From Communio, a special issue on natural law; and Peter Candler (Baylor): The Logic of Christian Humanism. Is every Pontiff a saint? With Pius XII (controversial) and John Paul II (not very) being fitted for halos, the question of a rush to canonization arises. The first chapter from John Paul II For Dummies. From the Catholic Social Science Review, a review of The Way of Life: John Paul II and the Challenge of Liberal Modernity by Carson Holloway; a review of Karol Wojtyla’s Philosophical Legacy; and a review of Ratzinger’s Faith: The Theology of Pope Benedict XVI by Tracey Rowland. Bernard-Henri Levy, writes in defense of Benedict XVI: It is time to put an end to the disingenuousness — the bias, in a word — and the disinformation (and more). John Allen reviews What Happened at Vatican II by John W. O’Malley. A review of John Allen’s The Future Church: How Ten Trends Are Revolutionizing the Catholic Church. As the flame of Catholic dissent dies out, where are the intellectual heirs to a generation of rebels? Mark Shea on the paradox of the neo-Catholic traditionalist. From CT, a review of Chesterton and the Romance of Orthodoxy: The Making of GKC 1874-1908 by William Oddie (and a look at how GKC subverts the subversives). An interview on the possible beatification of G.K. Chesterton. The first chapter from The Difference God Makes: A Catholic Vision of Faith, Communion, and Culture by Francis Eugene Cardinal George. Once you are already Catholic, the Church does in fact answer some questions you may need to ask. What it means to be Catholic: The first chapter from Catholicism For Dummies by John Trigilio and Kenneth Brighenti.
The removal of George W. Bush was not enough to cure what ails us. Thomas Edsall on how realignment was just an illusion. EJ Dionne on Obama's big mistake: Trying to bring the country together. Simon Schama on why Obama should play to populism. David Brooks on the populist addiction. Sam Tanenhaus on making sense of the new political anger. Right-wing flame war: Why are conservatives so freaked out by a blog called Little Green Footballs? Ben McGrath on the rise of Tea Party activism. Unify the new American tea party? An attempt to solidify the tea party movement with a convention is now looking like it could backfire. How to avoid another Waco: Keeping the peace in the 10-year standoff with the armed family compound of John Joe Gray. The Montana group Celebrating Conservatism demands local leaders boot Feds, form militia, protect guns. A very American coup: Coming soon to a hometown near you. A review of David Neiwert's The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Racialized the American Right. From HNN, a new symposium on Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism, including an introduction by David Neiwert and contributions by Robert Paxton, Roger Griffin, Matthew Feldman, Chip Berlet and Michael Ledeen (and more). From Socialism and Democracy, a special issue (2008) on US fascism, including Steve Martinot (SFSU): The Question of Fascism in the United States; Jonathan Scott (BMCC): Why Fascism When They Have White Supremacy?; and Douglas Greene on The Bourgeois Origins of Fascist Repression: On Robert Paxton’s The Anatomy of Fascism. From Studies in Social Justice, Mark Neocleous (Brunel): The Fascist Moment: Security, Exclusion, Extermination. David Art on what to read on fascism. It is Facebook for the fascist set, and the typical profiles reveal expected tastes.
Why aren't we talking about the new accusations of murder at Gitmo? Dahlia Lithwick wants to know. Trevor Butterworth on what we can learn from Cicero: It's the arrangement of the words that counts — take note, Twitter users. Joscelyn Jurich on books in which a character strives for (and in many cases, experiences) the rousing, transformative jolt that is satori. Richard Hansen on how the Supreme Court killed campaign finance reform — turning a corporation into a real live boy, the latest example of a Supreme Court that is increasingly solicitous to the interests of big business. Meatball surgery of the mind: A review of Danger to Self: On the Front Line with an ER Psychiatrist by Paul R. Linde. A review of Secular Cycles by Peter Turchin and Sergey Nefedov. An anthropologist from Mars might note that many people in the Middle East feel about U.S. drone attacks the way Richard Cohen feels toward suicide bombers. A review of Waiting on a Train: The Embattled Future of Passenger Rail Service by James McCommons. A review of The Protest Singer: An Intimate Portrait of Pete Seeger by Alec Wilkinson. How people work: Despite centuries of study, the mechanics of the human body still holds a number of surprises. An interview with Laura Miller, author of The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia. More and more and more on John Ortved's The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History. A review of Seven Deadly Sins: A Very Partial List by Aviad Kleinberg. Counting counties: Wikipedia can make you feel old, rendering the skills of a lifetime obsolete.
Some scientists are convinced life is common in the universe, but intelligence rare; as for how long civilisations last — and stay detectable — few are willing to hazard a guess. An interview with Frank Drake, half a century listening for ET. Grand designs for interstellar travel: What would it take for humans to reach the stars within a lifetime? From The Space Review, an article on space fetishism, space activism’s obsession with technological and ideological saviors (and a response); instruments of God’s creation: Every field has its holy relics, imbued with almost holy significance — space is like that; Jeff Foust on the future of science and human spaceflight; to reach ever further: An article on a mission and a vision for NASA (and more on thinking a little differently at NASA); and why should humans go to Mars? While the aerospace community waits for February when President Obama will announce the 2011 budget, aerospace engineer Robert Zubrin agitates for a manned mission to Mars. Inside Astronaut Boot Camp: What does it take to prep humans for a trip to an asteroid or a martian moon? Why we should not return to the Moon: NASA recently slammed a probe into the Moon and found "abundant" water — but a return to the Moon is pointless. Learning to love the Moon: Emily Bazelon on how to appreciate astronomy. A review of Space Travel and Culture: From Apollo to Space Tourism. The first chapter from Space Exploration For Dummies by Cynthia Phillips and Shana Priwer. Secret Space Shuttles: When you’re 200 miles up, it’s easy to hide what you’re up to.
Imagine, if you will, the study of history without reading — how much a sense of the past could you possibly have? The first chapter from World History For Dummies by Peter Haugen. A review of The Dynamics of Ancient Empires: State Power from Assyria to Byzantium. An interview with Judith Herrin on books on Byzantium. A review of Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades by Jonathan Phillips. The introduction to Power over Peoples: Technology, Environments, and Western Imperialism, 1400 to the Present by Daniel Headrick. An interview with Simon Young on books on the Celts. A review of The Hammer and the Cross: A New History of the Vikings by Robert Ferguson (and more and more). A review of The Virgin Warrior: The Life and Death of Joan of Arc by Larissa Juliet Taylor. A talk with Michael Haag, author of The Templars: The History and the Myth. A review of 1492: The Year the World Began by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto. The European discovery of America opened possibilities for those with eyes to see; but Columbus was not one of them. A review of Amerigo: The Man Who Gave His Name to America by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto. A review of 1688: The First Modern Revolution by Steve Pincus (and more and more and more). The introduction to Before the Deluge: Public Debt, Inequality, and the Intellectual Origins of the French Revolution by Michael Sonenscher. A review of Danton: The Gentle Giant of Terror by David Lawday. The first chapter from Legitimacy and Power Politics: The American and French Revolutions in International Political Culture by Mlada Bukovansky.
From Collegium, a special issue on Happiness: Cognition, Experience, Language. A review of Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness by Ariel Gore. Although no one can be happy who is determined not to be, happiness is not achieved by merely wanting it, much less by getting what you thought you wanted. A review of Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project (and more and more and more). From the mundane to the metaphysical, it may mean different things to different people, but everyone's united in trying to crack the happiness code. Oprah-style pursuit of happiness: As cute as it may be to suggest, Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant will never be an Oprah’s Book Club selection. Where happiness lies: A review essay on books about positive thinking. The miserable results of our quest for happiness: Those who pillage rich traditions for contemporary tastes take the easy but shallow route to happiness. State of joy: Why your country needs you to be happy. Happiness Is: Today, the idea that happiness can indeed be measured and quantified remains at the heart of a new science of happiness. Carol Graham on the economics of happiness. Economists (don’t) prove that money can buy you happiness and news outlets prove they’re crap — actually, maybe economists did prove money can buy happiness. As we begin a new decade with the debris of a once-revered financial system at our feet, we have the chance to re-evaluate our relationship with the money god or risk becoming enslaved to it all over again. Johann Hari on how there is an alternative to our unhealthy culture of overwork.
From The Saturday Evening Post, a look at why America should care about the World Cup. From BBC Magazine, could America take to cricket? From the Navy Times, a look at the perils of being a pirate. An interview with Helen Nissenbaum, author of Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life. Beyond Comprehension: We know that genocide and famine are greater tragedies than a lost dog — at least, we think we do. Garry Kasparov reviews Chess Metaphors: Artificial Intelligence and the Human Mind by Diego Rasskin-Gutman. Martha Nussbaum on sexual orientation and religion. Schtuppin’ with the Stars: The celebrity sex video became a brand enhancer for the likes of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, but the current crop, from an Eric Dane three-way to Colin Farrell’s talky romp, is just plain pathetic. The introduction to Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts by Jonathan Gray. A review of Out of Athens: The New Ancient Greeks by Page duBois. A review of On the Spartacus Road: A Spectacular Journey through Ancient Italy by Peter Stothard. Scientists are arguing that tedium is good for your brain, but some novelists argue that it’s good for your soul. Are we in danger of knowing too much?: Paul Parsons on the dangers of a high-information diet. "21st century syndrome"?: An intriguing diagnosis posits that we live in an age so stressful we can no longer cope. With the absurd, Bushian overreaction to the Christmas Day terrorist attempt, Tyler Brule has come up with a remedy for American stupidity that is altogether brilliant: Boycott the United States.
From Colloquy, a special issue on Violence and Critique, including Carlo Salzani (Melbourne): Violence as Pure Praxis: Benjamin and Sorel on Strike, Myth and Ethics; and Adam Lodders (Monash): Between Violence and Law, Is There a Place for Justice? From Cultura, Nicolae Rambu (Cuza): Nihilism as Axiological Illness; and Alexandru Petrescu (Western): The Rehabilitation of Philosophy as Therapeutics: Martin Heidegger. The debate over Heidegger's politics rages every decade or so, but how did he make it into the curriculum in the first place? (and more and more and more). A review of Holderlin after the Catastrophe: Heidegger — Adorno — Brecht by Robert Savage. From Telos, Alexander Garcia Duttmann on Adorno's American Dream. A review of Emmanuel Levinas on the Priority of Ethics by Joshua James Shaw. From Re.press, you can download Walter Benjamin and the Architecture of Modernity; and download The Italian Difference: Between Nihilism and Biopolitics. A review of Commonwealth by Hardt and Negri (and more) and First as Tragedy, Then as Farce by Slavoj Zizek (and more and more). Slavoj Zizek on multiculturalism, the reality of an illusion. A review of Deleuze, Guattari and the Production of the New. A review of Who Was Jacques Derrida? An Intellectual Biography by David Mikics (and more). A review of Foucault's Law by Ben Golder and Peter Fitzpatrick. A review of Identity Politics in Deconstruction: Calculating with the Incalculable by Carolyn D’Cruz. Simon Critchley, Judith Butler and Jacques Ranciere discuss the importance of critical theory to social movements today.
From CRB, a review of Unrestrained: Judicial Excess and the Mind of the American Lawyer by Robert Nagel and How Judges Think by Richard Posner; and a review of Living Constitution, Dying Faith: Progressivism and the New Science of Jurisprudence by Bradley C.S. Watson (and more). A review of Originalism in American Law and Politics: A Constitutional History by Jonathan O'Neill and Originalism: A Quarter Century of Debate by Steven Calabresi. A review of Joan Biskupic's American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). Eric Posner reviews Justice Kennedy's Jurisprudence: The Full and Necessary Meaning of Liberty by Frank Colluci. From The New Yorker, Lauren Collins on the life of Justice Sonia Sotomayor; and is it too soon to petition the Supreme Court on gay marriage? Margaret Talbot investigates. Power to the People: Do we really want the Supreme Court to follow public opinion? A review of The Oxford Guide to United States Supreme Court Decisions. The first chapter from Beyond the Formalist-Realist Divide: The Role of Politics in Judging by Brian Tamanaha. An interview with Kal Raustiala, author of Does the Constitution Follow the Flag? A review of The Citizen's Constitution: An Annotated Guide by Seth Lipsky (and more). The first chapter from U.S. Constitution For Dummies by Michael Arnheim; and the first chapter from Law For Dummies by John Ventura. From The Jury Expert, "don't poke Scalia!": Lessons for trial lawyers from the nation's highest court; and a look at why jurors turn to the Internet.
From The Brock Review, a special issue on Madness Manifest: Creativity, art and the margins of mental health. The Supreme Court's decision to roll back campaign-finance reform does more than just open the spigots for corporate cash — it also exposes the judicial activism of the Roberts Court. A review of The Devil in the Holy Water, or the Art of Slander from Louis XIV to Napoleon by Robert Darnton. Flesh Mob: Tired of the no-kill dogma, New York’s vegetarians have come down with some serious bloodlust. From The New Yorker, a series of articles on the President’s first three hundred and sixty-five days. Serfing the Net: Astra Taylor wonders whether dispersed creativity is really free — or just cheap. Greg Milner reviews Just Kids by Patti Smith (and more and more and more and more and more and more). A review of In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing by Matthew E. May. Hijacking health care reform isn’t enough, it turns out — now the Fetus People have to take on college football. From Good, here's a guide to slowing down. Edward Rothstein on the 1602 world map created by the Italian-born Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci, which places China at its center. From Military Times, J. Ford Huffman on the best military books of the decade. Why do so many people buy into the ridiculous notion that a daily diet of current events is anything other than a mindless — though perhaps harmless — form of amusement? From Cato Unbound, Douglas Rasmussen on Ayn Rand, answers and some questions for discussion. An interview with Jason Fry, co-author of Star Wars: The Essential Atlas.