From The Nation, the left's literary canon has neglected the contributions less-celebrated writers have made to the political significance of literature: A review of Trinity of Passion: The Literary Left and the Antifascist Crusade by Alan Wald. From New Statesman, America's best critic: A review of Literary Essays and Reviews of the 1920s and 1930s and Literary Essays and Reviews of the 1930s and 1940s by Edmund Wilson. From The New Yorker, James Wood on understanding the capricious God of the Psalms; and drive, he wrote: Louis Menand on what the Beats were about. [The latest issue of Bookforum includes an article on fifty years after the publication of On the Road: Where was Kerouac going?]
From the International Journal of Baudrillard Studies, Jason Royce Lindsey (St. Cloud State): Rethinking the Political: Taking Baudrillard's “Silent Majorities” Seriously; Paul A. Taylor (Leeds): The Pornographic Barbarism of the Self-Reflecting Sign; an excerpt from The Deconstruction of Baudrillard: The "Unexpected Reversibility" of Discourse by Aleksandar Santrac; a review of Toward a Political Economy of Culture: Capitalism and Communication in the Twenty-First Century; a review of Traversing the Fantasy: Critical Responses to Slavoj Zizek; and a review of Postmodernism Is Not What You Think: Why Globalization Threatens Modernity by Charles Lemert and Subject to Ourselves: Social Theory, Psychoanalysis, and Postmodernity by Anthony Elliot.
From Greater Good, a special issue on Everyday Ethics, including an excerpt from Peter Singer and Jim Mason's The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter; and an interview with Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. Tim Flannery reviews The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan and Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben. The “locavore” movement says we should only eat what is grown within a few miles of where we live. How about a few feet? An experiment in Brooklyn-style subsistence farming, starring smelly chickens, an angry rabbit, a freak tornado, a vegetable garden to die for, two psyched kids, and a marriage in the weeds. In These Times goes inside A Freegan World. There is a new dimension in eco-terror: Enter the "Vegansexuals".
From the Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion, Stephen Newman (NYLS): Evolution and the Holy Ghost of Scopes: Can Science Lose the Next Round? Ian Hacking reviews Living with Darwin by Philip Kitcher; In the Beginning: Fundamentalism, the Scopes Trial, and the Making of the Antievolution Movement by Michael Lienesch; The Edge of Evolution by Michael Behe; and The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design by Ronald L. Numbers. The fight over separate schools predates the country itself. Religion, it turns out, is Canada's oldest and deepest fault line. Ghettoes of superstition: Far from aiding social cohesion, faith schools only cause further divisions. Religious worship must be relegated to the private sphere and kept there. Secrets and lies: Survivors of child abuse at religious schools are finally making their case. Homeschooling has undergone an extreme makeover. From maverick to mainstream, the movement has acquired a glamorous, populist sheen.
From Forward, The Politics of Language: An excerpt from Jews and Power by Ruth Wisse (and an interview); and a review of Foreskin’s Lament by Shalom Auslander. Who and what are Jews? A religion? race? ethnicity? nation? A review of A Living Lens: Photographs of Jewish Life from the Pages of the Forward. The Missionary Mogul: He’s the world’s biggest cutter and polisher of diamonds. He has the ear of the Russian and Israeli governments. But what Lev Leviev really cares about is what is good for the Jews (at least the Chabadniks). Spray-Fire Atonement: How cognitive behavioral psychology can help High Holy Day Jews who repent too much.
From TNR, is a "soft partition" the answer in Iraq? Wait a minute, Crocker: Iraq today is America from 1776-1965? Officials in the U.S. government are pinning their hopes for Iraq's future on a bottom-up approach based on the success of the "Anbar Awakening". The death of history: The near total destruction of Iraq's historic past – the very cradle of human civilisation – has emerged as one of the most shameful symbols of our disastrous occupation. Cullen Murphy on how the war in Iraq might leave us a new word to match a new sense of our own limitations. Iraq and the politics of withdrawal: An article on lessons from US occupations in Latin America. Christopher Hitchens on why it was right to dissolve the Iraqi Army. A review of Gulliver Unbound: America’s Imperial Temptation and the War in Iraq by Stanley Hoffmann.
David Ingram (Brunel): "Go to the forest and move": 1960s American Rock Music as Electronic Pastoral. Elizabeth Carroll (Appalachian State): The Answer to the Atom Bomb: Rhetoric, Identification, and the Grateful Dead. From Ecclectica, a special issue on Syd Barrett. From Atlantis, Jorge Sacido Romero and Luis Miguel Varela Cabo (Santiago de Compostela): Roger Waters’ Poetry of the Absent Father: British Identity in Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Death on the Installment Plan: An essay on growing old gracefully the Rolling Stones way. Enough with the 1980s: Nostalgia is all the rage, and maybe that's not a good thing. From Cracked, a list of the 20 worst album titles of all time and the 25 most ridiculous band names in rock history.
Tara Brabazon (Brighton): Socrates in Earpods? The iPodification of Education; and Herpes for the Information Age: Plagiarism and the Infection of Universities. From The Black Commentator, an essay on academia, white racism and the miseducation of our youth in America. An interview with Amherst College President Anthony Marx on making the $45,000-a-year school affordable to more students. College for Christ's sake: More and more on God's Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America by Hanna Rosin. More on Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case by Stuart Taylor Jr. and KC Johnson. Lend me your ears: There are ways to dress in academe, and every fashion choice sends a message.
From the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, William Jankowiak (UNLV): Individual and Societal Response to Sexual Betrayal: A View From Around the World; Richard Coon on Theorizing Sex in Heterodox Society: Postmodernity, Late Capitalism and Non-monogamous Sexual Behavior; Leanna Wolfe (LAVC): America’s Fidelity Crisis: Politics, Hypocrisy and Family Values; a review of Alice in Genderland: A Crossdresser Comes of Age by Richard J. Novic; a review of Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex by Judith Levine; a review of America's War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust and Liberty by Marty Klein; and a review of The Internet Escort’s Handbook by Amanda Brooks.
From Socialism and Democracy, Thomas J. Butko (Alberta): Gramsci and the “Anti-Globalization” Movement: Think Before You Act. From Portal, a special issue on Other Worlds, including S. A. Hamed Hosseini (ANU): Beyond practical dilemmas and conceptual reductions: the emergence of an “accommodative consciousness” in the alternative globalization movement. What’s the world coming to? An interview with Emma Dowling on the World Social Forum beyond critique and deconstruction. Having made her name in the vanguard of the anti-globalisation movement, Naomi Kelin is now taking on "disaster capitalism" and looking to an older audience, while the sophisticated neoliberal linkages and networks revealed in her book are too well documented to be dismissed as paranoia.