From Zeek, if not now, when? And if now, why? A review of Jews and American Popular Culture. Nazi propaganda and the Holocaust: A review of "Davon haben wir nichts gewusst!" Die Deutschen und die Judenverfolgung 1933-1945 by Peter Longerich and The Jewish Enemy, Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust by Jeffrey Herf. A Woman Out of Time: In 1938, at the height of U.S. isolationism, Americans devoured Phyllis Bottome's chronicle of a German-Jewish family's struggle to survive under the Nazi regime. A new issue of Open Letters Monthly is out, including Onion Skins and Grass Cuttings: Joanna Scutts is judge and jury over the reviewers of Gunter Grass’s Peeling the Onion, who rather too frequently forgot they were supposed to be considering a book; and reading a book rendered from Polish to French to English is like playing a game of Telephone. Andrew Crocker expounds on the pleasures of translations.
From The Believer, a look at The Official Guide to Official Handbooks: The rich legacy of putting others in their cultural place; can fiction be music? A review of Vain Art of the Fugue by Dumitru Tsepeneag; and what losses can language recover? A review of Notebook of Roses and Civilization by Nicole Brossard. A review of The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language by Christine Kenneally.
From Radar, My Bare Lady: An interview with Dita Von Teese, burlesque goddess of the boho set, on manners, maturity, and the problem with Marilyn. From Cafe Babel, pixel pirates, VJ-ing and Ars Electronica: Digital arts make their mark in all different artistic genres. A virtual journey. A review of E.O. Hoppé's Amerika: Modernist Photographs from the 1920s. From TLS, an article on subjective dread, self-dramatization and intimacy in Pugin's first work as an architect. From Sign and Sight, he story of the potato: Peter Michalzik talks to Luk Perceval and Thomas Thieme about self-loathing, the Dalai Lama and Moliere.
Joshua Fairfield (Indiana): Anti-Social Contracts: The Contractual Governance of Online Communities. Roman Catholic missionaries must reap a virtual harvest of cyber-souls in the kingdom of Second Life: this is the new instruction to the faithful. The new American way of death: Morbid curiosity and ridicule have replaced respect for the deceased at MyDeathSpace, where your life is an open book — even when you're 6 feet under. It’s Like YouTube Without the Cute Kitties: Next New Networks will pay for user-generated content and package it pretty. A monkey versus a dog. Who would win in a fight? Wikipedia has the answer, but sometimes being a source of such answers comes at a price. Here are the best undiscovered clips on the Web.
From Open Democracy, responsibility and neo-liberalism: The triumph of neo-liberal globalisation is also the imposition of a new mode of governance of institutions and individuals, to which the idea of responsibility is central. Grahame Thompson examines this achievement and assesses what can be done to address it. From American, a review of The State After Statism: New State Activities in the Age of Liberalization by Jonah Levy; and a review of How Countries Compete: Strategy, Structure and Government in the Global Economy by Richard H.K. Vietor. The two most powerful jobs in global economics - - leadership of the IMF and the presidency of the World Bank - - are still old-fashioned stitch-ups. An epidemic of white jeeps: Aid is well-intentioned and the recipient countries are truly needy, a curmudgeonly and heretical thought occurs: is this overkill?
From YaleGlobal, an essay on Interrupting a History of Tolerance (and part 2 and part 3). Getting Comfy With Genocide: Is the word losing its power to shock us into action? Don't Worry, Be Happy: Things are not going as badly in the world as most people think. From Radar, an article on the the Most Powerful People You've Never Heard Of. Nelson Mandela marked his 89th birthday with the launch of a group, including ex-presidents, with "almost 1,000 years of collective experience" to deal with problems that governments are unable or unwilling to confront. A review of The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS by Helen Epstein. Extremophile Journalism: The role of science journalists in the developing world is more important than ever. Are volunteer vacations, the so-called voluntourism industry, merely overpriced guilt trips with an impact as fleeting as the feel-good factor? Or do they offer individuals a real chance to change the world, one summer jaunt at a time?
A review of Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy by Matthew R. Simmons. The Other Failed Invasion: Somalia is shaping up to be another disaster in the war on terrorism. Michael Scheuer on Al-Qaeda's theological enforcer: Libyan Abu Yahya al-Libi seems to be assuming the unique position of insurgent-theologian. Iraqi resistance groups are waging a devastating guerrilla war against British and US forces. Their leaders talk about plans for a united front and how they have come to hate al-Qaida for its indiscriminate killing. Irrelevant Exuberance: Phillip Carter on why the latest good news from Iraq doesn't matter. What explains the apparent paradox of America’s battered global image on one hand — and booming U.S. global earnings on the other?
From National Journal, who making what in the White House: The numbers are in, from the White House chief of staff to the most junior assistant. Form The Hill, the latest edition of the 50 Most Beautiful People on Capitol Hill. A small but growing number of lobbyists who volunteer their services for a really special set of special interests: They're helping nonprofits push legislative agendas, asylum-seekers get citizenship and monuments get designated as federal landmarks. Downtown Geekville: The chief lobbyist for the Marijuana Policy Project has short, clean-cut blond hair, and wears crisp, dark suits and conservative red-and-blue patterned ties. There is not a hint of dope pusher about him. He doesn’t even have a tattoo. Summertime, and living in DC is easy: An ode to the beauty and contradictions of our nation's capital in the dog days of August.
From The American Interest, Francis Fukuyama on The Kings and I. Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. on how it's the 1930s all over again. Samantha Power reviews the US Army/Marine Counterinsurgency Field Manual; Containment: Rebuilding a Strategy Against Global Terror by Ian Shapiro; On Suicide Bombing by Talal Asad; and The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation by Stephen Flynn. Why the anti-war movement doesn't embrace the Iraqi resistance: A response to Cockburn. From The Weekly Standard, for nearly 200 years, cadets at the United States Military Academy have been guided by the "Thayer System," a rigid structure of unyielding regulation, austere discipline, fierce loyalty, and strong emphasis on math, science, and engineering. After two centuries of success, it might be time to make some changes.
From Commentary, Terry Teachout on Our Creed and Our Character. Creation Myth: A review of The Fourth of July and the Founding of America by Peter de Bolla. A review of Americanism: The Fourth Great Western Religion by David Gelernter. What does it mean for something to be "un-American"? The real questions are what do we want to be as Americans, and what do we want our country to represent? An interview with Kevin R. C. Gutzman, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution. "I didn't like Nixon until Watergate": Rick Perlstein on why conservative ideology, as it is lived in the real world, is in its way as abominable as Leninism. An interview with former senator John Danforth on how “moral values” have polarized America.
The introduction to Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them by Philippe Legrain (and an interview). A judge in Pennsylvania strikes down Hazleton's anti-immigration law. How will the ruling affect the community, and immigration policies throughout the US? Time for a more radical Immigrant-Rights Movement: Congress's failure to pass immigration reform legislation is being used to crack down on undocumented immigrants in several states. Now supported by a multimillion-dollar industry: An excerpt from Once Upon a Quinceanera: Coming of Age in the USA by Julia Alvarez. From TNR, Strangled by Roots: Steven Pinker on the genealogy craze in America. From PopMatters, a review of Know What I Mean? Reflections on Hip-Hop; Is Bill Cosby Right? or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?; and Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur by Michael Eric Dyson (and more on Is Bill Cosby Right?).
From National Journal, Beyond Trade Adjustment Assistance: Clive Crook on why the country needs a better safety net for displaced workers – not just for those who lost their jobs because of trade. A new study addressing the plight the American worker in a global economy tries to solve economic inequity through tax policy rather than systemic change. A much broader vision is required. Bogus Europe Envy: What's behind corporate America's disingenuous new campaign to cut its taxes. Family-Leave Values: Do workers have a fundamental right to care for their families? The latest front in the job-discrimination battle. GOP moms between a rock and the hard Right: A Republican Congresswoman describes her life as a working mother to a room full of young conservative women. Mixed messages abound.
A review of Second Philosophy: A Naturalistic Method by Penelope Maddy. A review of Explaining the Cosmos: The Ionian Tradition of Scientific Philosophy by Daniel Graham. A review of Non-locality and Possible Worlds: A Counterfactual Perspective on Quantum Entanglement by Tomasz F. Bigaj. Quantum Computing, yes, no, or both? The past 60 years have seen a phenomenal growth in the power of information technology, with almost every aspect of our lives now reliant upon some form of micro-processor.
Planets are popping up all over the galaxy, but, while we can detect them, tantalizing details are beyond our reach, and a look at the top 10 most intriguing extrasolar planets. Of Cosmic Rays and Dangerous Days: Long-term cycles in the sun's orbit may have influenced evolution on Earth. A review of The Edge of Evolution by Michael Behe. Monkeys seem to learn the same way humans do, a new research study indicates. Do chimps have culture? What can we learn from the fact that chimps can teach each other. A Very Singular Revolution: Research finds experimental evidence that supports a controversial theory of genetic conflict in the reproduction of those animals that support their developing offspring through a placenta.
The Real Transformers: Researchers are programming robots to learn in humanlike ways and show humanlike traits. Could this be the beginning of robot consciousness — and of a better understanding of ourselves? A review of A History of Modern Experimental Psychology: From James and Wundt to Cognitive Science by George Mandler. A review of Self-Consciousness by Sebastian Rodl. A review of The Self Awakened: Pragmatism Unbound by Roberto Mangabeira Unger. A review of Self: Ancient and Modern Insights about Individuality, Life, and Death by Richard Sorabji.
From Reason, would you give up your immortality to ensure the success of a posthuman world?; freezing or uploading: Which road to immortality would you choose?; more on lust, longevity, and FDA reform at the World Future Society Conference; and peace and prosperity through productivity: Can economic growth solve all the problems in the world? Eternity for Atheists: Is God necessary for immortality? Jim Holt investigates. An interview with Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion. A review of Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia by John Gray. A review of Better Than Both: The Case for Pessimism by Peter Heinegg.