A new issue of Economic Sociology is out. David M. Levy (CSPC) and Sandra J. Peart (Jepson): Economists, Crises and Cartoons. From the latest issue of Regulation, Richard B. McKenzie writes In Defense of Monopoly: Market power fosters creative destruction; and Richard A. Epstein on Takings Law Made Hard: A novel property rights challenge is a constitutional morass. America's Nastiest CEO: Think business journalists are too timid? Look what happens when you go after a struggling firm. An excerpt from The Devil’s Casino: Friendship, Betrayal, and the High Stakes Games Played Inside Lehman Brothers by Vicky Ward. Seth Hettena reviews The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis (and more and more and more and more and more). A look at 5 economic collapses more ridiculous than this one. Will the Senate keep subsidizing Wall Street to the tune of billions of dollars a year? James Surowiecki on private equity’s egregious tax loophole. From The New Yorker, Larissa MacFarquhar on how Paul Krugman found politics. A review of The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby (and more and more). The fable of market meritocracy: Markets don't reward smart people — they reward value. How far would you go for 5 cents? Charging a nickel for every bag at the grocery store has created "a behavioral economist's dream". The first chapter form The Calculus of Selfishness by Karl Sigmund. Financial crises always spark interest in marginal critics of the system; one that’s attracted interest on the left is Ellen Brown, who’s got a book and a website called Web of Debt (and part 2). The success of the stimulus bill is noteworthy as another is weighed. Richard Posner on the real danger of debt: The United States is deep in the red — and doesn't have the political tools to get out.


From the inaugural issue of The Evolutionary Review, Brian Boyd on the origins of comics. From New Scientist, beyond torture: A special section on the future of interrogation. It seems that what our present day plight calls for is not so much a Robber Baron revival as a new golden age of muckraking. Louis Hartz was wrong: While we did not inherit a European feudalism, we have made an American one. Was structuralism, the big idea of Claude Levi-Strauss, more cult than science? Apostolos Doxiadis, Alecos Papadatos and Annie Di Donna — the team behind the bestselling graphic novel Logicomix — investigate. Underwear as Outerwear: Women have been flaunting their underwear for so long now we raise nary an eyebrow at the sighting of a g-string; but men were displaying their undies long before women even raised their hemlines. It’s tempting, in surveying the history of podiatry, to focus only on the grandeur. The Age of Concrete: Tall structures like Dubai’s Burj Khalifa provide remarkable insights about the aspirations of the societies that created them. Responsibility for the illegal brutality inflicted on CIA and Guantanamo detainees cannot be limited to Yoo and Bybee; the essential lesson must be that torture and cruel treatment are not policy options — even when a lawyer is willing to write an opinion blessing illegality. From Moment, an article on the true story of Jews and Freemasons. If you can’t move your face, can you still act with it? How plastic surgery has caused acting to be more stilted, stylized, and masklike. Leon Wieseltier is in search of the sublime in Washington, D.C. Is the pope his brother's keeper? Benedict XVI reeling from fallout of a growing priest abuse scandal in Germany that involves his brother.


From The New Yorker, Timothy Geithner’s financial plan is working — and making him very unpopular. Is Geithner a courageous public servant doing the right thing, or have his years as a player in global finance made him loath to change an industry that needs fundamental reform? From The New York Times Magazine, Rahm Emmanuel was chosen as White House chief of staff because he could make things happen — what happened? (and more and more at The Washington Post and more at The New Yorker and more at The New Republic). Mark Schmitt on the case against the case against Rahm. Rahm Emanuel can thank the president for the attention he's getting. Unready for his close-up? Rahm Emanuel does not — repeat: does not — control the media. From Democracy, a special section on "The Liberal Moment: What Happened?", with contributions by Michael Sandel, Danielle Allen, William Galston, Martha Nussbaum and more. When Democrats take power, paranoia blooms: Ignorant, frightened people are notoriously easy to fool — enter Glenn Beck (the new Abbie Hoffman) and a host of other fast-talkers. No, we’re not a broken people: How to overcome an acute sense of defeatism. Kim R. Holmes (Heritage): Beware Our Rousseauian Imaginer in Chief. David Brooks on how Barack Obama never has been what political partisans make him out to be. Hate Sells: Matt Pressman on why liberal magazines are suffering under Obama. Beyond pale, male and stale: Why legacy progressive media must reinvent themselves to remain relevant. A review of The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History With the President by Taylor Branch. More and more and more and more and more and more on Ken Gormley's The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr.


Eric Lawrence, John Sides, and Henry Farrell (GWU): Self-Segregation or Deliberation? Blog Readership, Participation, and Polarization in American Politics. A snake had just slithered into a sauropod's nesting ground, looking for dinner, but a sudden landslide enveloped and killed all involved, as stunning fossils show. Lawyers, Terror & Torture: Liz Cheney's witch hunt against lawyers who represented Guantanamo detainees is a new low. The rock star professor: Who is Farish Noor, this man who gives attention-grabbing quotes on controversial subjects and writes books that make politicians sit up and take notice? Greek Mess, Global Mess: The blame game over Greece's crisis misses the bigger problem — what is happening is a world-wide game of chicken. Ulysses S. Grant deserves his spot on the $50 bill and among our greatest presidents. Dirty tricks of the egg and sperm race: You might think the battle of the sexes is over once mating occurs — but it's just shifted to a new, microscopic arena. An ongoing battle between Rupert Murdoch, Silvio Berlusconi and Muammar al-Gaddafi involves adult television programming, an ultraviolent war film, and lots of money and bitterness flying around. From GQ, Hello, America: An interview with Rielle Hunter. Too much practice: William H. Willimon has second thoughts on a theological movement. The Liveliest Mind in New York: Tony Judt’s dazzling, cantankerous brain is one of New York’s great treasures — now, two years into a devastating battle with ALS, it is all he has left (and his latest at NYRB: Girls! Girls! Girls!). The Penguin story is a great publishing story but its latest campaign is less a celebration of a world-changing event and more a part of the ongoing battle for market share among the major publishers.

And check out Paper Trail, Bookforum's new blog on publishing, literature, and our favorite authors.


From Antiquity, a review essay on human origins, a not so modest affair. Studies of hominid fossils, like 4.4-million-year-old "Ardi," are changing ideas about human origins. An independent team has found that Darwinius masillae, hyped last year as the eighth wonder of the world, is not our ancestor. A look at how DNA evidence tells "global story" of human history. From Scientific American, a panel of scientists challenges what it is to be distinctly human and retraces the evolutionary steps that bipedal apes made to attain human traits; research suggests early humans used brain power, innovation and teamwork to dominate the planet; and what can past climate change reveal about human adaptation? An interview with Rick Potts, the Smithsonian anthropologist who turned heads in scientific circles when he proposed that climate change was the driving force in human evolution. Human culture, an evolutionary force: Biologists are finding evidence that culture has been interacting with genes to shape human evolution. Move Over Darwin: Rachel Armstrong on systems evolution and bio feminism. Eric Michael Johnson (UBC): Deconstructing Social Darwinism. Cachet of the Cutthroat: Social Darwinism isn't only morally wrong; it doesn't even perform the function it claims to perform — fostering real competition. From RSA Journal, Franz de Waal on how bad biology killed the economy: An unnatural culture of greed and fear has brought the global economy to its knees — we need to start playing to our pro-social strengths (and Edward Dolnick reviews The Age of Empathy by Frans de Waal; and more and more); and David Sloan Wilson on policymaking the Darwinist way: We need to shed our prehistoric policymaking practices and turn to evolution for guidance.


From Cercles, a special issue on Defining Americanization, including Olivier Richomme (Lyon): The role of “ethno-racial” classification in the Americanization process; Bruce Plourde (Temple): Frontier as Symptom: Captain Kirk, Ahab, and the American Condition; John D. Schwetman (Minnesota-Duluth): The American Cosmopolitan: Deracination in the Works of Jack Kerouac and Toni Morrison; and J. A. Zumoff (CUNY): The Americanization of the American Communist Party in the Early 1920s. Thomas Meany revisits George Santayana's ambivalent thoughts about his prosperous adopted home — America. Dwight McDonald's Against the American Grain, against the odds, still has something to say. Christopher Lasch’s Culture of Narcissism offered an indictment of American life that displeased both the right and the left. Here's a day in America according to a (baffled) foreigner. From National Review, an exceptional debate: Richard Lowry and Ramesh Ponnuru on the Obama administration’s assault on American identity (and a response and a reply). Real America: Abe Sauer on the gunmen among us. Why are some Americans becoming violent shoppers? Stefany Anne Golberg on America's eclectic ways of mourning the dead. Let there be no mistake, the old world of America is over. From Scott Brown's populist bait-and-switch to Harvey Weinstein's "indie" push for an Inglourious Basterds Oscar, we have become a polarized nation of desperate believers. Americans just aren’t equipped for the 21st century. Joe Biden is right to insist that America has little in common with Rome or Britain before their empires collapsed. Joel Kotkin on America's dubious decline (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more on The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050).


From Inkling, will Big Pharma's female Viagra-hopeful Flibanserin enliven ailing sex lives — or handcuff women to another daily pill? A review of Why Women Have Sex by Cindy M. Meston and David M. Buss. Why men use prostitutes: The reasons why many men pay for sex are revealed in the interviews that make up a major new piece of research. From Details, meet America's first legal male prostitute, former Marine "Markus"; and an article on the lure of dating an ex-lesbian: So-called hasbians are going for straight guys just like you! A review of Manhood: The Rise and Fall of the Penis by Mels van Driel and The Naked Man: A Study of the Male Body by Desmond Morris. The iPhone app Grindr is the biggest boon for gay sex since Craigslist. A look at how Grindr and the men who use it are changing the way you're hooking-up. Here's a polyamory zine on "infinite relationships", relationships without bounds or boundaries, love without limits, without ends. G. Tracy Mehan, III on cultures monogamous and polyamorous. Damon Linker on how the sky is still falling on the heads of sexual traditionalists. From shame to game in one hundred years: An economic model of the rise in premarital sex and its de-stigmatisation. From Arts & Opinion, Cynthia Peters on 21st century sexuality. The most telling indicator of how late capitalism is shaping human sexuality is found in the proliferation of next-generation sex dolls. The American Psychological Association may no longer consider homosexuality a disorder, but according to its updated guidebook, playing with toys or liking sex a lot is cause for concern. Here is sex explained graphically by pens. Spanish are outraged by teen masturbation workshops. A look at the 5 most horrifying attempts to teach sex ed to children.


The mystery of Zomia: In the lawless mountain realms of Asia, Yale professor James Scott finds a case against civilization (and Joel Robbins reviews Scott's The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia). From Irrawaddy, taking over the airwaves: Private FM radio stations are shooting up all over Burma. Sex, drugs and inner tubes: As Laos opens to tourists, some fear it may be losing its soul — others are merely losing their bikinis. Laos steps into the globalized world — but Vientiane is now inextricably linked with Beijing. What is behind the latest crackdown on democracy activists in Vietnam? In the rapidly developing Cambodia, forcible evictions are an all-too-common way to make room for the new. From Asia Times, a special investigation on drugs and disaffection in southern Thailand. A review of Singapore: A Biography by Mark Ravinder Frost and Yu-mei Balasingamchow. A review of Constructing Singapore: Elitism, Ethnicity and the Nation-Building Project by Michael D. Barr and Zlatko Skrbiss. It's not just politics and racial discrimination: Malaysia's brain drain appears to be picking up speed. From Aliran Monthly, a review of Malaysia at the Crossroads by Jeyakumar Devaraj; and an interview with Andrew Aeria on the divide between east and west Malaysia (and more). From Inside Indonesia, an article on the ongoing challenge of the Papua dilemma. Death in Freeport: 21st Century colonialism flourishes in West Papua. A review of The Next Front: Southeast Asia and the Road to Global Peace with Islam by Christopher S. Bond and Lewis M. Simons (and an excerpt). What's behind Asean's arms race? William Boot looks at the regional rivalry for energy resources while China's growing shadow drives massive spending on weapons in Southeast Asia.


David R. Wenger (Freiburg): The Impotent State: Between Self-assertion Strategies and Illusions of Control. From The New Criterion, a special issue on The New Statism and the Assault on Individual Liberty. The first chapter from A Brief History of Liberty by David Schmidtz and Jason Brennan (and more). A review of Liberal Loyalty: Freedom, Obligation, and the State by Anna Stilz. The many faces of liberalism: Samuel Brittan reviews books on the political philosophy that has shaped our world, from personal freedom to free markets. From Rationality, Markets, and Morals, Frank Dietrich (Leipzig): Individual Interest and Political Legitimacy; and Horacio Spector (UTDT): Value Pluralism and the Two Concepts of Rights. Where are the polyarchists gone?: Tony Curzon Price on the liberty/equality axis. Marc F. Plattner (NED): Populism, Pluralism, and Liberal Democracy. From Public Reason, Christopher Jay (UCL): Keeping Truth Safe From Democracy. The Grasping Hand: Peter Sloterdijk on how the modern democratic state pillages its productive citizens (and Axel Honneth on Peter Sloterdijk). Samuel Bowles (SFI): Machiavelli's Mistake: Why Good Laws are no Substitute for Good Citizens. Small places matter more than big ones: Ron Johnston's investigations into the impact of geography on democracy have revealed that people in the same class position tend to support different parties depending on where they live. From Telos, democracy and modernization will provide popular sovereignty and progress only if they eschew further abstraction from localities, communities and families and instead uphold the "good life" and the common good in which all can share. A review of Politics for the Greatest Good: The Case for Prudence in the Public Square by Clarke D. Forsythe.


Shennette Garrett-Scott (Texas): A Historiography of African American Business. From Americana, Angela Nelson (BGSU): The Repertoire of Black Popular Culture. An interview with author, scholar and MacArthur “genius” winner Charles Johnson on charting a new course in post-academic life. An interview with Zachery R. Williams, author of In Search of the Talented Tenth: Howard University Public Intellectuals and the Dilemmas of Race, 1926-1970. An interview with Cornel West on Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, A Memoir. Is Harlem no longer black? It depends on where you set the boundaries. A review of Wrong Place, Wrong Time: Trauma and Violence in the Lives of Young Black Men by John A. Rich (and more and more). From Contexts, William Julius Wilson on framing race and poverty; and the emancipation of slaves is a century-and-a-half in America’s past — many would consider it ancient history. Bigots I have loved: Perhaps Faulkner was mistaken and the past really is past — bigotry little more than a rusty whip handle unearthed at the site of a Mississippi plantation. Has the Supreme Court been mainly a friend or a foe to African Americans? A review of Jesus, Jobs, and Justice: African American Women and Religion by Bettye Collier-Thomas. A review of Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist by Nancy Goldstein. Saving Detroit from itself: As the Motor City falls into greater collapse, a group of frustrated black nationalists are taking its protection into their own hands. An article on rethinking Malcolm X's inflammatory rhetoric. Race in the South in the Age of Obama: James Fields is an African-American Democratic state legislator in a nearly all-white Alabama county that voted overwhelmingly against Barack Obama — is he an anomaly or the future?

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