The inaugural issue of American Political Thought: A Journal of Ideas, Institutions, and Culture features a set of articles titled "American Exceptionalism: Is It Real, Is It Good.", including Rogers M. Smith (Penn): “Our Republican Example”: The Significance of the American Experiments in Government in the Twenty-First Century; and Patrick Deneen (Georgetown): Cities of Man on a Hill. From New English Review, Mark Anthony Signorelli on how the typical attitude of American exceptionality needs a great deal of tempering. Michael Kazin explains what Americanism is and how it differentiates from other nationalisms around the world. How Joseph Stalin invented “American Exceptionalism”: The phrase is often attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville, but the real author was the Soviet dictator — and it wasn't a compliment. American politicians love American exceptionalism — or at least to talk about it; Scott McLemee wonders if they know the concept's odd history. Enough with "Only in America": Mitt Romney digs his country. What are some of the most interesting or shocking things Americans believe about themselves or their country?
A new issue of Humanities Diliman is out. From Evolutionary Psychology, Alan W. Gray and Lynda G. Boothroyd (Durham): Female Facial Appearance and Health; Francis T. McAndrew (Knox) and Carin Perilloux (Texas): Is Self-sacrificial Competitive Altruism Primarily a Male Activity?; and a review of Altruism in Humans by C. Daniel Batson. From The New Inquiry, an interview with George Scialabba on his most recent collection of essays, The Modern Predicament, his definition of modernity, and his new work as an editor at the rebooted Baffler. Until recently, the United States has operated 22 U.S. military bases in Latin America, 800 worldwide; now there are two more, one in Chile and another in Argentina, the first in either country. Colin Firth campaign for Brazilian tribe breaks records in just 3 days. Maria Popova on 27 of history’s strangest inventions. The Atlantic’s “Money Report” is a month-long project on why things cost what they do. Matt Drudge’s rescue mission: The conservative mogul has been pumping traffic to the Washington Times — where two of his editors write columns.
From Gizmodo, Matt Honan on the case against Google. Marissa Mayer is Google’s Chic Geek: This self-proclaimed “girly girl” runs one of Google’s fastest-growing services. A look at how bots nearly destroyed YouTube — and how YouTubers got Google to fix it. Once you’re in the weird part of YouTube, there’s no way out. From Wired, how one response to a Reddit query became a big budget flick. Hunter Moore, creator of “revenge porn” website Is Anyone Up? is the Internet’s Public Enemy No. 1 (and more at The Village Voice and more at The New Inquiry). IsAnyoneUp.com shuts down, sells domain to anti-bullying group (but Moore wants everyone to know he’s still a horrible person). Max Read on Celebrities With Big Dicks and other tales from the weird world of Wikipedia books. If Wikipedia is really going to close its gender gap, the editors are going to need more balanced and impartial reporting on the issues at hand. The "undue weight" of truth on Wikipedia: Timothy Messer-Kruse has written two books about the Haymarket riot and trial; in some circles that affords a presumption of expertise — not, however, on Wikipedia.
David Meyer (UC-Irvine) and Deana Rohlinger (FSU): Big Books and Social Movements: A Myth of Ideas and Social Change. From NYRB, why finish books? Tim Parks wonders. Elevated Reading Club: Ralph Gardner writes about a book club where participants gather to deconstruct the articles in the New York Review of Books. From Meanjin, Lili Wilkinson on why teenagers today are the first generation of true readers. From Interface, “everything we do is niche”: A roundtable on contemporary progressive publishing. To be read by all parties: An article on the impact of books on Washington policy. Maria Bustillos on romance novels, the last great bastion of underground writing. Do you have any bizarre nonfiction recommendations? The new tastemakers: Few newspapers review books these days — so who does? As society embraces all forms of digital entertainment, a latter-day Noah is looking the other way; Brewster Kahle, who runs the Internet Archive, a nonprofit, hopes to collect one copy of every book. How does one review a book like BibliOdyssey? This feels like a book and looks like a (very handsome) book, is anything but.
A new issue of Cultura: International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology is out. Ronald Osborn (USC): Seyla Benhabib, Wendell Berry, and the Question of Migrant and Refugee Rights. From TNR, Eric Cantor last week became the highest-ranking Republican poobah to say, pretty much outright, that we need to soak the poor; and Florida Governor Rick Scott uses line-item veto on program to fund rape crisis centers, a preview of what a Romney/Ryan agenda would do to America. What makes heroic strife: Computer models that can predict the outbreak and spread of civil conflict are being developed. From Cato Unbound, Brandon Garrett on learning what we can from DNA. The nation-state and its discontents: Ulrich Beck on the reality of cosmopolitanism. From Transcript, a special issue on the literatures of stateless nations. Does this smartphone make me look stupid? Meet the "ladyphones". It is perhaps not widely appreciated that the Cold War was actually won in the summer of 1959 by the noted lounge-chair designers Charles and Ray Eames. Which direction now? Just ask the north-facing map in your head.
Charlotte Bartels (FUB): Redistribution and Insurance in the German Welfare State. Alfons J. Weichenrieder and Tasneem Zafar (Frankfurt): Evaluating Real World Income Distributions Behind the Veil of Ignorance: How Risk Averse Do You Have to Be to Prefer Europe Over the US? Clifford Bob (Duquesne): When Rights Become Weapons: Comparative Insights from Political Battles in Europe, the United States and Elsewhere. From Policy Review, Mars and Venus, ten years later: A symposium on Robert Kagan’s “Power and Weakness”, including contributions by Robert Cooper, Daniel Drezner, Mary Elise Sarotte, Justin Vaisse, and more. With friends like these: Europeans still seem eager — not just willing — to believe the worst about us. Dear Mitt: What's this European socialist nightmare you're so afraid of? Trust me, la belle vie ain't that bad. Samuel Gregg on the American Left's European nightmare. Does the American Dream exist only in Europe? Perhaps, but if you think America’s class system is as rigid as Europe’s, then you don’t know an old-fashioned social hierarchy when you see one. Why Europe's long vacations may make economic sense.
Stavros Mavroudeas (Macedonia): The History of Political Economy and Post-Modernism. From the latest issue of the Journal of World-Systems Research, a special section on Flows of Money and People in the World-System. From Economics and Political Weekly, class struggles, ideologies, economic transformations and colonialism: A review essay on Immanuel Wallerstein’s The Modern World-System series of books. From Review of International Political Economy, a review essay on the political economy of small states: Enduring vulnerability? From International Socialism, once more (with feeling) on Marxist accounts of the crisis: A review of Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance by David McNally and Socialist Register 2011: The Crisis This Time; a review of The Crisis of Neoliberalism by Gerard Dumenil and Dominique Levy; and Guglielmo Carchedi goes behind and beyond the crisis. From Swans, a review of books by David Harvey. From New Left Review, against a backdrop of world economic slump, what forces will shape the outcome of contests between a raddled system and its emergent challengers?
From the International NGO Journal, Anja Mihr, Jos Philips, and Isabelle Duyvesteyn (Utrecht): Human Rights NGOs: Imperative or Impermissible Actors in (Post)-Conflict Societies? Rick Perlstein on why Occupy needs to start making demands. Frank J. Vandall on the intellectual foundations of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Insanity and utter ineptness — no other words are more suitable to describe the continued path of austerity imposed by the EU on Spain. Jonathan Chait how Romney simply wants to campaign on the straightforward economic impulse “The economy has been bad under Obama, vote Obama out”; and on Romney’s radical theory of fairness: What Romney calls a distraction is actually the most important issue of the election. At first glance, one does not normally recognize a connection between the commodified adult sex entertainment industry and political science. The church of cryopreservation: Michael Monette on spending eternity in liquid nitrogen (and part 2). Are you bonobo or chimpanzee? Over the next several months, Deni Y. Bechard will blog for Maisonneuve regularly from central Africa as he researches his new book.
From The New Yorker, Lauren Collins on how the Daily Mail conquered England. The world’s most popular online newspaper: How the Daily Mail took the title from The New York Times. From NYRB, Geoffrey Wheatcroft on the truth about Murdoch. From Vanity Fair, Suzanna Andrews uncovers Rebekah Brooks, the woman wrapped in the enigma, the keys to her meteoric rise, and the latest object of her incandescent ambition; after writing two of the most interesting movies of the past several years, Aaron Sorkin has returned to television via HBO, which is premiering his dramatic series The Newsroom next month; and has The Washington Post lost its way? Tenacious: Dana Priest wants to show you how the world works. Inch by Inch: Mort Persky on the art of the newspaper column. Newsrooms may look different today, but their need for speed never wavers. From Neiman Reports, looking back what would they do differently? Six editors take a hard look at newspapers and what it will take for them to stay alive. Are online newspapers the modern day equivalent of 19th century bourgeois cafes for democratic discussions? From The Globe and Mail, where’s Robert Redford when we need him? The newspaper biz used to be so cool.
From Peace, Conflict and Development is out, a special issue on approaches to peace and conflict — what is missing? An issue of Nations and Nationalism is free online, including Rogers Brubaker (UCLA): Religion and Nationalism: Four Approaches; and Farhat Shahzad (Ottawa): Forging the Nation as an Imagined Community. Andras Jakab (Max Planck): Defining the Borders of the Political Community: Constitutional Visions of the Nation. Ronald Maraden Parlindungan Silalahi and Veny Anindya Puspitasari (Bunda Mulia): Linguistic Regulation and Nation Character Building: The Neglected Phase of Development. Carl Mosk (Victoria): Why the Prince Consort Was Right: Nationalism, Economic Development, and Violence, 1800-2000. Nicholas Sambanis (Yale) and Moses Shayo (Princeton): Social Identification and Ethnic Conflict. Mihaela Carausan (NSPSPA): The Survival of the National State in a Globalised World. How empire ruled the world: Compared with the six hundred years of the Ottoman Empire and two millennia of (intermittent) Chinese imperial rule, the nation-state is a blip on the historical horizon. Anna Simons on sovereignty, the ultimate states’ rights argument. Dani Rodrik on the nation-state reborn. Tyler Brule on how national airlines are a country’s brand to the world.