A review of Strange But True America by John Hafnor. An excerpt from Made in America: A Social History of American Culture and Character by Claude S. Fischer. The essence of anarchy: Sean Wilentz on America's long, sordid affair with nullification. From our cold, dead hands: America's gun culture is a symptom of its deep political malaise. Why we should worry about political violence: A review of American Homicide by Randolph Roth. In a contest for most awful political culture, it’s heartening to see that state spirit rings so strong from sea to shining sea. A Tale of Two Cities: Washington and Hollywood, both tone-deaf to American attitudes. American Bling: Stefany Anne Golberg on the dreamworld of America's shiny, sparkly aesthetic. An article on the curse of bigness — or business as usual in America the vulnerable. A review of Elsewhere, U.S.A.: How We Got from the Company Man, Family Dinners, and the Affluent Society to the Home Office, BlackBerry Moms, and Economic Anxiety by Dalton Conley. From New Geography, Robert J. Cristiano on the changing landscape of America: The automobile, home building and energy industries, the roller coaster recession, the state of commercial real estate, multigenerational housing, the fate of Detroit, the failed state of California, and deconstruction as the fate of America; and Richard Morrill on a pessimistic and an optimistic forecast for the United States. The Troubles: Declinists have always projected America's imminent demise — for a change, they're onto something. Everyone loves comparing the U.S. to Rome — they've been doing it, in fact, for more than 200 years (and more). The comeback country: How America pulled itself back from the brink — and why it's destined to stay on top.


From The Freeman, is Somalia a failed state or economic success?; and a review of Inclined to Liberty: The Futile Attempt to Suppress the Human Spirit by Lou Carabini. A review of Free Market Madness: Why Human Nature Is at Odds with Economics — And Why It Matters by Peter Ubel. The return of history: After the crash, economics will have to acknowledge its methodological failures and come to resemble an art rather than a science. Is the dismal science really a science? A call for radically rethinking economic theory: When responsibility is assigned for the financial crisis, Wall Street and Washington are the usual culprits — but that leaves out the biggest perpetrator of all. The crisis is changing how macroeconomics is taught. Justin Fox on wresting the economic debate away from the economists. How computers will save economics: The downfall of the ivory tower theorists is a laptop on every graduate student's desk. Nudge nudge, wink wink: Andrew Ferguson on behavioral economics — the governing theory of Obama’s nanny state. An article on using neuroscience to understand the bounds of rationality. A review of The Irrational Economist: Making Decisions in a Dangerous World. An interview with Roger E.A. Farmer, author of How the Economy Works (and more); and Farmer on a new macroeconomics paradigm for the 21st century (and part 2). A book salon on Economics for the Rest of Us by Moshe Adler. From Fair, for media, "class war" has wealthy victims: Rich getting richer seldom labeled as belligerents, the media is fascinated with the recession’s richest victims and public opinion is mainly a prop for corporate press. At what point does the ubiquity of the undeserving rich become so corrosive in a democracy that it sparks a backlash that discredits capitalism altogether?


A new issue of Review of European Studies is out. Direct Democracy: Citizen initiatives come to Europe. More and more on The New Old World by Perry Anderson. Even if it spoke with one voice, how much would Europe really count? Nothing to fear: Misreading Muslim immigration in Europe. An article on the decline of Europe's social democratic parties. All bark, no bite: Clay Risen on the decline of Germany’s Social Democrats. The end of Switzerland: The economic crisis and rising xenophobia are breaking down the great Swiss myths and undoing this once unique model nation (and more and more and more and more). Wherever Italy goes these days, the Democratic Party in its present form is unlikely to be leading the way; there is no question, however, that Italy is moving into a new situation. I predict a riot: An article on Italy after Berlusconi. Angst on the Aegean: Crises can force even the most dysfunctional governments to change — and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou aims to prove it. Ode on a Grecian Pile of Crap: Vice visits Athens’s secret and massive garbage town. The new power of the pink press: A look at how British and Czech conservatives fumble in gay interviews. A review of Czechoslovakia: The State That Failed by Mary Heimann (and more). Culture creep: Slovak leader Robert Fico deploys national culture as a political weapon. You say Lwow, I say Lviv: A guide to Eastern Europe's most tedious arguments. A turning point for Europe’s East: The next decade will determine its direction. The centre cannot hold: The borderlands of Europe should not be left behind. Forget core against periphery in Europe: the true divide is north against south.


Abeer I. al‑Najjar (AUS): How Arab is Al‑Jazeera English? Comparative Study of Al‑Jazeera Arabic and Al‑Jazeera English News Channels. From Global Journalist, a special issue on Bloody Russia. Free Press Haven: Iceland may soon become utopia for journalists and publishers. Miles Corwin on the journalistic education of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The truth is no defense: How an op-ed in a Slovenian daily left one American facing a prison sentence. American newspapers, often squeamish when it comes to running disturbing images, overcame their inhibitions after the Haitian earthquake — but to some, the deluge of images of naked corpses and severed body parts was insensitive and dehumanizing. An interview with John Maxwell Hamilton, author of Journalism's Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting. Is the foreign news bureau part of the past? A review of Unreliable Sources: How the 20th Century Was Reported by John Simpson. Newspapers have lost interest in covering legislatures; can Web sites replace them? From Cracked, here are 5 things the media loves pretending are news and 6 subtle ways the news media disguises bullshit as fact. The mainstream media too often dropped sourcing standards and blindly followed the lead of the tabs and entertainment Web sites during the Tiger Woods extravaganza. They're all tabloids: A look at how British newspapers make things up. From British Journalism Review, is saving the world journalism’s job? When and under which conditions is journalism in the "public interest"? (and more) A review of Normative Theories of the Media: Journalism in Democratic Societies. An excerpt from Getting It Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism by W. Joseph Campbell. Where's Wikipedia in NYU's list of the decade's top journalism?


From Alternative Right, Thomas Bertonneau on American Nietzsche: Haiti and the revolt against civilization (and part 2); Stephen McNallen on why he's a pagan: Showing the West the path home. From American Renaissance, Steven Farron on why the West dominated (and more); and Nguyen Ai Quoc on the rise of Asian race consciousness: The one group that tried to assimilate is giving up (and part 2) — but why have Asians not dominated? From The New Yorker, is white the new black? A review of Rich Benjamin's Searching for Whitopia; and Christian Lander's How Race Survived U.S. History. Jabari Asim reviews The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). In the struggle for racial justice, it’s time to pay more attention to the fears of white people. Kai Wright on progressives and "bitter" white America. Stuff white people tweet: Is a trending topic on race automatically racist? Elon James White on the birth of #webrunchhard: It's very hard being an angry militant black man. Blackest white folks: A look at those who claim "blackness" and those that make the cut. We don't like to talk about racial differences in science, but they exist. How modern prejudice is depicted in our pop culture. A review of Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us by Claude Steele. From Paris with antiquated racist stereotypes: You'd be surprised what they're still stocking at the local Monoprix. A review of The Origins of Racism in the West. A brief history of race and racism. Adolph Reed Jr. on the limits of anti-racism. To be class-prejudiced is as bad as to be racist, to be xenophobic is as bad as to be racist; racism has come somehow to seem to be the worst form of prejudice, but it isn't.


From Fair, a special issue on environmental journalism in the greenhouse era. Who funds contrariness on climate change? Greenpeace is accusing one of the U.S.'s largest conglomerates of sowing confusion around scientific assertions behind climate change. The debate over global warming has created tensions between two groups that might be expected to agree on the issue: climate scientists and meteorologists, especially those who serve as television weather forecasters (and more). From The New Yorker, are skeptics winning the climate war? Elizabeth Kolbert wants to know. From The Economist, there are lots of uncertainties in climate science — but that does not mean it is fundamentally wrong; action on climate is justified, not because the science is certain, but precisely because it is not; and dealing with climate change might mean tinkering with the oceans and the atmosphere — those who could do so would like the regulations to be clear. An excerpt from How to Cool the Planet: Geoengineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix Earth's Climate by Jeff Goodell. We need birth control, not geoengineering. Breaking the growth habit: An interview with Bill McKibben. Building a green economy: Paul Krugman on how we can afford to tackle climate change. Aligning economic value with currently unpriced things — in nature and society — could be the ticket to global sustainability. Fred Magdoff and John Bellamy Foster on what every environmentalist needs to know about capitalism. A review of Green Gone Wrong: How Our Economy Is Undermining the Environmental Revolution by Heather Rogers. An interview with Anna Lappe, author of Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It. Forget cap-and trade — this is a climate bill you can love.


Christian Davenport (Notre Dame) and Molly Inman (Maryland): The Puzzle of Iraqi Mortality: Surges, Civilian Deaths and Alternative Meanings. From Big Think, an interview with Satoshi Kanazawa on evolutionary psychology. Israel is a small country, not known for its nature — but during migration, its skies fill with millions of birds traveling between Africa, Asia, and Europe. The preposterous reality: 25 hedge fund managers are worth 680,000 teachers (who teach 13 million students). A review of Dreams in Exile: Rediscovering Science and Ethics in Nineteenth-century Social Theory by George E. McCarthy. Sarah L. Courteau reviews The Food of a Younger Land by Mark Kurlansky. A review of The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History by Jason Vuic. Ever since modern diplomacy was invented in Renaissance Italy, states have found it necessary to exchange envoys for the purpose of reaching (or breaking) agreements, whether on parchment or by video conference. The rise of Public Diplomacy 2.0: The global media environment is changing — public diplomacy needs to keep up. A review of A God Who Hates: The Courageous Woman Who Inflamed the Muslim World Speaks Out Against the Evils of Islam by Wafa Sultan. More and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more on Michael Sandel's Justice and Amartya Sen's The Idea of Justice. A review of Anton Chekhov, A Brother’s Memoir by Mikhail Chekhov (and more). Chekhov and Conservation: The great Russian author drew inspiration from the countryside and explored the practical and spiritual impact of trees on people, as well as on the environment and climate. A review of Inventing a Socialist Nation: Heimat and the Politics of Everyday Life in the GDR, 1945-1990 by Jan Palmowski.


Eric Trias and Bryan Bell (USAF): Cyber This, Cyber That, So What? From the latest issue of Parameters, a review essay on war in the information age. From Harvard International Review, a special issue on Waging Modern War. The new rules of war: John Arquilla, the visionary who first saw the age of "netwar" coming, warns that the U.S. military is getting it wrong all over again — here's his plan to make conflict cheaper, smaller, and smarter. From Armed Forces Journal, P.W. Singer on the rise of the tactical general: Beware the temptation to micromanage through unmanned systems (and Seth Hettena reviews Singer's Wired for War); Donald Drechsler and Charles Allen on why senior military leaders fail, and what we can learn from their mistakes; and are there limits civilian authority? Pat Paterson on how critical thinking and moral courage outweigh loyalty. What happens when the U.S. military decides that an academic discipline's professional ethics code is a nuisance? One wonders what would happen, just once, if lawmakers, and for that matter, presidents, of both parties, completely ignored the academics who offer them free advice; such outcomes may be worth pondering as the Ivory Tower plots to do some social engineering on America’s military. From H-Net, a review of Military Orientalism: Eastern War through Western Eyes by Patrick Porter. American Blitzkrieg: William J. Astore on the U.S. Military's German fetish. From The American Interest, Stephen Peter Rosen on the dual origins of American bellicosity. The first chapter from U.S. Military History for Dummies by John C. McManus. The war of new words: William F. Owen on why military history trumps buzzwords. Why do all the letters sent by military wives disappear? For comfort, we have blogs instead.


Carlos Frade (Salford): The Sociological Imagination and its Promise Fifty Years Later: Is There a Future for the Social Sciences as a Free Form of Enquiry? From Logos, Michael Lowy on Anticapitalist Readings of Weber’s Protestant Ethic: Ernst Bloch, Walter Benjamin, Gyorgy Lukacs, Erich Fromm. From the Annals of Improbable Research, a special issue on geography and teabagging. From Business Week, a cover story on why the Obama Plan is working: Polls say the economy is heading in the wrong direction, markets say it's back on track — this time, the markets are right. From The New Yorker, a review of The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century by Alan Brinkley; and a review of Kitty Kelley’s Oprah. An interview with Jonah Lehrer on books on decision-making. From NCR, Jason Berry on how money paved way for Marcial Maciel's influence in the Vatican and on how Fr. Maciel built his empire. The practice of treating the Catholic Church as a state has been bad for women's equality and gay rights; now, the unfolding sexual abuse scandal reveals another dark side of the Holy See's status. Exploring issues of security in a time of terror, Sarah Pickering’s Explosions, Fires, and Public Order goes behind the scenes at training sites for British government forces. Yona Zeldis McDonough reviews The Bird Catcher by Laura Jacobs. The portion of households that owe no income tax is a popular talking point on cable television and talk radio but relies on a cleverly selective reading of the facts (and more). The obligation to prosecute: An excerpt from Rule of Law, Misrule of Men by Elaine Scarry. Reviving Kunqu: The opera form is building a new audience base with a new five-year promotion plan for campuses. The retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens provides a foothold for a strong liberal presence on the Court.


Swagger Like Us: Should women amplify their aggression to mimic successful men, or should they play up what supposedly makes them different? A review of When Men Dance: Choreographing Masculinities across Borders. Standing up like a man: What kind of a woman uses a funnel to go to the bathroom? Porn is unrealistic, what about romance novels! An anti-porn polemic inspires a debate over whether male or female fantasy is more harmful to relationships. The best way to understand the recent fuss about "artificial sperm" and the "end of men" is to consider old versions of the same debate. Gender and concepts of masculinity strongly shape feminist men’s experience as feminists in a world that considers them to be neither real men, nor real feminists. Feminism-for-men is now America's white-collar default setting. As more women have taken on a breadwinning role and men and women have transformed into domestic co-laborers, the Art of the Wife is disappearing (and a debate). Having or growing a pair is the easy part — knowing how and when to artfully say Fuck It is the true measure of a modern man. Women do make men throw caution to the wind, research confirms. A review of The Male Brain by Louann Brizendine (and more and more and more and more). New research suggests sexual objectification hinders some women’s cognitive ability. Men don't sit around as a group sharing their deepest feelings, as women are likely to do, but don't assume male friendships are inferior. Are men more belligerent? Men are more dangerous, but women can be just as aggressive. First came women’s studies then men’s studies and now a new field in reaction to both: male studies. An article on "retrosexuals", the latest lame macho catchphrase. Empty Nest: It's the men who suffer when the kids leave.

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