events is made possible by a new Web site, the Book of Odds. íHola, Hezbollah! How Lebanese mullah Sheikh Hassan al-Burji found happiness in Paraguay.
From World, Bertrand Russell's "firm foundation of unyielding despair" was tragically odd: "One great benefit of going to a good Christian college is that you read important bad books with the help of wise Christian scholars"; and are we being infiltrated and surrounded by people who want us dead and our country destroyed? Republicans are in the grip of an apocalyptic rapture cult centered on revenge and vindication: An excerpt from Frank Schaeffer's Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism). From Religion Dispatches, more on Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party by Max Blumenthal; and a look at how Mormonism built Glenn Beck. John Richardson on the communist connection Glenn Beck doesn't want to talk about (and more). Truther consequences: Meet Alex Jones, the next Glenn Beck. Tea for You: Fans of limited government have taken their lumps lately, and unfortunately, one “tea party” does not a revolution make. For a bogeyman, ACORN sure is small: What's missing from the news media's ACORN stories is any sense of proportion. ACORN is just the latest example of how conservative media love to blast the Times for its shortcomings — so why can’t they live up to the Gray Lady’s standards? A look a how the media push false equivalency between Left and Right rage. Obama's right: It's time to stop taking Fox's skewed news seriously. Liberals, lay off Obama: The left should stop complaining the president hasn’t accomplished anything. Nancy Rosenblum on anything but partisanship: Anti-partyism, bipartisanship, and the luster of independence.
A review of Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places by Bill Streever (and more and more and more). Here are ten differences between the north and south poles. A review of The Magnetic North: Notes from the Arctic Circle by Sara Wheeler. From Wired, an article on hunting Arctic asteroid impact with hovercraft. The Melting Arctic: An article on maths and climate change. A new study finds Arctic land and seas account for up to 25 percent of world's carbon sink, has potential to alter Earth's climate. Change has come to the Arctic; Jess Worth visits an Alaskan village and finds lives being turned inexorably upside down. Life in a cold climate: How Sara Wheeler is shaking up Arctic exploration. One year on: How Iceland is coping with a broken economy (Icelandic architects are finding work in Canada). Is Iceland perhaps too small to be sustainable as a sovereign state? Undersized: Could Greenland be the new Iceland? Oil on ice: Will Greenland become the Nigeria of the Arctic? An article on Greenland as the suicide capital of the world. Blogger Olga Stefanova shows life in Antarctic wilderness. An article on the Russian Orthodox Trinity Church on King George Island in the Antarctic. Regional cooperation at the Third Pole: An article on the Himalayan-Tibetan Plateau and climate change. The thaw at the roof of the world: The slow-motion demise of Baishui Glacier No. 1 on the Tibetan Plateau will have far-reaching consequences. One damn peak after another: A review of Fallen Giants: A History of Himalayan Mountaineering from the Age of Empire to the Age of Extremes by Maurice Isserman and Stewart Weaver.
From Education Next, a review of The Path to Purpose: Helping Our Children Find Their Calling in Life by William Damon; and more on Charles Murray's Real Education. A review of The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education by Kathryn Ecclestone. A review of Hope and Despair in the American City: Why There Are No Bad Schools in Raleigh by Gerald Grant. Arrogant or dynamic, harsh or honest? Inside the mind of Michelle Rhee, D.C.'s controversial schools chief (and more on Rhee). E.D. Hirsch Jr. on how schools fail democracy. An interview with Ruben Gaztambide-Fernandez, author of The Best of the Best: Becoming Elite at an American Boarding School. An article on looking for solutions to the Catholic-school crisis. An excerpt from Write These Laws On Your Children: Inside the World of Conservative Christian Homeschooling by Robert Kunzman. Kitchen-classroom conservatives: An article on the growth of home-schooling. From Harper's, dehumanized: When math and science rule the school. Cooking the books: Why we need home economics (back) in schools. The unimportance of gym class: Still the most worthless of high school requirements. The grim reader: Should classroom books reflect the tough realities of life, or is there still a place for escapism? Why not take a look at what school would be like if books, teachers and administrators were honest? Teacher Cooperatives: What happens when teachers run the school? The Rubber Room: Steven Brill on the battle over New York City’s worst teachers. Teach for America gets a timeout: A union wins a victory against TFA, but can it be replicated nationwide?
Dominic Lasorsa and Jia Dai (UT-Austin): When News Reporters Deceive: The Production of Stereotypes. Zines Are Dead: A look at the six deadly sins that killed zinery. Imagination takes flight: An article on the life and mind of Antoine de Saint-Exupery. From The Atlantic Monthly, a cover story on twenty-seven people with courageous ideas — from relocating endangered species to hiring autistics to printing loads of money — that are shaping our future. Don’t read that: Julia Keller on the secret lives of book banners. From "Twilight" to "True Blood" and now "The Vampire Diaries", is it vampires that so many American women love or just gay men? Make believe mementos: Significant Objects turns cast-aside knickknacks into sought-after heirlooms — through the power fiction. Barack Obama's Work in Progress: What if Obama’s first and truest calling — his desire to write — explains more about him than anything else? Three tweets for the Web: Welcome the new world with open arms — and browsers. The new buck starts here: It's time to give American bills a makeover. Greed is not good, and it’s not capitalism: Capitalism doesn’t need greed — what capitalism does need is human creativity and initiative. From Outlook India, an interview with Amartya Sen: “I prefer to fight today’s battles”. Jonathan Chait on the case against awards: Why the wrong person always wins. What did the Founders argue about? Healthcare. Form Business Week, a special report on How We Buy. As well as good stories, Judy Blume also tells vital truths to young teenagers — and she's battled heroically against those who want to stop them being told.