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.