From Expositions, a review essay on Ismail Kadare and the Inaugural Man Booker International Prize. Budding Genius: Can 65-year-old Stuart Dybek silence critics who say the MacArthur Foundation picks authors who are over the hill? Graphic truths: Forget the prizewinning young novelists — the best accounts of contemporary American ethnic experience are to be found in illustrated novels. Nastier than a speeding bullet: A battle for control of the Superman franchise pits Time Warner against the original Lois Lane. A review of Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean by Douglas Wolk and An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories. An interview with Amy Moreno on the competitive field of children's book illustration.
Asem Khalil (Birzeit): The Enactment of Constituent Power in the Arab World. From the International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences, Aisha Gill (Roehampton): Patriarchal Violence in the Name of "Honour". A dishonorable affair: How the murder of Zahra al-Azzo, a 16-year-old rape victim, has led Syrians to rethink the widespread acceptance of honor killing. A review of The Truth About Syria by Barry Rubin. While Dubai reaches for a glittering, globalised future, its cheap foreign workers live in squalid labour camps and work behind barbed wire. An interview with Vali Nasr, author of The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam will Shape the Future. A review of The Persians: An Introduction by Maria Brosius. A review of Olivier Roy's Secularism Confronts Islam. A review of The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In by Hugh Kennedy.
Wayne Hsiung (Northwestern) and Cass Sunstein (Chicago): Climate Change and Animals. From Law and Contemporary Problems, a special issue on animal law and policy. The first chapter from Ethics and the Beast: A Speciesist Argument for Animal Liberation by Tzachi Zamir. A review of Dumb Beasts and Dead Philosophers: Humanity and the Humane in Ancient Philosophy and Literature by Catherine Osborne. A review of Sacred Bull, Holy Cow: A Cultural Study of Civilization's Most Important Animal by Donald K. Sharpes. Animal rights, gene technology, and human breeding: An interview with Peter Sloterdijk. A look at how libertarians and conservatives part on animal cruelty laws. Pampering your little Sweet Pea to the tune of $41 billion: Owners are treating their animal companions more like humans. But the extent gives some experts pause. From Cafe Babel, a strictly US-imported “petmania” phenomenon is currently firing up the European continent.
From Scientific American, an article on the future of space exploration: What comes next? Humans are returning to the moon, but this time the plan is to stay a while. Racing past the Moon: Today competition matters less than conquering space. From Popular Mechanics, 5 reasons Sputnik still matters on its 50th birthday. From Time, a look at the top 50 highs and lows since Sputnik. The standard Sputnik story goes like this: It was the launch of this metal ball that forced the United States to elevate the pursuit of science, but that's not quite true (and more). Sputnik Plus 50: A look at the five hottest contests for space dominance. The launch of Sputnik 1, 50 years ago, ushered in a scientific and technological revolution, but dreams of the human conquest of space have faded. A review of Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries that Ignited the Space Age by Matthew Brzezinski.
From Virginia Quarterly Review, a special issue on South America in the 21st Century. From The Walrus, verse and versatility: Central America’s poets confront the era of globalization. An interview with Mario Vargas Llosa, and a review of The Bad Girl. Ilan Stavans reviews The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed the Bishop? by Francisco Goldman (and more and more and more). A revolutionary icon, and now, a bikini: Forty years after his death, Che Guevara has little to offer as a guide for making revolution. So why does his image continue to inspire an almost religious following? (and more) If Americans want to find evidence of democracy, they might look south to the Latin American republic of Costa Rica. Commerce between friends and foes: Pan-American trade diplomacy remains a mess. A review of Revolution of Hope: The Life, Faith, and Dreams of a Mexican President by Vicente Fox. A look at why there'll be no conspiracy to hide Castro's death.
Georg Spielthenner (Zambia): Rational Valuations. The ultimate miserabilist: A review of Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence by David Benatar. From Sorites, an essay on judging life and its value. The introduction to The Value of Knowledge and the Pursuit of Understanding by Jonathan L. Kvanvig. James E. Roper (MSU): Values as a Political Metaframe. From Azure, Jonathan Yudelman (HUJ): The Quest for Self-Knowledge: Where Philosophy Went Wrong. From The Chronicle, when Homer Simpson demonstrates Aristotelian virtue, and Monty Python pits verificationism against holism, is philosophy made entertaining or is entertainment made stodgy?
From Slate, Witold Rybczynski is in praise of the anti-icon: Architecture that succeeds without showing off. From New York, an article on the liberation of Daniel Libeskind: The architect who lost the battle over the Freedom Tower (though not, in his opinion, the war) may now build Manhattan’s tallest residential building. And he’s built a whole new career for himself by carefully mining the line between idealism and concession; and has money ruined art? Or is the hype about the hype keeping us from seeing the real picture? A look at the artists who still matter: Living, working artists whose art changed art and ten promising artists to have emerged from the boom. From The Walrus, Adam Gopnik on the mindful museum: Museums were once mausoleums of the past, but the museum of the future will help us understand our place in the vast expanse of time. Is there a future for old-fashioned museums? If the Spirit of St. Louis can come alive on your desktop, you might not want to trek to the mall. From Comment, here’s a beginner's guide to collecting art.
Allen Kamp (John Marshall): A Study of Redstate/Bluestate Characteristics. From The Believer, the dropout in your in-box: The true story of how dudes with beards in their underwear actually altered the discourse of American politics. A review of Partisan Families by Alan S. Zuckerman, Josip Dasovic and Jennifer Fitzgerald. The bulldozer and the big tent: Is Todd Gitlin a “left conservative”? Scott McLemee interviews him for a podcast and considers some afterthoughts. From Policy Review, Peter Berkowitz reviews The Essential Russell Kirk: Selected Essays. A review of The Future of Conservatism: Conflict and Consensus in the Post-Reagan Era and Democratic Capitalism and its Discontents by Brian C. Anderson. Same Old Party: President Bush hasn’t strayed from the path of conservatism. On the contrary, he’s the very model of a modern movement conservative. Requiem for the Religious Right? How religious conservatives are facing the disintegration of their movement. Captives of the supply side: The economic far right, not social conservatives, call the shots in the Republican nominating process.
From The Situationist, a look at the science of songs stuck in your head. Did Sesame Street have it right? A new study shows music instruction may improve language-processing skills by altering the brain stem. A review of This Is Your Brain On Music: Understanding a Human Obsession by Daniel J Levitin. Beyong the musical avant-garde: Terry Teachout reviews The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the 20th Century by Alex Ross (and more and more). The end of music? The top 35 pop artists worldwide now earn most of their money from concerts, not recordings. What’s the future hold for music journalism with commercial sites increasingly providing reviews and interviews? The Sounds of Science: Computer-generated music moves out of the lab. MP3 maniacs go wild for Wagner (as in, Vahg-ner). Lost in music: What we buy affects how statisticians compute price changes.
From Fast Capitalism, Mark P. Worrell (SUNY-Cortland): The Other Frankfurt School; and Eran Fisher (New School): "Upgrading" Market Legitimation: Revisiting Habermas's “Technology as Ideology” in Neoliberal Times. Poul Kjaer (EUI): Systems in Context: On the outcome of the Habermas/Luhmann debate. A review of History and Freedom: Lectures 1964-1965 by Theodor Adorno. The introduction to Social Philosophy after Adorno by Lambert Zuidervaart. A review of Berlin Childhood around 1900 by Walter Benjamin (and more). A review of Post-Marxist Theory: An Introduction by Philip Goldstein.