William A. Hilyerd (Louisville): Hi Superman, I'm a Lawyer: A Guide to Attorneys (& Other Legal Professionals) Portrayed in American Comic Books: 1910-2007. Forget the theory, enjoy the strips: Douglas Wolk's Reading Comics isn't afraid to take comics seriously. Shakespeare in Dogpatch: Of sonnets and comic strips. Why cover art matters: How else are readers supposed to judge books before they've read them - except by how they look? Has any other literary genre captured the drama of bookishness better than bookish thrillers? Publishing never had a golden age: So, today's book industry is focused on profit margins and it's tough for authors to get themselves in print. What's new? The Highs and the Lows of Rankings on Amazon: Some authors compulsively check their sales rank on Amazon.com while others try to game the system.
From Sign and Sight, Modernism enters the museum: As Berlin's famed housing settlements from the Weimar Republic compete to become Unesco world heritage sites, Dankwart Guratzsch visits the exhibition at the Bauhaus Archiv to assess their credentials. The art of modesty: The question of what constitutes "provincial art" seems pretty remote in times of globalism, overlapping art fairs and the online availability of images. A touch of Gothic: A review of God's Architect: Pugin and the Building of Romantic Britain by Rosemary Hill. The paintings of Htein Lin, a former Burmese dissident who has given up politics for art, serve as something of an antidote to the regime's propaganda. The things we leave behind, one man's all-consuming art: Chris Jordan's pictures quantify the things we consume. Life beyond the lens: New novels frame two of photography's most compelling legends, Edward Curtis and Edward Steichen.
From Smithsonian, Broadway, Inc.: With shows like "Legally Blonde" and "Wicked," the era of the name-brand musical is in full swing. Terry Teachout on Shakespeare the Relevant: Actors and directors keep reminding us that the Bard's works never grow old. A review of A Short Introduction to the Ancient Greek Theater by Graham Ley. A review of Troy: From Homer's Iliad to Hollywood Epic. Art of darkness: Joseph Conrad’s "engine of demonism" has influenced a century of cinema. A review of Oscar Micheaux. The Great and Only: The Life of America’s First Black Filmmaker by Patrick McGilligan. A review of Bambi vs Godzilla: On the Nature, Purpose, and Practice of the Movie Business by David Mamet (and more and more). A lot of White Russians, three German nihilists, one Vietnam vet and The Dude: Just why is The Big Lebowski such a celebrated cult film? The following is a list of most quotable films.
From New Statesman, a special report on the factors behind the miraculous success that is India, including a review of In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India by Edward Luce, Planet India: How the Fastest-Growing Democracy is Transforming India and the World by Mira Kamdar, Holy Warriors: A Journey Into the Heart of Indian Fundamentalism by Edna Fernandes, The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence and India’s Future by Martha Nussbaum, and India After Gandhi: the History of the World’s Largest Democracy by Ramachandra Guha. From The New Yorker, Pankaj Mishra on the legacy of Indian partition. Shashi Tharoor on an adventure called India: The reason India has survived all the stresses and strains that have beset it for 60 years is that it maintained consensus on how to manage without consensus. From Raj to riches: as India celebrates 60 years of independence, William Dalrymple salutes a country returning to its pre-colonial wealth.
America, India and the China bogey: The rise of China is no reason to trample on the non-proliferation regime. The People's Liberation Army is investing heavily to give China the military muscle to match its economic power. But can it begin to rival America? An interview with Susan Shirk, author of China: Fragile Superpower. A review of The Long March by Sun Shuyun. From Foreign Policy, in Beijing, some call her the “scum of the Earth” for her outspoken advocacy of Taiwanese independence. Her supporters call her Taiwan’s Nelson Mandela, because of her years as a political prisoner when Taiwan was ruled by the Kuomintang party. Either way, Taiwan’s vice president, Annette Lu, tends to make headlines with blunt talk; and with the world focused on Iraq, the standoff in the Taiwan Strait grows more explosive every day. Would the United States really go to war to protect Taiwan from China?
A presidential victory would be the climax of Park Geun-hye’s lifetime in politics in South Korea. From Japan Focus, Japan as a Nuclear State: An excerpt from Client State: Japan in the American Embrace by Gavan McCormack. A review of Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose by Kenneth B. Pyle. Here are 5 myths about the Japan that can say no. Despite a law promising equal opportunity, women in Japan have had trouble reaching positions of authority. Another history controversy is roiling Japan, or at least Okinawa. Should textbooks clearly state that the Imperial Japanese Army ordered the island's civilians to commit suicide rather than surrender to the Americans?
Marcia Pereira (Miami): The “War on Terror” Slippery Slope Policy: Guantanamo Bay and the Abuse of Executive Power. From The New Yorker, The Black Sites: A rare look inside the C.I.A.’s secret interrogation program (and more). Benjamin Wittes on the FISA bill and the real reason Gonzales needs to go. From Policy Review, an article on Making Intelligence Smart: Some necessary reforms; an article on "Declinism" and three centuries of gloomy forecasts about America; and Peter Berkowitz reviews The Matador’s Cape: America’s Reckless Response to Terror by Stephen Holmes. How to Fight the Next War: Before its next military intervention, the U.S. needs to ensure that its decision has the support of the world's democracies. Getting Iraq Wrong: Michael Ignatieff on what the war has taught him about political judgment.
Do Americans have reason to be gloomy about the economic outlook? Four writers from around the country provide a snapshot of their local economies. In Silicon Valley, millionaires who don’t feel rich: Many members of the digital elite do not see themselves as particularly fortunate, in part because others have more. Phoney fears grip America: A spectre is apparently haunting America – the spectre of “populism”. Daniel Gross reviews Falling Behind: How Rising Inequality Harms the Middle Class and The Economic Naturalist: In Search of Explanations for Everyday Enigmas by Robert H. Frank. Vacation, All I Never Wanted: Why don’t Americans take time off anymore? Maybe it’s because we just don’t need to. Ode to Annoying Co-Workers: Working at home, you see, ain't always a picnic. Do we really need a law to protect fat workers? They earn less, get less respect, and score fewer promotions. A discrimination ban might make sense.
The Coming of Kidults: A review of Consumed by Benjamin Barber. Were Peter Pan living today, he wouldn't have to fly away anywhere. He could be as boyish as he liked, for as long as he liked. His playfulness would moreover be seen as good — even essential — for the economy. Corporate owners sow fresh new killing fields: It's time to stop corporations from undermining public health policy. Kevin Drum on how to explain the health care crisis: A review of Sick: The Untold Story of America’s Health Care Crisis — and the People Who Pay the Price by Jonathan Cohn and The Health Care Mess: How We Got Into It and What It Will Take To Get Out by Julius Richmond and Rashi Fein. When Medical Studies Collide: Contradictory reports? Meta-analysis may make things more confusing. He's not young, he's my doctor: Nowhere is the tension between generations more acute than in the fraught medical field.
From The New Yorker, Man with a Plan: An article on Herbert Spencer’s theory of everything (and more on Herbert Spencer and the Invention of Modern Life by Mark Francis). A review of The Human Touch: Our Part in the Creation of a Universe by Michael Frayn. A review of Simplexity: The Simple Rules of a Complex World by Jeffery Kluger. The downside of diversity: Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam finds that diversity hurts civic life. What happens when a liberal scholar unearths an inconvenient truth? A review of The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer. A psychoanalyst for his age (but not ours): A review of Erik Erikson and the American Psyche: Ego, Ethics, and Evolution by Daniel Burston. A review of Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good by Jonathan Balcombe.
The Washington Post Magazine looks at issues in learning, including gap years, elementary school homework, the military and education, and a lesson in low-tech. James Surowiecki on how the huge profits that lenders make from student loans are being earned on the government’s dime. A review of The Protection of the Right to Education by International Law by Klaus Dieter. Form Policy Review, Frederick Hess and Chester E. Finn Jr. on how No Child Left Behind needs some work. A review of Tested: One American School Struggles to Make the Grade by Linda Perlstein. A review of Punishing Schools: Fear and Citizenship in American Public Schools by William Lyons and Julie Drew.
According to a survey by the Higher Education Research Institute, students entering college are staying away from religion in record numbers. The introduction to Faith in Schools? Autonomy, Citizenship, and Religious Education in the Liberal State by Ian MacMullen. Does the Bible have a place in public schools? New legal mandates and the rise of two national curricula are driving a surge in the number of classes — and the debate over how they're taught. An illusion gains credibility: For most, curriculum isn’t narrowing, despite focus on math, reading; or key subjects get short shrift? Mandates prevent students from getting a well-rounded education. In a new book, Studio Thinking: The Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education, Ellen Winner and Lois Hetland of Project Zero argue forcefully for the benefits of art education, while still defending their 2000 thesis.