From Guernica, an interview with Katherine Dunn, author of One Ring Circus: Dispatches from the World of Boxing; an interview with longtime Africa correspondent Michela Wrong on why she rejects Dambisa Moyo’s thesis about aid and democracy, and how she learned to love Paul Wolfowitz. From The Wilson Quarterly, as Mexico steps up its war against the brutal cartels that supply the United States' drug habit, leaders on both sides of the border face tough questions about how to combat a problem that threatens the very fabric of Mexico’s democracy. In a new book, the exiled former son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev makes serious allegations that could further damage the country's reputation. Scott McLemee reviews Civic War and the Corruption of the Citizen by Peter Alexander Meyers. From the nutty mass murderer to the stereotypical street thug, how the media emasculate Asian and black men. From Stars & Stripes, it is Facebook for the fascist set, and the typical online profiles of its members reveal expected tastes. Just how religious is Francis Collins, Obama's nominee for director of the NIH? Resurrection shuffles: It's curious how miracles, almost by definition, have to be unprovable if they are to be credible at all. Is Digg the Jan Brady of Web 2.0?
From The New York Review of Ideas, a review of For the Common Good: Principles of American Academic Freedom by Matthew W. Fink, Robert C. Post; and face-off between cannon fodder: The Norton Anthology of English Literature vs. The Longman Anthology of British Literature. From THES, a review of Unlimited Intimacy: Reflections on the Subculture of Barebacking by Tim Dean; a review of Black Beauty: Aesthetics, Stylization, Politics by Shirley Anne Tate; and a review of Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero by E. Paul Zehr. From The Utopian, a special issue on fear and loathing, including Shashank Joshi on knowing what (not) to be afraid of: On the limits of political alchemy from Thucydides to Bush; and an inside look at Sharia courts in England. From The Paris Review, an interview with Gay Talese: "Nonfiction writers are second-class citizens, the Ellis Island of literature. We just can't quite get in. And yes, it pisses me off". A review of Bethany Moreton's To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise (and more and more; and more by Maud Newton at Bookforum). Are depressions necessary? The current crisis has revived an old debate about the utility of economic downturns. Is the economic crisis a sin? Why America needs a new Social Gospel.
From Scholar and Feminist Online, a special issue on Africana Gender Studies, including Tavia Nyong'o (NYU): Barack Hussein Obama, or, The Name of the Father; and a lecture by Angela Davis on Abolition Democracy and Global Politics. From World Affairs, Tom Gjelten on Cuba, the inscrutable nation; and Andrew Bacevich on an appreciation of Graham Greene. From LRC, a review of The Birthright Lottery: Citizenship and Global Inequality by Ayelet Shachar; and Linda Hutcheon on reviewing reviewing today: "No customer reviews yet. Be the first." John J. DiIulio Jr. reviews The Co-Presidency of Bush and Cheney by Shirley Anne Warshaw. What Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber have in common with Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan. Chris Lehmann on how Steve Forbes misunderstands Augustus, Caesar and Hannibal. From Avignon to Geneva: Calvinism is a religion of paradox and extremes. Whatever our views of American exceptionalism and its complicated human consequences, it is Calvin who deserves to be recognized as its unintended instigator. Why won't John Calvin die? Strange as it may seem, in Calvinism we can detect the birth pangs of modern constitutional democracy. In a Baja lagoon, something is going on between whales and marine biologists — is it interspecies communication?
Rebecca L. Brown (USC): Deep and Wide: Justice Marshall's Contributions to Constitutional Law. A review of The Empathy Gap: Building Bridges to the Good Life and the Good Society by J.D. Trout. Amartya Sen on how the idea of justice calls for comparisons of actual lives and iniquities rather than a remote quest for ideal institutions. Satoshi Kanazawa on why handsome men make bad husbands (and part 2). War is boring: Somali extremists willing to kill to cover up Eritrea connection. The leaders of the Arab world, Marc Lynch writes, need to decide where they fit within Obama’s strategy for the Middle East. As long as Obama keeps entrusting a cowardly Congress with the big decisions, we should get ready for increased cynicism and ineffectiveness. Michel Faber on the book that changed his life: Industrial Culture Handbook. As creator of MAD magazine, Harvey Kurtzman inspired a generation of satirists; Terry Gilliam explains the genius of his mild-mannered mentor. Tyler Cowen on Vaticanomics: The Holy Father tackles globalization. Nothing more than freedom: Shelby Steele on why minorities are estranged from conservatism. A research note written by Matthew Robson, a 15-year-old intern at Morgan Stanley, has become the talk of middle-aged media executives and investors.