A new issue of Plus is out. A review of Leonard Zeskind's Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream (and more and more). Columnists are supposed to be provocative and contrarian — in Canada, nobody does it better than Terence Corcoran. Rush Limbaugh's race to the bottom: Bend over, grab your ankles and submit to a mind-blowing rundown of the radio bully's obsessive butt talk! From TLS, a review of books on Abraham Lincoln. A look at why we should start worrying and learn to fear the bomb again (and a response). Sweet Truth: Appreciations of ice cream and cake celebrate the deliciously fattening over the guiltily consumed fake. A review of The Classical Trivium: The Place of Thomas Nashe in the Learning of His Time by Marshall McLuhan and The Medium and the Light: Reflections on Religion by Marshall McLuhan. Crisis, what crisis? Philip Stephens on how the market confounds the left. Everything Is Illuminati: Why can't the Catholic Church shake free of a 200-year-old conspiracy theory? Michael Shermer on why people believe invisible agents control the world. For a futurist, the author and political analyst George Friedman doesn't have a whole lot new to say. The Newt Bomb: How a pulp-fiction fantasy became a GOP weapons craze.
From New Internationalist, a special issue on multiculturalism. Until Logic Did Them Apart: Jonathan Chait on the definitive case against gay marriage critics. Revenge of the Nerd: Paul Wilmott is out to save Wall Street's soul — one dork at a time. The Economist on Paul Krugman's London lectures on the crisis in the economy and in economics. Wendy Grossman finds a solution to the financial crisis in Uranus. From Jewcy, an article on Jews in the world at the end of philo-Semitism; and a look at how to save Judaism: Better marketing! God is merciful, but only if you're a man: Jew, Christian or Muslim, whatever the faith, women are still treated with disdain or worse. A review of Seven Deadly Sins: A Very Partial List by Aviad Kleinberg. Confessions of a Non–Serial Killer: Conspiracy theories are all fun and games until you become the subject of one. Ron Rosenbaum on why the 2012 cult is a silly scam. All the Letters Fit to Print: A longstanding rivalry between old friends shows what it takes to get into the New York Times. Alex Gibney on Gitmo Solutions: Super size them! A review of Eiffel’s Tower: And the World’s Fair Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a Count by Jill Jonnes and Paris from the Ground Up by James H. S. McGregor.
From Democracy, Michael Lind on the Case for Goliath: FDR understood that when it comes to business, big is beautiful — for workers, consumers, and the economy; the moral market: The recession and its free-market-on-steroids causes provide progressives the opportunity to start a new culture war of our own; Mission Not Accomplished: Meet the press — and see why it failed at several critical points during the Iraq War; we can abandon Bushism — and still care how states treat their people; a review of human rights reports; Marcy Darnovsky on why progressives can't — and shouldn't — remove politics and values from science; a review of books on the Supreme Court; Ronald Brownstein reviews books on politics; and Jonathan Rauch reviews The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities Throughout American History by Patrick Allitt. From TNR's "The Stash", a look at the economics of high-end prostitution. The Peace Plus One Social Club: The Walrus goes inside the budding Chinese environmental movement; and an an inconvenient talk: A look at Dave Hughes’s guide to the end of the fossil fuel age. Six experts discuss the merits of framing climate change, the language that troubles them, and the inherent bias of any chosen word. Plato at the Union: The mediocre man has some notions about many things.
A new issue of Symmetry is out. From The New Yorker, can Leon Panetta move the C.I.A. forward without confronting its past? Jane Mayer investigates; Hendrik Hertzberg on the Obama Effect: A different push for change in the Middle East; will gas prices pump up inflation? James Surowiecki wonders; and a review of Matthew B. Crawford's Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work (and more and more) and Richard Sennett's The Craftsman (and more from Bookforum). From Literary Review, John Gray reviews Enlightening: Letters 1946-1960 by Isaiah Berlin; and a review of Anna Letitia Barbauld: Voice of the Enlightenment by William McCarthy. Is France on the verge of another May '68? Liberating lipsticks and lattes: The Coming Insurrection, a book which predicts the imminent collapse of capitalist culture, has developed a small but devoted following. From Slate, could a personalized magazine help save print media?; and the beginning of the end for newspapers: It was game over for metro dailies by 1965. Share the responsibility: Blogs need to get together if they ever hope to replace the newspaper. How can bands prove their counterculture bonafides when their main forum for advertising, MySpace pages, are the product of an enormous corporate conglomerate?
From TNR, a review of Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America by John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev; and David Thomson reviews Kazan on Directing. From Slate, wrong commencement speakers: Don't invite people who succeeded — invite people who failed; and politicians make lousy commencement speakers — hire a celebrity instead. What ever happened to the live album? Web video has made recorded concert albums nearly obsolete. A review of Think Like a Champion: An Informal Education in Business and Life by Donald Trump. Why is there so much unemployment in a depression? Richard Posner investigates. If such trends continue, new subspecies may develop that are unable to understand one another. A review of Embodied: Victorian Literature and the Senses by William A. Cohen. A review of Evolutionary Psychology as Maladapted Psychology by Robert C. Richardson. A review of The Letters of Samuel Beckett, 1929-1940 (and more from Bookforum). From Splice Today, were Boswell alive today, he might be trolling social networking sites for biographical research; and proof that blogs are the future: The New York State Senate’s website has incorporated bloggers and new media, resulting in one of the most impressive, and functional, government portals.
From Slate, John Dickerson on the logic of empathy: How Obama is like Spock; it's not just liberals who play the empathy card; and a look at why conflating judicial empathy with gender is bad for both women and the law. Our Failing Academic-Industrial Complex: The de-centering of individual departments has made liberal arts education a purely self-serving industry. Great Caesar’s Ghost: Are traditional history courses vanishing? Books are at the vanguard: The dramatic rise in e-readers has redeemed the power of the book. It isn’t just newspapers: Much of the established news industry is being blown away, yet news is thriving. From The Weekly Standard, Harvey Mansfield reviews Soft Despotism, Democracy's Drift: Montesquieu, Rousseau, Tocqueville and the Modern Prospect by Paul A. Rahe. An article on conservative magazines: Their vision isn’t the G.O.P.’s. Obama's Center-Left Two-Step: How much longer can the president keep sending different messages to different audiences? What does it mean to be sexy? Raju Peddada wants to know. Inalienable right to excessively noisy sex: The lunacy that led to a 48-year-old housewife being arrested for "shouting and groaning". Susan Flockhart on the myth of having it all. An interview with Richard Seymour, author of The Liberal Defence of Murder.
From Review of International Political Economy, a special issue on the American School of IPE. William Galston on the shifting cultural mainstream. What happened to German literature during the second world war? Toxic assets and English syntax: An interview with Aleksandar Hemon, author of Love and Obstacles. The worst way to die: An article on torture practices of the ancient world. An article on the Reaganites self-inflicted recession. Fareed Zakaria on the Capitalist Manifesto: Greed is good (to a point). A review of The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. From The Nation, a review essay on Cuba. New research suggests that as America has become more segregated by class, the power of place has exacerbated the participatory bias in American politics. A review of Foundation: B-Boys, B-Girls, and Hip-Hop Culture in New York by Joseph G. Schloss. The New York Fed is incredibly powerful and a total mess — here's how to fix it. What will happen when the baobab goes global? The Gladwell Method: One part unrelated anecdotal evidence + Two parts misunderstood historical theories + One part mundane conclusions = The world’s foremost McSociologist. An article on Malcolm Gladwell, the future of the media.
From Conversations with History, an interview with Jeremy Waldron on dignity, human rights, and torture; and an interview with John Perry on the problem of identity. A Defense of the Unreasonable: If you want to understand President Obama's soul, read his books, but if you want to understand his beliefs, read John Rawls. From TAC, David Bromwich on how Burkean conservatism must be as much about civil liberties as property rights; and John Mearsheimer on saving Israel from itself: The creation of a Palestinian homeland is in the Jewish state’s best interest, but will Obama make the case? An excerpt from Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States by Trita Parsi. Laura Secor on Iran’s stolen election. Do elections expose weak states to too much foreign influence? The first chapter from The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates by Peter T. Leeson. If gay marriage isn't such a big deal anymore, then maybe the religious right isn't, either. Who controls the Internet? The United States, for now, and a good thing, too. Here are six ways the financial bailout scams taxpayers. Jim Hightower on why Goldman Sachs is the greediest and most dastardly of the Wall Street pigs. A best sport city contest draws fans worldwide.
From Metapsychology, a review of Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion; a review of Copernicus, Darwin and Freud: Revolutions in the History and Philosophy of Science by Friedel Weinert; and a review of Science Talk: Changing Notions of Science in American Culture by Daniel Patrick Thurs. An interview with Blake Bailey, author of Cheever: A Life (and more; and a review at Bookforum). The Forever Virgins: Even before the Catholic Church had nuns, it had consecrated virgins — and, today, women are choosing and reviving this largely forgotten vocation. Still looking for the western feminists: Women who believe liberal values exploit their sexuality have something much greater to fear — the jackboot of dictatorship. An interview with Ian Bremmer on the rise of state capitalism. A review of The Richness of Art Education by Howard Cannatella. Should we defer to Aristotle or Plato on the potatoness of Pringles, or ask a child? (and a review of Potato: A History of the Propitious Esculent by John Reader). From ARPA, a review of books on unions in the US and Australia. From SSIR, an interview with Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation. Decline and fall: What the Roman Empire and the newspaper industry have in common.
From New York, sex, jazz, and Datsuns: 1959 was a year that left its mark — many marks — on the city and the world. A review of Matteo Pasquinelli's Animal Spirits: A Bestiary of the Commons. Who was Abdul Wahhab? The life of the Islamic cleric who shaped Saudi Arabia. Tony Wright may not be the best known member of the British parliament, but the highly respected politician is arguably its most important back bencher. A review of Responsibility to Protect: The Global Effort to End Mass Atrocities by Alex J. Bellamy. Growing Pains: Watching these actors turn into awkward teenagers before our eyes has lent the films an atmosphere of uncertainty. Here is the curious thing: Ayn Rand, the writer/philosopher/harridan, often cited, less often read, is back. Ha, I'd buy: that A recent study suggests that humor may indeed have a subliminal effect. Long lost relative: A front-page introduction for a 47-million-year-old primate fossil. Power to the People? Some things are best left to undemocratic bodies. From Christianity Today, an essay on the strange place of religion in contemporary art. A panel on The Geopolitics of Emotion: How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation, and Hope are Reshaping the World by Dominique Moisii. Every town has a richest person — do you know who the richest person in your town is?