From Mother Jones, a special section on the coming prison meltdown. Online writing is a typographical and grammatical mess — should we fix it? Does the world need another indie band? There's life, and then there's lifestyle journalism. Barbara Ehrenreich has been called a Marxist just for writing that the US is not a classless society. Allan J. Lichtman on how conservatives are in denial about their history. An interview with James Carse, author of The Religious Case Against Belief. The lesson of the Friedman Institute, even before it opens, is that we could use more forceful theories from academia. More and more and more on Ark of the Liberties: America and the World by Ted Widmer. An interview with Orit Bashkin, author of The Other Iraq: Pluralism and Culture in Hashemite Iraq. A review of Termites in the Trading System: How Preferential Agreements Undermine Free Trade by Jagdish Bhagwati. A review of A World Without Bees by Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum. More and more on James Wood's How Fiction Works. A review of Save the Males: Why Men Matter, Why Women Should Care by Kathleen Parker. A review of U. S. Vs. Them: How a Half Century of Conservatism Has Undermined America’s Security by J. Peter Scoblic (and more). The monoculture is dead; in another guise, however, its flattening effect on non-Western culture is, sadly, thriving.
From New York, provocative former president Jimmy Carter shadows Obama as a walking McCain talking point, but having lived longer than he ever imagined possible, Carter has no interest in reining himself in; Gitty Grunwald fled the pious world of her mother to return to the secular city of her grandparents — there’s only one problem: The Satmars kept her daughter; and Spartan warriors in the YouTube Age; Or, the legend of Legend, Spider, and Science. Many military officers are pushing back against Defense Secretary Gates' focus on preparing for more "asymmetric" fighting rather than for a large, conventional conflict. Dangers of "the best military": When did American troops become "warfighters" instead of citizen-soldiers? Michael Shermer on how anecdotal evidence can undermine scientific results. PBS' "The War of the World" proves we're now ready to look back on the 20th century as we would any other. On Sundays she is a Pentecostal preacher; during the week Leah Daughtry is planning the Democratic convention. An interview with Grover Norquist on the Leave Us Alone Coalition. Glazed America: Anthropologist Paul Mullins examines doughnut as symbol of consumer culture. Stoooopid: Why the Google generation isn’t as smart as it thinks. When is a novel for adults really a novel for children? When a publisher and its marketing department decide it is.
From Forbes, a special report on the fifth fuel: efficiency. Why essays are so damned boring: An impassioned plea for writers to stop navel gazing and start taking chances. The quadrennial cabinet name game is about to begin — these 15 notables deserve to be players. From MR, Gregory W. Esteven on how the Left saved capitalism. Joseph Epstein reviews Stop Me If You've Heard This by Jim Holt (and more and more and more). From TNR, a review of Gorky's Tolstoy and Other Reminiscences: Key Writings By and About Maxim Gork. Eat Republican: How an organic movement born in Berkeley exemplifies conservative values. From n+1, Brian Wienberg worries that the Creation Museum is drawing unsavory attention to his home state, fueling stereotypes. From Foreign Policy, a list of the world’s worst advisors. He's been called a naive idealist, but in terms of foreign policy, Obama's the true realist in the race. Gideon Rachman on why Barack Obama would make the better commander-in-chief. State polls indicate Obama's tidal-wave potential, but national polls are tight; both are right. Is the Times " Metro" section planning a sex beat? Imagine that those running for office tailored their economic positions to attract the experts in the field. What is global justice and who is it for? An article on the ICC’s first five years. From Radar, insiders reveal television's most hated pundits.
From the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, a special issue on Homo Economicus. From The Wall Street Journal, through history, outrageous financial behavior has been met with outrage; but today Wall Street's damaging recklessness has been met with near-silence, from a too-tolerant populace. A growing number of economists are bravely asking: What factors make people happy? About that Green Light: The so-called “Easterlin Paradox” has been in the news recently. A review of Fishing in Utopia: Sweden and the Future that Disappeared by Andrew Brown. From TNR, Jonathan Chait reviews The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. An article on Christopher Poole, the 20-year-old at heart of web's most anarchic and influential site. Can a test reveal if a person has a subconscious desire to kill himself? Peter Bebergal tries to find out. A review of The Spartans: The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece and Thermopylae: The Battle that Changed the World, by Paul Cartledge. In response to the courts, class is replacing race as the primary basis for desegregating schools; it’s a mix that just might work. From The Book Design Review, three books having something to do with superheroes, none of whom is Batman. Online POKER marketing could spell the NAKED end of VIAGRA journalism as we LOHAN know it: Why bother writing an article at all?
From National Journal, pick a number and set a deadline—it's President Bush's way of managing everything from space shots to gasoline consumption; and if history is any guide, the next president will attempt to follow through on the vast majority of pledges made on the campaign trail. From TED, Helen Fisher talks about the brain in love. As Spain takes one great step forward for animal rights and liberty, activists elsewhere are persecuted. A review of For the Love of Animals: The Rise of the Animal Protection Movement by Kathryn Shevelow. A review of Political Hypocrisy: The Mask of Power, from Hobbes to Orwell and Beyond by David Runciman. John McCain styles himself as a Teddy Roosevelt Republican, but he's taken exactly the wrong lessons from TR. Turning panic into opportunity: How to tell when markets may have hit bottom. A review of Glamour: A History by Stephen Gundle. From Carson to McKibben, Mowat to Monbiot, the environmental movement can be traced in the rich history of its books. Polar bears could face extinction — so why not pack a few off to Antarctica, where the sea ice will never run out? A review of Carole Travis-Henikoff's Dinner With a Cannibal: The Complete History of Mankind's Oldest Taboo. Its economy may be booming, but Nigeria is convulsed by a personality clash between its old president and his successor.
From Disputatio, a special issue on normativity and rationality. From Modern Age, to turn to Christopher Lasch’s oeuvre today is to be struck forcefully by its refreshing independence. An excerpt from American Pests: The Losing War on Insects from Colonial Times to DDT by James E. McWilliams. One blueprint for Obama: A review of Enhancing Government by Erwin Chemerinsky. An excerpt from Collections of Nothing by William Davies King (and more). From The Washington Monthly, how black Baltimore drug dealers are using white supremacist legal theories to confound the Feds; and Kevin Drum reviews Grand New Party by Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam (and an excerpt). From The New York Sun, here are 63 signs of recession: "23. A-Rod and Madonna re-heat last night's Kung Pao Chicken before early evening Kabbalah class". A review of Free Speech and Human Dignity by Steven J. Heyman. The forgotten tradition of the antiwar right: W. James Antle reviews Ain’t My America by Bill Kauffman. Forget Wii Fit and Perfect Pushup suction cups; to get in shape, go back to the original fitness guru Charles Atlas, "the world's most perfectly developed man". A review of Cars for Comrades: The Life of the Soviet Automobile by Lewis H. Siegelbaum. Island savages: How Britons became the angry men of Europe—and how to calm them down.
From Conversations with History, an interview with Philip Bobbitt on a new interpretation of terrorism; an interview with Bart Ehrman on how the Bible explains the problem of human suffering; and an interview with Annabel Patterson on the power of words and the power over words. From National Journal, a look at the abortion and gay rights positions of McCain and Obama. From ARPA, why the American alliance should not be the holy grail of Australian foreign policy. From The Smart Set, we're in a period of biography overkill, with the James family its latest victims. Slate introduces "Open Book", a literary video collaboration with NYU. From The Times, here's a list of the 50 outstanding literary translations from the last 50 years. A review of Blood Matters: A Journey Along the Genetic Frontier by Masha Gessen. An excerpt from Spiral Jetta: A Road Trip through the Land Art of the American West by Erin Hogan (and an interview). The oddly powerless "global power elite": More on Superclass by David Rothkopf. More and more on ID: The Quest for Identity in the 21st Century by Susan Greenfield. Research suggests first Europeans shunned Neanderthal sex. John McCain's approach to terrorism is almost as old as he is, a true relic of the Cold War. From universal empire to the world state: An excerpt from Unjust Justice by Chantal Delsol.
From TED, Freeman Dyson on looking for life in the outer solar system. Great minds think (too much) alike: Is the web narrowing scientists’ expertise? Using the internet to search for scientific articles is bad for researchers, says sociologist James Evans. The general who investigated Abu Ghraib now says the Bush administration is guilty of war crimes — but will anyone take notice? Has the "surge" in Iraq worked? Immanuel Wallerstein investigates. More and more and more and more on Soldiers of Reason: The RAND Corporation and the Rise of the American Empire by Alex Abella. What the past term reveals about the Roberts Court: Evidence that the Court is disturbingly elitist and anti-democratic. From Esquire, an article on the Battle of Newark, starring Cory Booker (and a response by Booker). Prominent women are one-third less likely to be encouraged to run for office than prominent men. An article on Edward O. Wilson on ants and human social evolution. A review of A Nation of Wimps: The High Cost of Invasive Parenting by Hara Estroff Marano (and more and more and more). From Minding The Campus, Charlotte Allen on mandatory summer reading. Why do Asian students generally get higher marks than Latinos? More on The Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein. An anthropologist studies the “recursive public” of programmers; Scott McLemee gets his nerd on.
The dark side of paradise: A special New Statesman focus on South East Asia. From The Economist, more religions, more trouble: Radical Muslim and Christian groups stoke the embers of Papua’s conflict; in the Indian Ocean you'll find the most dangerous seas in the world; and a special report on Al-Qaeda: Winning or losing? Saying farewell to the sort of horrible social engineering projects that dominated the 20th century is a major example of human progress. A review of Against Schooling: For an Education that Matters by Stanley Aronowitz. Graphene, praised for its electrical properties, has been proven the strongest known material. Wait, who is this? Shining the dim light of cultural obscurity on the prank phone call. For centuries, Oxford remained a bastion of Western Civilization — then came American marketing. From The Believer, an interview with Matt Bai. From Portfolio, Joel Osteen preaches the virtues of prosperity—for himself as well as his congregation; the man may well be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the slumping economy. The Ten Commandments of race and genetics are issued. Seneca may have disapproved of them, but roof gardens are part of the poetry of urban life. Here are five questions Israel should ask before bombing Iran. Before it was bought by Belgium's InBev, Budweiser trampled local breweries across this land; who's crying in their (piss) beer now?
From Reason, Ronald Bailey on TEOTWAWKI! Or, the end of the world as we know it at the Global Catastrophic Risks conference. Self-interest is bad? Andrew Ferguson on CGTYOSI, or the "cause greater than your own self-interest". A review of The Wisdom to Doubt: A Justification of Religious Skepticism by J. L. Schellenberg. From Infidels.org, Amanda Avellone on confessions of an evangelical atheist. From ARPA, the idea of the "bad girl": A review of Princesses and Pornstars: Sex, Power, Identity by Emily Maguire and Beyond Bad Girls: Gender, Violence and Hype by Meda Chesney-Lind and Katherine Irwin. From Big Think, Harvey Mansfield defines the concept of "manliness". How good was the Good War? TAC contributors debate the lessons of World War II and their relevance to American foreign policy today. D-Day with bikinis: Alasdair Soussi re-examines the history of an odd invasion. Why doesn't the world understand us? A review of God and Gold by Walter Russell Mead. A review of In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan (and more and an interview; and more from Bookforum). Would Small is Beautiful's E. F. Schumacher have a MySpace page? An Egyptian quip could reasonably be considered the world's first recorded joke. Facebook phobia: Thought high school was bad? Social-networking sites jack up Web-era insecurities.