From NYRB, Ian Buruma reviews Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering: Japan in the Modern World by John W. Dower and Strong in the Rain: Surviving Japan’s Earthquake, Tsunami, and Fukushima Nuclear Disaster by David McNeill and Lucy Birmingham. The world’s largest “debtor” is now the world’s largest creditor: Ellen Brown on the myth that Japan is broke. Dilemmas of a frontier island in the East China Sea: Forty years after they were “normalized,” relations between Japan and China are so abnormal that events planned to celebrate the anniversary in September had to be scrapped. Billions in hidden riches for family of Chinese leader: It is unclear how much Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, who has staked a position as a populist and a reformer, knows about the $2.7 billion in assets his family has amassed. George Dvorsky on the unintended consequences of China’s one-child policy. World's most popular blogger: Duncan Hewitt on Han Han, the enfant terrible of Chinese letters, makes enemies as he conquers the world literature stage. Evan Osnos on why China captures our imagination — and why we want to change it.
Andrew Kent (Fordham): Do Boumediene Rights Expire? From the eJournal of eDemocracy and Open Government, a special issue on Digital Citizenship and Activism. John Lingan chats with Ted Leo about the “weird small business" of indie music. Priit Tinits on how tragedies shape our voting. The Hunt for “Geronimo”: President Obama saw it as a “50–50” proposition; Admiral Bill McRaven, mission commander, knew something would go wrong — so how did the raid that killed bin Laden get green-lighted? The MJ of Dwarves: Jahmani Swanson is the best little-person basketball player on the planet — and he's just getting started. Fix the debt, destroy the recovery: Robert Kuttner unpacks the economics and the politics of our country's growing austerity lobby. The legal arm of the Christian Right: Brian Tashman goes inside the American Center for Law and Justice. What can the height of a person tell us about them and their children? Linsay Gray wonders. Joel Kotkin on the rise of post-familialism: Humanity’s future? Kochworld: To see how the Koch brothers’ free-market utopia operates, look no further than Corpus Christi.
A new issue of The Reasoner is out. Jimmy Licon (SFSU): Sceptical Thoughts on Philosophical Expertise. Jonathan Head (Keele): Pessimism and Philosophy Today. Spare a thought for philosophy: Will Bordell interviews A.C. Grayling. From Figure/Ground Communication, an interview with John Lysaker on the nature of the self and human well-being. S. G. Lofts reviews The Origins of the Philosophy of Symbolic Forms: Kant, Hegel, and Cassirer by Donald Phillip Verene. From 3:AM, Arif Ahmed is a seriously funky philosopher who has never stopped feeling the thrill; and Jerry Fodor is the sharp-shooting killer-app in the philosopher of mind, the Dirty Harry of non-universal modularity, LOT, and representational theories of the mind. Robert Guay reviews Introductions to Nietzsche, ed. Robert Pippin. Carrie Figdor interviews Jill Gordon, author of Plato’s Erotic World: From Cosmic Origins to Human Death. John Dupre reviews Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False. Will Crouch on how to be a high impact philosopher. George Dvorsky on 8 great philosophical questions that we’ll never solve.
Daniel Sell (Capital): The United States’ Policy of Targeted Killing and the Use of Force: Another Exception to the United Nations Use of Force Regime. From Playboy, an interview with Stephen Colbert. Healthcare economics: An interview with Jonathan Gruber. Political sentiment and predictable returns: Jawad M. Addoum and Alok Kumar examine the impact of changing political environment on the stock market and find that as the political climate changes, there are systematic shifts in the portfolio compositions of investors, which generates predictable patterns in stock returns. Congratulations, but we need to talk: An open letter from PopSci to President Obama about science and the future. Addled by books: Morten Hoi Jensen reviews Dublinesque by Enrique Vila-Matas. When and to where? Joanna Wasik on leaving Guantanamo after Habeas, Release, or Transfer. From Jacobin, J. W. Mason writes in defense of David Graeber’s Debt. Rob Horning on the metaphor of “microfame” and what sort of ideological work it performs. The long game: Andrew Klavan on three areas the Right should address, financially and intellectually.
Jeffrey Rogers Hummel (SJSU): Deadweight Loss and the American Civil War: The Political Economy of Slavery, Secession, and Emancipation. From Jacobin, Charlie Post (BMCC): The Civil War Reconsidered; and the War of Northern Aggression: Leading Civil War historian James Oakes challenges the new orthodoxy about how slavery ended in America. From World Socialist Web Site, Tom Mackaman interviews historian James McPherson on 150 years since the Emancipation Proclamation. Ed Voves reviews Lincoln’s Hundred Days: The Emancipation Proclamation and the War for the Union by Louis P. Masur. Samuel Graber reviews Mightier Than the Sword: Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Battle for America by David S. Reynolds. America's simple-minded obsession with the Confederate flag: Journalists love to recycle old cliches about the rebel banner — but its days as an official symbol of Southern pride are rapidly coming to an end. Why do so many Southerners think they're the only real Americans? Let's not pretend that condescension is unique to the North. Southerners and Gs: Charles C. W. Cooke on surprisin’ twists in the history of English pronunciation.
A new issue of Real-World Economics Review is out. From Contemporary Issues and Ideas in Social Sciences, Sujoy Chakravarty (JNU): The Experimental Study of Behaviour in Economics. Kevin D. Hoover (Duke): Man and Machine in Macroeconomics. Dan Awrey (Oxford), William Blair, and David Kershaw (LSE): Between Law and Markets: Is There a Role for Culture and Ethics in Financial Regulation? Robert Skidelsky and Karen Horn debate Hayek, the market, and the good life. David Warsh reviews Misunderstanding Financial Crises: Why We Don’t See Them Coming by Gary Gorton. Have we reached the end of economic growth? Brad Plumer investigates. Simon Johnson and Peter Boone on the doomsday cycle: Who’s next? Alex Moore reviews The Money Trap: Escaping the Grip of Global Finance by Robert Pringle. Robert A. Johnson on the questions that economics can’t answer. Some economists don’t get paid to know about the economy, but to justify the trickle-up of wealth. Jacob Soll reviews Double Entry: How the Merchants of Venice Created Modern Finance by Jane Gleeson-White. Chris Holmes on the 5 most surreal financial apocalypses from history.
Gary Erickson (Washington): Advertising, Economic Development, and Global Warming. From Polity, a special section on Deepening Democracy. Scott Bridges on how Al Jazeera took on the (English-speaking) world. Which government is best? Daron Acemoglu, Georgy Egorov, and Konstantin Sonin on how democracies may not outlast dictatorships, but they adapt better. From Plus magazine, understanding uncertainty: Kevin McConway on ESP and the significance of significance and on ESP and Bayes. Northern Hospitality: Ever since the Revolution, Americans have had a longstanding tradition of heading for Canada when politics turn sour. How can anyone lie when the truth is just a Google search away? If only The New York Times could rise above principle. From Vice, Bhaskar Sunkara on how Paul Ryan is what stupid people think a smart guy sounds like; and Mike Abu on how making it a pain in the ass to vote is the American way. Louis Menand reviews Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956 by Anne Applebaum. Rapture of the nerds: Will the Singularity turn us into gods or end the human race?
From Jacobin, James Livingston on how the Left has won, or, why is there still socialism in the United States? (and a response). From The Bullet, Max Bohnel interviews Ingar Solty on the U.S. Democratic Party and the Left. Emily Coolidge reviews Why America Needs A Left: A Historical Argument by Eli Zaretsky. Lessons of the American revolutionary left of the 1970s: Dan La Botz reviews Truth and Revolution: A History of the Sojourner Truth Organization, 1969-1986 by Michael Staudenmaier. An interview with Andy Price, author of Recovering Bookchin: Social Ecology and the Crises of Our Time. Janet Biehl on Murray Bookchin, the man who brought radical ecology and assembly democracy to the Left. Jeff Madrick on why the Left doesn't need a Rand and the Right shouldn't want another Reagan. Morris Berman on the waning of the modern ages. Anis Shivani on 5 principles for a 21st-century liberalism. An interview with Alan Colmes, author of Thank the Liberals for Saving America (and Why You Should). From Crisis, is totalitarian liberalism a mutant form of Christianity? Sheila M. Trask reviews Progressive Dystopia by Michael Ozga.
Shlomi Sela, Tsvi Kuflik, and Gustavo S. Mesch (Haifa): Changes in the Discourse of Online Hate Blogs: The Effect of Barack Obama's Election in 2008. From The Baffler, to the Precinct Station: Thomas Frank on how theory met practice and drove it absolutely crazy; the long con: Rick Perlstein on mail-order conservatism; and come on, feel the buzz: Alex Parenne on Politico. When a Frankenstorm arrives from Haiti with destructive powers, the semi-professional student of zombie literature and history has a unique ability to perceive the arrival of end times — welcome to America’s new normal: the nonfictional apocalypse. The worst thing about an apocalypse? Surviving it. How should we explain people like Barack Obama and Mitt Romney? Larry Arnhart on the manly ambition of political animals. Wrath of the math: Spencer Ackerman on the nerdiest election ever (and more and more and more on Nate Silver). Crossing the line: Elizabeth Kolbert on rebuilding for climate change. Bill Sweet on why the United States will soon adopt some kind of carbon plan, regardless of who wins. Extreme voting: How astronauts cast ballots from space.
From Jacobin, General Gandhi on the yacht rock counterrevolution (and J. Temperance on yacht rock and libidinal subversion). A review of The Sounds of Capitalism: Advertising, Music, and the Conquest of Culture by Timothy D. Taylor. The Meaning of Muse: Steven Hyden on how a bloated, bombastic rock band explains our fracturing cultures. When alternative became mainstream: Dave Whitaker on music in the '90s. Imagine a world without a lot of easy jokes about Yoko Ono — it’s actually not that easy if you try. Trent Wolbe on the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Appreciating Carly Rae Jepsen for Dummies Maybe. Brad Tolinski interviews Jack White and Jimmy Page on what’s killing the humanity of performances, how the wrong teacher can “really mess you up”, and the power of the blues. From PopMatters, Colin McGuire writes in defense of Rush being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in defense of VH1’s “Behind the Music”, and in defense of the marriage between music and television. Two decades of rage: November marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Rage Against the Machine's self-titled debut album.