Lawrence Weaver (Glasgow): Feeding babies in the 21st century: Breast is still best, but for new reasons. Could there be any more desperate group of consumers than new moms? A review of When Mothers Kill: Interviews from Prison by Michelle Oberman and Cheryl L. Meyer. A review of The Daddy Shift: How Stay-at-Home Dads, Breadwinning Moms, and Shared Parenting Are Transforming the American Family by Jeremy Adam Smith. (Traditional) Fathers Don’t Always Know Best: The notion that kids can’t develop properly without a biological father was a lie when Dan Quayle asserted it in 1992, and it’s a lie when Barack Obama says it now. The Sacrifice of Isaac ('s Foreskin): An excerpt from Sam Apple's American Parent: My Strange and Surprising Modern Adventures in Babyland. The battle over a baby: Why can a lesbian couple be foster parents to older kids but have to fight to adopt a newborn? A review of Babysitter: An American History by Miriam Forman-Brunell (and more). Research finds young men living at home with parents are more violent. From Foreign Policy, a look at the world’s worst sons: The troublesome progeny giving headaches to some of the most powerful leaders on the planet. The overextended family: Is Skype bringing us together or destroying boundaries?
From TED, Alain de Botton on a kinder, gentler philosophy of success. Meet John Durham, the man who may be put in charge of investigating the Bush administration's torture crimes. The introduction to The Apologetics of Evil: The Case of Iago by Richard Raatzsch. From The Hill, here's the latest 50 Most Beautiful People. From Mother Jones, let the End Times roll: When the economic Rapture comes, will collapsitarians be the chosen ones? From Wired, an essay on cutthroat capitalism: An economic analysis of the Somali pirate business model. Is cheaper health care hopeless? No — and here's an honest, detailed answer why. A review of Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis by Senator Tom Daschle. Bruce Bartlett on taxing the rich and figuring out ways to finance health care reform (and an interview). Jonathan Chait on basic health care facts: They're important. Health-Care Haters 101: Why the right is dead-wrong. Blue-dogged centrist Democrats think that going slow on health care is good politics — but if Obama loses, they lose, too. John Dean on how Barack Obama is a "fox," not a "hedgehog" and thus more likely to get it right. Three major continental thinkers died in the last year; their life stories are extraordinary (and more and more and more on Leszek Kolakowski).
From Policy, John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty isn’t always convincing, but after 150 years it is still worth reading (and more). From The Philosophers' Magazine, Jonathan Riley celebrates 150 years of J.S. Mill’s classic essay On Liberty with an overview of its central arguments; Jo Ellen Jacobs argues that Harriet Taylor was the co-author of On Liberty; Richard Reeves on J.S. Mill’s rejection of the quiet; and John Skorupski on the relationship between the freedoms of thought and speech. An interview with Nigel Warburton, author of Free Speech: A Very Short Introduction. By adopting the language of human rights, a new UN proposal condemning "defamation of religion" cements oppressive governments' control of free speech. A review of Philosophy and Real Politics by Raymond Geuss. A review of Messy Morality: The Challenge of Politics by CAJ Coady. A review of Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-Up Idealists by Susan Neiman (and more and more and more and more). An excerpt from The Death of "Why?": The Decline of Questioning and the Future of Democracy by Andrea Batista Schlesinger. Newly research shows the meaning of liberty and freedom depends on whether a culture values the group or the individual. Beyond Independence: Robeft Jensen on how we are most free when we are most bound to others.
From The Atlantic, the summer fiction issue is out, including an essay on how literary awards are inherently subjective, but they are also the most powerful antidote we have to the decline of serious fiction; in fiction, details matter — but only imagination can illuminate the human soul; and does a national literature still have meaning in an age of open borders and polyglot cultures? Margaret Atwood, Joseph O’Neill, Monica Ali, and Anne Michaels consider the question. A review of On the Origin of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction by Brian Boyd. From Bookforum, Craig Seligman on first novels: "There's also the pleasure — one part malice, nine parts love — of seeing our gorgeous friends in their gawky adolescence"; and Morris Dickstein on political fiction: "Today’s headlines make a poor backdrop for tomorrow’s fiction". Please, dear novelists, get real: How many great novels are going unwritten today, because novelists are not being urged to make journeys into reality? Dangerous dykes: Have lesbian writers cracked the male-dominated crime fiction genre? Here are surprising facts about 15 best-selling authors. An interview with John O'Brien, publisher of Dalkey Archive Press, on what's new and exciting in literature after almost 30 years (and part 2).