From TLS, Sean O'Brien on the ups and downs of thriller writers; and a look at how books survived the Second World War. Great composers, lousy reviews: A look at when music critics attack. Were Europeans once cannibals? Research shows that up until the end of the 18th century, medicine routinely included stomach-churning ingredients like human flesh and blood. Academia Gone Wild! Grad School — like the "real world," only with more gossip and paid sabbaticals. An Ivy League scholar breaks the rules, waives the fees, and welcomes the workaday residents of Harlem into his politically charged classroom. A review of The Nature of Hate by Robert J. Sternberg and Karin Sternberg. Bonobo sex and "ladyboners": Is women's desire really that confusing? Turns out, money really does drive speeding tickets — look out. To save endangered languages, elementary schools across the Southwest experiment with Native American language immersion programs. An interview with Seth Godin, author of Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us. Job websites claim that some industries, like software engineering and nursing, are “recession-proof” — but there’s no such thing. A Room of Her Own: Alyssa Abkowitz reveals the secrets (and sadness) of living in a Chelsea women's dorm — communal showers, peanut butter sandwiches and no boys allowed.
From Big Think, Tom Perrotta on the state of American literary culture. Where are today's farmer poets? Farming has changed beyond all recognition since the days of "poets of the land" Robert Burns and John Clare. Can poets do themselves justice? Philip Larkin reads his own poetry beautifully, but not all poets have that ability. All a-Twitter: You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wonder why — all in 140 characters. More on Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations by Raymond Fisman and Edward Miguel. An interview with Nick Gillespie, editor-in-chief of reason.com. From The Space Review, an article on planetary demographics and space colonization. From Slate, a continuing series on revolting creatures: The tick, the jellyfish, vultures. Hip-hop from pop charts to politics: Is hip-hop’s mainstream success hindering its political future? The art of the withdrawal: Learning from Daschle, Richardson, Kennedy, and Killefer the right and wrong way to bow out. A review of Critique and Disclosure: Critical Theory between Past and Future by Nikolas Kompridis. A review of The Inheritance of Rome: A History of Europe from 400 to 1000 by Chris Wickham. An excerpt from Mark Leonard’s What Does China Think? Laura Bush was pro-choice — and dozens of other things you never knew about America's First Ladies.
A new issue of Forum: Qualitative Social Research is out, including Carolyn F. Pevey and Nelya J. McKenzie (Auburn): Love, Fear, and Loathing: A Qualitative Examination of Christian Perceptions of Muslims; and a review of Charles Tilly's Why? What Happens When People Give Reasons And Why. Why should I respect these oppressive religions? Whenever a religious belief is criticised, its adherents say they're victims of "prejudice". What other financial crises tell us: The lesson of history is grim — expect a prolonged slump. Unspinning the Right: The rich don't really bear most of the tax burden. Hope on the hardwood: How FreeDarko saved the sport of basketball. The end of American capitalism: Has the government "bailout" been so large that capitalism’s founding principle is now irretrievably lost? A new era may be dawning in which artists, strongly supported by the president, will transcend starry-eyed campaign pictures and develop new forms of enduring art. A review of Waltz With Bashir: A Lebanon War Story by Ari Folman and David Polonsky. The way we beg: A shady new Web site is the best place to see our recessionary desperation. Can a simple idea help make the world a better place? Baroness Haleh Afshar suggests banning make-up. An interview with Mario Livio: Is mathematics the language of the universe? More on Snark by David Denby.
A new issue of The Cato Journal is out. When is a threat not a threat? A recent British High Court ruling in the case of Binyam Mohamed has caused a firestorm in Britain over these and other questions. How I lost my one-of-a-kind collection and my girlfriend, too: For his PhD, Daniel Bennett had built a unique set of faecal samples from a rare lizard; when it was destroyed, he really hit bottom. The N-Word: TNR on the financial-sector fix that dare not speak its name — nationalization. Charles Darwin’s ideas have spread widely, but his revolution is not yet complete. The economics of giving it away: In a battered economy, free goods and services online are more attractive than ever, so how can the suppliers make a business model out of nothing? The Right Man: David Frum breaks ranks over cocktails. Dahlia Lithwick on seeking a bomb-throwing, passionate, liberal Scalia for a seat on the Supreme Court. From Popular Mechanics, a look at why shovel-ready infrastructure is wrong (right now). A review of Reasons, Patterns, and Cooperation by Christopher Woodard. George Mitchell's task of negotiating peace between Israel and the Palestinians will be complicated by the rivalry of key Arab players. John Gray reviews James Lovelock's The Vanishing Face of Gaia. Michael Kazin on a liberal revival of Americanism.