From TNR, Paul Starr reviews On the Side of the Angels: An Appreciation of Parties and Partisanship by Nancy Rosenblum. One side to every story: Bipartisan dreams have been crashing into political reality from the earliest days of the Republic. From PUP, the introduction to A Constitution of Many Minds: Why the Founding Document Doesn't Mean What It Meant Before by Cass Sunstein; and the introduction to Bipolar Expeditions: Mania and Depression in American Culture by Emily Martin. The Scoop Factory: Gabriel Sherman goes inside Politico and the brave new world of post-print journalism (and more). The dismal economy has claimed yet another victim: jobs for the economists who study it. Here are "25 Random Things" about the stimulus package. The random beauty of "25 Random Things": Why the latest annoying Facebook trend might be one of the most inspiring Web crazes in years (and more and more and more). A review of Not Fade Away: The Life and Music of Buddy Holly by John Gribbin. Fifty years ago a small plane crashed in Iowa, killing three young musicians at the height of their careers; Daniel Arizona remembers Buddy Holly, who was pure rock 'n' roll behind a veneer of golly-gee (and more). Buddy Holly died 50 years ago, but his music lives on, including his hit Peggy Sue, but who was it about and what's it like to be immortalised in a popular song?
From The Global Spiral, a special issue on transhumanism and its critics, including Nick Bostrom (Oxford): In Defense of Posthuman Dignity; Sky Marsen (Victoria): Conceptualizing Future Identities; Russell Blackford (Monash): Trite Truths About Technology; Michael LaTorra (NMSU): Transhumanism: Threat or Menace?; Mark Walker (NMSU): Ship of Fools: Why Transhumanism is the Best Bet to Prevent the Extinction of Civilization; Amara Graps (SwRI): Reproductive Choices: The Promising Landscape of Assisted Reproductive Technology; Natasha Vita-More (Plymouth): Bringing Arts/Sciences and Design Into the Discussion of Transhumanism; Max More on True Transhumanism; William Grassie on eating well together: Donna Haraway’s Companion Species Manifesto; Amara Graps on mind loading, mind cloning — a perspective on the nature of humanity; and here's Aubrey de Grey’s Declaration, endorsed by 15 prestigious biomedical experts. The Observer profiles Peter Singer, moral arbiter of life and death. Only one President of the United States ever patented an invention; that was Abraham Lincoln, whose bicentennial we celebrated on February 12, 2009. From Slate, here are the top 10 Bush cases Obama should redo; and why is the Obama administration clinging to an indefensible state-secrets doctrine? Alien Census: Can we estimate how much life is out there?
From The American Conservative, what’s the Tory? David Cameron may become Britain’s next prime minister, but that doesn’t make him a role model for the GOP. From Prospect, rise of the red Tories? Phillip Blond's ideas are part of a long tradition of thinking that is hostile to modernity and he has misunderstood the true meaning of liberalism; in defence of Adam Smith: Phillip Blond may regret the birth of the liberalism, but that does not mean he can ignore it; the perils of economic vandalism: Phillip Blond's arguments may be eloquent, but heavy-handed government meddling is not the answer; and "Red Toryism" may claim to be progressive, but instead harks back to a time of fear, destitution and powerlessness — Rousseau would certainly have disapproved. From Harper's, former Gitmo guard Army Private Brandon Neely tells all; and is John Yoo suffering from withdrawal pangs coming off an addiction to torture, or is he a “sadist”? From Time, Walter Isaacson on how to save your newspaper (and a response by Michael Kinsley, but forget micropayments — here's a far better idea for monetizing content). Immanuel Wallerstein on the politics of economic disaster. Not a dirty word: Nationalization is not un-American — we have a long history that proves it. The Reason.com Stimulus Symposium: Leading economists sound off on the $800 billion stimulus package.
From The Atlantic Monthly, Richard Florida on how the crash will reshape America (and more and an interview); and Christopher Hitchens reviews Samuel Johnson: A Biography by Peter Martin. From LRB, Eric Hobsbawm reviews Bomb, Book and Compass: Joseph Needham and the Great Secrets of China by Simon Winchester. From TLS, a review of Stephen Halliwell's Greek Laughter: A study of cultural psychology from Homer to early Christianity; and a review of books on globalization and its cures: Can anything good come out of our messy ideas about how the world works now? Jonathan Chait writes in defense of waste: Note to Republicans — the whole point of the stimulus is to spend money! Dick & Ronnie & God & Gorby: An excerpt from The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan: A History of the End of the Cold War by James Mann. From Time, a look at the 25 people to blame for the financial crisis. The Pope is emerging as an ultra-reactionary: First he antagonised Muslims, now he has outraged Jewish groups by favouring a Holocaust denier. From NR, a look at the best conservative movies. Time for a muzzle: The online world of lies and rumor grows ever more vicious — is it time to rethink free speech? A review of A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers From Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx by Elaine Showalter. From NYRB, Ian McEwan on John Updike.