Gary Walton (NKU): The Utopian Limits of Conspiracy Theory Journalism. Amusing ourselves to depth: Is The Onion our most intelligent newspaper? Leading figures from the liberal establishment have become entangled in a feud between The Guardian and The Observer, sister newspapers of the left. "I want to be a target": There has been a rumour circulating that Martin Amis, Britain’s "greatest living novelist", had lost his marbles. Multi-talented Clive James says he’s now happy to focus on writing. Theatre directors don't review plays. And film stars don't review the new releases. So why are so many novelists allowed to pass judgement on the literary efforts of their friends? Book reviews are a perfect example of a service that everyone wants but that no one is willing to pay for. A look at how How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read proves its own point. Finding surprise in how we read: One might use discipline to escape discipline, that freeing the mind is achieved by entering into restrictive procedures that liberate thinking. A review of Soldier's Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point by Elizabeth Samet.
From the Journal of Third World Studies, Michael Hall (AASU): The Impact of the U.S. Peace Corps at Home and Abroad. From International Security, Charles A. Kupchan (Georgetown) and Peter L. Trubowitz (UT-Austin): Dead Center: The Demise of Liberal Internationalism in the United States. From Foreign Affairs, Richard K. Betts (Columbia): A Disciplined Defense: How to Regain Strategic Solvency; Philip H. Gordon (Brookings): Can the War on Terror Be Won? How to Fight the Right War; and a review of The U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual. A review of Violent Politics: A History of Insurgency, Terrorism and Guerrilla War, From the American Revolution to Iraq by William R. Polk. From the CIA's Studies in Intelligence, a review of Legacy of Ashes: The History of CIA by Tim Weiner (and more). Why did a brilliant, left-leaning Democrat fall for the ultimate bad boy, George W Bush? Christopher Hitchens reviews Condoleezza Rice: Naked Ambition by Marcus Mabry and The Confidante: Condoleezza Rice and the Creation of the Bush Legacy by Glenn Kessler. There's more to Freedom’s Watch than meets the eye. Juan Cole on the collapse of Bush's foreign policy: From Turkey to Iraq to Pakistan, the mounting chaos proves the White House is just winging it. Walter Russell Mead on failing upward: Relax, America will survive George W. Bush.
From Reconstruction, Katharyn Privett (Albany State): Sacred Cyborgs and 21st Century Goddesses; and Paula Cerni on Unproductive Bodies: A Materialist Critique of the "Corporeal Turn". A review of A Life Decoded by J Craig Venter. Space-faring fungus hats and synthetic biology: If the science moves like Moore's law, get ready for bio-freakiness. A review of Telepresence and Bio Art: Networking Humans, Rabbits, and Robots by Eduardo Kac. From Social Research, Jeff McMahan (Rutgers): Justice and liability in organ allocation. Kidney Matchmaking: A mathematical optimization strategy for pairing patients who need kidneys with willing donors could increase the number and quality of transplants. Because they lack an essential component, blood transfusions may be killing some of the people they are intended to save. From The New Yorker, what scanning techniques are revealing about vegetative patients. What do we mean by "consent" in a medical context? Onora O'Neill challenges some widely-held assumptions.
Jonathan Stilwell and Nwabufo Okeke Uzodike (KwaZulu Natal): Global Policy Outcomes: The Role of NGOs. A review of Ethics in Action: The Ethical Challenges of International Human Rights Nongovernmental Organizations. An interview with Carla Del Ponte, Chief UN War Crimes Prosecutor, on bringing war criminals to justice. Global governance, think tanks, and Angelina Jolie: what do these issues have in common? A review of International Organizations and their Exercise of Sovereign Powers by Dan Sarooshi. In honor of United Nations Day on Wednesday, it's time for a little worldplay. From Public Justice Report, an excerpt from Hope in Troubled Times: A New Vision for Confronting Global Crises by Bob Goudzwaard, Mark Vander Vennen and David Van Heemst; and a look at why Europe is the future, America the past. A review of Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad by John Bolton (and an interview). The Right's UN witch-hunters claim another victim: The UN scandal pimps and an overzealous investigative office are going after another target. Ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea would be an easy win for Democrats, and a first step in re-engaging the United States in international diplomacy. Never heard of it? You're not alone.
From New York, a woman's place? Precious few women run New York kitchens. Seven prominent exceptions tell us why. Will there ever be room again for an old-style, family-run Jewish deli? From First Science, an article on The Great Ketchup Mystery: Some fluids have a mysterious property: one moment they're thick, the next they're thin; and a look at the cult of hot chili peppers. The search for the cure: An article on the quest for the superlative American ham. The professor of "le pain": US academic Steven Kaplan has become the world’s leading expert on French bread. A review of The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy by Sasha Issenberg. A review of The End of the Line: How Overfishing is Changing the World and What We Eat by Charles Clover.
A new issue of Common-place is out, including Edward Larkin (Delaware): What is a Loyalist? The American Revolution as civil war; Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (Harvard): How Betsy Ross Became Famous: Oral tradition, nationalism, and the invention of history. Michael Barone reviews of America: The Last Best Hope, Volume I: From the Age of Discovery to a World at War and Volume II: From a World at War to the Triumph of Freedom by William J. Bennett. A review of Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution by Woody Holton. Founding Chauvinist Pig? A review of Mr. Jefferson's Women by Jon Kukla (and more). A review of Almost a Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence by John Ferling. A review of The Great Upheaval: America and the Birth of The Modern World, 1788-1800 by Jay Winik. From The New Yorker, how America came of age: A review of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe. From American Heritage, why did Russia sell Alaska so cheap? An excerpt from Hard Road West: History and Geology along the Gold Rush Trail by Keith Heyer Meldahl. An article on Native American Indian Policy: Removal or genocide? A review of The Sea Captain’s Wife: A True Story of Love, Race, and War in the Nineteenth Century by Martha Hodes. How Lincoln Saved the World: Only a free America could have fought for global freedom. A review of Edward Steers Jr., author of Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated with Our Greatest President. A review of Land of Lincoln: Adventures in Abe’s America by Andrew Ferguson.
From The New Yorker, Ryan Lizza on Mitt Romney’s strategies for success. Ken Silverstein on Making Mitt Romney: How to fabricate a conservative. In his only attempt to manage a high-profile Senate hearing, lawyer-turned-actor Fred Thompson blew it. Rudy's Bird of Prey: Giuliani's conservative kingmaker Paul Singer knows all about the ugly side of Third World debt—he invented it. Rudy's debating secret: Why Giuliani keeps trouncing his opponents when they go head to head. The Great Protectors: How the GOP became safe for Ron Paul's trade and monetary views. How do they (the Republicans) expect to win? Joseph Lane investigates. Candidate Hillary as the GOP's dream: A campaign against Sen. Clinton may give Republicans the best shot at running as the party of change. Hendrik Hertzberg on political dynasties in the US. Caitlin Flanagan reviews A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton by Carl Bernstein; Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids' Letters to the First Pets; It Takes a Village; and Living History by Hillary Clinton. A review of For Love of Politics—Bill and Hillary Clinton: The White House Years by Sally Bedell Smith (and more). Hillary Clinton faces a viral-video "truth-boating", titled "The Shocking Video Hillary Does NOT Want You To See!" An article on the New Clinton Propaganda Machine: Watch it rev up. A review of God and Hillary Clinton: A Spiritual Life by Paul Kengor. Obama’s in the eye of the beholder: Can the junior senator from Illinois be both a stalwart progressive and a post-ideological unifier? An article on the disappointingly conventional Obama campaign.
Wendy Leo Moore (Texas A&M) and Jennifer Pierce (Minnesota): Still Killing Mockingbirds: Narratives of Race and Innocence in Hollywood’s Depiction of the White Messiah Lawyer. Remembering the Hollywood 10: This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Hollywood 10 and the Hollywood Blacklist, elements in an epidemic of movie industry censorship that set the stage for "McCarthyism". The introduction to Hollywood Highbrow: From Entertainment to Art by Shyon Baumann. The Cineaste of Cool: How Jim Jarmusch's hipness distracts from his greatness. When Academy Award winners slip through the cracks: Winning an Oscar doesn't guarantee you a legendary career. Just ask Joe Pesci, Cuba Gooding Jr. or F. Murray Abraham. The colour of the greasepaint: Actors, by definition, pretend to be people they're not — so why is playing a different race any more shocking than a different gender or sexuality? Floundering Dutch man: The Netherlands Film Festival in Utrecht focusses on the insurmountable foibles of the male sex. From Wired, an interview with Ridley Scott, finally creating the “Blade Runner” he always imagined. Fast Times at Ridgemont High is the Godfather of teen cinema.
From NYRB, a review of Gordon Brown, Prime Minister by Tom Bower; and Gordon Brown: Speeches, 1997–2006 and Courage: Eight Portraits by Gordon Brown. Lessons from Scandinavia: What can David Cameron learn from the experience of Moderaterna, Sweden's centre-right party? From New Statesman, the very rich versus the rich: Redistribution is now a Tory issue. Sleazy soft porn entertainment for smoky, low-life strip clubs, or a bit of good, clean fun, a great way to keep fit—but pole dancing for children is a step too far. A review of Taste: the Story of Britain Through its Cooking by Kate Colquhoun (and more). A review of State of the Nation: British Theatre since 1945 by Michael Billington. More and more on The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997 by Piers Brendon.
From The Washington Quarterly, a series of articles on energy interdependence. From Synthesis/Regeneration, a special issue on reducing energy. From Variant, a special issue on the politics of oil, including Owen Logan (Aberdeen): Living on oil under democracy: From Texas to Patagonia and home; Daniel Buck (Oxford): The Ecological Question: Can Capitalism Prevail?; and a review of The Next Gulf: London, Washington and Oil Conflict in Nigeria by Andy Rowell, James Marriott and Lorne Stockman. A review of Freedom from Oil: How the Next President Can End The United States' Oil Addiction by David Sandalow. An interview with Amory Lovins, cofounder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, on America’s path to becoming more energy efficient. Solving "fission impossible": Is nuclear power's comeback for real?