From Bomb, an interview with Glenn O'Brien on Interview Magazine. Freedom Agenda, Take Two: Michael Signer on how Obama can rid democracy promotion of its Bush-era taint. The British pub used to be the heart of the community and a place of male refuge, but now pubs are closing — is it really last orders? A review of Catalog: The Illustrated History of Mail Order Shopping by Robin Cherry (and more from Bookforum). A review of Daniel Jaffee’s Brewing Justice: Fair Trade Coffee, Sustainability, and Survival. Bringing extinct species back to life is no longer considered science fiction, but is it a good idea? Madame Bovary goes interactive: Thanks to an unprecedented international collaboration between scholars and volunteers, we can now trace the development of Flaubert's masterpiece online, draft by draft. From FP, here are five governments that deserve to fail. A review of Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations by Raymond Fisman and Edward Miguel. From Parade, a look at the world's 10 worst dictators. From NDPR, a review of Aesthetic Experience; and a review of Aesthetics and the Work of Art: Adorno, Kafka, Richter. How US chefs are bringing sushi, Japan’s trademark cuisine, back to its roots. A review of Slang: The People's Poetry by Michael Adams.
From TAP, a review of Engaging the Muslim World by Juan Cole, Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East by Rashid Khalidi, and Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East by Robin Wright (and more); a review of Nothing to Fear: FDR's Inner Circle and the Hundred Days that Created Modern America by Adam Cohen and The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR's Secretary of Labor and his Moral Conscience by Kristin Downey; and a review of The Marriage-Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today by Andrew Cherlin and The Lonely American: Drifting Apart in the Twenty-First Century by Jacqueline Olds and Richard Schwartz. From Miller–McCune, Shahid Naeem on the importance of biodiversity and the true significance of the human species; a look at the least influenced (most wild) areas of major terrestrial biomes; and more on the Human Footprint Index and Human Influence Index. Sesquipedalian Delight: A review of Alphabet Juice by Roy Blount. A review of First of the Year: 2008 (and a response at First of the Month). A review of False Economy: A Surprising Economic History of the World by Alan Beattie. A review of The Privatization of Roads and Highways by Walter Block (and an excerpt).
From The Nation, fools look for a fight between newspapers and the net — the challenge is to defend print and digital journalism, in an age of big-media myopia; here are ten things you can do to fight world hunger; if art is a product of the mind, and the mind a product of evolution, is art a product of evolution? A review essay by William Deresiewicz (and more from Bookforum); and how did Milan Kundera's antipathy toward the media become as curdled as the Czechs' allergy to his success? AN Wilson on why he believes again. Jeremy Stangroom on Ibn Rushd, the champion of reason. An interview with Remi Brague, author of The Legend of the Middle Ages. A review of Matt Baglio's The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist. An excerpt from The Late Age of Print: Everyday Book Culture from Consumerism to Control by Ted Striphas. At 30, Germany's liberal daily TAZ has grown up. From The Atlantic, dog bites bug: How man’s best friend can help him evict his nastiest bedmate; and as go the hippos: Under the weight of Congo’s civil war, an ecosystem collapses. A review of Religion and Democratic Citizenship: Inquiry and Conviction in the American Public Square by J. Caleb Clanton. What follows is an effort to debunk the main myths standing in the way of smart climate/energy policy.
Bookforum’s special summer fiction section brings word of good things to come. Noam Chomsky on the torture memos and historical amnesia. From TNR, the Tamil Tigers have been vanquished, but Sri Lanka's problems have just begun; and Will Shakespeare's come and gone: Does the Bard's poetry reach us like August Wilson's? Come on — really? A review of Michael Gazzaniga's Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique. The first chapter from Playbooks and Checkbooks: An Introduction to the Economics of Modern Sports by Stefan Szymanski. An excerpt from Paradise Found: Nature in America at the Time of Discovery by Steve Nicholls. From Seed, is theoretical physics becoming the next battleground in the culture wars? Not according to some theologians and scientists (and more); and an unusual form of asexual reproduction by a Japanese species of termite raises the question: What is the value of sex? The Chemistry of Commitment: The reason men want sex and women want to cuddle is all about our respective brains. Opening the floodgates: Imports can be as useful to developing countries as exports are. A review of Fitting In Is Overrated: The Survival Guide for Anyone Who Has Ever Felt Like an Outsider by Leonard Felder. A look at how a Cold War bunker became a modern mansion.
From The Guardian, an article on the private language of book inscriptions; the butler's job in fiction: Domestic staff may be long gone in the real world, but they're still doing sterling service in novels; and why don't fiction editors get awards? Death a la Carte: It's not Google that's killing the media. Luck Inc.: Here are the 7 secrets of really, really lucky companies. The Triangle: Michael Gecan on policy wonks, patronage, and the possibilities of the grassroots. Environmental values: How to ensure the environment is properly accounted for. An article on "Star Trek" and the impact of sci-fi style. How did Americans become so obsessed with their teeth? An interview with Alyssa Picard, author of Making the American Mouth: Dentists and Public Health in the Twentieth Century. The truthiness of political polling: Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions — and facts, and polls. From Standpoint, a review of Whose Culture? The Promise of Museums and the Debate over Antiquities; and a look at why Adam Smith still matters. How the West was saved: An excerpt from The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America by Douglas Brinkley. A review of The Storm: The World Economic Crisis & What it Means by Vince Cable. More on The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain de Botton.
From The Walrus, after sixty years, Harlequin Romance books are still enslaving readers — what’s their secret? (and more on covers); for the Haida of the Pacific Northwest, the potlach is still at the centre of a culture of in which you are what you give. From The New Criterion, an article on deprogramming the MFA: On the real consequences of "The Program Era"; a look at the cultural contradictions of J. M. Keynes; and bollocks to vulgarity: Anthony Daniels on lowness that proclaims itself. Steal This Book (for $9.99): Welcome to the latest dust-up in publishing — how much should an e-book cost? A review of The Swine Flu Affair: Decision-Making on a Slippery Disease (1976) by Richard Neustadt and Harvey Fineberg. Choire Sicha reviews The Age of Anxiety: A History of America’s Turbulent Affair with Tranquilizers by Andrea Tone. From Esquire, who the hell is Stanley McChrystal? (and more) From The Washington Monthly, Henry Waxman’s climate change bill won’t make it into law this year — that’s why he’s the right guy for the job. Philosophy majors, get a job: If liberal arts grads want a business career, all the advanced education in the world won't help — they need experience. The end of civil rights: If we really want to fix inequality, it's time for a new approach.
From Vanity Fair, the so-called Sunni Awakening has been credited with dampening the insurgency in much of Iraq — but new evidence suggests that the Sunnis were offering the same deal as early as 2004; Baghdad is full of ordinary men and women who are learning a clandestine new trade — armed insurgency; think things are grim for Wall Streeters in the here and now? Envision the scene in hell, where the Devil is talking bonus cuts, the Pit of Remorse is packed with frustrated financiers, and trophy wives are weeping; and if New York City were to slide back into the crumbling anarchy of the 1970s, as some fear, would that be so bad? (and more) From The Atlantic, from Russia, with self-loathing: Meet Agniya Kuznetsova, the It Girl for a poorer, darker, angrier; and is Jacob Zuma, South Africa's next president, a savior, a criminal, a Marxist revolutionary — or all of the above? From The Wilson Quarterly, a review of Sweating the Small Stuff: Inner-City Schools and the New Paternalism by David Whitman, Work Hard. Be Nice.: How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America by Jay Mathews, and Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America by Paul Tough. Rene Stulz writes in defense of derivatives and how to regulate them.
From LRB, David Runciman reviews The Wikipedia Revolution by Andrew Lih. Prospect is in conversation with Martin Amis (and part 2 and part 3); and will the next ten months see Britain's most controversial novelist finally return to his best? A review of The Industrial Revolutionaries by Gavin Weightman. Polly Shulman reviews Kitchen Essays by Agnes Jekyll. From TAS, a review of America’s Secular Challenge: The Rise of a New National Religion by Herbert London; and Roger Scruton on "Islamic banking". A politics of national sacrifice: Thirty years after Carter's "malaise speech", the language of humility and civic obligation resonates more powerfully than ever. A review of Built of Books: How Reading Defined the Life of Oscar Wilde by Thomas Wright (and more). Prophet Motive: Is Nouriel Roubini lucky or just good? If you didn’t know May was National Masturbation Month, you’re not alone. Everybody Must Get Stoned: A look at the addictive history of musical substance abuse. Chris Lehmann on how Time explains the horrible future of the working world. From Archeology, the surprising way that eBay — long thought to be a clearinghouse for looted artifacts — might help protect archaeological sites; and an interview with MIT's John Ochsendorf on how studying ancient buildings can improve modern ones.
From Vanity Fair, for more than three decades, the fourth Dragon King of Bhutan steered his people into the modern world, while keeping their traditional culture intact; his recent abdication, at 53, in favor of his 29-year-old, Oxford-educated son, was another stroke of Realpolitik (and more). How did CEO compensation get so out of control? A review of Black Greek-Letter Organizations in the Twenty-First Century: Our Fight Has Just Begun. A review of Hegel's Practical Philosophy: Rational Agency as Ethical Life by Robert B. Pippin. Jerry Siegel and Miguel Cervantes: each created an immortal literary character (Superman and Don Quixote, of course), but what else could they possibly have in common? "You've read the book, now take a look": An article on literary tourism and the quest for authenticity. As the industry stands ready to pulp entire newsstands, devotees of periodicals refuse to give up on their first love. In Jonathan Goldstein’s Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bible!, old-fashioned storytelling meets irreverent characterization of some of the world’s most mythical personalities. A review of American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile by Richard John Neuhaus. Prostitution: What if we only criminalized the men? Leave no stone turned: Microstates flourish because big countries need them.
R.R. Reno (Creighton): On Graduate Study in Theology. From THES, a revival of interest in theology is evident in academic and political debate, and John Milbank and the radical orthodoxy movement are spreading the news; a review of Worlds Made by Words: Scholarship and Community in the Modern West by Anthony Grafton; and enjoyment or pursuance of a subject does not always depend on knowledge of its foundations — George Watson considers the death of Grand Theory. Better Off "Fred": What can network TV learn from the runaway success of a no-budget YouTube sensation? A review of Vaclav Smil's Energy in World History. A review of The Politics of Climate Change by Anthony Giddens (and more and more and more). Nate Silver on the end of car culture: It's not just erratic gas prices and a bad economy that's hurting automakers — it may be that Americans are changing. A review of The End of Prosperity: How Higher Taxes Will Doom the Economy — If We Let It Happen by Arthur B. Laffer, Stephen Moore, and Peter J. Tanous. This recession deepens: Are people turning to tattoos to cope? I'm powerless over the economy and my bills are unmanageable: Darren Littlejohn on how to apply the principles of Buddhism and 12-Step Recovery to the current economic crisis.