Vanity Fair finds Harvard suddenly at risk of not being able to keep the lights on. These poems have right answers — does that diminish them? Robert Pinsky investigates. Saving Monsignor Ryan: An article on refuting the myths of neoconservative Roman Catholic economics. Public displays of disaffection: Why women care so much about the reaction of the betrayed political wife. Does "belief in belief" amount to deliberately keeping in darkness people who might and should know better? Mr Parallel Universe: Michio Kaku is playing the hottest game in town with his new variation of string theory. A review of John C. Hulsman and A. Wess Mitchell's The Godfather Doctrine: A Foreign Policy Parable (and more by Matthew Yglesias at Bookforum). The library that never closes: The Open Library hopes to unite the net and the printed word by creating a web page for every book. No topic is more hotly debated in book circles at the moment than the timing, pricing and ultimate impact of e-books on the financial health of publishers and retailers. The book industry is gonna get Napstered if it forces Amazon to raise e-book prices. Is Dollywood one big kitsch joke? Rob Blackhurst investigates.
Peter Singer on why we must ration health care: A utilitarian philosopher’s argument for placing a dollar value on human life. From Good, a special issue on water, including an interview with Michael Mascha, author of Fine Waters: A Connoisseur’s Guide to the World’s Most Distinctive Bottled Waters. Self-fulfilling prophecy: The Uighurs aren't extremists — but the Chinese government may change that (and more). From McSweeney's, the confirmation hearing of Sonia Sotomayor, if the hearing were held in front of the 1977 Kansas City Royals instead of the Senate Judiciary Committee. We are all African now: The story of humanity is written in our genes, and thanks to modern science and technology, we are finally able to read it. Chrome vs. Bing vs. You and Me: In the Microsoft-Google war, consumers and innovation both lose. Information overload? Relax, we survived copy machines — we'll survive Twitter. Inside Twitter: What's life like for the 52 employees at its San Francisco headquarters? Take my columnist, please: Dylan Matthews on the collected wit and wisdom of Thomas L. Friedman. Lou Cabron on how he sued "Craigslist Sex Troll" Jason Fortuny.
From Wired, a special section on new rules for highly evolved humans. Historian Margaret Macmillan shows how subjective history can be, by presenting four versions of the past 450 years (and more and more and more and more and more and an excerpt from Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History). An interview with Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment on the evolving situation in Iran. Why crowds are best left to their own devices: Do mass gatherings of people always turn into unruly mobs, or is it police tactics that are the problem? William Easterly on the tipping point: fascinating but mythological? John Dickerson on Obama's partisan attempt to change the meaning of bipartisanship. Is Sonia Sotomayor good for the Latinos? Political sex scandals can bring down careers and ruin reputations, but there's always someone who wins. Poor, Persecuted Sarah Palin: The GOP embraces the culture of victimhood. Can someone — let’s say Jack Vance — write about spaceships and monsters and alien civilizations and still be a great American writer? (and more) Bromosexual: Can two straight men have sex with each other on camera, and if so, is it art?
From The Nation, Gretchen Morgenson is the most important financial journalist of her generation. The fact that the government has to have a "safety net" to catch those who would slip between the cracks of our economic system is evidence that Christians fail to do God's work. Mark Levine on why the FBI squelched an investigation of a post-9/11 meeting between white supremacists and Islamic extremists. Chimeras of experience: An interview with Jonah Lehrer (and Jenny Davidson's review of Lehrer's Proust Was a Neuroscientist at Bookforum). Has reality TV sucked the drama out of confirmation hearings? The latest scandal involving Perez Hilton presents an opportunity to ask the million dollar question: How has this half-literate typist become one of the most prominent gay people in the country? (and a cover story at The Advocate) Libya’s sudden decision to end its years in the international wilderness and embrace the West has abruptly transformed one of the world’s most isolated countries. A review of Heidegger and a Metaphysics of Feeling by Sharin N. Elkholy. Will we fight our genetic urges? Slim chance — humanity is hardwired to eat too much and produce too many babies, so we must fight our biology if we are to survive. A review of Joseph Contreras' In the Shadow of the Giant: The Americanization of Modern Mexico.
From The American Interest, failed states cause more than just humanitarian problems and terrorism; they're potential flashpoints for great power wars as well. A review of Class War? What Americans Really Think About Economic Inequality by Benjamin I. Page and Lawrence R. Jacobs (and more). From Ghetto to Glamour: How American Jews toppled Paris couture and redesigned the fashion industry. Johann Hari reviews Does God Hate Women? by Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom (and more). Katha Pollitt reviews Edna O'Brien's Byron in Love: A Short Daring Life. Martin Amis reviews My Father's Tears and Other Stories by John Updike. After witnessing Calvin Klein's now infamous orgy billboard in New York City, and the controversy surrounding it, Josh Smith looks into the history of sex in advertising. Can David Cameron redefine Britain’s Tory Party? Thomas Fleming on a credo for authentic conservatives and other sane people. Scout's Honor, I carry a pocketknife: A two-hanky lament for the lost accessories, and manners, of another era. Nerdsmith: An interview with Junot Diaz, before he disappears from the spotlight once more (and here's Marcela Valdes' review of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao at Bookforum). Isaac Rosenfeld defied the cult of success — Scott McLemee indulges in some hero worship.
From The Washington Monthly, winning the Good War: Peter Bergen on why Afghanistan is not Obama’s Vietnam; the geekdom of crowds: The Obama administration experiments with data-driven democracy; and Cuba notwithstanding: Could this summer’s hurricanes blow away the trade embargo? The Infinite in the Infinitesimal: How is it that miniature works can express so much? From Edinburgh Review, the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous region of China has seen a series of clashes between the majority Uighurs and Han Chinese settlers since the 1980s — Nick Holdstock reports on a nuanced reality of unemployment, religious repression, and the wish for independence. From Scottish Left Review, Sean Hamil and Stephen Morrow examine the current structure of football clubs within the UK and question whether or not this helps these clubs fulfil their wider social and cultural obligations. Fred Siegel on HG Wells, the godfather of American liberalism. The Primary Weapon: That's a nice Senate seat you've got there, Unspecified Moderate Democrat — shame if anything happened to it. Zombies, politicians, and consumers alike seek immediate gratification — but can they be happy? The first chapter from Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day by Daryl Collins, Jonathan Morduch, Stuart Rutherford and Orlanda Ruthven.
A new issue of African American Review is out. From Slate, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson and Dahlia Lithwick discuss the Sotomayor hearings. In defense of confirmation hearings: Sonia Sotomayor spends the week in the spotlight of Senate confirmation hearings — attempting to "depoliticize" the process would not merely be impossible but undesirable. Conservatives love activist judges — they just prefer when they advance the interests of white people. Mark Tushnet on how the Supreme Court's ruling on Ricci v. DeStefano hints at trouble ahead. From TNR, what do you get when a literary theorist reads the constitution as art? Gordon Wood reviews The State as a Work of Art: The Cultural Origins of the Constitution by Eric Slauter. Jay-Z vs the Game: Marc Lynch on lessons for the American primacy debate. From LRB, Berlusconi in Tehran: Slavoj Zizek on the Rome-Tehran Axis; Mary Beard reviews Marcus Aurelius: Warrior, Philosopher, Emperor by Frank McLynn; and Peter Campbell on the Codex Sinaiticus. From Cato Unbound, Clay Shirky on the future of journalism: not an upgrade, an upheaval. Peace out: Helena Cobban on the decline of Israel's progressive movement. Not a "Dawkins flea": A review of The Selfish Genius: How Richard Dawkins Rewrote Darwin's Legacy by Fern Elsdon-Baker.
From Guernica, an interview with Katherine Dunn, author of One Ring Circus: Dispatches from the World of Boxing; an interview with longtime Africa correspondent Michela Wrong on why she rejects Dambisa Moyo’s thesis about aid and democracy, and how she learned to love Paul Wolfowitz. From The Wilson Quarterly, as Mexico steps up its war against the brutal cartels that supply the United States' drug habit, leaders on both sides of the border face tough questions about how to combat a problem that threatens the very fabric of Mexico’s democracy. In a new book, the exiled former son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev makes serious allegations that could further damage the country's reputation. Scott McLemee reviews Civic War and the Corruption of the Citizen by Peter Alexander Meyers. From the nutty mass murderer to the stereotypical street thug, how the media emasculate Asian and black men. From Stars & Stripes, it is Facebook for the fascist set, and the typical online profiles of its members reveal expected tastes. Just how religious is Francis Collins, Obama's nominee for director of the NIH? Resurrection shuffles: It's curious how miracles, almost by definition, have to be unprovable if they are to be credible at all. Is Digg the Jan Brady of Web 2.0?
From The New York Review of Ideas, a review of For the Common Good: Principles of American Academic Freedom by Matthew W. Fink, Robert C. Post; and face-off between cannon fodder: The Norton Anthology of English Literature vs. The Longman Anthology of British Literature. From THES, a review of Unlimited Intimacy: Reflections on the Subculture of Barebacking by Tim Dean; a review of Black Beauty: Aesthetics, Stylization, Politics by Shirley Anne Tate; and a review of Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero by E. Paul Zehr. From The Utopian, a special issue on fear and loathing, including Shashank Joshi on knowing what (not) to be afraid of: On the limits of political alchemy from Thucydides to Bush; and an inside look at Sharia courts in England. From The Paris Review, an interview with Gay Talese: "Nonfiction writers are second-class citizens, the Ellis Island of literature. We just can't quite get in. And yes, it pisses me off". A review of Bethany Moreton's To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise (and more and more; and more by Maud Newton at Bookforum). Are depressions necessary? The current crisis has revived an old debate about the utility of economic downturns. Is the economic crisis a sin? Why America needs a new Social Gospel.
From Scholar and Feminist Online, a special issue on Africana Gender Studies, including Tavia Nyong'o (NYU): Barack Hussein Obama, or, The Name of the Father; and a lecture by Angela Davis on Abolition Democracy and Global Politics. From World Affairs, Tom Gjelten on Cuba, the inscrutable nation; and Andrew Bacevich on an appreciation of Graham Greene. From LRC, a review of The Birthright Lottery: Citizenship and Global Inequality by Ayelet Shachar; and Linda Hutcheon on reviewing reviewing today: "No customer reviews yet. Be the first." John J. DiIulio Jr. reviews The Co-Presidency of Bush and Cheney by Shirley Anne Warshaw. What Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber have in common with Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan. Chris Lehmann on how Steve Forbes misunderstands Augustus, Caesar and Hannibal. From Avignon to Geneva: Calvinism is a religion of paradox and extremes. Whatever our views of American exceptionalism and its complicated human consequences, it is Calvin who deserves to be recognized as its unintended instigator. Why won't John Calvin die? Strange as it may seem, in Calvinism we can detect the birth pangs of modern constitutional democracy. In a Baja lagoon, something is going on between whales and marine biologists — is it interspecies communication?