From New York, have we reached the end of book publishing as we know it? Attack of the Megalisters: These days, the used-book business seems to be less about connoisseurship than about database management. "Why Real Estate Won't Go Bust", and other book-title bloopers. From The Independent, can intelligent literature survive in the digital age? Prospero's Island: Shakespeare's classic set two hours from Boston? Scott McLemee scours the books to find out. After more than a decade as Czech president, Vaclav Havel has returned to writing plays; has his artistic vision survived the compromises of power? Guru Papers: An article on the rise and fall of a Swedish little magazine in the 1970s. LOL, OIC, and WTF at ROFLThing: Meet the latest academic discipline and realm for cultural criticism: Internet culture studies. The guys behind social trendcasting site Edopter want to know how, exactly, something becomes popular, but they need you to do it; can they build the Wikipedia of trends? From Edge, Nassim Nicholas Taleb on The Fourth Quadrant: A map of the limits of statistics. From THES, a review of Between Naturalism and Religion: Philosophical Essays by Jurgen Habermas; and Raymond Geuss foresees a future of strict controls or war over resources. From ResetDOC, a look at when soccer divides people. Cities are being swept up in a wave of inane pranks.
People whose resumes overlap with the presidential candidates’ explain how their jobs would come in handy in the White House. From Democracy, why it matters whom the president hires: A review of The Politics of Presidential Appointments: Political Control and Bureaucratic Performance by David Lewis; and is the golden age of political consulting over? A review of Alpha Dogs: The Americans Who Turned Political Spin into a Global Business by James Harding. In search of rational voters: Do such creatures exist, and how can we mint more of them? In an information-saturated era that has supposedly made us ever more sophisticated, why does blatant and manipulative political imagery continue to work? Shankar Vedantam on the power of political misinformation. Thomas Friedman on making America stupid. Lee Siegel on the triumph of culture over politics. Letters from Wasilla: Anne Kilkennyn on the Sarah Palin she knew. Femocracy ’08: Sisterhood is powerful, but Palin has fried the circuits of post-Clinton feminists. Why McCain should put Palin on the Supreme Court. What's the difference between Palin and Muslim fundamentalists? Lipstick — a theocrat is a theocrat, whether Muslim or Christian. What it would be like if all women lived in Sarah Palin's America. Conor Clarke writes in defense of elitism: Palin emphasizes her credentials as "just your average hockey mom".
Xabier Arzoz (EHU): The Nature of Language Rights. I married a Maori: A review of Come On Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All by Christina Thompson. A review of Save The Males: Why Men Matter, Why Women Should Care by Kathleen Parker. A review of The Intimate Sex Lives of Famous People. The joy of abstinence: A humorous blog and a conservative think tank on the benefits of not having sex. From TNR, Bushed: David Greenberg on how neocons made liberals wary of idealism; Katherine Marsh on the working mothers' case against Sarah Palin; and Jason Zengerle on the strange resurrection of John Kerry. From Slate, McCain and Palin are running against a new opponent: federal spending; and lies, damned lies, and Barack Obama: Why isn't Obama stretching the truth more often? What will Rumsfeld write? The former secretary of defense is writing a history of the Iraq War. A review of Andrew Cockburn's Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy. Partner or master? Vernor Vinge has been urging his fellow humans to get smarter by collaborating with computers. A review of A New Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations by Clive Ponting. The North Pole has become an island for the first time in human history as climate change has made it possible to circumnavigate the Arctic ice cap.
From the latest issue of The Atlantic Monthly, all counterinsurgency is local: Prosecuting the war in Afghanistan from provincial capitals has been disastrous — we need to turn our military strategy inside out; and Andrew Bacevich on The Petraeus Doctrine: Iraq-style counterinsurgency is fast becoming the U.S. Army’s organizing principle — is our military preparing to fight the next war, or the last one? Drew Westen on what Obama needs to do in the final sixty days: Avoiding President Palin. An article on Rachel Maddow, cable talk's newest star. As barriers disappear, some gender gaps widen. From TLS, Peter Singer reviews Ethics and the Environment by Dale Jamieson; Auden not our contemporary: Sean O'Brien on how the serious, reasonable prose of a dead poet shames the living. From Literary Review, books maketh the man: A review of Oscar's Books by Thomas Wright; and a review of The House of Wittgenstein: A Family at War by Alexander Waugh. From The Philosophers' Magazine, Havi Carel on the problem of organ donation: People are dying while we argue about the wrong thing; Giles Fraser has to laugh at the legacy of the Enlightenment or else he'd cry; more on Beyond the Hoax: Science, Philosophy and Culture by Alan Sokal; and a look at the university students who are going back to school in Sheffield.
From the new magazine The Clarion Review, Peter Augustine Lawler on aging, individualism and our middle-class dreams; an essay on the iconographic fiction and Christian humanism of Flannery O'Connor; an interview with Roger Scruton; Jesus, the Libertarian: A review of Turn Neither to the Right Nor to the Left: A Thinking Christian’s Guide to Politics and Public Policy by Eric D. Schansberg; Homo economus Christianus: A review of Third Ways: How Bulgarian Greens, Swedish Housewives, and Beer-Swilling Englishmen Created Family-Centered Economies — And Why They Disappeared by Allan C. Carlson. Here's The Atlantic Monthly's presidential election campaign supplement, including interviews with five historians and political scientists on which presidential election this one most resembles. Rivka Galchen reviews The Only Son by Stephane Audeguy. After a century, a literary reputation finally blooms: Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis has gone from being a fringe figure in the English-speaking world to a literary favorite hailed as an unjustly-neglected Brazilian genius. More on David Lebedoff's The Same Man: George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh in Love and War. Jed Perl on The Man Who Remade the Met: Unlike most modern museum directors, Philippe de Montebello trusted the public to embrace his high standards — and it did.
From the Journal of American Ethnic History, Violet M. Showers Johnson (ASC): "What, Then, Is the African American?" African and Afro-Caribbean Identities in Black America; a review of books on immigration; and a review of books on ethnic identity and American popular culture. From The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, an article on mixing climate change with the war on terror. Here are 5 scientific experiments most likely to end the world. From Reason, whatever happened to the libertarian Democrat? The Yippie Show: How some media-savvy leftists inadvertently helped the right, and vice versa. A review of Blogging America: The New Public Sphere by Aaron Barlow. A review of Electronic Tribes: The Virtual Worlds of Geeks, Gamers, Shamans, and Scammers. There are two Americas, and they watch different cable news channels. Simon Blackburn reviews The Thing Itself: On the Search for Authenticity by Richard Todd. A review of Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge. From Miller-McCune, an article on the catch-22 of welfare to work. From Vanity Fair, Cullen Murphy gets a rare opportunity to observe day-to-day officer life in the Pacific theater — through his own father’s eyes. More and more on Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg. Why you should go with your gut feeling: Our brains pick up on subliminal signals when making risky decisions.
Ian S. Lustick (Penn): Our Own Strength Against Us: The War on Terror as a Self-Inflicted Disaster. From The Hill, an interview with Markos Moulitsas Zuniga. A wiki for the planet: An interview with Clay Shirky on open source environmentalism, and Shirky on gin, television and cognitive surplus. Dexter Filkins on what it’s been like reporting a conflict that never seems to end. The Taxman Cometh: Why do so many people so obediently pay what they owe? Gary Becker investigates. From the Institute for Advanced Studies' new journal Culture, issues on How We Work, Scientism and Ambiguous Distinctions. From The Kenyon Review, Lewis Hyde on being good ancestors: Reflections of arts funding since World War II; and Brian Doyle has become a close student of the rejection note. An article on the malign power of platitudes. From Expositions, a roundtable on Stanley Fish and the Humanities. Songs of freedom: Why music poses a threat to tyrants and overbearing governments. A review of The Making of an Economist, Redux by David Colander. A review of The Case for Greatness: Honorable Ambition and Its Critics by Rober Faulkner. From American Sexuality, a perspective for women of any age: "Why I'd rather sleep with an old guy". From TAP, an article on sex education as liberation: It's time to improve and expand our notion of what sex ed means.
From the Journal of Ethics & Social Philosophy, John Gardner (Oxford): “Simply in Virtue of Being Human”: the Whos and Whys of Human Rights. A review of Giordano Bruno: Philosopher/Heretic by Ingrid Rowland. From Christian Today, here's a review of 10 books that screwed up the world. 2,126 "buts", and 55 "Reagans": Exploring the charms of "Speech Wars", a site that allows you to track the number of times the candidates have said certain words on the stump; Crashing Palinpalooza: How the Republicans' newest star is putting the "party" back in GOP; and Leon Wieseltier on the Sarah Palin Farce: Now is not the time for right-wing screwball. Jacques-Alain Miller on Sarah Palin: Operation "Castration". Lipstick on a Wing Nut: Katha Pollitt has questions for Sarah Palin. From Foreign Policy, here's 20 questions to ask Sarah Palin; and here's a list of McCain’s 10 worst ideas. From the Journal of Philosophy, Science & Law, a review essay on law and biology. Dante Moore, the author of The Re-Education of the Female, has a simple piece of advice: Do as men say (and more). From the Journal of Evolutionary Philosophy, more on The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. Jennifer Egan reviews Other Lives by Andre Brink. From IHE, are we entering a C.P. Snow world of "two cultures"? From Harper's, the perfect game: Five years with the master of Pac-Man.
Andras Takacs-Santa (HAS): Barriers to Environmental Concern. Surely if baseball, football, basketball, and rock and roll all get to have halls of fame, so should bookstores. A review of A Pragmatist Philosophy of Democracy by Robert B. Talisse. A review of The Ghost of Freedom: A History of the Caucasus by Charles King. A review of Schools of Democracy: A Political History of the American Labor Movement by Clayton Sinyai. An excerpt from Killing Civilians: Method, Madness and Morality in War by Hugo Slim. A review of A War of Frontier and Empire: The Philippine-American War, 1899-1902 by David J. Silbey. Travel is so broadening; it shows you other nations' narrow-mindedness, so that when you get home you can see your own more clearly. A review of Children of the Sun: A History of Humanity's Unappeasable Appetite for Energy by Alfred W. Crosby. A review of Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age by Maggie Jackson. A review of The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism by Andrew Bacevich. His name will always be synonymous with his TV talk show, but there's more to Jerry Springer than spoof operas and fighting dwarfs. A review of Deception in Markets: An Economic Analysis. An interview with Bernard Lewis on the two biggest myths about Islam.
From Idea, Milan Zafirovski (North Texas): Radical Puritanism "Rediscovered": Elements and Legacies of Extremism and Anti-Egalitarianism. Keith J. Gomes (Carleton): An Intellectual Genealogy of the Just War: A Survey of Christian Political Thought on the Justification of Warfare. The Next Front: Seven years after 9/11, John McCain still doesn't get the war on terrorism. The Code of the West: Ryan Lyzza on what Barack Obama can learn from Bill Ritter. From Search, naming moons can be tricky business, especially when the gods get involved; Pleistocene dreams: A radical conservation idea intrigues and frightens an un-wild world; an interview with Daniel Dennett, "dangerous" man, and what happens to religion when it is biologized? From The Walrus, an article on The Other Darwin: The nineteenth-century naturalist gets emotional. A review of Re-engineering Philosophy for Limited Beings: Piecewise Approximations to Reality by William Wimsatt and Evidence and Evolution: The Logic Behind the Science by Elliott Sober. In the not-so-distant future, these six drugs already in the works will change how we live and how we die. Of victims and vixens: An article on the feminist clash over prostitution. English, the omnivorous tongue: A review of The Secret Life of Words by Henry Hitching. Rick Moody reviews The Sacred Book of the Werewolf by Victor Pelevin.