From Carnegie Ethics, can Antarctica be preserved? The introduction to Why Are There So Many Banking Crises? The Politics and Policy of Bank Regulation by Jean-Charles Rochet. Here's a curse on mean-spirited intellectuals and literary scholars above all; and an article on the perils of popularising science. Humans have altered Earth so much that scientists say a new epoch in the planet's geologic history has begun, from the Holocene to the Anthropocene (and more). It may sound like science fiction, but it’s only a matter of time before the world’s militaries learn to wield the planet itself as a weapon. Tango goes inside the 2008 candidates' marriages (an more from Slate). Feeling short-changed by the self-help books he consulted, Tal Ben-Shahar built his own route to wellbeing. A new study suggests that moderate happiness may be preferable to full-fledged elation. A review of Philosophers Behaving Badly by Nigel Rodgers and Mel Thompson. From History and Policy, an essay on the prime minister as world statesman. From Prospect, book reviewing may seem in reasonable health. But the authority of critics is being undermined by a raucous blogging culture and an increasingly commercial publishing industry. What if scholarly books were peer reviewed by anonymous blog comments rather than by traditional peer reviewers?
John Quiggin (Queensland) The Risk Society: Social Democracy in an Uncertain World (and a response at Quadrant, and a reply by Quiggin). From Prospect, Michael Lind on how America still works; and A review of Describing Inner Experience? Proponent Meets Skeptic by Russell T. Hurlburt and Eric Schwitzgebel. An excerpt from How Round Is Your Circle? Where Engineering and Mathematics Meet by John Bryant and Chris Sangwin (and more). Just who is the real Martin Amis? Johann Hari finds out. As online matchmakers compete for customers using algorithms in the search for love, the battle has intrigued academic researchers who study the mating game. Was there a better time for a recession? David Warsh wants to know. Atheism is the new black: A review of God and the New Atheism: A Critical Response to Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens by John F. Haught. Labour leaders have always feared the Daily Mail, Britain's most successful newspaper: An excerpt from Flat Earth News: An Award-Winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion and Propaganda in the Global Media by Nick Davies. From The Wilson Quarterly, Samia Altaf on Pakistan Picaresque. From Harp & Altar, Elise Harris travels to Pakistan and interviews Maryam Jameelah, a convert from Judaism who became a public intellectual affiliated with the Islamic party Jama’at-i Islami (and part 2).
From the new The Washington Independent, Spencer Ackerman on how the CIA is largely in the dark on interrogation tactics. From NYRB, a review of Swimming in a Sea of Death: A Son's Memoir by David Rieff (and more). From H-Net, a review of In the Beginning: Fundamentalism, the Scopes Trial, and the Making of the Antievolution Movement by Michael Lienesch; and a review of Suffering for Science: Reason and Sacrifice in Modern America by Rebecca M. Herzig. From Prospect, a profile of Charles Taylor, the most important philosopher writing in English today. An interview with Kathleen A. Bogle, author of Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus. From Christianity Today, an essay on C. S. Lewis and the Star of Bethlehem: Recovering the medieval imagination. The Truth About Jena: Why America’s black-and-white narratives about race don’t reflect reality. The original sellout reconsidered: John McWhorter on why Booker T. Washington is finally getting some play. A look at how Bill Clinton has morphed from statesman into attack dog. From Philosophy Now, who caught that ball? Raymond Tallis ponders the fields of action in which our freedom is expressed. From LRB, Terry Eagleton reviews Creation: Artists, Gods and Origins by Peter Conrad. How it’s couched: Can a television show make a case for therapy?