From Conversations with History, an interview with Avner Cohen, author of The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel's Bargain with the Bomb. Louis Theroux spends time with ultra-nationalist Jewish settlers and discovers a small, but very committed subculture. Israel and Jordan once worked together for peace — now their alliance is collapsing, driven apart by the issue of refugee resettlement, and Jordan may be turning to Iran. Meir Dagan, recently retired as chief of the Mossad, wanted to reestablish the agency as a powerful deterrent to Israel’s enemies; with a string of daring operations, he succeeded. The Dubai Job: Last year, an elite squad of Mossad hit men finally got their target — they never thought the whole world would be watching. Yigal Amir assassinated Yitzhak Rabin 15 years ago in an effort to derail the Oslo peace accords; now his wife, a Russian emigre, is trying to turn him into a heroic Soviet-style political prisoner. Proposals that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Mahmoud Abbas made in 2008 offer a path to a deal amid the region’s turmoil. The Mideast Maverick: Sari Nusseibeh, the president of Al-Quds University, has long defied conventional wisdom — now he's proposing a new route to peace in the Middle East (and more and more and more). Palestinian rappers are returning to hip hop’s political roots — just don’t ask them to fix the Arab-Israeli conflict. The sleep of reason: In Ariel Sharon’s six-year coma, an Israeli finds artistic inspiration.
Mikael Sandberg (Halmstad): Soft Power, World System Dynamics, and Democratization: A Bass Model of Democracy Diffusion 1800-2000. Henrik Serup Christensen (Abo): Political activities on the Internet: Slacktivism or political participation by other means? From Re-public, a special issue on piracy as activism. It looks increasingly like the rescue of the auto industry was an overall success, saving hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of jobs and bolstering the country's manufacturing base for years (if not decades) to come. An interview with Josh MacPhee and Alec Icky Dunn of Signal, a new journal of international political graphics and culture. The first step in the transformation of American unionism in the 21st century is to get beyond exclusion — what the left Labor needs is not union democracy but working class democracy. Is Google's "Auto-complete" anti-Semitic? Brad DeLong on Washington's deficit-hawk pretenders. As the increasingly brutal suppression of uprisings in Yemen, Bahrain, and Libya shows, the Egyptian model of massive street uprisings may not work everywhere in the tyranny-prone Middle East. Womb envy and Western society: An article on the devaluation of nurturing in psychotherapy and society. Clay Shirky explores the role of Facebook and Twitter in the Middle East. The Day the Movies Died: No, Hollywood films aren't going to get better anytime soon — Mark Harris on the (potential) death of the great American art form. How screwing unions screws the entire middle class: Kevin Drum on what Wisconsin is really about (it's about power) If I ruled the world: Richard Dawkins on how human intelligence is undervalued these days — we must do away with rulebooks and start trusting our own judgement. Josh Green on why backroom deals aren't so bad.
The inaugural issue of the International Journal of Wellbeing is out. Sabine Hossenfelder (Nordita): On the Problem of Measuring Happiness. Mariano Rojas (FLASCO) and Joar Vitterso (Tromso): Conceptual Referent for Happiness: Cross-Country Comparisons. The introduction to Perpetual Euphoria: On the Duty to Be Happy by Pascal Bruckner (and more). "The Economics of Happiness" could leave you feeling depressed: New documentary explores why GDP remains the worst possible measure of economic progress (and more). Why the Kings of Bhutan ride bicycles: Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley on Gross National Happiness, his country's traditions, and the importance of democracy. Why happiness suddenly matters: If you’re a politician, there are only a couple of ways you can tackle the falling-income problem. What types of people are more likely to be happy? There was a time when happiness was synonymous with luck — but that was then. A review of The Promise of Happiness by Sara Ahmed. A review of The Best Things in Life: A Guide to What Really Matters by Thomas Hurka (and Hurka on the top 10 of happiness). Here are 5 complaints about modern life (that are statistically BS). A review of When I Am Playing With My Cat, How Do I Know She Is Not Playing With Me? Montaigne and Being in Touch With Life by Saul Frampton. A review of Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thing by Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe.
From The Hill, an interview with Jane Carmichael, Onion News Network's Washington correspondent. One benefit to a world hooked on oil and gas? Al Jazeera. WikiLeaks and Glenn Beck show that journalism is becoming more influential — but also more reductive. Is ideological innovation possible in online journalism? Jay Rosen on the politics of the new Huffington Post at AOL. Reboot camp: Aspiring and seasoned US journalists alike are looking to tech-savvy graduate schools to help them survive and thrive in a new multimedia environment. Yesterday’s Heroes: Can we rescue great photojournalism? Some rules for the road for 21st century journalism: An excerpt from Dan Gillmor's Mediactive. Former Guardian science editor, letters editor, arts editor and literary editor Tim Radford has condensed his journalistic experience into a handy set of rules for aspiring hacks. Newspaper journalism is on its way out, regrets the former foreign correspondent and Browser co-founder Robert Cottrell; he chooses four novels that reflect the golden days and a style guide that is an equally fine work of imagination. Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai has never been a man to mince words, especially when it comes to what he insists is the future of journalism — cartoon news. If you edited an alt weekly, what would you do? Lisa Pease on what the media would look like if it were actually liberal. The Fact-Free Zone: Could making it easier to sue news organizations make them more honest?
A new issue of German Law Journal is out. Charles K. Whitehead (Cornell): Why Not a CEO Term Limit? From LRB, who owns Kafka? Judith Butler wants to know. From Foreign Affairs, Robert H. Pelletreau on transforming the Middle East: Comparing the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and Bahrain. Does better productivity kill jobs? Here are 6 subtle ways you're getting screwed at the grocery store. The Moral Crusade Against Foodies: Gluttony dressed up as foodie-ism is still gluttony. Why has biography become respectable as a form of research? A review of Jet Age: The Comet, the 707, and the Race to Shrink the World by Sam Howe Verhovek. Should we debunk astrologers more respectfully?: It's easy to make fun of astrology, but are we lazy in our criticisms? Let's get 2012 started: Paul Waldman on the virtues of a long presidential campaign cycle. To accept what cannot be helped: At 80, a woman with a fatal disease knows she doesn’t want to die in the hospital and discovers, with her family, what that really means. Is the global recovery becoming a sure thing? Boca on the Black Sea: An American developer seeks to create the “Florida of the Caucasus”. A new initiative provides real numbers, for the first time, on how transgender Americans are discriminated against — and they're startling. Are jobless graduates causing the protests in the Middle East? Peter Berkowitz reviews Because it is Wrong: Torture, Privacy, and Presidential Power in the Age of Terror by Charles Fried and Gregory Fried (and more). How long is a severed head conscious for? The first chapter from Group Problem Solving by Patrick R. Laughlin. A truly graphic adventure: Richard Moss on the 25-year rise and fall of a beloved genre. A review of Jerusalem: The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore.
From The Weekly Standard, the Midwesterner: Michael Barnes on the roots of Ronald Reagan; and the future of Reaganism: Jeffrey Bell on why American conservatism is alive and well in the 21st century. The "Southern Strategy," fulfilled: When Ronald Reagan's invoked "states' rights" in 1980, it helped seal a massive political realignment. Would America have been better off without Ronald Reagan? Nicholas Lemann reviews Decision Points by George W. Bush. A book salon on The Presidency of George W. Bush: The First Historical Assessment by Julian E. Zelizer. The undercovered story of the 2010 midterm elections has become clear: Americans have elected the most politically and theologically fundamentalist House of Representatives in modern history. Pricey political consultants, constant fundraising, fame-seeking leaders: A grassroots group cozies up to the DC establishment and alienates the activists who put it on the map (and part 2 and part 3). From The Nation, Johann Hari on how to build a Progressive Tea Party. From The American Prospect, Southern Discomfort: Democrats no longer need the South, but the region needs them; reclaiming middle-class America: If progressives want a winning theme that the right can't match, this is it; time for National Greatness Liberalism: Theda Skocpol on how our national economic fortune depends on reclaiming a credible role for large-scale public investment; and when the Democratic Leadership Council mattered: Glee over the DLC's demise misses the point of its founding and its sad history (and more on the DLC).
Shahila Zafar and Zaved Ahmed Khan (VIT): The Images of White Womanhood in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Bridget J. Crawford (Pace): The Currency of White Women's Hair in a Down Economy. Truly fat women don’t make it in Hollywood — unless they are black, that is. An interview with Shayne Lee, author of Erotic Revolutionaries: Black Women, Sexuality and Popular Culture. The importance of being cool in African-American culture: Is being cool a survival technique or just another drug in the 'hood? Racial segregation remains Chicago's most fundamental problem — why isn't it an issue in the mayor's race? A look at how white suburbanisation facilitated black homeownership in the mid-20th century. An interview with Clarence Lusane, author of The Black History of the White House. Jean Toomer's conflicted racial identity: He probably wanted to live as he pleased, outside the strictures of segregation; to be judged as a writer for his talents alone — and who can blame him? Let's stop being angry at biracial people: As black people, we can finally get away from the racist "one drop of blood" rule and celebrate our diversity. Opponents of the Education Department's new mixed-race categories say they are discriminatory — are they? An interview with Daniel J. Sharfstein, author of The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White. Whenever people protest that a child is "biracial", not Black, not only are they denying the impact that being classified as "non-white" has on the life of a child, but they are also teaching that child to embrace "whiteness" as an ideal.
The inaugural issue of the Ramon Llull Journal of Applied Ethics is out. Edward Peter Stringham (Fayetteville State) and Todd J. Zywicki (George Mason): Hayekian Anarchism. It would be easy to look at the images coming out of Cairo over the last few weeks and think of Egypt as a highly urbanized society — it would also be wrong. From PopMatters, Andrew Howe on a brief functional and aesthetic history of the urinal. A citizen's guide to a government shutdown: A budget showdown could grind the federal government to a halt next week — how exactly would that play out? In a high-tech kitchen laboratory in Seattle, Nathan Myhrvold is putting the finishing touches on Modernist Cuisine, his obsessive 2,438-page cookbook documenting the future of food. The Fact Checker senses a campaign theme emerging: Obama the apologist. The diminishing dominance of the American MBA: While the U.S. has long dominated the world of business education, European and Asian schools are ratcheting up the competition. An interview with Jamie Galbraith: "The government is not, by any means, a pure representative of the working population". For some, a list of 1001 books you "must" read is no mere suggestion; Jeremy Dauber explains his addiction to lists. Why budget cuts don’t bring prosperity: Germany’s austerity has failed, yet many American lawmakers insist that cuts are the path to prosperity. Peter Beinart on the Right's hypocrisy on freedom in the Middle East: The supposedly idealistic American right turns out to be pretty pessimistic. In Praise of Literary Reports: Have we already lost interest in the Gulf oil spill, or is it possible that the report itself is to blame for our fading interest? Arab Regimes and the Dictator Protection Plan: How Mideast despots have stayed in power so long.
Sebastian Von Engelhardt (Jena): What Economists Know About Open Source Software: Its Basic Principles and Research Results. Digital Inflections: An interview with Alan Dunning and Paul Woodrow on The Einstein's Brain Project, which explored human consciousness as a contributing participant in the development of our technological future. Who are the world's leading thinkers on technology? The top ten minds whose ideas are helping to shape our future. More and more and more and more on The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu. Auto(in)correct: How smartphones are making us look dumb. A review of Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other by Sherry Turkle (and more and more and more and more and more). A review of The Comingled Code: Open Source and Economic Development by Josh Lerner and Mark Schankerman. The Triumph of Hacker Culture: Ron Rosenbaum on Stuxnet and the iconic, pioneering hacker Captain Crunch. So it turns out technology really does empower us. A look at how technology drives history, but it just doesn’t drive it very far. A review of The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick. The Numbers Guy goes behind the information overload hype (and more). In case you didn’t get the memo/text/call/e-mail/tweet, this just in: The world is drowning in information (and more). Is it time to welcome our new computer overlords? IBM's Watson computer's sense of language isn't as human as it might seem.
Tim Beal (Victoria): Korean Brinkmanship, American Provocation, and the Road to War: The Manufacturing of a Crisis. Tragedy and loss: Jim Taylor takes a look at the real face of Thailand today. Ellena Savage on the westernisation of Asian beauty. Japan spent more than two centuries shut off from the rest of the world and it still shows; Henry Tricks finds the Edo period still shimmering just under the surface. Burma’s gradual transition: With Aung San Suu Kyi’s release, slow process of change continues. From the Journal of Democracy, Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo on China’s quest for democracy. From Inside Indonesia, a special issue on women and Islam. Catching the Bamboo Train: Rural Cambodians cobbled old tank parts and scrap lumber into an ingenious way to get around. The introduction to Inside the Red Box: North Korea’s Post-totalitarian Politics by Patrick McEachern. How East Asian relations worked in a long and lasting past: David C. Kang on his book East Asia Before the West: Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute. A look at how deadly weapons continue to rule daily life in Laos. From Asia Sentinel, what's so free about Hong Kong and Singapore anyway? Vietnam's Hang Son Doong, the world's largest cave, was only discovered twenty years and is just now being explored by a team of scientists. Evan Osnos on why China captures our imagination — and why we want to change it.