From Bookforum, Roamin' Legions: Fifty years after the publication of On the Road, the question remains: Where was Kerouac going? (and more, and more from American Heritage). The Beats gave us a plague of lazy writers: Like it or not, they're responsible for turning impressionable young males into seriously bad authors. From TLS, a review of The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as writers in community by Diana Pavlac Glyer; a review of Cultural Amnesia: Notes in the margin of my time by Clive James; and 150 years after the birth of Joseph Conrad, a look back to E. V. Lucas's 1907 review of The Secret Agent — a book which reminds us "how simple men really are". A review of The Several Lives of Joseph Conrad by John Stape. A review of Joseph Conrad: His Moral Vision, by George A. Panichas.
From Ralph, a review of The Book That Changed My Life: 71 Remarkable Writers Celebrate The Books that Matter Most to Them. From American, a review of The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself by Susan Bell. Giving a book a high quotation: A carefully chosen epigraph can add an extra dimension, but trying to look learned will get you nowhere. Fans of books like Eats, Shoots and Leaves have nothing to fear. There is no reason to suppose that America is on its way to no one knowing the difference between quotation marks and emphasis. One of the week's best invented words: Remasculate: "to regain one's masculinity after engaging in a less-than-masculine activity". Are litblogs making writers risk-averse? How would the literary New Puritans have fared if they had launched their movement in the days of the blogosphere?
A review of The Cult of the Amateur: How today's internet is killing our culture by Andrew Keen. From The Economist's "Technology Quarterly", the idea of sending information through the air in the form of flashes of light is being given a high-tech makeover. The online numbers game: Measuring web traffic is far from an exact science, and that's a big problem for online advertisers. From OJR, how Robin Miller saved hundreds of newspapers... and won $2000. From New York, hard-charging editor-in-chief Col Allan spent the last year at the center of one embarrassing Post incident after another. But he remains the undaunted master of the tabloid art, and he can still drink you under the table. The celebrity interview is dead: Lennon's attack on McCartney, Nixon's near-confession, Bacon's revelations: none of these could have happened today.
From Finance & Development, The Rise of Sovereign Wealth Funds: We don't know much about these major state-owned players. The first chapter from Reputation and International Cooperation: Sovereign Debt across Three Centuries by Michael Tomz. The first chapter from The Social Construction of Free Trade: The European Union, NAFTA, and Mercosur by Francesco Duina. A review of Making Globalization Work by Joseph Stiglitz. Why capitalism needs terror: An interview with Naomi Klein, and a review of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Comment is free debates The Shock Doctrine. The thesis of a new book by Naomi Klein is that unconstrained free-market policies go hand in hand with undemocratic political policies (and more and more and more and more, and an excerpt). Robert Kuttner on the myth that nations become more democratic as they become more market-oriented.
From New Left Review, Richard Walker and Daniel Buck on The Chinese Road: The PRC’s breakneck transition to capitalism seen through the prism of 19th-century Europe and America, as its cities rehearse the processes analysed by Marx: commodification of land and labour, formation of markets and capitalist elites. What lessons might the West’s past hold for China’s future? Death by consumerism: As part of its "civilising mission" - and to deter independence - China is taking control of the Tibetan economy. Modernity is being imposed by force, creating ghettos and spreading deprivation across the countryside. The Tao of Junk: Pundits bemoan our trade deficit with China. But those container ships aren't heading home empty. China's eternal empire: Its power — dating back thousands of years — has always rested on restricting basic rights. A review of The First Emperor of China by Frances Wood.
From LRB, Perry Anderson on Depicting Europe. A review of Geert Mak's In Europe: Travels Through the Twentieth Century. Overweight but underpowered: The European Union is an economic giant with surprisingly little clout. From Transit, directly after the fall of communism, hopes burgeoned for democracy and capitalism in a "new" eastern central Europe. What does the current climate of populism, and in many cases an accompanying extremist nationalism, mean for these hopes? Central Eastern Europeans must be given the time they need to unravel their complex legacy of Communism and Fascism. From Eurozine, Poland's relations with Germany, Russia, and Ukraine are determined by its perception of these countries' contrition — or lack thereof — for wartime damages. Sovereignty Wars: The troubled relationship between the European Union and Russia is about more than policies or interests - it reflects a fundamental clash between two political visions of the post-cold-war world.
From Governing, The Young and the Restless: There are proven ways to recruit and retain the emerging generation. Most states and localities don’t seem to know about them. From Government Executive, A Transformative Idea: In defense of a plan to create a U.S. Public Service Academy. Finding our way to great work: An article on Eleanor Roosevelt and the life of public service. Things can still only get better: Talk of moral decline shows that people still refuse to give up on the idea of a better world. Does capitalism make us more materialistic? Ben O'Neill investigates. A review of The Billionaire Who Wasn’t: How Chuck Feeney Secretly Made and Gave Away a Fortune by Conor O’Clery. Who’s the most charitable of us all? Celebrities don’t always make the cut. A review of Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World by Bill Clinton. And for My Second Act, I’ll Make Some Money: Athletes do it. So do movie stars. Why not former presidents?
Charles de Bartolome (Colorado) and Stephen Ross (Connecticut): The Race to the Suburb: The Location of the Poor in a Metropolitan Area. The first chapter from The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South by Matthew D. Lassiter. Not in Whose Backyard? America’s poorest neighborhoods are also its most polluted. What can be done? Scientists find out gentrification is bad for you: At a time when we hail creativity as an urban panacea from New York to Toronto, from Berlin to Shanghai, those who research the downside of gentrification, and expose social exclusion and marginalization will not go silently into the urban night. A review of Robert Moses and the Modern City by Hilary Ballon and Kenneth T. Jackson. The Morphing Megalopolis: In the 1950s, the urban corridor from Boston to Washington looked like a radical innovation in human settlement.
Harold Southerland (FSU): Love for Sale: Sex and the Second American Revolution. Libby Adler (Northeastern): The Dignity of Sex. From TLS, a review of In Praise of the Whip: A cultural history of arousal by Niklaus Largier. Wide-Stance Sociology: A legendary social science book is back in the news. Scott McLemee looks at a controversial classic, Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places by Laud Humphreys. So Many Men's Rooms, So Little Time: Christopher Hitchens on why men like Larry Craig continue to court danger in public places. Gay By Choice? An article on the Science of Sexual Identity: If science proves sexual orientation is more fluid than we've been led to believe, can homosexuality still be a protected right? The Larry Craig story, combining as it does the libidinal and the scatological, has been a comic bonanza. Larry Craig's downfall: In 20 years, the sexual issues and tensions that led to Craig's demise will not matter anymore.
David Hugh-Jones (Essex): Federalism and Democratic Forms. Chris Bonneau (Pittsburgh): The United States Supreme Court: Continuity and Change. Mark Tushnet (Harcard): The Rights Revolution. Scott Shapiro (Michigan): The Hart-Dworkin Debate: A Short Guide to the Perplexed. Brian Z. Tamanaha (St. John's): Understanding Legal Pluralism: Past to Present, Local to Global. Brian Bix (Minnestota): Law as an Autonomous Discipline. Steven Douglas Smith (San Diego): Jurisprudence: Beyond Extinction? An interview with Steven Smith, author of Law's Quandary. If you are looking for the future of legal scholarship, chances are that you may find it not in a treatise or the traditional law review but in a different form, profoundly influenced by the blogosphere. A review of The Constitutionalist: Notes on the First Amendment by George Anastaplo.
From Metapsychology, a review of Neuroscience and Philosophy: Brain, Mind, and Language by Maxwell Bennett, Peter Hacker, Daniel Dennett, and John Searle; a review of Neuroethics. A review of Cerebrum 2007: Emerging Ideas in Brain Science; a review of The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams, and God by David J. Linden; and a review of How the Body Shapes the Way We Think: A New View of Intelligence by Rolf Pfeifer and Josh C. Bongard. Mind Over Manual: Despite the great progress being made in neuroscience, we still don’t have a clear picture of the brain mechanisms underlying most mental illnesses. Low Technologies, High Aims: MIT has nurtured dozens of Nobel Prize winners in cerebral realms, but lately it has turned its attention toward concrete thinking to improve the lives of the poor.
The Washington Post asks educators, lawmakers and others for their views of No Child Left Behind, and what might improve it. Teaching Past the Test: Schools are leveraging data collected for No Child Left Behind to improve individual student performance. Students have real-life problems too: Grades and learning often pale in comparison to the hard-luck realities faced outside the classroom. You and Your Quirky Kid: What parents and experts say about the children who just don't fit in. An interview with William J. Bennett on all things education. Maryland's Joppatowne High School became the first school in the country dedicated to churning out would-be Jack Bauers. An interview with Abigail Jones and Marissa Miley, authors of Restless Virgins: Love, Sex, and Survival at a New England Prep School. Come Back, Mr. Chips: Stereotyping, low pay, lack of role models. Why the number of men teaching in schools is at a 40-year low.