From the Journal of College Student Development, Wilma Henry, Nicole West and Andrea Jackson (USF): Hip-Hop's Influence on the Identity Development of Black Female College Students; Frank Harris (SDSU): College Men's Meanings of Masculinities and Contextual Influences; and a review of College Drinking by George Dowdall. Do elite universities discriminate against poor whites? From Image, isn’t a WASPy kid from smallish-town USA studying English kind of like a fish studying water? An interview with Daniel Reimold, author of Sex and the University: Celebrity, Controversy, and a Student Journalism Revolution (and more). A review of The Five-Year Party: How Colleges Have Given Up on Educating Your Child and What You Can Do About It by Craig Brandon. A review of Higher Education? How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids — and What We Can Do About It by Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus (and more). A review essay on Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America's Public Universities by William Bowen, Michael McPherson, and Matthew Chingos. The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts is launching several medieval-style Catholic guilds to offer students a chance to learn from master craftsmen and practice charity in the community. The new business of college: Maureen Farrell on the weirdest scholarships. From Daily Finance, James Altucher on seven reasons not to send your kids to college.

A new issue of Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science is out. Did Alcoholics Anonymous “dumb down” the Serenity Prayer? From Smithsonian, a look at how George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg found inspiration for their films in the work of Norman Rockwell, one of America’s most cherished illustrators. From Saturday Evening Post, Norman Rockwell was raised in New York City, but loved painting the more simple life of the country — he created a city slicker, Cousin Reginald, who visited his country cousins and proceeded to show what a city boy he was; and in 1958, William Peter Blatty, a publicist and aspiring author (The Exorcist), wanted to see how hard it would be to fake nobility among Americans — it proved to be too easy. A review of The Rise and Fall of the Second Largest Empire in History: How Genghis Khan's Mongols Almost Conquered the World by Thomas J. Craughwell. A look at familiar horror movie scenes that have been ruined by the new iPhone. What if Hitler had not killed himself? Mark Grimsley wonders. From Vogue, an interview with Jonathan Franzen on the personal roots of his epic new novel, Freedom. From The Prague Post, expats everywhere face the same question: Where is home? From The Distributist Review, Joseph Pearce on the education of E.F. Schumacher. What killed Kevin Morrissey? How the death of an editor threatens the future of VQR, the University of Virginia's prestigious literary review.

Tere Vaden (Tampere): Oil and the Regime of Capitalism: Questions to Philosophers of the Future. From Forbes, a profile of Christopher Helman, America's richest oilman; and a look at three myths about oil: The reality is that we are not addicted to oil, we need it. Robert Bryce reviews The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes by Bryan Burrough. A former oil executive discusses why people hate oil companies, and what the country needs to do to keep the lights on. Before BP: Roya Wolverson on the long, ugly history of allowing industries to police themselves. The spill in the Gulf is just the latest in a string of catastrophic regulatory failures that prove how incompetent government is — and how important it is. The true cost of oil: What are the military costs of securing “our” oil? The Ministry of Oil Defense: It's not polite to say so, but if Americans understood just how many trillions their military was really spending on protecting oil, they wouldn't stand for it. George Hager on the terrible implications of U.S. oil policy. We fight for the oil we need to fight for the oil: Merely protecting America’s fossil fuel lifeline adds a heap to the greenhouse gases that petroleum ultimately contributes. A review of Oil: Money, Politics, and Power in the 21st Century by Tom Bower (and more). Keep it in the ground: An alternative vision for petroleum emerges in Ecuador, but will Big Oil win the day? (and more and more and more at The Globalist)

Sebastian Nestler (Klagenfurt): “Going down to South Park gonna learn something today”: On popular culture as critical pleasure and pedagogical discourse. In defense of the new judicial activists: In California and Arizona, Judge Walker and Judge Bolton are just doing their jobs. Ten infamous islands of exile: Established to banish dissidents and criminals, these islands are known for their one-time prisoners. From Cato Unbound, Glenn Greenwald on the Digital Surveillance State: Vast, secret, and dangerous. Mosque Uprising: William Saletan on Islam and the emerging religious threat to our Constitution. From cursive to cursor: Alan Jacobs on whether it matters how we write. Sheikh Your Newtie: William Saletan on the Gingrich-Bin Laden alliance. From Maisonneuve, can a friendship survive different tastes in TV? Andrew Cockburn reviews Invisible War: The United States and the Iraq Sanctions by Joy Gordon. America's Most Exclusive Club: In the ultimate power move, there are people who don't own a cell phone — and they're making the world work for them. It's the ideology, stupid:  What do Robespierre, Stalin, Hitler, Che Guevara, and Mullah Omar have in common? From Dark Roasted Blend, an article on abandoned houses of super villains. From Sharp to Lovins Elite: Michael Barker on reform as progressive social change. An article on how the Vatican is searching for E.T. and other signs of alien life.

From Tehelka, can India and Pakistan mend the rifts? Yes, and here are a few good tips to make sure we get there. With Pakistan, being consistent is key. Pakistan’s leader Asif Ali Zardari is seen as a distant president, giving the impression of caring little for the plight of his country’s people and failing to live up to his early promise. From Asia Sentinel, an article on why Pakistan is not a nation. From Guernica, some Pakistanis have begun blaming Afghan immigrants for bringing “their” war into Pakistan — one Afghan baker’s story of harassment, corruption, and exile. An interview with Imtiaz Gul, author of The Most Dangerous Place: Pakistan’s Lawless Frontier (and more). What is state failure? Designating Pakistan a failed state renders invisible the multiple and diverse democratizing forces that have evolved there over the last decade. Walter Russell Mead on the roots of Pakistan’s rage. From Geocurrents, a look at the geography of extremism in Pakistan (and more and more). OMG, it's Muhammad's footprint: Pervez Hoodbhoy on a miracle in Pakistan. A look at how hard-line Islam is filing the void in flooded Pakistan. The Boston Globe's The Big Picture takes on Pakistan's floods (and more). From UN Dispatch, just how dire is this crisis in humanitarian terms? The Pakistan floods are the worst humanitarian disaster in recent history. July was a cruel month for Pakistan, and more seem certain to follow.

From Esquire, just who is Newton Leroy Gingrich, really? An epic and bizarre story of American power in an unsettled age. DL Adams on Saul Alinsky and the rise of amorality in American politics. On the new aristocracy: Victor Davis Hanson pities the postmodern cultural elite. Terry Teachout on the conversion of David Mamet. From TAS, the leftist, or at least mainly leftist, pseudo-intellectuals who infest certain portions of the Internet have become very fond recently of invoking something they call "Godwin's Law", but don't be scared of it; and a philosopher-king understands that infiltrating misleading words can gain an unwarranted political advantage. That Republicans have succeeded in blaming government is testimony to their political brilliance. An interview with Terence P. Jeffrey, author of Control Freaks: 7 Ways Liberals Plan to Ruin Your Life. Alyssa Battistoni on why politicians are right not to trust the public. From TAP, forget populism: "The people" are no more virtuous or incorruptible than elites, and pandering to them won't advance liberal political goals; Tea Partiers are getting all the press, but it's the anger on the left that spells trouble for Dems in the midterms; and is progressive excitement the key to Democratic victory in the fall? From TNR, Jonathan Cohn on the stupidity of liberal apathy (and a response and more). Mixed Messages: If only Democrats could agree what to say, they might be able to say it.

From Vanity Fair, the shocking thing about Kenneth Starr’s alleged Ponzi scheme wasn’t the amount — $59 million, pocket change by Madoff standards — but his client list: Bunny Mellon, Barbara Walters, Al Pacino, Caroline Kennedy, Martha Stewart, and Matt Lauer. When you think Jews and Las Vegas, what comes to mind? Jews do wondrous things in the desert. A review of A Short History of Celebrity by Fred Inglis (and more). From Psychiatric Times, Jerry Coyne on the evolutionary calculus of depression. The Wisdom of the Mulla: Sheikh Jamal Rahman on the well-loved trickster from Islamic folklore. Why is David Lynch pimping this handbag? Sasha Watson on the new trend of "advertising films". Andrew Cuomo grew up in the shadow of his distant, cerebral father, and became his enforcer to get close to him — now poised to become the second Governor Cuomo, he hopes he’s finally perfected the balance between Mario’s intellectualism and his own aggression. The evolution of beach culture: A look at the people and places that have shaped seaside culture. You are what you eat: How your diet defines you in trillions of ways. So much for the wisdom of crowds: People often become more confident in their beliefs when they find out the majority of others disagree with them, a new study finds. Is the desire to know other people’s secrets a natural instinct — or a vulgar vice? A review of Philip Carr-Gomm's A Brief History of Nakedness.

From the inaugural issue of New Knowledge Environments, Ethan Hawkley (Northeastern): Where’s Walden? Searching, Googling, Reading, and Living in the Digital Age; and Patrick Juola (Duquesne): Guessing at the Content of a Million Books. A look at how Google counted the world’s 129 million books (and more). From Meanland, McKenzie Wark writes on publishing A Hacker Manifesto and the beginnings of a copygift economy; Sherman Young explores how the book as a physical object enables control of the industry; Emmett Stinson gives us the lowdown on book piracy and associated myths; and Margaret Simons examines all that is exciting and frightening about reading in a digital era. The unrecorded history of online publishing: An interview with Bob Stein of the Institute for the Future of the Book. A review of The Late Age of Print by Ted Striphas. From Fine Books, a look at the greatest book collector you never heard of; and an article on book collecting for posterity. From New York, a special section on Indie Bookstores: Against all odds, a small army of neighborhood bookshops has arrived. A review of The Idea of the Library in the Ancient World by Yun Lee Too. Creative new uses for books: Rob Walker on the bright future of hardbacks — as decorative objects and props. There are no bad books, just special ones. With the continuing decline of the bookstore, where do you pick up your likeminded nerds/intellectuals/David Foster Wallace dweebs?

From Politics and Culture, a special issue on integrating evolutionary research with literary and cultural theory. From the Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture, Franklin T. Wilson (ISU), Dennis R. Longmire (SHSU), and Warren Swymeler (UCM): The Absence of Gay and Lesbian Police Officer Depictions in the First Three Decades of the Core Cop Film Genre; and Andrew Welsh (WLU): Sex and Violence in the Slasher Horror Film: A Content Analysis of Gender Differences in the Depiction of Violence. A review of Campaign Solutions: How Challenger Candidates Maximize Money, Media, Message and Management by Joseph Gaylord. A review of The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies. From Obit, Judy Bachrach on the death of guilt: Blame and condemnation are things of the past. More on The Wind from the East: French Intellectuals, the Cultural Revolution, and the Legacy of the 1960s by Richard Wolin. From Vice, a weird interview with Antoine Dodson, viralized within an inch of his life. Copyrighting the Bible: Sam Spade is just as fictional as the Maltese falcon but the Gospel of Judas, well, that is real — it really is the “stuff that dreams are made of”. Archeologist Patrick McGovern has found some of the oldest alcoholic beverages known to history, and he wants you to take a glug. Dissenters in Vladimir Putin's Russia have found a new source of musical inspiration: a homegrown version of Tupac Shakur and Public Enemy.

I’m American, and you? Nativist politics may well yield short-term advantages for the Republican party — history suggests, however, that the long term may be more problematic. What does an American look like? The ideals of inclusivity and diversity are losing ground in the general public. Joel Kotkin on the changing demographics of America. A review of True American: Language, Identity and the Education of Immigrant Children by Rosemary Salomone. How to speak American: The proverbial village idiot might be described as unfit to “carry guts to a bear” or “pour piss out of a boot”. Ephemera Studies is devoted to the preservation and study of ephemeral publications that provide more-nuanced pictures of American culture and life. What sort of political phenomenon is the United States? Arguably the first modern nation-state, it seems increasingly anachronistic. From TAS, a cover story on America's ruling class and the perils of revolution. Michael Lind on the fantasy of a vast upper middle class: College isn't for everyone, neither is the stock market. The crisis of middle-class America: Most families have been struggling with flat incomes for more than a generation, a long-term decline in fortunes. What the Great Recession has done to family life: Surveys continue to show that the impact is deep, widespread and grim. From New Politics, what happened to the American working class? A review of The Future of Democratic Equality: Rebuilding Social Solidarity in a Fragmented America by Joseph Schwartz. When will America be ripe for socialism? Are the American people obsolete? The richest few don't need the rest of us as markets, soldiers or police anymore. The American Dream won’t die: The US is in a demoralizing rut today, but this malaise will give way to a re-invented and vibrant society less than a decade from now.