A review of The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde Vol 4: Criticism; and Coffee With Oscar Wilde by Merlin Holland. A review of Ezra Pound: Poet: Volume 1: The Young Genius, 1885-1920 by A David Moody. Deed and word: Winston Churchill said that history would treat him kindly, because he would write it. And he did—with a prodigiousness that almost defies belief; but also with a literary craftsmanship that made his Nobel prize far more than just a Swedish thank you note. A poet's warning: In a witty 1946 poem, W.H. Auden contrasted the way of "experts" with the Hermetic path of the trickster. William Skidelsky on masters of disgrace: Philip Roth and JM Coetzee are very different writers, but with age, their visions are getting closer. Zuckerman Unbound: What should we make of Philip Roth's alter ego in his declining years? Was George Plimpton a literary giant? Uh, no—why does Philip Roth insist on arguing that he was? A review of Due Considerations: Essays and Criticism by John Updike. How gay were the Hardy Boys? Did their original author hide secret jokes inside the famous children's detective books? J. K. Rowling may think of Dumbledore as gay, but there is no reason why anyone else should.


Ashley Dawson (CUNY): The Return of Limits. Mark Sagoff (Maryland): Environmentalism: Death and Resurrection. Chris Turner, author of The Geography of Hope, believes most of the environment movement has been spreading the wrong message. It’s time for us to shift from despair to dreams. From The New Yorker, Neptune’s Navy: An article on Paul Watson’s wild crusade to save the oceans. The climate crucible: From parched earth, Australia sprouts a culture convinced that global warming can be overcome. An interview with Tim Flannery author of The Weather Makers: The History and Future Impact of Climate Change. Save the earth in two not-so-hard questions: Joseph Romm on what Steven Landsburg doesn't understand about climate change. An interview with Sierra Club’s Carl Pope on global warming, water, and Al Gore. From NPQ, scholars, thinkers, scientists and activists write on on "The 11th Hour", a documentary on global warming. From conservation to population, a new look at Planet Earth: Can nine billion humans survive and try to improve their lives without depleting the planet? The big choice for humanity is not whether but how we survive as a species: A review of The Lost and Left Behind: Stories from the Age of Extinctions by Terry Glavin. George Monbiot reads Cormac McCarthy's The Road: It shines a cold light on the dreadful consequences of our universal apathy. Regrettably, some Americans are simply not aware of how large an asshole footprint they leave on the planet. Here, Vanity Fair offers a questionnaire that will help such individuals determine the size and breadth of their footprint.


Darryn Jensen (Queensland): Liberal Egalitarianism and Religious Vilification Laws. The cliche that won’t die: Pundits claim that proponents of free speech and human rights are fundamentalists. From The Progressive, an interview with Christopher Hitchens on God is Not Great. From Jewcy, Hitchens v. D'Souza: Thoughts on the New Atheism debate. Are the "New Atheists" avoiding the "real arguments"? Consider the Nicene Creed. What the New Atheists don’t see: Theodore Dalrymple on why to regret religion is to regret Western civilization. A review of Darwin’s Angel: An Angelic Riposte to The God Delusion by John Cornwell. From Secular Web, a look at the argument from religious confusion, or problem of religious diversity. A review of Believing by Faith: An Essay in the Epistemology and Ethics of Religious Belief by John Bishop. A review of The Bible: A Biography by Karen Armstrong. From Theandros, a review of From Clement to Origen: The Social and Historical Context of the Church Fathers by David Ivan Rankin. An interview with Bryan M. Litfin author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction. A review of Believe Not Every Spirit: Possession, Mysticism, and Discernment in Early Modern Catholicism by Moshe Sluhovsky.


From The New York Observer, Mr. World War IV neocon patriarch Norman Podhoretz sells Rudy on Islamofascism and Thirty Years' War. From TNR, John Judis on the childhood roots of Giuliani's strange views of liberty; and Jonathan Chait on Giuliani's bizarrely punitive far-right economic beliefs. Rudy a lefty? Yeah, right: Who you callin' a moderate? Many of the men who hope to be the next president have made unreasoning, unjustified terror the centerpiece of their campaigns. Which Republican candidate is mas macho? In Iowa, McCain, Thompson and Giuliani vie for the title of Most Manly, in styles that range from low-key to aw-shucks to making glib jokes about torture. The art of the hissy fit: How the hypocritical conservatives use ritual humiliation techniques to keep the Democrats walking on eggshells. In praise of partisanship: If Democrats in Congress want to prevail, they need to stop appealing to Republicans and start fighting more aggressively. Early signs point to Democratic wins in Ohio's 2008 congressional races, with blue candidates out ahead in polling and in fundraising. Even party stalwarts acknowledge that tough times are ahead for Republicans in the state. Remembering Paul Wellstone: Five years ago we lost a politician who fearlessly stood up for the best of progressive ideals. That his positions are now coming into widespread acceptance is a testament of the courage of a man who spoke out for what was true.


From The Nation, a review of White Ethnic New York: Jews, Catholics, and the Shaping of Postwar Politics by Joshua M. Zeitz and Tough Liberal: Albert Shanker and the Battles Over Schools, Unions, Race, and Democracy by Richard D. Kahlenberg. Eight million sots in the Naked City: A review of Dry Manhattan: Prohibition in New York City by Michael A. Lerner; The Diary of a Rum-Runner by Alastair Moray; and Smugglers of Spirits: Prohibition and the Coast Guard Patrol by Harold Waters. A review of The Warhol Economy: How Fashion Art & Music Drive New York City by Elizabeth Currid. Can Buffalo ever come back? Probably not—and government should stop bribing people to stay there. From American Heritage, a look at when Pennsylvania was the earthly paradise. Looking for attractive people? Don't go to Philadelphia. Prince of the city: A review of The Culture Broker: Franklin D. Murphy and the Transformation of Los Angeles by Margaret Leslie Davis. In an unlikely marriage of desire to secede from the United States, two advocacy groups from opposite political traditions — New England and the South — are sitting down to talk. Stretching Freedom: Amongst secessionists, right and left, a true freedom fighter arrives on a mechanical white steed. Secede from the United States? An interview with Rob Williams of Vermont Commons. Jedediah Purdy on how the more US politicians speak about community and responsibility, the more Americans are coming to hate each other.


From LA Weekly, resistance is futile: How Takashi Murakami remade the world in his image. The anti-Chagall: A review of They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland Before the Holocaust by Mayer Kirshenblatt and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett. A review of The Most Arrogant Man in France: Gustave Courbet and the Nineteenth-Century Media Culture by Petra ten-Doesschate Chu. Hidden fires: She depicted Scotland in all its raw, shabby glory, but Joan Eardley’s art has long been unjustly ignored. Why? From The Globalist, an article on New London Architecture: How is once-classical London remaking itself into a modern city? A review of Canadian Churches: An Architectural History by Peter Richardson and Douglas Richardson and Old Canadian Cemeteries: Places of Memory by Jane Irwin. From The New York Observer, Robert A.M. Stern, the well-initialled dean of the Yale School of Architecture, doesn’t apologize for his chauffeur’s room at 15 CPW, his suede loafers, his fondness for the past or his designing for George W. Bush.


An excerpt from Curveball: Spies, Lies and the Con Man Who Caused a War by Bob Drogin (and a review). Make Walls, Not War: Iraq cannot be reconstructed as a unitary state, and the sooner we face up to this reality, the better. War is over, if you want it: Is the war in Iraq moving from folly to victory? How are we doing? A look at what Iraqis think of the US occupation. Walking the Freedom Trail: What can the experiences of General Thomas Gage, commander of British forces in North America from 1763 to 1775, teach the United States Army in Iraq? An excerpt from The Sandbox: Dispatches From Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Straitjacket Bush: The president's warmongering remarks on the Iranian threat suggest he is psychotic — really. A review of Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the U.S. and the Twisted Path to Confrontation by Barbara Slavin; Iran and the Rise of its Neoconservatives: The Politics of Tehran's Silent Revolution by Anoushiravan Ehteshami and Mahjoob Zweiri; and Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States by Trita Parsi. A review of The Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis by Reese Erlich. Martin van Creveld on why Iran is highly vulnerable to attack. It may sound counterintuitive but it could just be that Israel is overlooking what is possibly the best option available for avoiding a nuclear Iran. Various branches of the United States armed forces have issued directives to their members to use the term "Arabian Gulf" when operating in the Persian Gulf.


From TLS, Martha Nussbaum reviews The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil by Philip Zimbardo (and more). From Scientific American, a look at how traumatic therapies can have long-lasting effects on mental health. A review of From Morality to Mental Health: Virtue and Vice in a Therapeutic Culture by Mike W. Martin. A review of True to Our Feelings: What Our Emotions Are Really Telling Us by Robert C. Solomon. An interview with Satoshi Kanazawa, co-author of Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters: From Dating, Shopping, and Praying to Going to War and Becoming a Billionaire — Two Evolutionary Psychologists Explain Why We Do What We Do. A review of The Body Has a Mind of Its Own: How Body Maps in Your Brain Help You Do (Almost) Everything Better by Sandra Blakeslee and Matthew Blakeslee. A review of Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things by Madeleine L. Van Hecke. An excerpt from Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson. The first chapter from Strategic Intuition: The Creative Spark in Human Achievement by William Duggan.


From Salon, journalism and its discontents: Ninety years after Walter Lippmann first railed against the complicity of the media in wartime propaganda, we're back at ground zero. A review of Reality Show: Inside the Last Great Television News War by Howard Kurtz. A review of Turning Back the Clock: Hot Wars and Media Populism by Umberto Eco. When one of California's most prominent journalists was shot dead on the streets of Oakland, it shocked the community. But when it later emerged Chauncey Bailey had been murdered for investigating a local group of black activists, it stunned the nation. A review of The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington by Robert D. Novak. William Powers on the Art of Drudge: The Drudge Report is alive to the world in all its glory, horror, and absurdity, at a time when newspapers feel paralyzed and inert. From The New York Observer, fame and obscurity at The New York Times: The brand is you! The new new new Journalism thrives on the new anxiety in journalism—avoiding redundancy. Paying for news: Print newspapers are dying as readers stray to the internet. But is online journalism really ready to take over? Why you didn't pay to read this: Should newspaper Web sites really be free?


From Wired, a small press growing, how could it be? From old to new media, blog begets publishing house.  If you want proof that a cultural divide separates Europe and America, the book business is a place to start. A review of How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read by Pierre Bayard (and an interview). Jeremy Brosowsky saw a business opportunity and created Brijit, a Web site that creates 100-word abstracts of articles from dozens of magazines and rates them. Mark of Zotero: If you do research online, there’s a new digital tool that will make your life much easier. Scott McLemee plugs in. From The New Yorker, Anthony Grafton on the future of reading: Digitization and its discontents. Libraries shun deals to place books on Web: Several major research libraries have rebuffed offers from Google and Microsoft to scan their books, instead signing on with a nonprofit effort.  A review of Books on Fire: The Destruction of Libraries throughout History by Lucien X. Polastron. From Britannica, a series of articles on allegedly haunted libraries across the US and the world.

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