From JBooks, an essay on the philosophical roots of secular Jewishness/Judaism; Paul Buhle on the Jewishness of Jews Without Money; a review of Plumes: Ostrich Feathers, Jews, and a Lost World of Global Commerce by Sarah Abrevay; and what does all this doom and gloom mean for the Jewish book business? An interview with Danny Levine, owner of J. Levine Books & Judaica. From Commentary, a review of Innocent Abroad: An Intimate History of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East by Martin Indyk; and an article on the Madoff scandal and the future of American Jewry. From The Nation, adventures in editing: An essay on Ted Solotaroff's Commentary days (and part 2). From FT, an article on the credit crunch according to Soros. Tyler Cowen on how a recession can change a way of life. From Good, a series on the State of the Planet; the United States of Coffee: The country’s top 10 small-batch coffee companies are brewing blends that do more than wake you up; and a look at the Anti-Consumers: Five groups that aren’t buying it. From PopMatters, a review of The Shadows of Consumption: Consequences for the Global Environment by Peter Dauvergne; and there can be no doubt that the summer of 2008 stands as a high-water mark for superheroes, but has the superhero genre evolved beyond the comics medium? (and more on cinema and comics).
The first chapter from A Necessary Engagement: Reinventing America's Relations with the Muslim World by Emile Nakhleh. An excerpt from Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the Twenty-First Century by P. W. Singer (and an interview; and a review at Bookforum). Life for March: In the age of Obama, the anti-abortion movement has nowhere left to go. The politics of ME, ME, ME: The shrillness and point-scoring of much internet-based discussion — on topics as diverse as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and chronic fatigue syndrome — is narrowing the space where a larger political dialogue should be. A review of Pieter Spierenburg's A History of Murder: Personal Violence in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present. A review of In the Shadow of Progress: Being Human in the Age of Technology by Eric Cohen. Reading Malcolm Gladwell’s books is like watching Frank Capra movies (and more and more and more on Outliers). The crippling fear of corriearklet: Pity the English — not only are they cursed with bad weather, and the habit of talking about it all the time, they also fear eye contact with strangers in long corridors. A look at 8 best non-human tool users. Here's Paul Weyrich's last article of advice to conservatives. Hawks home to roost: The liberal interventionists are back, and will have a pretty loud voice on Obama’s staff — will he listen to them?
From the EuroMemorandum Group, an essay on alternatives to finance-driven capitalism. We may become so good that we really reach a point where we have the "final plague", and where we are really capable of catching so many of these things that new pandemics become an oddity. A review of Voice of Hezbollah: The Statements of Sayed Hassan Nasrallah. A review of Teenagers: A Natural History by David Bainbridge. A review of So Damn Much Money: The Triumph of Lobbying and the Corrosion of American Government by Robert G. Kaiser (and more). A review of Measuring Up: What Educational Testing Really Tells Us by Daniel Koretz. At 37, The Joy of Sex gets a major face-lift. From HNN, an article on Howard Zinn and the historian as Don Quixote. A look at why some people can't put two and two together. The End of Solitude: As everyone seeks more and broader connectivity, the still, small voice speaks only in silence. A review of The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability by James Gustave Speth. Fed Up: An article on the popular uprising against central banking. What's good for business? An article on the ethical legacy of Catholic business schools. What if globalization and geopolitics were not contradictory forces but complementary undercurrents in our stage of human history? (and part 2)
From PUP, the first chapter from Rational Decisions by Ken Binmore; and an excerpt from Reason and Rationality by Jon Elster. A review of The Soul of a Leader: Character, Conviction, and Ten Lessons in Political Greatness by Waller R. Newell and Baptism by Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office in Times of Crisis by Mark K. Updegrove. A review of Madame Prosecutor: Confrontations with Humanity’s Worst Criminals and the Culture of Impunity by Carla Del Ponte and Chuck Sudetic. A review of The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America by Steven Johnson (and more). From Minding the Campus, shouldn't all students learn economics? An interview with Martti Ahtisaari, Nobel Peace Prize winner. A review of Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America by Russ Baker. Is France's First Lady Carla Bruni a traitor to Italy? Doubting altruism: New research casts a skeptical eye on the evolution of genuine altruism. The critical browser: Douglas Wolk on the language of the new WhiteHouse.gov. Dominick Dunne attends Sunny von Bulow's memorial service, speaks with her children, and remembers Claus von Bulow’s trials for attempted murder. Wise up, WWE offers lessons in political ideologies.
From International Social Science Review, a review of Hillary Rodham Clinton: Polarizing First Lady by Gil Troy; a review of Memo to a New President: The Art and Science of Presidential Leadership by Michael Genovese; a review of Sanford Levinson's Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (and How We the People Can Correct It); and more on Paul Collier's The Bottom Billion. Learning to love the bomb: A review of The Dynamite Club: How a Bombing in Fin-de-Siecle Paris Ignited the Age of Modern Terror by John Merriman and The Day Wall Street Exploded: A Story of America in Its First Age of Terrorism by Beverly Gage (and more from Bookforum). Only makes you stronger: Walter Russell Mead on why the recession bolstered America. From New Scientist, a series on the six biggest mysteries of out solar system. Davos Man, confused: Why the world's economic leaders blame the catastrophe on the system instead of themselves. Disco Fever: Disco isn’t dead, but you might be surprised where it’s still kicking. How to sell your soul to Corporate America: Some graduates are taking this whole "entering society" thing a little lighter than others. A review of Why Us? How Science Rediscovered the Mystery of Ourselves by James Le Fanu. Correctiquette: Ready to improve someone's language? Hold on.
From Human Organization, an article on the prevalence of male clients of street prostitute women in the United States. An excerpt from Creating a World Without Poverty by Muhammad Yunus. A review of Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential by Dan Pallotta. The Bushification of Barack Obama: They have already begun — but attempts to paint the new U.S. president as little more than a clone of his predecessor have only a slim chance of success. A review of Popular Ideologies: Mass Culture at Mid-Century by Susan Smulyan. From The Daily Beast, the Internet has already changed the way the way movies are made, viewed, and distributed, but is the film industry — or the audience — ready to face what technology can actually do? Who wants to friend a millionaire? A Facebook for the rich tries its best to “keep out the average guy”. A review of Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin by Norah Vincent. Lib and Let Die: John McWhorter on why the well-intentioned effort to reclaim the word "liberal" is doomed (and a response). A look at what Elizabeth Cheney's 1988 college thesis tells us about the Bush presidency. Yes, swearing can be a substitute for real humour — but used wisely and judiciously it can also be subversively witty. Do humanlike machines deserve human rights?
A new issue of Lost it out. From the Journal of Third World Studies, a review essay on Africa in the neo-liberal world (dis)order; and a review of From Pilgrimage to Package Tour: Travel and Tourism in the Third World by David Gladstone. Who will throw the book at the Bushies? If Congress won't, these folks might. A review of The Language of Law School: Learning to "Think Like a Lawyer" by Elizabeth Mertz. Did Charles Darwin believe in racial inequality? From The Guardian, Steve Jones explores the obscure chapters of Darwin's life; and more on Darwin's Sacred Cause: Race, Slavery and the Quest for Human Origins by Adrian Desmond (and more and more and more; and more from Bookforum). An interview with Adam Gopnik, author of Angels and Ages: A Short Book about Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life (and more and more). A review of books on Lincoln. In a shrinking world, Joshua Kurlantzick reports that the role of tyrants isn’t. From New Matilda, an article on the joy of violent Muslim sex. From Nerve, sex sells, but who's buying? How a billion-dollar industry faces the recession; and dirty movies and you: Here's a brief history of pornography in America. From Seed, 2009 will be a year of panic: From the fevered mind of Bruce Sterling and his alter-ego, Bruno Argento, a consideration of things ahead — while the true 21st century begins.
To mark the bicentenary of Darwin's birth, New Scientist asked eminent evolutionary biologists to outline the biggest gaps remaining in evolutionary theory. An article on The Hipster Rent Boys of New York: In frigid economy, striving young men are turning to the oldest profession to make the city work for them. More on Book of Dead Philosophers by Simon Critchley. From First Things, Ralph Wood on G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy, "his most prophetic book", at a hundred; and a review of Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari’a by Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im. A review of Democratic Values in the Muslim World by Moataz Fattah. A review of The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama by Gwen Ifill and What Obama Means: For Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Future by Jabari Asim (and more and more). Robin Blackburn reviews The Age of Aging: How Demographics Are Changing the Global Economy and Our World by George Magnus. An interview with Clay Risen, author of A Nation on Fire: America in the Wake of the King Assassination. Graveyard of analogies: Are the Americans destined to meet the same fate in Afghanistan as the Russians? Out of Africa: An article on the Kenyan politician who made Barack Obama. A review of Pulitzer's Gold: Behind the Prize for Public Service Journalism by Roy J. Harris Jr.
From The Jury Expert, Samuel R. Sommers (Tufts): On the Obstacles to Jury Diversity. Anna Wintour, meet Mike Tyson: Will two controversial new documentaries on Vogue’s editor and the former champ transform their very public personas? A review of Ceremonial Violence: A Psychological Explanation of School Shootings by Jonathan Fast. From the Journal of College Student Development, a review of The First Year Out: Understanding American Teens After High School by Tim Clydesdale; and a review of Inside Greek U.: Fraternities, Sororities, and the Pursuit of Pleasure, Power, and Prestige by Alan D. DeSantis. JuicyCampus, the controversial Web site that encouraged college students to gossip about one another, closes down after revenues evaporate. From Minding the Campus, an article on the conspiracy against faculty friendship. Repeated oscillations between neoclassical and Keynesian economics in defining mainstream economics reveal the profession's opportunistic subservience to business needs. From Diplomatic Courier, an article on Europe's tempestuous youth. Is Obama's regulatory czar a "radical animal rights activist"? Why a big business front group is going rabid over Cass Sunstein. American Gorbachev: The America our new president inherits bears an uncanny resemblance to our old enemy, the Soviet Union — right before it went under.
From First Things, Richard John Neuhaus on reconciling East and West; Antony Flew replies to Richard Dawkins; John E. Coons writes in defense of the sovereign family; Joseph Bottum on children’s books, lost and found; an article on the forgotten story of postmodernity; and a review of God and the Between by William Desmond. Do conservatives need to get beyond Reagan? Rush Limbaugh investigates. How firm a foundation? George Nash on the prospects for American conservatism. The radical conservative: An interview with Andrew Bacevich, author of The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism. An interview with Roberto J. Gonzalez, author of American Counterinsurgency: Human Science and the Human Terrain. A review of The Mind of Jihad by Laurent Murawiec. Cosmic cannibals: An article on the hunt for supermassive black holes. An interview with Matthew Stein, author of When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability and Surviving the Long Emergency. An interview with James Howard Kunstler on life as it is, life as it could be, and life as we may encounter. A review of Counterculture Green: The Whole Earth Catalog and American Environmentalism by Andrew Kirk. When altruism isn't moral: Our nation’s current organ donation system relies on altruism alone — a regime of donor compensation would be better.