The latest issue of Bookforum is out, including Thomas Frank on The Naked and the Daft: Norman Mailer's chronicle of Chicago '68 points up the pitiful state of contemporary political commentary. From International Viewpoint, has working class consciousness collapsed? What drives market volatility? James Surowiecki investigates. Yoknapatawpha diplomacy: An article on Faulkner, the State Department, and Latin America. A review of Your Government Failed You: Breaking the Cycle of National Security Disasters by Richard Clarke. A review of Christopher Buckley's Supreme Courtship (and more and more). From Harvard International Review, a special issue on Elections: Practicing Politics. The introduction to The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies by Bryan Caplan. Is "nudging" the answer to the age-old debate about how much the state should do to control people's lives? (and more and more) The Misshapen Mind: How the brain's haphazard evolution left us with self-destructive instincts. A special issue of American Atheist is online. Sex, violence, and the culture war: Where does morality leave off and social science pick up? A review of Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause by Tom Gjelten. A review of Sound Moves: IPod Culture and Urban Experience by Michael Bull.
Fee-Alexandra Haase (CIU): A Model of Mass-Media Text Types: The Empirical Case of Content from the New York Times. A review of Dark Ages: The Case for a Science of Human Behavior by Lee McIntyre. A review of Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-up Idealists by Susan Neiman. From the Journal of Philosophy & Scripture, Yii-Jan Singh (Yale): Semen, Philosophy, and Paul. From the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, a review of Pagan Theology: Paganism as a World Religion by Michael York. A review of Original Sin: A Cultural History by Alan Jacobs. More on What Would Jesus Deconstruct? by John Caputo. A review of My Father Before Me: How Fathers and Sons Influence Each Other Throughout Their Lives by Michael J. Diamond. A review of Cool Colleges: For the Hyper-Intelligent, Self-Directed, Late Blooming, and Just Plain Different by Donald Asher. Why fluff-over-substance makes perfect evolutionary sense. As Beijing and Moscow flex their muscles, some see a rising tide of authoritarianism, but don’t call it a Cold War. A review of Blindside: How to Anticipate Forcing Events and Wild Cards in Global Politics, and Francis Fukuyama on how the world's bullies are throwing their weight around, but history isn't on their side. An interview with Takis Fotopoulos on "inclusive democracy".
A new issue of Air & Space Power Journal is out. From the Air Force's Strategic Studies Quarterly, Jeffrey Record (AWC): Why the Bush Administration Invaded Iraq: Making Strategy after 9/11. From Acme, Sara Koopman (UBC): Imperialism Within: Can the Master’s Tools Bring Down Empire? From The New Atlantis, Jim Manzi on conservatives, climate Change, and the carbon tax; technology, culture, and virtue: Patrick J. Deneen on Wendell Berry's unnatured man and Wendell Berry on leadership from the bottom; an article on nuclear policy and the presidential election; rethinking public opinion: Thomas Fitzgerald on the problems of polling; a review of Millennial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube, and the Future of American Politics by Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais (and more); a review of Second Lives by Tim Guest and Coming of Age in Second Life by Tom Boellstorff; and more on Mark Bauerlein' The Dumbest Generation. America has a growing skills problem; public policy should refocus attention to the early years of childhood and away from its current emphasis on the later years. No Subject Left Behind: Diane Ravitch on how to stick up for subjects — history, literature, the arts — that fewer and fewer students get a chance to learn. From Ars Disputandi, a review of The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy.
From Powell's, an interview with Michael Gazzaniga, author of Human (and a review) and an interview with Tom Boellstorff, author of Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human. More and more and more on The Wrecking Crew by Thomas Frank. From Taki's Magazine, John Derbyshire on the Singularity as the Rapture for nerds. What if you could tell whether a man is husband material just by peering at his genes? (and more and more on why men cheat) From TNR, an interview with Charles Barkley on politics. An interview with Graham Vickers, author of Chasing Lolita: How Popular Culture Corrupted Nabokov's Little Girl All Over Again. From Monthly Review, a special issue on Ecology: The Moment of Truth. From Left Turn, a special issue on global ecology and the Left. An article on different ways of looking at what it means to be an environmentalist. Plenty Magazine recognizes 20 businesses, 20 people, and 10 ideas that will change our world. Feeding the Beast: Why food prices are skyrocketing. A review of Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives by Carolyn Steel and The End of Food: The Coming Crisis in the World Food Industry by Paul Roberts (and more and more and more and more). A review of Savage Barbecue: Race, Culture, and the Invention of America's First Food by Andrew Warnes (and more).
From Europe's World, an essay on capitalism’s uncertain future; and a look at why EU and US geopolitical interests are no longer the same and why the US is destined to remain a “European power”. From FT, Francis Fukuyama on how the past two US administrations could assume hegemony in economics and security, but the next administration cannot; and Martin Wolf on how this presidential election might well determine the character of the next, possibly final, epoch of Anglo-American global hegemony. Gregory Rodriguez on America's "identity" blind spot. John McCain's list of ancestors is a bit ho-hum, with nearly monolithic Scotch Irish dominance and none of the links to famous statesmen Obama counts as kin, part of the great melting pot. Dalton Conley, an NYU sociologist claims, preposterously, that it's more stressful to be rich than poor. No manufacturing, no new ideas — what's our economy based on? Joseph Stiglitz wants to know. Bring back tug-of-war! Why more Olympic sports should be added before 2012. Here's the perfect example of how frustrating the Olympics were for genuine sports lovers. A review of Athlete First: A History of the Paralympic Movement by Steve Bailey. From Standpoint, an article on the depth of English music. A steady eye: David Levine has captured the artistic and political greats of his era with nothing but a pencil.
From New Left Review, Norman Dombey (Sussex): The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: Aims, Limitations and Achievements (and a response); an essay on neoliberalism in Latin America; and Walter Benn Michaels argues that the Obama and Clinton campaigns are victories for neoliberalism, not over it. From LRB, after the Ottomans: Perry Anderson on Kemalism. Julian Baggini examines a new series of practical philosophy books dedicated to the art of living. Archives of Alaska papers reveal disturbing and goofy details from Sarah Palin's past. The Oprah effect: Given their naked insincerity, do political endorsements carry any weight? From Vanity Fair, since buying The Wall Street Journal, Rupert Murdoch has talked freely with Michael Wolff about his business, his family, and the future. From the new magazine Culture11, Electric Kool-Aid Conservatism: Why the right needs more journalists and fewer activists; why small towns matter: How community helps America muster the manpower to defend itself; the Dracula argument: What the absence of vampires tells us about the existence of God; I vow (to bump and grind): Gangsta’ rap at the modern wedding; and beating Darcy down: He’s a dead, white, fictional man — let’s get over him, ladies. Michael Shermer on why our brains do not intuitively grasp probabilities. Yuck factor: Jan Freeman on how some words are uglier than others.
From Index on Censorship, an interview with Ai Weiwei, star of the avant-garde, on challenging the status quo; and a look at how China’s online pioneers are pushing the boundaries of free speech. From Hoover Digest, Gary Becker, Richard Posner, and Niall Ferguson on on the subprime-mortgage meltdown. A review of Law and Irresponsibility: On the Legitimation of Human Suffering by Scott Veitch; and a review of Human Rights and Empire: The Political Philosophy of Cosmopolitanism by Costas Douzinas. Imperialism for Beginners: A review of Tycoon's War: How Cornelius Vanderbilt Invaded a Country to Overthrow America's Most Famous Military Adventurer by Stephen Dando-Collins. A review of The Constitution and America's Destiny by David Brian Roberston. Daydream achiever: A wandering mind can do important work, scientists are learning — and may even be essential. Machiavelli's daring gift: The Prince has elicited admiration, fear and contempt. A review of Sex in Crisis: The New Sexual Revolution and the Future of American Politics by Dagmar Herzog. From Lilith, political imperatives: Seven independent, Jewish and frankly feminist activists on what to do next. A review of Multiculturalism without Culture by Anne Phillips. An interview with Cass Sunstein on the Homer Simpson in all of us.
A new issue of Education Next is out. The other pride parade: It's fine to celebrate heterosexuality, just be straight about your intentions. A review of Falun Gong and the Future of China by David Ownby. John McCain and Barack Obama both say America should lead the world; do they know what follows? From National Geographic, Charles C. Mann on Our Good Earth: The future rests on the soil beneath our feet. This place is the bomb: Something wild is happening on Christmas Island, once ground zero for nuclear test explosions. Hugh Andrew publishes the books others won’t touch because he believes they contain dying voices that must be revived. From CUP, an excerpt from Useless Arithmetic: Why Environmental Scientists Can't Predict the Future by Orrin H. Pilkey and Linda Pilkey-Jarvis; and an excerpt from Humanity's Footprint: Momentum, Impact, and Our Global Environment by Walter Dodds. From Eat the State!, an article on the Global Poverty Act, the most important bill you've never heard of; and even if you're a vegetarian and you line-dry all your laundry, it's still not a good idea to fly to Greece for a week. The Greeks and the Chinese, doing business for aeons, and the lofty theory, and tough reality, of a link between two peoples who have always known the meaning of diaspora. A look at the top 10 endangered languages.
From LRB, what works doesn’t work: Ross McKibbin on politics without ideas. From LRC, Andrew Ng goes beyond entrenched divisions in the United States and Canada; progressivism’s end: In Obama, both Americans and Canadians can see the promise of something new; and more on American distractions. From FP, here's a list of Obama’s 10 worst ideas. From Monthly Review, Edward S. Herman and David Peterson on Jeremiah Wright in the Propaganda System. From ITT, Slavoj Zizek on the Audacity of Rhetoric. From n+1, Aziz Rana on Obama and the Closing of the American Dream. From The Root, an article on Obama and the Suicidal Left: Why the black intelligentsia needs to stop hating on the Democratic nominee; and from Clarence Thomas to Sarah Palin, nobody plays cynical identity politics like the GOP. From TAS, Morning in America: With one bold masterstroke, everything that was so wrong with American politics has been made right. Emily Bazelon and Dahlia Lithwick on the complicated business of judging Sarah Palin. The Second Vermont Republic is a network that aims to dissolve the United States and, in particular, return Vermont to an independent republic. From Radar, Lynn Harris charts the origins of cougar mania. From IL, Richard Dawkins on freedoms lost and gained. From Standpoint, Cynthia Ozick on writers, visible and invisible; and what do we mean by "art"?
Barbara E. Armacost (Virginia): Interrogation after 9/11: The Law on the Books and the Law on the Ground. From Homeland Security Affairs, David Tucker (NPS): Terrorism, Networks, and Strategy: Why the Conventional Wisdom is Wrong; an article on paramilitary terrorism, a neglected threat; and a review of Catastrophe: Risk and Response by Richard Posner. Here's the full text of War Inc. by Seymour Melman. A review of Governing through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear by Jonathan Simon. From Government Executive, a special issue on the top government contractors. Show respect for women, ban contraception: Has Humanae Vitae's proscription against contraception been vindicated? From the Journal of Consciousness Studies, a review of A Phenomenology of Love and Hate by Peter Hadreas; and hitting on consciousness: Honderich Versus McGinn. From THES, a review of Trust: Self-Interest and the Common Good by Marek Kohn. Why is philosophy as a subject such a fizzer in schools, asks Laura Parker. No veritas in this vino: Robert Goldstein's research involved entering bogus wines into competitions, in order to expose lack of standards in the industry. Leaving Guyland: Peter Pans aren't as happy as they seem. A review of The Godfather of Tabloid by Jack Vitek.