From New Humanist, an article on the reputation of Tariq Ramadan, the man widely hailed as the saviour of Islam; forget the booze cruise, Sanal Edamuruku on the night a guru tried to kill him live on Indian TV; Winston Fletcher finds that, with a little patience, you can get sozzled in Syria; and Laurie Taylor gets medieval with the cults. The Cult of the Presidency: Who can we blame for the radical expansion of executive power? Look no further than you and me. We are all Kemalists: Turkey's supposedly antagonistic "democratic Islamists" and "authoritarian secularists" are actually cut from the same cloth. Whatever happened to the gentleman? From Utne, a series of articles on the American Dream. From Foreign Policy, an interview with Mohamed El-Erian on the new global economy. A review of The Erotic Phenomenon by Jean-Luc Marion. An article on Indiana Jones as the bad boy of archaeology. Why doesn't evolution discourage suicide? Barney Frank, the rumpled, cantankerous Massachusetts Democrat, has emerged as a key deal-maker in the House. A review of The Purpose of the Past: Reflections on the Uses of History by Gordon S. Wood. While the horror classics of 1968 may have indeed revitalized the genre, few today are aware of these movies' impact on the canon — if they acknowledge them at all. More on Liberty of Conscience by Martha Nussbaum.
From Edge, we are in the very early days of understanding how the Internet can be used for exhibitions. In an era of globalization, no country is immune when the US falls onto hard times; here’s a look at how economies elsewhere will fare. Progressives do have answers to the current economic crisis, they just haven't been given the attention they deserve. A review of The Bolter: The Woman Who Scandalised 1920s Society and Became White Mischief’s Infamous Seductress by Frances Osborne. A review of Will China Fail? The Limits and Contradictions of Market Socialism by John Lee. A review of Imagining Spain: Historical Myth and National Identity by Henry Kamen. A review of Hospital: Man, Woman, Birth, Death, Infinity, Plus Red Tape, Bad Behavior, Money, God, and Diversity on Steroids by Julie Salamon. A review of Dinner with Mugabe: The Man Behind the Monster by Heidi Holland. A review of The Business of War: Workers, Warriors, and Hostages in Occupied Iraq by James A. Tyner. A review of Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History by Ted Sorensen. A review of Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power, and Lies by Ginger Strand. A review of Daniel Tanguay’s Leo Strauss: An Intellectual Biography. A review of The Innocence Commission: Preventing Wrongful Convictions and Restoring the Criminal Justice System by Jon Gould.
From CT, a review of Pain and Its Transformations: The Interface of Biology and Culture; and a review of Treatment Kind and Fair: Letters to a Young Doctor by Perri Klass. From Econ Journal Watch, why few women in economics? Pop Christianity: A review of Rapture Ready by Daniel Radosh. A review of The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain. More on Augusten Burroughs's A Wolf at the Table. A review of Tintin and the Secret of Literature by Tom McCarthy. The very different events of 1968 and 1989 left a reformed, stronger, more socially liberal capitalism — but now it's in trouble. The first chapter from The Judge in a Democracy by Aharon Barak. Forget about the gaffe: It's the media mindset that makes so much of gaffes that is the real issue. Here are 5 psychological experiments that prove humanity is doomed. Brad DeLong on John McCain and the decline of America. From Seed, the functional elegance of scientific rarefied speak is uniquely captured in one of its most inconspicuous words: "so". A review of Bill Kauffman's Ain’t My America: The Long, Noble History of Anti-War Conservatism and Middle-American Anti-Imperialism. More on A Conservative History of the American Left by Daniel J. Flynn. More and more and more on Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth (and an interview at Bookforum).
From National Journal, the Marine Corps is facing big bills to pay for the future force the Corps says it needs; and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is using his vast fortune to help finance conservative, pro-Israel, and pro-business causes. Does charisma originate in the individual, in the followers, or in the situation? Joseph Nye investigates. An excerpt from Outright Barbarous: How the Violent Language of the Right Poisons American Democracy by Jeffrey Feldmann. An interview with Mary Lefkowitz, author of History Lesson: A Race Odyssey. True pacifists believe all violence is counterproductive — what to do, then, about World War II? A review of The Woman Racket: The New Science Explaining How the Sexes Relate at Work, at Play and in Society by Steve Moxon. Western experts promised Africans that free-market ideology would save them from poverty and famine — now, one African country is showing that sometimes, a little protectionism can work wonders. Ayn Rand 101: A glance at the free market coursework sponsored by BB&T. Big box panic: Why retail giants like Wal-Mart won’t take over the world. Age of consent: It seems we're in a state of cultural cognitive dissonance when it comes to Lolita issues. Everyone in favor, say yargh! Some of the world's earliest democracies flourished aboard pirate ships. More on Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism.
From Mute, Paul Helliwell exhumes the Althusserian preconditions of Jacques Ranciere’s insistently superficial aesthetic politics. From Sens Public, despite the tendency of decennial commemorations to cement the "official version" of May '68, important questions remain unanswered. Scientific American on why the next president needs a powerful science adviser. What does it mean to be "pro-Israel"? The election, and the creation of a new dovish Jewish lobby group, brings the question to the fore. Susan Neiman makes the case for Kant's Critique of Pure Reason as one of the 50 greatest books. The new journal Evolutionary Applications aims to promote the science of "applied evolution". Learn to love the classic New York blood feud: "It’s a bitch to have a billionaire as an enemy". A review of Harpoon: Into the Heart of Whaling by Andrew Darby. The first chapter from China's New Confucianism: Politics and Everyday Life in a Changing Society by Daniel A. Bell. From Arion, Raymond Geuss on Richard Rorty at Princeton. From the University of Chicago Press, an excerpt from The Irony of American History by Reinhold Niebuhr; and an excerpt from Instructions for American Servicemen in France during World War II. A review of books on parenting: Do we push too much, spend too much, fret too much? More on Worst-Case Scenarios by Cass Sunstein.
From New Humanist, Henri Lefebvre, the theoretician of the Paris uprising of 1968, saw that society’s most profound truths were etched on everyday life; while secularists sleep well-funded creationists are on the march in Europe; and religion has always been an election issue in America, but in the current campaign it’s not just the Republicans who are courting the faith vote. From Monthly Review, Fred Magdoff on the world food crisis: Sources and solutions. How to feed the world: Eight leaders in the fight against hunger offer up food crisis action plans. A review of Armageddon in Retrospect: And Other New and Unpublished Writings on War and Peace by Kurt Vonnegut. A review of Wealth, War & Wisdom by Barton Biggs. A look at why it is time to rethink the role of culture and language study in the US. From Scientific American, an article on regulating evolution and how gene switches make life. Meditators always thought happiness could be learned; now scientists are agreeing. Every time a trackworker goes into the tunnels, there’s a chance he won’t come back out: What the world looks like when a 400-ton train is barreling toward you at 30 miles per hour. A review of Body Shopping: The Economy Fuelled by Flesh and Blood by Donna Dickenson. An article on the importance of pronouncing Ban Ki-moon, Kofi Annan and other names correctly.
From CT, a review of Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America by Matthew Avery Sutton; and a review essay on the art of biblical interpretation. A look at how Second Life affects real life. Taking your own life is a mortal sin, says the Catholic Church — unless you happen to be a bishop. Making a dictionary of Wapisiana – an indigenous language spoken in South America – was time-consuming, but not as dull as Samuel Johnson declared. From Literary Review, Michael Burleigh reviews The Return of History and the End of Dreams by Robert Kagan; a review of For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond by Ben Macintyre; and a review of The 60s Unplugged: A Kaleidoscopic History of a Disorderly Decade by Gerard DeGroot. A review of Why Truth Matters by Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom. From City Journal, Saul Bellow’s prophetic 1970 novel Mr. Sammler’s Planet captured New York’s unraveling and remains a cautionary tale. Why do New Yorkers seem rude? Joan Acocella has a few ideas. Resurrecting Leslie Fiedler, a high priest of pop culture: The legacy of the literature critic is born again in a new collection of his essays. A review of The Magical Chorus: A History of Russian Culture from Tolstoy to Solzhenitsyn by Solomon Volkov. Can the Bill James approach to numbers work in basketball?
From Slate, a series of articles on procrastination. Pictionary: Why people are paying $2,600 for a dictionary with no definitions. The introduction to The China Diary of George H. W. Bush: The Making of a Global President (and an interview). Money doesn’t buy happiness, but success does — capitalism, moored in values of hard work, honesty, and fairness, is key. A review of Cuba: How the Workers & Peasants Made the Revolution by Chris Slee. Is time travel possible? Not all scientists agree but according to Einstein and quantum theory, time travel could be possible. This, from that: A new breed of tinkerers mix science and craft to make things both goofy and grand. A review of The Revolution: A Manifesto by Ron Paul. Silver lining for Obama: A bruising primary season has had the unintended side effect of laying general-election groundwork. Will whites vote for him? John Judis on the political psychology of race. Google announces a free service that allow any Web site to become a social site (and more). Sean Wilentz on why Ronald Reagan didn't completely suck. From Le Monde diplomatique, a review of The Holocaust Is Over: We Must Rise from Its Ashes by Avraham Burg; and an article on the "ethnic cleansing" of Palestine: Are the Jews an invented people? Carlin Romano on Israeli history at 60: A history of contention over a contentious history.
From LiveScience, a series of articles on humans, the strangest species. From Freezerbox, is legislation the answer to ending anorexia in the fashion industry?; and what is it with men and torture? Behind closed doors: An article on the secret consumption of sex. What will some of today's most well-known hip-hop artists be doing in 2035? Lil Wayne and Baby sitting in a tree: A gay hip-hop insider brings to light a hidden subculture of sex parties and closeted stars. Why is everyone so obsessed with Miley Cyrus, ''The Hills,'' ''Gossip Girl, and the like? It's a new teen age in entertainment. OMG: Teens are letting emoticons and other forms of chat-speak slip into their essays and homework. A review of The Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein. From IHE, is the bachelor’s degree obsolete? Lefty Colorado University bid to endow a "conservative" chair leaves both sides uneasy. Steven Pinker on the stupidity of dignity: Conservative bioethics' latest, most dangerous ploy. Ronald Bailey on the genetics of ensoulment: What's an embryo and what's not? The Neural Buddhists: The cognitive revolution is not going to undermine faith in God but faith in the Bible. The human brain is a less-than-perfect device; Kludge explains how our minds work and sometimes don't (and more). The less you know, the more wisely you seem to choose: An article on the mental toolbox you use when the facts are scarce.
From The New Yorker, an article on using simulation to treat a new generation of traumatized veterans; and a review of The End of Food by Paul Roberts. Why do some people continue to hold Rachel Carson responsible for millions of malaria deaths? John Quiggin and Tim Lambert want to know. A look at what condoms have to do with climate change. Jonathan Cohn on what really ails Medicare. When chick flicks get knocked up: Is the new fertility-movie genre feminist or conservative? A review of Bamboo Goalposts: One Man’s Quest to Teach the People’s Republic of China to Love Football by Rowan Simons. It's not them, it's us: Exposing three myths about the costs of private health insurance. An excerpt from Self-Concern: An Experiential Approach to What Matters in Survival by Raymond Martin. A review of Torture Team: Deception, Cruelty and the Compromise of Law by Philippe Sands. An excerpt from Standard Operating Procedure by Philip Gourevitch and Errol Morris. A review of The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels and the Business of Aids by Elizabeth Pisani. The Queen of the New Age: How the publisher Louise Hay unified psychics, mindhealers, angel therapists and positive thinkers of all varieties into a self-help spirituality empire. Things fall apart: Is the post-9/11 imagination disintegrating? More on Superclass by David Rothkopf.