From Artforum, a review of Art and Revolution: Transversal Activism in the Long Twentieth Century by Gerald Raunig (and the introduction). From Bookforum, a review of Allan Antliff’s Anarchy and Art: From the Paris Commune to the Fall of the Berlin Wall. A review of The Warhol Economy: How Fashion, Art and Music Drive New York City by Elizabeth Currid. A review of Art and Sex in Greenwich Village: Gay Literary Life After Stonewall by Felice Picano. An excerpt from Gay Artists in Modern American Culture: An Imagined Conspiracy by Michael S. Sherry. A review of Greg Bottoms’s The Colorful Apocalypse: Journeys in Outsider Art. From Print, Local Projects is turning museums into places where people interact with information—and each other. Its latest commission will have the whole country joining the conversation; and Getty Images revolutionized the stock photo business. Now that the industry is shifting again, is Getty’s future in jeopardy?
From Commentary, Terry Teachout on Selling Classical Music. A review of Debussy: The Quiet Revolutionary by Victor Lederer. A review of John Worthen’s Robert Schumann: Life and Death of a Musician and Beate Perrey’s The Cambridge Companion to Schumann. The dark heart of German culture: A review of The Wagner Clan by Jonathan Carr (and more). The science of music: Why does music affect us like no other art? An American scientist thinks he can explain these "glorious illusions". A review of The House That George Built: With a Little Help From Irving, Cole, and a Crew of About Fifty by Wilfrid Sheed. A review of Ben Ratliff’s Coltrane: The Story of a Sound. From Cafe Babel, Bernstein’s cult West Side Story first hit Broadway in 1957. Fifty years later, John Travolta fights the fatsuit in the remake of Hairspray whilst Edinburgh's Jihadi heroes "Wanna Be Like Osama" - - the musical is in meltdown.
From Wired, how Mark Zuckerberg turned Facebook into the Web's hottest platform. Companions through the ages: Many commentators knock it but Facebook friendship, with its rigid conventions, is a little like the medieval convention of courtly love. Inside the Googleplex: It is rare for a company to dominate its industry while claiming not to be motivated by money. Google does. But it has yet to face a crisis. Who's afraid of Google? The world's internet superpower faces testing times. How the internet has changed the world: Weren’t we some type of King Kong-esque beast before we started riding Segways and drinking chai at WiFi hotspots? Did you know that eBay started as a place to sell Pez dispensers? The story goes like this. Nobody's perfect: Constant software updates remind us that we are all works in progress. The Web is the Worst Place to Grieve: LiveJournal suicides, Theresa Duncan, and why you need to shut your laptop to mourn the dead.
Melissa Thomas (SAIS): What Do the Worldwide Governance Indicators Measure? Andrew Rose (UC-Berkeley): Well-Being in the Small and in the Large. That empty-nest feeling: The World Bank, founded to fight poverty, is searching for the right role in places that need its help less and less. A new issue of the IMF's Finance and Development is out, on the March of the Cities, including essays on The Urban Revolution; Urban Poverty; Governance; and what is the biggest challenge in managing large cities? World-Wide Slum Growth: An excerpt from Planet of Slums by Mike Davis. Condom Nations: Where is sex safer: sub-Saharan Africa or Scandinavia? According to the world’s largest sex survey, whether you have unprotected sex isn’t a matter of being male or female, gay or straight. When it comes to risky bedroom behavior, what matters most may be where you live. An article on condoms and their place in history.
From Eurozine, does a civil-war mentality exist in Hungary? A roundtable interview. An essay on Vaclav Havel as an authentic humanist and cultural hero for our times (and part 2 and part 3). Czechs with few mates: The heirs of Vaclav Havel deserve more respect in Europe for supporting democrats abroad. French told to try smiling for once: The grumpy Gallic image is getting a makeover as the nation starts to lose tourists. A review of Testimony: France in the Twenty-first Century by Nicolas Sarkozy. Personal trivia, it seems, tells us quite a lot about France's leader: A review of L'Aube le soir ou la nuit by Yasmina Reza. Time to call it a day for Belgium: Sometimes it is right for a country to recognise that its job is done. Switzerland is known as a haven of peace and neutrality. But today it is home to a new extremism that has alarmed the UN. Proposals for laws that target the country's immigrants have been condemned as unjust and racist. Has Switzerland become Europe's heart of darkness?
From Commentary, Max Boot on How Not to Get Out of Iraq. Immanuel Wallerstein on the Vietnam analogy. Robert Kaplan on how the Vietnam analogy looms ever larger in the debate over Iraq, but the U.S. military has memories of that conflict that the public doesn't. The Former-Insurgent Counterinsurgency: In a Sunni stronghold just south of Baghdad, the U.S. military has been persuading militants to switch sides. But it’s not at all clear that the enemy’s new enemy is really a friend; and the American military has a new strategy for fighting Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia — American soldiers are now working with Sunni counterinsurgents. David Petraeus describes the Iraq War as a war of figurative inches. Before Congress, he's likely to emphasize these smaller achievement instead of the bigger picture — which is unquestionably bleak. Hubris v. Humility: What Dostoevsky can tell us about Iraq. Waiting for the general (and a miracle): America agonises over the pitfalls of staying in Iraq—and of leaving.
From TAC, One-Child Foreign Policy: Declining birth rates will result in smaller armies, but fewer wars won’t necessarily mean a safer world; and can we win the ideological war? America has ideals; bin Laden has goals. A Values-Based Foreign Policy in a Dangerous World: An interview with Anne-Marie Slaughter; and Jean Bethke Elshtain on defending American values at home and abroad. A review of Security First: For a Muscular, Moral Foreign Policy by Amitai Etzioni. The Other Path of Neoconservatism: A review of Francis Fukuyama's America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy. A review of World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism by Norman Podhoretz (and more and more). Is America on course to fall like Rome? Comptroller General of the United States David M. Walker wants to know. Bet on America: Forget the doom and gloom. In 50 years, the US will still be No. 1.
Daniel Greenwood (Utah): Should Corporations Have First Amendment Rights? The Border Boondoggle: Once again, companies are cashing on perceived threats to America. You will not believe how low the War Profiteers have gone: In Iraq, private contractors are guaranteed huge profits no matter how badly they fuck things up. Companies Behaving Badly: The sad story of a U.S. Firm's Colombia mine. In search of the good company: The debate about the social responsibilities of companies is heating up again. Take My Company, Please! The desperate corporations that will do anything to unload unwanted subsidiaries. Past rites: How companies can benefit from looking backwards as well as forwards. From The New Yorker, James Surowiecki on Profits of Doom: When Wall Street needs bad news. Oh! What a lovely crunch: Rumours of the death of research have been exaggerated.
From TLS, Richard Dawkins reviews God is Not Great: The case against religion by Christopher Hitchens. A review of Darwin's Angel: An Angelic Riposte to the God Delusion by John Cornwell. An excerpt from In God We Doubt: Confessions of an Angry Agnostic by John Humphrys. A review of God Needs No Passport: Immigrants and the Changing American Religious Landscape by Peggy Levitt. Jerry Falwell was right: A review of God's Judgments: Interpreting History and the Christian Faith by Steven J. Keillor. Memories of a massacre 150 years ago, which saw militia butcher 120 settlers, still colour America's view of Mormons. Onward, Secular Soldiers: Memo to candidates: There are more atheists, agnostics and skeptics out there than you think. How about sending us some love?
From Critical Inquiry, Nancy Fraser on Abnormal Justice; Slavoj Zizek on Tolerance as am Ideological Category; an interview with Alain Badiou; and Danny Postel interviews Tzvetan Todorov (and part 2 and part 3). Arthur Danto reviews Richard Rorty's Philosophy as Cultural Politics: Philosophical Papers. From Bookforum, After The Last Intellectual: Twenty years ago, Russell Jacoby’s The Last Intellectuals: American Culture in the Age of Academe mourned the death of the freelance thinker and examined its fresh corpse. But did we misread Jacoby’s autopsy? AC Grayling is worried terrorism threats will be exploited to grind down the West's secular, liberal tradition, and an excerpt from Towards The Light. Did post-Enlightenment philosophers reject the idea of original sin and the view that life is a quest for redemption from it? The introduction to Philosophical Myths of the Fall by Stephen Mulhall. A land where God is absent: A review of A Secular Age by Charles Taylor.
Francisco J. Gomes (LBS), Laurence J. Kotlikoff (BU) and Luis M. Viceira (Harvard): The Excess Burden of Government Indecision. From The Nation, Robin Blackburn reviews Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction by Thomas K. McCraw. The preface to Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism by Jorg Guido Hulsmann. A Master of Theory and Practice: A profile of Harvard macroeconomist Robert Barro. From Campus Progress, Know Your Right-Wing Speakers: Bryan Caplan: the George Mason economist favors free market biases over legitimate democracy, and has more ears in Washington than you might think. How to work and play a little better: A review of Discover Your Inner Economist by Tyler Cowen.
From Open Letters Monthly, a review of Present at the Future: From Evolution to Nanotechnology, Candid and Controversial Conversations on Science and Nature by Ira Flatow. A review of The Evolving Brain: The Known and the Unknown by R. Grant Steen. A review of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain by Maryanne Wolf. An article on the growing therapeutic science of deep-brain stimulation (DBS). A review of The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature by Steven Pinker. Holy @&%*! Author Steven Pinker thinks we're hardwired to curse. Are humans the only species to have moral feelings? An interview with Frans de Waal. When trying to understand someone's intentions, non-human primates expect others to act rationally by performing the most appropriate action allowed by the environment, according to a new study. Humane league: How to do fewer, better animal experiments.