From The New York Times Book Review, a special issue on music. From TNR, the musical mystique: A review of Who Needs Classical Music? Cultural Choice and Musical Value by Julian Johnson; Classical Music, Why Bother? Hearing the World of Contemporary Culture Through a Composer's Ears by Joshua Fineberg; and Why Classical Music Still Matters by Lawrence Kramer. Haydn vs. Mozart: A guide for listeners who can't tell the composers apart. From The Moscow Times, a review of Mstislav Rostropovich: Cellist, Teacher, Legend by Elizabeth Wilson. A review of Lost Genius: The Curious and Tragic Story of An Extraordinary Musical Prodigy by Kevin Bazzana. Struck by Apollo! Hungarian composer Gyorgy Kurtag remembers his lifelong friend, Gyorgy Ligeti, a gesamtkunstwerk. Tuned to the 20th century: The dissonance of the history's bloodiest hundred years reverberates in the work of its classical composers. More and more and more and more on The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross. Dancing in the seats: Music can be a more satisfying cerebral experience if we let it move us physically. More and more and more on Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks.
From State of Nature, 1968 to 2007 — Antiwar Student Movements in the US: Then and Now. A review of Threatening Anthropology: McCarthyism and the FBI's Surveillance of Activist Anthropologists by David H. Price. A true culture war: The real issue for academic anthropologists is how our profession is going to begin to play a more significant educational role in the formulation of foreign policy. Faking it, with 2 books and more: Terry Caesar considers the assumptions academics make about fellow academics — many times based on a less than complete reality. From The University Bookman, a review of The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America by David Horowitz, and a review of Christianity and the Soul of the University: Faith as a Foundation for Intellectual Community. An interview with Hanna Rosin, author of God’s Harvard. More on Until Proven Innocent by Stuart Taylor Jr and KC Johnson. An interview with Alan D. DeSantis, author of Inside Greek U.: Fraternities, Sororities, and the Pursuit of Pleasure, Power and Prestige. A review of The Naked Roommate and 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College by Harlan Cohen. Here are ten stupid ways to ruin your college application. From Inside Higher Ed, an article on how higher ed can fix K-12. Going from B to A: How to fix the No Child Left Behind Act. From The Economist, what works in education: the lessons according to McKinsey. From Rethinking Schools Online, an article on backpedaling toward Plessy: The Supreme Court constrains the meaning of Brown and education. Dude, you’re a fag: A look at how homophobia operates in high school. Sex, literature and schools: Perhaps the lesson is that young, male English teachers should not give books to ninth-grade girls. An interview with Jonathan Kozol, author of Letters to a Young Teacher.
From State of Nature, Ingo Schmidt (Athabasca): Atlantic Capitalism: One World or More; an interview with Ted Honderich on humanity and terror; and why don’t more people rise up and join those who are struggling in solidarity for human life and the earth?; and a special issue on 21st century Marx, including Peter Lach-Newinsky on the continuing charm of Marx; Norman Madarasz (Gama Filho): The Historic Break between Marxism and Communism; Gideon Polya on "To each according to his needs" for Spaceship Earth; Ron Jacobs on The Spectre Still Haunts: A Marxist’s Look at Socialism in the 21st Century; and Steve Davis on Dark Lords: An Examination of the Psychology behind Free Market Theory. Birth of a Movement: An excerpt from Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism by Jorg Guido Hulsmann. The song that is irresistible: Robert Higgs on how the state leads people to their own destruction. The choice is not, it seems, between freedom and libertarian paternalism—it is between libertarian paternalism and the Supernanny state. From Political Affairs, here's a Marxist guide to tactics.
From Prospect, reforming governments should take note of the theory of "mechanism design", work on which recently won three economists the Nobel. Leonid Hurwicz shares the spotlight with two economists more than thirty years younger, and at 90, he is the oldest person ever to be recognized by the Swedes, in any discipline—there has to be a story in that. From Science, an article on social decision-making and insights from game theory and neuroscience. Mathematical fortune-telling: How well can game theory solve business and political disputes? The New Nostradamus: Can a fringe branch of mathematics forecast the future? Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, a special adviser to the CIA, Fortune 500 companies, and the U.S. Department of Defense certainly thinks so.
Neil Walker (EUI): After Finalité? The Future of the European Constitutional Idea. Congratulations, it's triplets! The new EU treaty creates three competing posts for the title of “Mr Europe”. From Reset, a series of articles on the building of new mosques in Europe; and can Ankara serve as a model for Rabat? After Turkey, might Morocco also have the right to a claim for EU membership? Between national Church and religious supermarkets: An article on Muslim organizations in Germany and the problem of representation. The enchantment of the world: Rudiger Safranski's Romanticism: A German Affair is a genuinely exciting account of German intellectual history. Instead of developing uniformly, eastern Germany is gradually taking on a long-standing feature of the west, with a wealthy and fast-growing south but a struggling north. Troubled times: Why the rise of the Left Party has cast the Social Democrats in Germany into a gloom. A review of Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy by Eric D. Weitz (and more).
An excerpt from The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet by Daniel J. Solove. Privacy Inc.: An article on the pros and cons of Google's empire of customer data. From Slate, an article on Google's Evil Eye: Does the Big G know too much about us? Fighting for members, MySpace tries to outcool Facebook. Talk of a brewing showdown between social networks MySpace and Facebook masks fundamental distinctions between the sites' leadership, culture, and ability to make a buck. Is Facebook the next frontier for online news? From The Economist, social graph-iti: There's less to Facebook and other social networks than meets the eye. Friend Spam: Founder of Friendster Jonathan Abrams looks at the revolution he started. From Flak, a look at How to Win Friends and Influence YouTube. From LRB, Jenny Diski on Internet misfit MetaFilter. Editing tactics known as "white-washing" may compromise Wikipedia's future as a democratic source of reliable information. The shield for tender minds: Online stupidity, like spam, threatens to choke the internet and destroy any discussion it infests. Thank goodness for Stupidfilter.
From The Weekly Standard, a cover story on Roger Stone, political animal: "Above all, attack, attack, attack—never defend". Mitt Romney spent much of his political career courting gay conservatives, only to do an about-face on gay rights in advance of his presidential run—for the Log Cabin Republicans, it's payback time. Run, Lazy, Run: In praise of Fred Thompson's laziness. Rudy Awakening: As president, Giuliani would grab even more executive power than Bush and Cheney—his mayoralty tells the story. Meet the (other) candidates: These lesser-known presidential hopefuls left a few things off their resumes. First Mates: Introducing a new Slate series about the marriages of the presidential candidates. An article on pink diplomacy and first spouses. How Obama can win: The Obama campaign needs to start hoping that a desperate Edwards will begin to turn up the heat on Hillary. Haunted by the Hippie: Despite the fact that Hillary Clinton is the most conservative Democrat running for president, the right makes her out to be a radical. Perhaps this is because the right still fears the social change hippies represented. Michael Tomasky asks Hillary Clinton about Iraq, the legacy of the Cold War, Mukasey and ceding executive powers. How long before Hillary becomes a libertarian?
A new issue of The New American City is out. From Monthly Review, here are conceptual notes on a design for cities of socialism. Up, up, and away: A new transit system would convert old airplanes into speedy, eco-friendly trains. We paved paradise: So why can't we find any place to park? Because parking is one of the biggest boondoggles — and environmental disasters — in our country. An interview with Iain Carson and Vijay Vaitheeswaran, authors of Zoom: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future. The roundabout idea comes full circle: Invented long ago to reduce friction between cars, circular intersections are back in vogue. Who really owns the roads? Companies are buying leases of public highways, bridges and tunnels from states desperate to improve infrastructure. From Popular Mechanics, here are 5 disasters coming soon if we don’t rebuild U.S. infrastructure. From Slate, walking on air: A slide show on the joy of footbridges.
From Cafe Babel, the modern male, classified as metro- or "uber-sexual", seems lost around the femi-fascist heiresses a la seventies. Be it militant feminism or a refuge in pornography, men are desperately seeking a new identity. A review of The Myth of Mars and Venus: Do Men and Women Really Speak Different Languages? by Deborah Cameron. Feminism is a gift to men, if we are smart enough to accept it: An excerpt from Robert Jensen's Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity. You can't win with women's health issues: People claim that either not enough attention is paid, not enough money spent, or that there is too much of both. Crafty Bitches: Portland’s antidote to the mythical Soccer Mom. A review of What I Learned About Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, and Everything Else That Really Matters by Anne Kreamer. A review of The Female Thing by Laura Kipnis. A review of Learning to Drive: And Other Life Stories by Katha Pollitt (and more and more and more and more and more). An interview with Susan Faludi: Towers fell, and attitudes were rebuilt. The 9/11 backlash against women: Terror swept women back into the kitchen and tore open the worst scar in American history—but it's Bruce Springsteen who makes the fear so real. From Salvo, an interview with Carrie Lukas, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism. Two women, two histories: An article on feminist Pauli Murray and antifeminist Phyllis Schlafly and their exercise of power.
From Axess, a special issue on Anti-Americanism, including Paul Hollander on the American scapegoat: Anti-Americanism serves the psychological need to blame failure and frustration on a potent, common enemy. But this is not to say that embittered anti-Americans are all wrong; Per Landin on Old-World Resentment: Traditionally it was the right rather than the left that represented anti-Americanism; Avishai Margalit on the West by the Rest: Occidentalism, like Orientalism, is a stereotyped and dehumanised image of a vast array of different peoples; Nathan Shachar on hating America: While the crimes of other nations are ignored or forgiven, the US is demonised for lesser misdeeds—or even ones it has not committed. Francis Fukuyama on a self-defeating hegemony: Four key mistakes made by the Bush administration have made anti-Americanism one of the chief fault lines of global politics.