From Esquire, just who is Newton Leroy Gingrich, really? An epic and bizarre story of American power in an unsettled age. DL Adams on Saul Alinsky and the rise of amorality in American politics. On the new aristocracy: Victor Davis Hanson pities the postmodern cultural elite. Terry Teachout on the conversion of David Mamet. From TAS, the leftist, or at least mainly leftist, pseudo-intellectuals who infest certain portions of the Internet have become very fond recently of invoking something they call "Godwin's Law", but don't be scared of it; and a philosopher-king understands that infiltrating misleading words can gain an unwarranted political advantage. That Republicans have succeeded in blaming government is testimony to their political brilliance. An interview with Terence P. Jeffrey, author of Control Freaks: 7 Ways Liberals Plan to Ruin Your Life. Alyssa Battistoni on why politicians are right not to trust the public. From TAP, forget populism: "The people" are no more virtuous or incorruptible than elites, and pandering to them won't advance liberal political goals; Tea Partiers are getting all the press, but it's the anger on the left that spells trouble for Dems in the midterms; and is progressive excitement the key to Democratic victory in the fall? From TNR, Jonathan Cohn on the stupidity of liberal apathy (and a response and more). Mixed Messages: If only Democrats could agree what to say, they might be able to say it.
From Vanity Fair, the shocking thing about Kenneth Starr’s alleged Ponzi scheme wasn’t the amount — $59 million, pocket change by Madoff standards — but his client list: Bunny Mellon, Barbara Walters, Al Pacino, Caroline Kennedy, Martha Stewart, and Matt Lauer. When you think Jews and Las Vegas, what comes to mind? Jews do wondrous things in the desert. A review of A Short History of Celebrity by Fred Inglis (and more). From Psychiatric Times, Jerry Coyne on the evolutionary calculus of depression. The Wisdom of the Mulla: Sheikh Jamal Rahman on the well-loved trickster from Islamic folklore. Why is David Lynch pimping this handbag? Sasha Watson on the new trend of "advertising films". Andrew Cuomo grew up in the shadow of his distant, cerebral father, and became his enforcer to get close to him — now poised to become the second Governor Cuomo, he hopes he’s finally perfected the balance between Mario’s intellectualism and his own aggression. The evolution of beach culture: A look at the people and places that have shaped seaside culture. You are what you eat: How your diet defines you in trillions of ways. So much for the wisdom of crowds: People often become more confident in their beliefs when they find out the majority of others disagree with them, a new study finds. Is the desire to know other people’s secrets a natural instinct — or a vulgar vice? A review of Philip Carr-Gomm's A Brief History of Nakedness.
From the inaugural issue of New Knowledge Environments, Ethan Hawkley (Northeastern): Where’s Walden? Searching, Googling, Reading, and Living in the Digital Age; and Patrick Juola (Duquesne): Guessing at the Content of a Million Books. A look at how Google counted the world’s 129 million books (and more). From Meanland, McKenzie Wark writes on publishing A Hacker Manifesto and the beginnings of a copygift economy; Sherman Young explores how the book as a physical object enables control of the industry; Emmett Stinson gives us the lowdown on book piracy and associated myths; and Margaret Simons examines all that is exciting and frightening about reading in a digital era. The unrecorded history of online publishing: An interview with Bob Stein of the Institute for the Future of the Book. A review of The Late Age of Print by Ted Striphas. From Fine Books, a look at the greatest book collector you never heard of; and an article on book collecting for posterity. From New York, a special section on Indie Bookstores: Against all odds, a small army of neighborhood bookshops has arrived. A review of The Idea of the Library in the Ancient World by Yun Lee Too. Creative new uses for books: Rob Walker on the bright future of hardbacks — as decorative objects and props. There are no bad books, just special ones. With the continuing decline of the bookstore, where do you pick up your likeminded nerds/intellectuals/David Foster Wallace dweebs?
From Politics and Culture, a special issue on integrating evolutionary research with literary and cultural theory. From the Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture, Franklin T. Wilson (ISU), Dennis R. Longmire (SHSU), and Warren Swymeler (UCM): The Absence of Gay and Lesbian Police Officer Depictions in the First Three Decades of the Core Cop Film Genre; and Andrew Welsh (WLU): Sex and Violence in the Slasher Horror Film: A Content Analysis of Gender Differences in the Depiction of Violence. A review of Campaign Solutions: How Challenger Candidates Maximize Money, Media, Message and Management by Joseph Gaylord. A review of The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies. From Obit, Judy Bachrach on the death of guilt: Blame and condemnation are things of the past. More on The Wind from the East: French Intellectuals, the Cultural Revolution, and the Legacy of the 1960s by Richard Wolin. From Vice, a weird interview with Antoine Dodson, viralized within an inch of his life. Copyrighting the Bible: Sam Spade is just as fictional as the Maltese falcon but the Gospel of Judas, well, that is real — it really is the “stuff that dreams are made of”. Archeologist Patrick McGovern has found some of the oldest alcoholic beverages known to history, and he wants you to take a glug. Dissenters in Vladimir Putin's Russia have found a new source of musical inspiration: a homegrown version of Tupac Shakur and Public Enemy.
I’m American, and you? Nativist politics may well yield short-term advantages for the Republican party — history suggests, however, that the long term may be more problematic. What does an American look like? The ideals of inclusivity and diversity are losing ground in the general public. Joel Kotkin on the changing demographics of America. A review of True American: Language, Identity and the Education of Immigrant Children by Rosemary Salomone. How to speak American: The proverbial village idiot might be described as unfit to “carry guts to a bear” or “pour piss out of a boot”. Ephemera Studies is devoted to the preservation and study of ephemeral publications that provide more-nuanced pictures of American culture and life. What sort of political phenomenon is the United States? Arguably the first modern nation-state, it seems increasingly anachronistic. From TAS, a cover story on America's ruling class and the perils of revolution. Michael Lind on the fantasy of a vast upper middle class: College isn't for everyone, neither is the stock market. The crisis of middle-class America: Most families have been struggling with flat incomes for more than a generation, a long-term decline in fortunes. What the Great Recession has done to family life: Surveys continue to show that the impact is deep, widespread and grim. From New Politics, what happened to the American working class? A review of The Future of Democratic Equality: Rebuilding Social Solidarity in a Fragmented America by Joseph Schwartz. When will America be ripe for socialism? Are the American people obsolete? The richest few don't need the rest of us as markets, soldiers or police anymore. The American Dream won’t die: The US is in a demoralizing rut today, but this malaise will give way to a re-invented and vibrant society less than a decade from now.