From NYRB, a review essay by Anthony Grafton on our universities: Why are they failing? The first chapter from Between Citizens and the State: The Politics of American Higher Education in the 20th Century by Christopher P. Loss. After a year of study, the National Science Foundation has come up with an outline for what it sees as research priorities in the coming decade in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences. Ethnic Studies myths: It's time to separate fact from fiction regarding TUSD's Mexican-American Studies classes. College for all? The college-educated share of America’s population has barely increased in years; the key to reviving mass higher education may be to rethink the divide between high school and college. From Expositions, a special section on the future of the classics. What can Plato teach me that I can't find on Wikipedia? An interview with Jeffrey Brenzel on the essential value of a classic education. From LARB, Jocelyn Heany on teaching in a community college and the talk about higher education. Why is Yale outsourcing a campus to Singapore? In their race to go global, American colleges are ignoring the roots of liberal education. A review of Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy by Kathleen Fitzpatrick. What is college for? Our views on the "failure" of higher education may be based on a basic misunderstanding of its essential function. Check out this alternative to college. The problem solvers: What, if anything, can a former hedge fund analyst and his motley crew of Silicon Valley number-crunchers teach higher education? Robert Weissberg on why academic gobbledygook makes sense.

A new issue of the Journal of Humanistic and Social Studies is out. Lots of truth, too much hype: Herbert Gintis reviews Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). A look at how the ghost town of Doel, Belgium will lose its street art when it ceases to exist. An excerpt from Obama on the Couch: Inside the Mind of a President by Justin A. Frank. Is it time to rebuild and retool public libraries and make “techshops”? How we think is how we are: Maria Konnikova on the power of self-stereotyping. Pushing the government to speak plainly: If you want to understand Americans’ frustration with Washington, you might start with the very words the government uses to communicate with them. David McRaney on why we can't tell good wine from bad. Teaching good sex: Introducing pleasure to the peril of sex education. The forgotten auteur: Raju Peddada on Buster Keaton and the genius of his films (and part 2). From Boston Review, governments have proven unable to hold companies responsible for labor and environmental practices — but with the right tools, consumers can pick up the slack. From the Daily Dot, an article on the strange times of Barrett Brown, anonymous prankster, provocateur, or profiteer. Time to stop and stare: If we know exactly what our research is meant to deliver, and have no time or energy to wander beyond that, then creative thinking is over. Ron Paul’s phony populism: The libertarian presidential candidate is a true friend of the 1 percent. A look at 6 everyday offenses that should be punishable by death.

Steven W. Bender (Seattle): Gringo Alley. How do you solve a problem like Cecilia? A once-fierce advocate of immigrant rights turns into the Obama administration's mouthpiece on deportations. The end of Chinatown: Does China’s rise mean the end of one of America’s most storied ethnic enclaves? A review of All Indians Do Not Live in Teepees (or Casinos) by Catherine C. Robbins. How do you prove you’re an Indian? Human zoo: For centuries, indigenous peoples were displayed as novelties. Why are Indian reservations so poor? John Koppisch a look at the Bottom 1%. Tribal fates: Wynne Parry on why the Navajo have succeeded. Un-Civil War: When North fought South, it was Indians who lost. American Indians with African ancestry outdid "full bloods" in reproductive terms in the early 1900s, despite the odds being against them. Now that race is back at center stage, the times are ripe for Patrice Evans’s Negropedia, a funny/serious dissection of the racial landscape. A review of Beauty Shop Politics: African American Women's Activism in the Beauty Industry by Tiffany M. Gill. Adam Winkler uncovers the surprising racist roots of gun control in America — and how the NRA and other groups flipped entirely. "Sovereigns" in Black: Members of "Moorish" groups and other black Americans are taking up the ideas of the radical "sovereign citizens" movement. Ta-Nehisi Coates on what Bill Cosby means to the white populist mind. A review of One Hundred Percent American: The Rebirth and Decline of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s by Thomas R. Pegram and Gospel According to the Klan: The KKK’s Appeal to Protestant America, 1915-1930 by Kelly J. Baker. The League of the South started out verbally defending the South, then went on to advocate secession — now, its rhetoric has turned to arms. Andrew Jackson, original teabagger: Unlike his effete rival, he loved stock-carriage races and getting shot — meet the first Real American.