From Agni, a review of What Are Intellectuals Good For? by George Scialabba (and more from Bookforum). In Tahiti, Polynesian workers have launched an historic compensation case over their exposure to radiation during French nuclear testing in the South Pacific. A review of The Constitution in 2020, ed. by Jack Balkin and Reva Siegel. A review of Celebrity: How Entertainers Took Over the World and Why We Need an Exit Strategy by Marina Hyde. The triumph of the uncelebrity: Jon and Kate! Octo-Mom! Speidi! Stars are out, ordinary people are in — until we render them as soulless as celebs. Consumed: New research suggets at the root of our celebrity obsession. From Splice Today, time to quarantine Hollywood: Give celebrities the privacy they desire, help the government raise a little money, and keep us from gawking at famous people in Manhattan; and the real-life fallout from Slumdog Millionaire's success reveals some terrible truths about India, Hollywood, and the American media. How will Washington recalibrate the share of gains captured by shareholders, executives and workers in a post-crash economy? A review of Kill Khalid: The Failed Mossad Assassination of Khalid Mishal and the Rise of Hamas by Paul McGeough (and more).
David K. Levine (WUSTL): Is Behavioral Economics Doomed? From New York, the unbuilding of Frank Gehry: Has New York lost its great chance with an architectural legend?; 89-year-old Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau has set himself one last duty before stepping away: to prevent the brassy Leslie Crocker Snyder from getting his job; the president’s rhetoric has helped make change seem possible in Iran and the Middle East — now comes the hard part; if the Obamas join the Clintons and Caroline Kennedy on Martha's Vineyard this August, they’ll be visiting a vacationland known for its liberal politics and for its self-imposed racial segregation; and forty years after Stonewall, the gay movement has never been more united — so why do older gay men and younger ones often seem so far apart? Famed for its concentration of heavily subsidized 20-something residents — also nicknamed trust-funders or trustafarians — Williamsburg is showing signs of trouble. The Left and the Living Dead: In the event of a zombie apocalypse, will progressive ideals win out? As the zombie archetype is revived in fiction, it comes to symbolise what we dread in the age we live in: conformity, disease and apocalyptic calamity. A round up of stripper memoirs: You’d never guess what you learn from reading them.
From Slate, Walter Dellinger, Linda Greenhouse and Dahlia Lithwick sit at the Supreme Court Breakfast Table. From The New Yorker, Laura Secor on the meaning of Iran’s crowds. Fareed Zakaria on the fatal wound inflicted on Iranian regime's ideology. From NYRB, Timothy Snyder on the Holocaust, the ignored reality; and a review of Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy by Leslie H. Gelb. From TAP, a review of American Radical: The Life and Times of I. F. Stone by D.D. Guttenplan; and Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America by John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev (and more and more and more and more and more and an excerpt; and more from Bookforum). From The Monkey Cage, a look at the “long-term” effects and non-effects of watching politically-oriented TV shows. Woody Brock on why the solution to today's macroeconomic crisis does not lie within the field of macroeconomics at all, but rather within political theory. The Sex Vote: Political liberty is screwed — why libertarians can’t get it up. Why some people are gay: Notes (and clues) from the animal kingdom. A review of An Edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage and Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham (and more and more).
David Estlund (Brown): Utopophobia. Ezra Klein on wealth-care reform: Fixing our health-care system will make us more economically secure — it won't make us much healthier. From PopMatters, Stonewall, 40 years hence: America's first gay Vice-President lived for 15 years with America's first gay President — and more from this Gay Pride Month's Public Service Announcement; and could Charles M. Schulz have guessed at his own cultural relevance, 50 years down the line? Jessica Valenti on the virginity movement, rebranded. You’re not alone; heck, there’s even a fancy, PC term for it, "involuntary celibacy" — so why does it feel like the rest of the world is having more sex than you are? AC Grayling reviews Charlotte Greig's A Girl's Guide to Modern European Philosophy. Thanks, for nothing: Banks should be encouraged to pay back governments — but not to rewrite history. A review of The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics by Riane Eisler. John McWhorter on why Americans should spend fewer years in school. Changing behaviour will be as vital as new technologies in tackling climate change, so where is the funding for linguists, anthropologists and sociologists? Here are 3 good reasons (and 1 bad one) why you shouldn't buy into conspiracy theories.
Stephen Law (London): The Evil God Challenge. Reason vs. Faith: If religion's advocates and skeptics are to have a meaningful dialogue, they need to throw aside their gross generalizations and condescension. Infrastructure for souls: Joseph Clarke traces the parallel histories of the American megachurch and the corporate-organizational complex. Who writes best about sex? Women certainly are passionate enough to create raunchy erotica, even if they are impeded by biased cultural expectations. Catherine Tumber reviews Hope and Despair in the American City: Why There Are No Bad Schools in Raleigh by Gerald Grant. TPM takes a look at how many czars have been named so far to the Obama administration. As good as it gets: Would someone please tell me why I know absolutely nothing about almost everything? An interview with David Kessler, author of The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite. From E&P, Steve Outing on how readers want to pay for news online — so let them. An interview with David Neiwert, author of The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right. A review of Refractions of Reality: Philosophy and the Moving Image by John Mullarkey. A look at why economists failed to predict the financial crisis.
From Dissent, a symposium on Iraq, with contributions by David Bromwich, Brendan O'Leary, and George Packer, A look at how many Congressional members' websites are stuck in '70s. Arthur Danto reviews Robert Ryman: Used Paint by Suzanne P. Hudson. The Future of Poop: Welcome to the wonderful world of compost toilet tech. The Accu-Thump of Googletarity: The great danger in all historical research, for the lover of trivia and oddity, is distraction; it's one of the rewards, too. A review of Equal: Women Reshape American Law by Fred Strebeigh. FemiNoshing: Why do so many women see food as a frenemy, and why can’t even female TV cooks be fat? Poorly made: Why so many Chinese products are born to be bad (and more). The celebrated writer A. J. Liebling had what you might call a complicated relationship with newspapers. If we can just tweak the way we make choices, we can make smarter ones — a look at Obama’s plans to put the science of human nature to work. Are academics complicit in the proliferation of conspiracy theories, not least through reluctance to tackle "truthers" head on? The truth about writers: What do they really do with all that time? Modernist minotaurs: How Arthur Evans's excavations of the Minoan past on Crete inspired the artists and writers of the future.
From Lost, a special issue on the digital future. From 3 Quarks Daily, Evert Cilliers on The Capitalist Manifesto: How to Modernize Capitalism from Feudalism to Democracy. From Cif, do we expect too much of our leaders? A debate. A review of What Price Liberty? How Freedom Was Won and Is Being Lost by Ben Wilson (and more and more). From The Economist, dispatches from Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, the most diverse region on earth. Beryl Korot and her co-founders of Radical Software sensed they had a unique chance to have a powerful impact on the future. From The Objective Standard, an article on Justice Holmes and the Empty Constitution. The Good Soldier: An article on Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. An interview with Paul Krugman on the fear for lost decade. From Wired, dual perspectives on the future of social media: The fatal flaw with all the social media sites — MySpace, Facebook, Twitter — is that they are all separate services, but that may all be about to change, and soon; and is a Tweet the new size of a thought? From n+1, a review of Naomi S. Baron's Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World; Henry Jenkins's Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide; and Lee Siegel's Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electron.
From Prospect, everyone knows you can be famous just for being famous — but, with a new kind of reality show on the rise, is celebrity-land witnessing a flight towards authority?; and Britain’s got talons: Have anti-discrimination laws made us kinder than in previous eras? If Frank Ricci loses his discrimination claim, blame the Supreme Court's conservatives. In Vino Veritas: Binge drinking may look like a communal act, but it as an act of solitude, celebrating the self. The other Susan Boyle: The global success of the Britain's Got Talent star has had an unlikely impact on one unassuming Texas artist. A review of Paradise Found: Nature in America at the Time of Discovery by Steve Nicholls. The next tropical paradise: New ideas for what to do with America's piece of Cuba. If arts journalism is in trouble, what about publishing? Roger Scruton on Beauty and Desecration: We must rescue art from the modern intoxication with ugliness. My kingdom for a beer? An article on Heineken’s “Eurotopia”. Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster, celebrates the end of the beer-industrial complex. Elizabeth Wilson reviews Diaries by Sergey Prokofiev; Sergey Prokofiev and His World, edited by Simon Morrison; and The People’s Artist: Prokofiev’s Soviet Years by Simon Morrison.
Joel Olson (NAU): Between Infoshops and Insurrection: U.S. Anarchism, Movement Building, and the Racial Order. What follows is a long, largely unoriginal rumination on the state, coercion, the Odessa Steps, and Tank Man. World Refugee Day turns spotlight on millions of displaced people worldwide. From New Statesman, a review of The Spectre at the Feast: Capitalist Crisis and the Politics of Recession by Andrew Gamble; irresponsible capitalism has left us in economic and political turmoil — the solution is a new democracy and a new socialism; and 20 ways to save Labour: Figures including Germaine Greer, Richard Dawkins and John Pilger suggest policies to revive Labour. From Capitalism, Edward Cline on the irrelevancy of conservatism. Will Wilkinson on the rise of collectivist conservatives. Money makes the (Greek) world go round: What the ancient Greek anxiety about money has to tell us about our own economic predicaments. Spiritual Citizenship: An article on the life and times of Richard John Neuhaus. Bombs, man-apes, and ancient cities: A history of science publishing in images from the archives of Nature magazine. Surfing Alone: Is digital technology destroying relationships? Brother, you can spare a dime: why you should give away more of your hard-earned cash.
From Reason, Ronald Bailey on the Invisible Hand of Population Control: The tragedy of the commons meets economic freedom; and the paranoids are out to get me: Jesse Walker on the return of the militia scare. Conor Clarke interviews Paul Samuelson (and part 2). From Scientific American, do gay animals change evolution? The hottest month of the year as about to become the hottest quarter of the year. It’s time to cool the planet: Cutting greenhouse gases is no longer enough to deal with global warming — we also have to do something more direct and risky. Is Iran ripe for revolution? Possibly, but Mir Hossein Mousavi is no Mikhail Gorbachev. From Vanity Fair, Christopher Hitchens visits Greece’s new Acropolis Museum, devoted to the Parthenon and other temples; and more on the Madoff Chronicles: Did the sons know? (and Ruth Madoff?) Bring on the Traitor Democrats: Who cares if Obama's electoral coalition is fragile? Democrats need to run against other Democrats to push Congress to the left. From TED, Diane Benscoter on how cults rewire the brain. From THES, a review of The Cambridge Companion to Bob Dylan; a review of Idiocy: A Cultural History by Patrick McDonagh; and I poke dead people: An article on the paradox of Facebook. The Tramp Stamp Story: Is lower-back ink sexy or slutty?