The Battle of Agincourt’s status as perhaps the greatest victory against overwhelming odds in military history — and a keystone of the English self-image — has been called into doubt by a group of historians in Britain and France. The English Montaigne: A review of William Hazlitt: The First Modern Man by Duncan Wu. A review of Reading Gladstone by Ruth Clayton Windscheffel. A review of Incest and Influence: The Private Life of Bourgeois England by Adam Kuper. A review of The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 by Christopher Andrew (and more). A review of Spooks: The Unofficial History of MI5 by Thomas Hennessey and Claire Thomas (and more and more and more and more and more and more; and what do real life spooks make of fictional spies?). A review of books on British intelligence. An article on Penelope Fitzgerald and the story of a British family. From Prospect, while Britain’s annual exam standards row rages on, the most important question is ignored: what should our children learn?; and how to really hug a hoodie: Karyn McCluskey has led a controversial project in Glasgow to tackle gang violence — it seems to be working, but is there the political will to roll it out across the whole country? The Tories and the GOP: Rupurt Darwall on the limits of political “modernization”. Jean Eaglesham profiles the new generation of thinkers, pundits and money men vying for influence on a future Cameron government (and more on the new ruling class jostling for power around Prime Minister Cameron). Burned by the Sun: Courting Murdoch was always bound to backfire on Labour but the paper's influence is built on a myth. Saluting the Sun: The British tabloid offers the world’s most amusing corrections.
From TNR, the interested man: Nathan Glazer on Irving Kristol. From The Americano, Pedro Blas Gonzalez on intellectuals, democracy and good will. From American, are liberals smarter than conservatives?: What if we could know, scientifically, that one side has the edge in brainpower, and should that change how we think about political issues? From The Smart Set, how can we bring together red and blue America? Marry fashion with industry. Why even Obama cannot bring an end to the culture wars. Assessing a young presidency: Barack Obama campaigned as a populist firebrand but governs like a cerebral consensus builder — the founding fathers wouldn't have it any other way. From The New Yorker, David Remnick on how Cornel West keeps his promise to Barack Obama; and Louis Menand on the White House vs. Fox News. Obama's Foxhole: Is journalistic objectivity at risk of becoming collateral damage in the war between Fox News and the White House? (and more from Slate) Birth of a Blowhard: Did Glenn Beck hatch his plan to become a right-wing radio megastar on Connecticut's airways? From John Birchers to Birthers: The right's paranoid political style has gone mainstream. "Social justice is for losers": Neil Lambert on trying — and failing! — to infiltrate the Tea Party Movement. Meet the senators in the creepy Right-wing cult trying to defeat health care reform. Send lawyers, guns, and money: Anti-Obama paranoia is good for at least one business. Who is us? Even Newt Gingrich recognizes that the right's ideological litmus tests are bad news. From CRB, Henry Olsen on the reemerging Republican majority.
From Adbusters, Jordan Romanus on the end of philosophy: What happened to just thinking?; and can economists improve the human condition? From Books & Culture, where could we go from here? An article on the state of U2 studies. From City Journal, Judith Miller on the Mexicanization of American law enforcement: The drug cartels extend their corrupting influence northward. London Review of Books marks its 30th year: A salute to the writers and editors who created "the house magazine of the intellectual elite". An interview with Mary-Kay Wilmers, the grande dame of the LRB, on her controversial views and her family links to spies and psychoanalyst (and more). Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Gunter Grass still thinks reunification was a bad idea: A review of Unterwegs von Deutschland nach Deutschland: Tagebuch 1990. From Fortune, Steven Rattner on why they had to get rid of GM's CEO, Rick Wagoner (and more on the auto bailout). Do assholes really finish first, and what's the allure of the bad boy? The Way to "Sesame Street": An article on the politics of children's television. 40 years of Muppetology 101: How to get to "Sesame Street"? Take Wonk Way and turn left on Research Road. Windmills, Revisited: Nicholas Lemann on the once and future mission of the Washington Monthly (and more on its 40th anniversary collection). Due to its climate change denial, and thanks largely to online media, Superfreakonomics is dead on arrival. A review of The Lexicographer's Dilemma: The Evolution of "Proper" English, from Shakespeare to South Park by Jack Lynch.
From The Walrus, the fragile publishing industry is struggling to adjust to a new world in which the printed word may be an afterthought. It’s the end of the book world as we know it — and publishers should feel fine. Clashing titans, weird mutants, deep discounts — A comic book look at the epic struggle between Amazon and Wal-Mart. Is Barnes and Noble's Nook the device that will revolutionize reading? The book that contains all books: The globally available Kindle could mark as big a shift for reading as the printing press and the codex. The case against Google Books: How three East Bay librarians led the revolt against the company's plans to archive all earthly knowledge. The long history of techno-skepticism: A review of A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital Revolution by Dennis Baron. From Publishing Perspectives, Rudiger Wischenbart on a global ranking of publishers: "It is a strange world we live, read and publish in". From n+1, Ari Phillips on life in independent publishing. From Huffington Post, want to get an instant eye-roll from a traditional book editor or reviewer? Just say the words, "self-published" — Jonathan Fields on bringing sexy back to self-publishing; and Liz Dubelman on book trailers and the future of publishing. Mark Coker on why publishers are like venture capitalists. Are celebrity novels actually positive for publishing? Celebrity novels: Nigel Farndale reports on a trend that could soon see Cheryl Cole and Sharon Osbourne join Katie Price and Kerry Katona on the best-seller lists. Crowdsourcing "Coraline": Can a hundred Neil Gaiman-imitating twitterers produce anything worth reading?