From Prospect, contemporary liberalism's insistence that morality is a mere matter of rights and obligations empties life of its ethical meaning; we need a return to the virtue ethics of the pre-moderns, and a renewed conception of the good life. From Economic Principals, a review of Reinventing Knowledge: From Alexandria to the Internet by Ian F. McNeely and Lisa Wolverton. Metrosexual Healing: Can Barack Obama save the trans-Atlantic alliance? Dream Team: Monocle turns its attention to who they'd like to see in the Cabinet. From Texas Monthly, Leave It To Weaver: What John McCain’s former chief strategist thinks of his campaign. From TNR, more radical than Bush: Jonathan Cohn on the full horror of John McCain's economic agenda; and running against Sarah: From beauty queens to political veterans, Palin's former foes offer battle-worn advice. From Writ, an interview with Erwin Chemerinsky on judicial activism; and after Bristol Palin and Jamie Lynn Spears, is it time to alter statutory rape laws? From Jewcy, how long before a great new idea bears fruit? From Next American City, a new era for train travel: With high demand for passenger rail service, is it finally Amtrak’s moment to shine? Can reading stories and listening to music make people less destructive? An anthropologist believed the arts could diminish our desire to control the world.
From The Nation, a look at ten national security myths. Sara Robinson on ten conservative myths about national security. An excerpt from The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism by Andrew J. Bacevich (and a review and more). Matthew Yglesias on Obama's foreign policy advantage. From TNR, put your invisible hands up! Irwin Stelzer on the surrender of free market capitalism; and Palin Comparison: Is the First Dude the new Hillary? From TED, Jonathan Haidt on the real difference between liberals and conservatives. A study finds more sensitive may mean more conservative. Do our political beliefs have a biological basis? What cognitive neuroscience is uncovering about the fascinating biology behind our most complex feelings — as it turns out, love really is blind. I like you because you're like me: A new theory of mating may explain the rise in disorders such as autism and Asperger's. From Scientific American, an article on the secrets of storytelling: Why we love a good yarn. Maya Jaggi reviews Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh. From New Humanist, America’s Religious Right has devised a seductive new recruitment strategy; and Doug Ireland welcomes a passionate and practical approach to secularism. A review of Quitting Church: Why the Faithful are Fleeing and What to Do about It by Julia Duin.
From LRB, why it matters: Ellen Meiksins Wood reviews Hobbes and Republican Liberty by Quentin Skinner; and what’s in a number? Donald MacKenzie on the $300 trillion question. Like George W. Bush, McCain and Palin have to lie, because if they told the truth about their policies, they'd lose the election. Let’s call a lie a lie finally: Euphemism gets put on the shelf as politics grows more partisan. A review of Termites in the Trading System: How Preferential Agreements Undermine Free Trade by Jagdish Bhagwati. A new issue of the Internet Review of Books is out, including a review of A Declaration of Energy Independence: How Freedom from Foreign Oil Can Improve National Security, Our Economy, and the Environment by Jay Hakes; a review of Pearls, Politics, and Power: How Women Can Win and Lead by Madeleine Kunin; and a review of The Return Of Ulysses: A Cultural History Of Homer's Odyssey by Edith Hall. A review of The Wooden Horse: The Liberation of the Western Mind from Odysseus to Socrates by Keld Zeruneith. More on Mary Lefkowitz's History Lesson: A Race Odyssey (and more and more). This season's most controversial book isn't an election-year expose or a celebrity tell-all — it's a historical novel. Laura Stokes reviews Out Backward by Ross Raisin. From Air & Space, a look at 10 aircraft that changed the world.
From The New Yorker, Louis Menand on Lionel Trilling and his discontents; and rich bitch: Jeffrey Toobin on the legal battle over trust funds for pets. Conservatives try a new tack on campuses: Donors are financing initiatives to restore what some see as the casualties of the culture wars of the ’80s and ’90s. When a new president inherits a mess: Here's a simple question, why on Earth would anyone want to be president right now? From Contingencies, the candidates face off on health care reform. The University of Chicago's Luigi Zingales on why Paulson is wrong. Sebastian Mallaby on a bad bank rescue. Eric Hovde on calling out the culprits who caused the crisis.The Operators: Drake Bennett goes behind a seductive Wall Street conspiracy theory. Fear of fairy tales: The glossy, sanitized new versions of fairy tales leave out what matters: the scary parts. A review of Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency by Barton Gellman (and more and more and an interview). From Open Source, an interview with Philippe Sands, author of Torture Team: Rumsfeld's Memo and the Betrayal of American Values; and an interview with Philip Gourevitch, author of Standard Operating Procedure. Flying the unfriendly skies: What's it like to be a flight attendant these days? From The Nation, Eric Alterman on Israel at 60: The State of the State. More on Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley.