Warren Buffett has redefined the idea of value investing — but will its principles survive his inevitable passing? (and more). A review of The Sages: Warren Buffett, George Soros, Paul Volcker and the Maelstrom of Markets by Charles Morris (and more). Brian Matthews on economists and other prophets: It hasn't been a good millennium for prophets. Economics is in crisis — it is time for a profound revamp. Has Keynesian economics been proven wrong now that it has been put to the test? An interview with Robert Skidelsky, author of Keynes: The Return of the Master (and more). Joseph Stiglitz predicted the global financial meltdown, so why can't he get any respect here at home? (and more on the two Joseph Stiglitzes). Is progressive economist Jared Bernstein an influential White House player — or just the token lefty? Jonathan Chait on what the right wing really thinks about inequality. From Too Much, everyday American citizens actually pay a higher share of their incomes in total taxes than super rich Americans; if we really do want to be more healthy, we need to become more equal, and taxing the rich would move us ever so neatly in that direction; and a review of Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett's The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better.
Marx, Hubbard, and the totalitarian impulse: What bring an overweening philosopher and a scam artist together in an intelligible category? Each man proposed, without embarrassment, a total explanation for human life. More and more and more on Tristram Hunt's Marx's General: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels. A review of The Red Flag: Communism and the Making of the Modern World by David Priestland. Movies have often romanticized Communist revolutionaries, but a new action thriller, The Baader Meinhof Complex, counterpunches, exposing the violent psychosis that gripped the Red Army Faction in 1970s West Germany (and more). A review of Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire by Victor Sebestyen. The introduction to 1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe by Mary Elise Sarotte. Dick Howard (Stony Brook): What is a Revolution? Reflections on the Significance of 1989/90. From The Observer, Neal Ascherson recalls the idealism and anger that drove the protests against communist regimes in 1989; a look at the art and culture of the year of revolt; and meet the children who came in from the cold (and more). Writing the history books: Is the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes producing legitimate scholarship or pursuing a political agenda?
An Aesthetic Crisis: Visual art moves from modernism to postmodernism to what? From Bomb, an essay on the cool kids of the Russian avant-garde. On its 90th anniversary, Bauhaus remains the most imperialistic of all design movements. "Hitler considered himself an artistic genius": An interview with Birgit Schwarz, author of Delusions of Genius: Hitler and Art. Until recently, curators and collectors in the West were embarrassed by Orientalist art; Carol Kino considers one small museum that never blushed. From N1BR, a review of Lawrence Rothfield's The Rape of Mesopotamia: Behind the Looting of the Iraq Museum (and more) and James Cuno's Whose Culture? The Promise of Museums and the Debate over Antiquities. Is Greece Losing its Elgin Marbles? The battle between antiquities-loving and antiquities-producing countries continues. Leave the past behind: The campaigns to restore lost architectural gems signify a malaise in British culture. Leave it to the French to resuscitate Tarzan only to stick him in a semiotic jungle. Terminal Hipness: Jed Pearl on what New York's recent exhibitions can tell us about the art world’s malaise. The art of graffiti: you either see it or you don't; Evan Roth of the Graffiti Research Lab drags us out of that tired debate and shows us the science of tagging.
From Cosmos and History, Antonio Negri on The Italian Difference: Between Nihilism and Biopolitics (and a response by Pier Aldo Rovatti). From Vanity Fair, mired in sex scandals, Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is a national joke; he also has no intention of changing his ways — will Italy change without him? Weary Italians aren't in the mood to laugh anymore at Berlusconi's latest transgressions (and more). From Lettera internazionale, Francesco Biscione on Italian democracy and its opponents. A review of Pushing Past the Night: Coming to Terms with Italy’s Terrorist Past by Mario Calabresi. A review of Into the Heart of the Mafia: A Journey Through the Italian South by David Lane. Italy's vigilantes: Are the Mafia and the amateur police enemies or allies? The wolf in sheep's clothing: An article on Italy's Left and the Lega Nord. Emanuel L. Paparella on Italy and the EU, now and then. A review of The Ancient Shore: Dispatches from Naples by Shirley Hazzard. A review of An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's Oddest Town by David Farley (and an interview). The Guardian goes behind the scenes at L'Osservatore Romano, the pope's newspaper. Where the buffalo moan (with pleasure): At Vannulo Farm they believe happier buffalos make better mozzarella.