From Open Democracy, Daniele Archibugi describes an agenda to return the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to relevance; and why is Russia romanticising the memory of Stalinism, when its defining feature was the use of terror? A review of American Therapy: The Rise of Psychotherapy in the United States by Jonathan Engel. The DSM-V is at least three years away from publication, but it is already stirring bitter debates over a new set of possible psychiatric disorders. Some point to Alan Greenspan, but his hands-off approach to the economy originated with Ayn Rand. It’s a novel! It’s a philosophy! It’s the instruction manual for a crazy cult! Atlas Shrugged could be all of those things. Whether the fairy tale has flourished in popular culture, or been diluted and diminished by global branding, is a question raised by a range of new books on the genre. Independent bookstores have been struggling to survive ever since the advent of the chain stores — but now, even the chains are under threat. An excerpt from Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill. An excerpt from Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy by Martin Lindstrom. A review of The Star as Icon: Celebrity in the Age of Mass Consumption by Daniel Herwitz. When celebs take charge: Today's politicians have to know what narrative the world wants to hear. An article on Deep Throat's legacy to journalism.
From New Scientist, an article on Archimedes and the 2000-year-old computer; and did our cosmos exist before the big bang? Anil Ananthaswamy investigates. From First Principles, an essay on Augustine’s Confessions and Voegelin’s philosophy (and more). What's the difference between a search engine and a browse engine? A look at the top 10 migration issues of 2008. According to new research, a man’s desirability depends on how he achieved his high status. More and more and more and more on A Great Idea at the Time: The Rise, Fall, and Curious Afterlife of the Great Books by Alex Beam. A review of How Jesus Became Christian: The Early Christians and the Transformation of a Jewish Teacher into the Son of God by Barrie Wilson. A review of Adorno and Heidegger: Philosophical Questions. A review of Slackonomics: Generation X in the Age of Creative Destruction by Lisa Chamberlain. From Fronesis, is migration a lever for union renewal? Newspapers can’t keep distributing content for free on Web. The first chapter from The Deaths of Louis XVI: Regicide and the French Political Imagination by Susan Dunn. The Great Mumble: A new generation slouches toward nukes. Robert Carroll plots an escape on foot from the where we spend our days. Are romantic comedies a hazard to kids' emotional health? (and more)
From Mute, capital needs to sustain the fantasy of its health, efficiency and inevitability at all costs; as the crisis broadsides this fantasy, the spin-doctors are scrambling to reconstruct it; and what lies beyond the failed utopias of the modernist welfare state and the free market? A review of Kingmakers: The Invention of the Modern Middle East by KE Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac. Today the division is no longer between slave and free states, or agrarian and industrial states, but between two models of industrial society. The Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism was supposed to encourage sustainable development in poorer countries — but it's now part of the problem. The first chapter from Is Pluto a Planet? A Historical Journey through the Solar System by David A. Weintraub. A review of Crude Continent: The Struggle for Africa's Oil Prize by Duncan Clarke. A review of Pragmatism as Post-Postmodernism: Lessons from John Dewey by Larry A. Hickman. Clay Risen examines France’s backwards sovereign wealth fund. From New Statesman, a review of Globalising Hatred: the New Anti-Semitism by Denis MacShane; a review of A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits by Carol K Mack and Dinah Mack; and are plans to create a game based on Dante's Inferno likely to burn up or be a roaring success?
From Military Review, Amitai Etzioni (GWU): Reconstruction: A Damaging Fantasy? Research suggests that seeing the flag doesn't make Americans feel more patriotic, but it does make them feel more nationalistic and more superior to non-Americans. The first chapter from Reason and Rationality by Jon Elster. From Daedalus, a special issue on judicial independence. Why Barack Obama should nominate leading law professors for seats on the Federal Appeals Court (and more). Obama's inauguration speech is unlikely to disappoint — his words may be unremarkable; his delivery won't be. A review of Arab Soccer in a Jewish State: The Integrative Enclave by Tamir Sorek. A review of The Liberal Defence of Murder by Richard Seymour. The first chapter from Egypt after Mubarak: Liberalism, Islam, and Democracy in the Arab World by Bruce K. Rutherford. A review of Winning the War of Words: Selling the War on Terror from Afghanistan to Iraq by Wojtek Mackiewicz Wolfe. DNA dating: Can genes help you pick a mate? Most of us, whether we admit it or not, are moral hypocrites, but oddly, hypocrisy is rooted in high morals. The next decade or so is going to see the world of video games convulsed by battles between the moneymen and the artists; if the good guys win, or win enough of the time, we’re going to have a whole new art form.