Kerry Abrams (Virginia) and Peter Brooks (Yale): Marriage as a Message: Same-Sex Couples and the Rhetoric of Accidental Procreation. Can a book really look like the web? This is apparently Guinness's latest innovation to trick boys into reading. The first chapter from Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved by Frans de Waal. From Wired, an interview with Oliver Sacks. We've spend years being bludgeoned by zealots wielding sex as a weapon to divide America; is it time for a new sexual revolution? A look at some of the threats facing archaeological sites around the world from global warming. A review of Psychiatry and Empire. In Vino: Culture and cocktails in the nation’s capital. In nearly every realm of art and culture, the grumpy old white male has been excised from the canon, except when it comes to cocktails and the Very Dry Martini. What is it about the look of early 1960s Manhattan that is so appealing? A review of Nylon and Bombs: DuPont and the March of Modern America by Pap Ndiaye. From the Claremont Review of Books, a series on the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial. From Chronicles, Daniel Larison on Lincolnism Today: The long marriage of centralized power and concentrated wealth. Conservatism's original sin lies not in its bombastic and noxious neo-conservative interlopers, but in the tragic nature of conservatism itself.
From Verniana: Jules Verne Studies, Walter James Miller describes the “resurrection” of Jules Verne among English-speaking countries and interviews five Vernian scholars about the current state of Verne’s reputation. Why can't a woman write the Great American Novel? Female authors hold their own on the bestseller lists, but Elaine Showalter's provocative new history wonders why they get so little respect. A review of How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs If You Ever Want to Get Published by Sandra Newman and Howard Mittelmark. From the National Book Critics Circle's "Critical Mass" blog, an interview with PEN America Journal’s editor M Mark; and daily reviews of the NBCC Awards' thirty finalists, starting with Allan J. Lichtman’s White Protestant Nation: The Rise of The American Conservative Movement. Baby Bust: How the Right’s baby love is undermining conservatism. From The American Conservative, how radio wrecks the Right: Limbaugh and company certainly entertain, but a steady diet of ideological comfort food is no substitute for hearty intellectual fare; our enemy, the president: the most important battle isn’t between Republicans and Democrats but between executive power and the Constitution; can incoming CIA Director Leon Panetta fix Langley?; and a review of books on Wilsonianism. PBS' "Frontline" goes Inside the Meltdown.
From The American Prospect, towards an economics of shared prosperity: A manifesto from the "Thinking Big, Thinking Forward" conference; and Robert Kuttner on a time to think big: America's lawmakers must do more than repair the economy — they have to rebuild it. An interview with Ronald Aronson, author of Living Without God: New Directions for Atheists, Agnostics, Secularists, and the Undecided. From Granta, Joseph O’Neill on why Updike matters. Flash Yr Idols: From Kolkata and the universe within Krishna’s mouth to Vermont and the pleasures of virtual prayer. The introduction to The Godfather Doctrine: A Foreign Policy Parable by John C. Hulsman and A. Wess Mitchell. Cutting edge research: Calculating the force used in a stabbing can prove crucial in determining guilt, a team of engineers has found. A review of Metaphor and Continental Philosophy: From Kant to Derrida by Clive Cazeaux. Did the woman who sang "Unpack Your Adjectives" ever get together with the guy who sang "I'm Just a Bill"? It turns out the answer is yes! This is the moment for conservatives to ask: What would Jesse do? From Metapsychology, a review of Moral Dimensions: Permissibility, Meaning, Blame by T. M. Scanlon; and a review of Radical Virtues: Moral Wisdom and the Ethics of Contemporary Life by Richard White.
From Metapsychology, a review of Boundaries in Human Relationships: How to Be Separate and Connected by Anne Linden; a review of Intimacies by Leo Bersani and Adam Phillips; and a review of Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls (and America, Too!) by Carol Platt Liebau. A review of The Uncrowned King: The Sensational Rise of William Randolph Hearst by Kenneth Whyte. What makes someone a Holocaust denier? The Toxic Paradox: Can we really protect our kids from everything? The kitchen is political: Jerker Jansson, Sweden’s Thinking Chef, cooks a lamb stew while lamenting the death of radicalism and solidarity. A review of A Time to Speak: Selected Writings and Arguments by Robert H. Bork. From Wired, a look at how little London shop MDM Props turns ideas into art. It's time for Amazon group therapy, where readers like you gather to vent about bad books. A look at how Nate Silver predicted Obama’s win. Time to hang up the pajamas: Daniel Lyons learned the hard way — while blogs can do many wonderful things, making huge amounts of money isn't one of them. The Myth of Bipartisanship: Given the consistent failure of compromise between Republicans and Democrats, it might be time to take away the minority's most harmful weapon, the filibuster. Diving with a purpose: An amateur diver finds archaeology.
From Mute, a review of Art and Social Change: A Critical Reader. Does an $8 chocolate bar offer something beyond taste to the beleaguered consumer? Don't believe the economists who say America is in an irreversible decline. Great Emancipator or unreconstructed racist, defender of civil liberties or subverter of the Constitution? Each generation evokes a different Lincoln. Have you been regularly inserting yourself internationally? If not, then congratulations — you have yet to enter the world of strategy-speak. Generations of children have been spellbound by Robinson Crusoe's exploits, but few are aware of the real-life figure who inspired the classic. From Spiked, an article on the hidden horrors of "austerity chic". I Know Where You Live: Location-aware programs are useful for both keeping up with loved ones and inviting stalker-related tragedy. Geert Wilders and the Dutch Republic: An article on confronting Islam in the land of multiculti tolerance. From The Walrus, how Stephen Harper brought Canada to conservatism and the Conservatives to crisis. A review of A World of Trouble: The White House and the Middle East — From the Cold War to the War on Terror by Patrick Tyler. A review of The 10 Big Lies About America: Combating Destructive Distortions About Our Nation by Michael Medved. A review of Philosophy for Life by Rupert Read.
From Vanity Fair, the baby-boomers — newly aware of their mortality — have turned death into a teaching moment (Tuesdays with Morrie), motivational tool ("The Last Lecture"), and sales pitch (all those bucket-list books of things to do before you go). Should we limit family size to save the Earth? Who's messing with Wikipedia? The back-and-forth behind controversial entries could help reveal their true value. Fulham virgins and other slang pleasures: The expressive possibilities of the English language with its sleeves rolled up. A review of We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: A Plan That Will Work by Jimmy Carter (and an interview). The Opposite of Apocalypse: Conservationists are restoring a living tortoise fossil to its prehistoric range — can we recreate nature? A review of The Art and Politics of Science by Harold Varmus. Michael Dirda reviews Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting by Kitty Burns Florey. The New Urbanists: In the last few decades, urban sprawl, once regarded as largely a U.S. phenomenon, has spread across Europe. A review of Europe Between the Oceans: 9000 BC-AD 1000 by Barry Cunliffe. Here's everything you ever wanted to know about Albert Einstein. So maybe the slackers had it right after all. A new day for intellectuals: The election has opened the door to education and expertise, but academics will have to earn respect.
From Smithsonian, fighting racial segregation in the South, the Freedom Riders were beaten and arrested — where are they now, nearly fifty years later? Small Wars Journal interviews Thomas P.M. Barnett. The campaign to select the Seven Natural Wonders of the World is on — choose sides now. What would Ann Landers say about the feud between her daughter and advice columnist Amy Dickinson? The marketplace power of .99 seems undeniable, but why? Act fast, or else: Why we should nationalize troubled banks sooner rather than later. Pope on the Defensive: An article on the intractable brothers from SSPX. Who is a eulogy for? Ordinarily we assume it’s for the benefit of the bereaved, comforting us in our time of loss — but given the right circumstances, a eulogy can also do something for the person being eulogized. From Psychology Today, we live in the age of distraction, yet one of life's sharpest paradoxes is that your brightest future hinges on your ability to pay attention to the present; and we have fixed notions about the time course of success and the nature of talent that encourage us to write off the very people who are most likely to (eventually) change the world. How teenagers find themselves: The development of a key brain area leads to self-consciousness. Stop being so mean to bankers — they don't deserve it. A review of Is God a Mathematician? by Mario Livio.
From Theandros, Lisa Kemmerer (Montana State): Christian Ethics and Nonhuman Animals; and an essay on the mystery of monotheism. From Metapsychology, a review of Richard Rorty: The Making of an American Philosopher by Neil Gross; a review of Tolerance and the Ethical Life by Andrew Fiala; and a review of When Is Discrimination Wrong? by Deborah Hellman. A new Kindle while journalism burns: Could Amazon's device help save an industry? (and more) What a book published in 1914 based on the predatory practices of J.P. Morgan could teach Barack Obama about finance. Curb Your Dog’s Enthusiasm: New York City is a wonderland for dogs — to defecate on, and for their owners to look the other way. Galileo put us in our place: The astronomer proved we're not the center of the universe — now we need to start acting like it. David Thomson has become the world’s most celebrated film critic by marrying encyclopedic ambition and an Olympian disdain for the cinema of today. A review of Toward 2012: Perspectives on the Next Age. Frank Kermode reviews books on John Milton. For many young guys trying to leave gangs, the pull of the old neighborhood is tough to resist; how do you let go — and stay gone? And the Oscar goes to: Selection of Academy Award nominees and winners is flawed, but reformers can't seem to elect a better candidate.
The latest issue of World Policy Journal is free online. From Variant, reading is an argument: An article on Althusser’s commandment, conjecture and contradiction; a review of After Habermas: New Perspectives on the Public Sphere; and a review of Lenin Reloaded: Towards a Politics of Truth. From The Nation, why do the Blue Dog Democrats get so much attention? They're more unified and cohesive than any other House faction — and then there's America's love affair with fiscal conservatism; and William Greider warns that if progressives don't engage with President Obama more, forces advocating for "entitlement reform" will gut social security. From TNR, goodbye to the age of newspapers (hello to a new era of corruption): Paul Starr on why American politics and society are about to be changed for the worse; and a look at the dark side of Obama's pragmatism: Can liberalism still explain itself? From Too Much, an article on A-Rod and inequality: A lesson worth learning. From 02138, here's the third annual status-anxiety-provoking list of Harvard's most influential alumni. From SciAm, was Einstein wrong?: A quantum threat to special relativity. John Allen Paulos on chaos, mathematical and financial: Why we can't predict the long-term effects of the bailout; a look at the optimal way to board plane passengers — we're doing it all wrong; and more on Stephen Baker's The Numerati.
From TNR, defining "nation of cowards" down: John McWhorter on Eric Holder and the folly of calling for a frank conversation on race; and the NAACP turns 100 — but if it ceased to exist tomorrow, would it have a significant effect on black America? (and more) From The Root, why Eric Holder’s “race speech” was better than Barack Obama’s. From Artforum, TVCC was never a very lucky building. The public counterpart to one of the most ingenious and brutal buildings constructed in this era — Rem Koolhaas and OMA's China Central Television headquarters — it seemed always secondary; it came out of that shadow, if only by going up in flames. A review of The Future of Liberalism by Alan Wolfe (and more and more). From The Atlantic, a review of Class by Paul Fussell; The Return of the Player by Michael Tolkin; and The Big Sort by Bill Bishop; a review of books on three couturiers who rank among the greatest America has produced; the future is cheese: Why the networks are surrendering prime time to Jay Leno and the Lord of the Dance; and what does Guitar Hero’s popularity mean for the future of rock and roll? From Vision, in considering the expression of the gospel through the ages, it’s important to reflect on the fact that it is multifaceted; of what value is the book of Revelation? Does it foretell the cataclysmic end of the world?; and was St. Peter ever in Rome?