From Foreign Affairs, Robert M. Gates on A Balanced Strategy: Reprogramming the Pentagon for a New Age (and a response by Fred Kaplan); Charles A. Kupchan (Georgetown): Minor League, Major Problems: The Case Against a League of Democracies; Stephen Sestanovich (Columbia): What Has Moscow Done? Rebuilding U.S.-Russian Relations; Barnett R. Rubin (NYU) and Ahmed Rashid (PCIP): From Great Game to Grand Bargain: Ending Chaos in Afghanistan and Pakistan; Marc Lynch (GWU): Politics First: Why Only U.S. Withdrawal Can Spur Iraqi Cooperation; Ivo Daalder (Brookings) and Jan Lodal (Atlantic Council): The Logic of Zero: Toward a World Without Nuclear Weapons; Paul Collier (Oxford): The Politics of Hunger: How Illusion and Greed Fan the Food Crisis; J. Brian Atwood (Minnesota); M. Peter McPherson (NASULGC), and Andrew Natsios (Georgetown): Arrested Development: Making Foreign Aid a More Effective Tool; and after the Crash: An article on helping the U.S. economy right itself. From McSweeney's, Jack Stuef on Niccolo Machiavelli to Nick Jonas the Magnificent. From PopMatters, the so-called “crazy cat lady” seems to be one of few sexist stereotypes that remains alive, well, and somehow immune to politically-correct backlash; and women lawyers, bankers, and presidents? Sure; women rockers? Not just yet.
From Boston Review, David Cole on closing Guantanamo and what to do with detainees, with responses by Joanne Mariner, Eric Posner, and Robert Chesney. From The Bulletin, an article on the future of nuclear energy. From Wishtank, how much oil is actually left? Here's a group of economists on the ideal stimulus plan. Confused by the financial crisis? It may be time to read the books and blogs of economist Tyler Cowen. From Edge, can science help solve the economic crisis? An article on the ethics of science communication on the web. Arundhati Roy on the monster in the mirror: The Mumbai attacks have been dubbed "India's 9/11", and there are calls for a 9/11-style response, including an attack on Pakistan — instead, the country must fight terrorism with justice, or face civil war. Religious people have more babies than non-believers — and not just for the obvious reasons. From News Weekly, an article on the economic consequences of abortion. GR8 Expectations: Remember all those think pieces about the bleak future for the English language in the era of text messaging? From Think Tank, an interview with Ben Stein. They just don't get it: Many Britons — and even some Americans — have a false idea of what the US is really like; are Hollywood and TV to blame? Will the real Tony Clifton please stand up: Who knew that Andy Kaufman's alter ego didn't die with him?
From Globality Studies, Diane Barthel-Bouchier and Ming Min Hui (Stony Brook): Places of Cosmopolitan Memory; Martin Albrow (LSE): A New Decade of the Global Age, 1996-2006; and Gert Schmidt (Erlangen): The Changing Globality of the Atlantic Hemisphere. Double U: How to make colleges twice as productive. Liberal legal group American Constitution Society is following new administration’s path to power. From The Nation, a review of books on modern slang. From The New Individualist, if you doubt Ayn Rand’s enduring impact on our culture, stand in the concourse of Grand Central Station and hold a sign bearing her name. From NYRB, the following is the text of Charter 08, signed by hundreds of Chinese intellectuals. The introduction to The Invisible Safety Net: Protecting the Nation's Poor Children and Families by Janet M. Currie. Thank you, your honor, may I have another? An article on the stubbornly seductive perils of justice porn. D.C. sex blogger Washingtonienne on how she went from slut to housewife. If cheating in bed was always settled by the bullet, many of us would be dead. From Conservative Battleline, an article on the conservative counter attack. From The New Yorker, special treatment: Amanda Fortini on the rise of luxury rehab. Elaine Showalter reviews Reborn: Early Diaries 1947-1964 by Susan Sontag (and more from Bookforum).
From Argumentum, Hoffmann Zsuzsa on English as a Glocal Panacea for Quadrilingual Switzerland and Multilingual Europe. A review of Spellbound Beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and His Leading Ladies by Donald Spoto. A review of Furious Improvisation: How the WPA and a Cast of Thousands Made High Art Out of Desperate Times by Susan Quinn. An excerpt from Panic: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity by Michael Lewis (and more and a review). A review of books on the evolution of Sunday. Why is the pop star Pink the only artist tackling the tough issues surrounding feminism and alcohol? America concedes: Patrick Cockburn writes about the significance of the new Status of Forces Agreement. Dispatches from the bottom of the Earth: Getting to Antarctica — or not. The thrift paradox: You can't blame people for cutting back these days, but what feels right now might end up hurting later. Ten picks for Obama's Supreme Court: With as many as three justices expected to retire, Obama may have the opportunity to reshape the conservative-leaning court; experts eye the candidates. From Wired, back to the garage: How economic turmoil breeds innovation. How software models doomed the markets: Overreliance on financial software crafted by physics and math PhDs helped to precipitate the Wall Street collapse.
A new issue of Democracy, including a special section on Obama's America, with contributions by Orlando Patterson, Jedediah Purdy, Geoffrey Stone, Michael Waldman, and Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi. From The Nation, we get it — Obama's pragmatic; but what does that mean, politically and philosophically? Nicholas Kristof on Obama’s "Secretary of Food". An excerpt from Gastropolis: Food and New York City. A review of Studying urban youth culture by Greg Dimitriadis. A review of The Persistence of Poverty: Why the Economics of the Well-off Can’t Help the Poor by Charles Karelis. From Soundings, an interview with Alan Finlayson on Great Britain and conservatism. From Popular Science, it's not just deja vu (all over again): A new study reveals the psychology behind the phenomena; and just in time for campfire season: The anatomy of a marshmallow. From FP, a look at the 10 worst predictions for 2008. From Common Ground, an article on finding our happy place: Why “where we are” is “how we are” is “who we are”. The introduction to Hypocrisy Trap: The World Bank and the Poverty of Reform by Catherine Weaver. A review of books on Le Corbusier. From Islamica, an article on Al Jazeera and the information warfare. From InterActions, a review of Glut: Mastering Information through the Ages by Alex Wright.
A new issue of The Latin American Review of Books is out. From the Caribbean Review of Books, a review of Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey by Colin Grant. A review of Passionate Uprisings: Iran’s Sexual Revolution by Pardis Mahdavi. A review of The History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to the Globalization Era by Micheline Ishay. A review of A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir by Donald Worster. More on Sarah Thornton's Seven Days in the Art World (and more at Bookforum). The introduction to Ernst Cassirer: The Last Philosopher of Culture by Edward Skidelsky. From Public Ethics Radio, Larry Temkin on extending human lifespans. Revenge of the Nerds: Black kids who "act white" shouldn't have to adopt bully tactics just to fit in. From International Viewpoint, an article on democratic centralism and broad left parties. From ACME, a special issue on the 1886 Haymarket Square Police Riot. The US versus God particles: "The Atom Smashers" splits open the US's problematic relationship with scientific research, by documenting a group of American particle physicists scrambling for results before all eyes turn to the LHC. From Survey Practice, an article on evaluating the 2008 pre-election polls — the convergence mystery. Greenland wants to rule itself — and its resources.
A new issue of OnEarth is out. From Philosophy Now, wearing lipstick is a choice which shows that though we’re influenced by society, we can still make decisions about who we want to be; Raymond Tallis is sceptical about Moore’s scepticism about scepticism; a review of Language, Consciousness, Culture: Essays on Mental Structure by Ray Jackendoff; a review of The Bible: The Biography by Karen Armstrong; and a review of The Philosophy of Film Noir. Here's the latest issue of the Center for Naturalism Newsletter. From NDPR, a review of Moral Value and Human Diversity by Robert Audi; and a review of Rationality and Moral Theory: How Intimacy Generates Reasons by Diane Jeske. From The Freeman, a review of David’s Hammer: The Case for an Activist Judiciary by Clint Bolick; and an article on profit: not just a motive. Scientology's money trail: Celebrities! Tax shelters! Bart Simpson! A glimpse into the finances of the secretive church. Picture a universal language: A capricious designer explores the possibilities (and limits) of wordless communication. Give it to me straight: For spinach-in-the-teeth and embarrassing-smell moments, it is far better to be brutally honest. In defense of teasing: Why sticking your tongue out, mocking your parents, going for the punch line or giving a noogie really does make you a better person.
From Crossroads, Daniela Ropelato (St. Thomas Aquinas): The Quality of Democracy: Participation and its Dilemma: How to Go Beyond? A review of How Terrorism Is Wrong: Morality and Political Violence by Virginia Held (and more). From Bidoun, the Iron Sheik has always been a large man, but over time his vast Herculean figure has gone soft, settling into a less distinct, though still formidable, girth; and the Institute of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences might seem a resort — as it happens, it is a hospital. From Salon, a special report on The Sexiest Man Living 2008; and Katha Pollitt and a panel of experts discuss the changing landscape of reproductive freedom, LGBT rights and the discourse of desire, but where are all the young women? Fossils are fine, a live beastie is better: A wish list of extinct species that would be good to have around again. We should see the ceaseless creativity of nature as sacred, argues biologist Stuart Kauffman, despite what Richard Dawkins might say. From Fast Company, a look at what neuroscience reveals about how to come up with new ideas; an article on Peter Gabriel’s YouTube for Human Rights; and a merry band of typeface provocateurs is styling down to the letter (and more). From Vanity Fair, a report from the inside on Mugabe’s campaign of terror — and the extraordinary courage of those who’ve confronted "The Fear".
From the International Journal on Multicultural Societies, a special issue on Citizenship Tests in a Post-National Era. From The Federalist Debate, Amitai Etzioni (GWU): A Global, Community Building Language?; and a review of The Twilight of the Nation State: Globalisation, Chaos and War by Prem Shankar Jha. For the first time since homo sapiens began to doodle on cave walls, there is an argument, an opportunity and a means to make serious steps towards a world government. The spectacular setting of Costa Rica's University for Peace is not the only thing about it that is idyllic. John Mearsheimer on rebalancing the Middle East: Know the limits of US power. A review of Colonialism and the Emergence of Science Fiction by John Rieder. A review of Hannah Arendt and Human Rights: The Predicament of Common Responsibility by Peg Birmingham and Hannah Arendt and the Challenge of Modernity: A Phenomenology of Human Rights by Serena Parekh. A review of Surrender is not an Option by John Bolton. Conflicts of interest: Tim Harford on the commercialisation of microfinance. A look at why a recession may actually be the perfect time to pass climate legislation. The introduction to The Ethical Economy by Adam Arvidsson and Nicolai Peitersen. Film Rights: At the American Film Renaissance, the Right makes the wrong movies.
A new issue of Open Letters Monthly is out, including a review of The Enemy Within: 2,000 Years of Witch-Hunting in the Western World by John Demos; a review of J.C. Leyendecker: American Imagist by Laurence S. Cutler and Judy Goffman Cutler; and a review of Everyday Drinking by Kingsley Amis (and more from Bookforum). From Policy, an article on the myth of OPEC: It has little to do with high oil prices; a look at the trouble with religious hatred laws; and policy on trial: Randomised trials are the best tool we have for finding out if policies really work. For Ernst Kirchner, the modern world expressed its deepest nature in the strut of the prostitute. The Hoboist: Culture11 goes inside the strange culture of America's wannabe hobos. From New Humanist, left brain, right brain, hard-wiring? Think again. A review of Note by Note: A Celebration of the Piano Lesson by Tricia Tunstall. Who wrote the Koran? Abdulkarim Soroush, a theological reformer, challenges those who claim to speak for Islam. The other Brazil: The mixed blessings of the simple life led by indigenous people deep in the forest. From NBER, why do foreigners invest in the United States? Trading Places: Alan Ehrenhalt on the demographic inversion of the American city. From Esquire, a look at what Obama's 27-year-old speechwriter Jon Favreau learned from George W. Bush.