From Edge, here's the World Question Center 2009: "What will change everything?" Still revered for The Catcher in the Rye and the Glass Family, J. D. Salinger remains elusive at 90. A review of Objectivity by Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison. From NYRB, Marcia Angell reviews books on drug companies and doctors: A story of corruption. The Prophet: Ari Berman on how Howard Dean's fifty-state strategy remade the Democratic Party — what comes next? Francis Fukuyama remembers Samuel Huntington (and more and more). Children of the Revolution: Eve Fairbanks on House Republicans, now even more conservative. Auto Destruct: Jonathan Cohn on the tragic nobility of Detroit. International bright young things: The next generation of economists do their best work somewhere between the field clinic and the dissection room. From The Wall Street Journal, an article on the doomsayers who got it right. Here are nominees for the most infamous pronouncements made as the financial crisis unfolded this year. Michael Tomasky on America's hall of shame: From Sarah Palin to AIG's sales reps, the following characters have made us less than proud. David Brooks hands out the annual Sidney Awards. From The Village Voice, here are the top 10 rightblogger stories. Jonathan Chait on Marxists: They're everywhere you don't want them to be and nowhere you really need them.
From Vanity Fair, surveying Fannie Mae’s deeply dysfunctional relationships with Congress, the White House, and Wall Street, Bethany McLean tells of the long, vicious war — involving most of Washington’s top players — that helped propel one of the world’s most successful companies off. A review of Wall Street: America’s Dream Palace by Steve Fraser. Here's the online version of Against Intellectual Monopoly by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine. An excerpt from The Feminist Care Tradition in Animal Ethics. A review of books in search of the God neuron. The Episcopal Church's promotion of an openly gay clergyman has created a serious rift within the religious community, threatening the future of the denomination. Oops! She crashed it again: Why celebrities are such bad drivers. After realizing that being a freedom fighter with the Karen National Union may not be the best way to bring peace to his country, a Burmese man explores the many facets of revolutionary action. A review of The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments by George Johnson. A review of The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations by Brian Fagan. A review of Savannah Knoop’s Girl Boy Girl: Becoming JT Leroy. A review of Itineraries in Conflict: Israelis, Palestinians, and the Political Lives of Tourism by Rebecca Stein.
From TNR, is Herman Rosenblat, the author of Angel at the Fence: The True Story of a Love That Survived, a new Oprah-touted love story the next James Frey? From Harvard Magazine, skeptical of both defined-benefit and defined-contribution retirement plans, Robert Merton proposes a hybrid, SmartNest, to overcome the shortcomings of each; a review of The Cure Within: A History of Mind-Body Medicine by Anne Harrington; the mature dating game: A look at the world of dating for those over 45; the war and the writ: An essay on habeas corpus and security in an age of terrorism (and more and more); from daguerreotype to Photoshop: Robin Kelsey dissects the “hybrid medium” of photography; and educating students for life: Harvard College rolls out the new general education curriculum for undergraduates. Big in Japan: The popularity of a bleak, 20th-century novel points to tectonic shifts beneath the surface of Japanese society. More on Sarah Thornton's Seven Days in the Art World (and more from Bookforum). While the detection technology has sped ahead, international mechanisms for dealing with an asteroid threat are still stuck in first gear. What Obama could learn from America's greatest unknown nuclear strategist. Jonah Goldberg on the "Ought" decade: We lack a theme. A review of John Searle's Philosophy of Language: Force, Meaning and Mind.
From The New Criterion, a special issue on the dictatorship of relativism, including Anthony Daniels on the moral consequences of relativism; Andrew McCarthy on relativism: paving the road to radicalism; the mystification of change: James Bowman on the media's game of good and evil; the art market bubble: An essay on the folly of speculating on contemporary art; and John Derbyshire reviews The Art Instinct by Denis Dutton (and more). Many Obama supporters claim that including, accommodating and compromising with the right will create post-partisan harmony; when have Democrats not done that? Can partisanship save citizenship? In the 1990s, reformers and academics worried about how to improve civic life, but they didn't foresee that technology combined with party politics would renew civic engagement and even elect one of their own. A review of In the World but Not of It: One Family’s Militant Faith and the History of Fundamentalism in America by Brett Grainger. James Wolcott reviews The Widows of Eastwick by John Updike (and more). Death, like a furry brown bat with a wingspread as wide as a pterodactyl’s, shrank Himself to the size of a quarter and slipped in through the crack underneath the front door. A review of Europe Between the Oceans: 9000 BC-AD 1000 by Barry Cunliffe. More and more on The Philosopher and the Wolf by Mark Rowlands.