From Vanity Fair, a tale of two Giulianis: Investigating the dubious partnerships and conflicts of interest of Rudy Giuliani’s consulting firm, Michael Shnayerson follows a $100 million trail to a not very presidential conclusion. Sing a Song of Ron Paul: The enchanter of the disenchanted attracts white-boy rappers, truth troubadours, and would be Woody Guthries. Highway to Hell? A look at why Ron Paul's so worked up about U.S. sovereignty. In Paul We Trust: Do the new liberty dollars, bearing candidate Ron Paul's image, constitute illegal currency? Blue Grass: Kentucky swings the other way. Missouri Breaks: Meet the moderate who proves the GOP is losing the heartland. People are worried that Hillary will hurt other Democrats' chances in '08 — is it a legitimate fear? A review of For Love of Politics: Bill and Hillary Clinton: The White House Years by Sally Bedell Smith. Who’s afraid of Barack Obama? Frank Rich wants to know. The world in their hands: A look at how the candidates would handle the rest of the world. An interview with Chris Whalen on our speculation-based economy and the 2008 elections.
From NYRB, Anthony Lewis reviews The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin. A review of Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas by Kevin Merida, Michael Fletcher. More on Clarence Thomas's My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir. A review of The Character of Justice: Rhetoric, Law, and Politics in the Supreme Court Confirmation Process by Trevor Parry-Giles. Benjamin Wittes on the wrong-headed movement to force judicial nominees to open up more in Senate confirmation hearings. Open books: Why Supreme Court justices' speeches are less important than oral arguments. Now that the Supreme Court has agreed to interpret the Second Amendment, gun advocates are asking: What could be plainer? Cass Sunstein investigates. Supreme Court Inc.: The Roberts Court unravels a generation of progress. A review of The Secret Circuit: The Little-Known Court Where the Rules of the Information Age Unfold by Bruce D. Abramson.
From Metropoles, Willem Salet (Amsterdam): New Metropolitan Spaces and Metropolitan Strategies in the Face of Modernisation; and Paul Kantor (Fordham): Globalization and the American Model of Urban Development: Making the Market. Are immigrants good for cities? Research on US data shows that high immigration cities experienced higher wage and housing price growth. Why the gay bars of Boston are disappearing, and what it says about the future of city life. We’ll climb that bridge when we come to it: For urban explorers, no place in the city is out of bounds and every landmark, structure, abandoned building and rat-infested tunnel is fair game — its wilder territories are nothing but accessible adventure.
A review of Plato's Meno: An Interpretation by Christina Ionescu. A review of Plato's Forms in Transition: A Reading of the Parmenides. Samuel C. RicklessAn interview with Myles Burnyeat on Aristotle on happiness. The introduction to Aristotle and Beyond: Essays on Metaphysics and Ethics by Sarah Broadie. A review of Aquinas on Friendship by Daniel Schwartz. The introduction to The Cambridge Companion to Renaissance Philosophy. The introduction to Demons, Dreamers, and Madmen: The Defense of Reason in Descartes's Meditations by Harry G. Frankfurt. A review of Spinoza and the Stoics: Power, Politics and the Passions by Firmin DeBrabander. An interview with Susan James on Spinoza's views on the passions. A review of The Impartial Spectator: Adam Smith's Moral Philosophy by D. D. Raphael. The introduction to Essays on Kant's Anthropology. The introduction to Hegel and Aristotle by Alfredo Ferrarin. A review of Hegel's Philosophy of Language by Jim Vernon. A review of Hegel, Nietzsche, and Philosophy: Thinking Freedom by Will Dudley. A review of Soren Kierkegaard: A Biography by Joakim Garff. A review of Rorty and Kierkegaard on Irony and Moral Commitment: Philosophical and Theological Connections by Brad Frazier. A review of John Stuart Mill: Victorian Firebrand by Richard Reeves. An interview with Mary Warnock on Jean-Paul Sartre's existentialism.
From American Heritage, a look at how Louis B. Mayer invented a Hollywood Dream Machine. A review of Hollywood's Censor: Joseph I. Breen and the Production Code Administration by Thomas Doherty and Russians in Hollywood, Hollywood's Russians: Biography of an Image by Harlow Robinson. A code is born: A look at how Catholic crusaders and New Deal regulators created the most intrusive censorship regime in Hollywood history. From Slate, the man who did it all — or so he'd have you believe: Does Hitchcock get too much credit? A review of Five Easy Decades: How Jack Nicholson Became the Biggest Movie Star in Modern Times by Dennis McDougal. A review of I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski: Life, The Big Lebowski, and What Have You by Bill Green, Ben Peskoe, Will Russell, and Scott Shuffitt.
From Ovi, an article on Vico and the nexus between history and the self. From The American Scholar, apologies all around: Today's tendency to make amends for the crimes of history raises the question: where do we stop? From The Chronicle, is women's history history? It might be, if it's not rescued from the legitimate but more-abstract study of gender relations. A review of A History of Histories by John Burrow. Civilisation the sequel: It's nearly 40 years since Kenneth Clark lectured the nation about the history of our culture in the landmark TV series "Civilisation". Now Matthew Collings is about to update that colossus with a four-part documentary. A review of Heroes: From Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar to Churchill and de Gaulle by Paul Johnson. Lewis Lapham Mad Libs! How to write the sentence he has been redrafting for 40 years.
From Time, an article on the death of French culture: The land of Proust, Monet, Piaf and Truffaut has lost its status as a cultural superpower — can it regain its glory? From TLS, a review of books on Nicolas Sarkozy. Passion for justice: An interview with human-rights academic Caroline Fournet, who grew up in a French town haunted by wartime horrors. When Paris suburbs burn: An interview with sociologist Laurent Mucchielli. End of the secret garden: The French used to see a person's private life as sacred, but now Anglo-Saxon "transparency" is taking over. Anthemic themes: If we're no longer urging God to save the Queen, what should be the message of a new national anthem? A review of Scotland the Autobiography: 2,000 Years of Scottish History by Those Who Saw it Happen (and more). A review of Blair Unbound by Anthony Seldon. Where are the anti-fascists? A look at the danger of Germany's strange silence on Ahmadinejad. In Italy since September 11, the dangers of radical Islam were addressed soley by right-wing rabble-rousers — finally Reset magazine has kicked off a proper debate. From The Observer, in an orgy of savage violence Radovan Karadzic's forces slaughtered tens of thousands of Muslims in the Bosnian war. Ed Vulliamy returned to Bosnia to discover why the West has failed so abjectly to bring him to justice (and part 2 and part 3 and part 4). An essay on Edward Said and Kosovo. From Eurozine, normality as materiality: It was eastern Europeans' resourcefulness during times of scarcity that prepared them for the change and ensured the continuity of experience. Looking back now on the "Velvet Revolution" of 1989, things have since gone wrong.
From Arts & Opinion, an article on the rise and fall of Jerzy Kosinski: As a child stigmatized by the war, the adult was the enigma that became the media's favourite game. From Sign and Sight, Bucharest in a trance: Jorg Plath visits Romanian author Mircea Cartarescu, the man who has made Bucharest mystical; and treasure in the mountains: The harsh climate and hostile living conditions in the Urals are proving to be fertile territory for literary minds. A look at the latest trend in immigrant lit: Young Iranian American women are grabbing the spotlight, but they want the attention for the right reasons. The internationally trendy fiction genre known as "chick lit," popularized by Bridget Jones's Diary and "Sex and the City," now has an Indian avatar. A review of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler. The trouble with twit lit: This season's bestsellers reveal the British male is undergoing a surreally extended midlife crisis. Mapping Will Self's mind: The author's "psychogeographical" journeys offer fascinating insights into the sources of his work (and more and more and an interview).
From Newsweek, at last, intel agencies seem to be on the right track about Iran's nuke program — Christopher Dickey goes inside the latest assessment; and a look at the winners and losers after the report. The Gates Keeper: The man in charge of America's warmaking machinery is also the best insurance it won't be used against Iran (and more). A look at how the report has given the military option a new lease of life with the allegation of past proliferation activities. From The Nation, an article on the steps toward a sane relationship between the US and Iran. An excerpt from The Iran Agenda: the Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis by Reese Erlich. From Politics and Culture, a review of Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope by Shirin Ebadi; Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi; and Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America and American in Iran by Azadeh Moaveni. A review of Afghan Women: Identity and Invasion by Elaheh Rostami-Povey. Through a different lens: Female photographers depict their Iran. A review of Opium Season: A Year on the Afghan Frontier by Joel Hafvenstein. A look at how Army social scientists calm Afghanistan, make enemies at home.
From The New Criterion, a special issue on art, including a look at the rise of the "starchitect", and an article on Tom Wolfe, radical un-chic. From NYRB, a review of A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917–1932 by John Richardson. An interview with Umberto Eco, and more and more on On Ugliness. Appetite for Destruction: A review of Modernism: The Lure of Heresy by Peter Gay (and more and more). Art, humanity and the "fourth hunger": Half-awakened, humans are constantly engaged in a battle to make sense of the world and our experiences within it — and a great work of art, especially music, helps us to do just that. Is photography dead? The last art form to be tethered to realism, its factual validity has lately been manipulated and pixelated to the point of extinction. A review of The Writer's Brush: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture by Writers by Donald Friedman.