From Flashpoint, Ellen Cardona (CC): Pound’s Early Years, 1885-1924: The Evolution of a Suburban Prejudice; and "Our friend the atom": An article on Walt Disney and the atomic bomb. Scott McLemee says farewell to a man of letters, John Leonard. There is another way to spend your philanthropic time and money: going to parties. A review of Mindboggling: Preliminaries to a Science of the Mind by Roy Harris. A review of Unholy Business: A True Tale of Faith, Greed and Forgery in the Holy Land by Nina Burleigh. Jewcy takes a look at the financial crisis, in six easy pieces. Advice to Democrats: Act boldly, act swiftly, and stop worrying about losing seats in the midterm elections. An excerpt from Make It Plain: Standing Up and Speaking Out by Vernon Jordan. From Seed, mathematician Steven Strogatz and architect Carlo Ratti discuss the laws that govern urban behavior and how those laws might shape the cities of the future. An interview with Niall Ferguson on Obama and the global crisis: "A world war without war". Misleading by petition: Just what is the consensus on global warming? A look at how Barack Obama's victory made New York rejoice in its promise. A review of Honest Signals: How They Shape Our World by Alex (Sandy) Pentland. A review of The Bagel: The Surprising History of a Modest Bread by Maria Balinska.
From Greater Good, a symposium on "The Psychology of Power"; a symposium on "The 21st Century Family"; and a special section on play as human development. The Cybercafe Lives: A musty business model allows gamers a way out of isolation and into productive fantasy and social connection. A review of The Earth after Us: What Legacy Will Humans Leave in the Rocks? by Jan Zalasiewicz. The flag that Francis Scott Key saw flying over Fort McHenry was loved almost to death; now, after a decade's conservation, the Star-Spangled Banner returns to its place of honor on the National Mall. A review of Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer by Fred Kaplan. Obama in the history books: An excerpt from America: The First Quarter Millennium, copyright 2026. What is an election? It depends which country you live in, but the true meaning of the word can only be realised where there is real democracy. A review of Loot: The Battle Over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World by Sharon Waxman. Is a semi-reformed payday lender the right guy to bring the urban poor into the banking system? How did Barack Obama win over white, blue-collar Levittown, Pa.? Brace yourselves: Power's shifting, but not in the way you expect. A review of The Enemy Within: 2000 Years of Witch-Hunting in the Western World by John Demos (and more).
From The Hudson Review, Brooke Allen on The Multi-Tasking Marquise; and Richard Hornby on An American Lear. A journey that maps the life of ideologies from the French revolution via Marxism to neo-liberalism opens a space to explore what may come next, says Tom Nairn. The hunter’s evidence: An interview with Carlo Ginzburg. An article on the secret world of female circumcision. Creativity and mood: The myth that madness heightens creative genius. In some ways it's strange that President-elect Barack Obama has been bouncing ideas off Chicago economists and counts some of them as his closest advisers. Terry Eagleton reviews The House of Wittgenstein: A Family at War by Alexander Waugh. Michael Shermer v. John Lennox on the Great Debate: Does God exist? From Strange Maps, a look at the ‘claves of Liechtenstein. From the Olympics to urban explosion to the rowdiness of its people, a tour of China is like a trip to 19th-century America. A review of Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles by Richard Dowden. A review of The Eager Dead: A Study in Haunting by Archie E Roy. What should an obit say? Jeff Weinstein investigates. Eels on Wheels: The life history of the eel is more complicated than you think. The host of one of the stupidest television shows in history, " Fear Factor", turns out to be a standup comic of surprising intelligence — go figure.
From First Principles, sharing the wealth: James V. Schall, S.J. on redistributionism. An interview with Mark Juergensmeyer, author of Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State. Jihadists for Obama: What are the Islamist message boards saying about America's next president? Susan Wise Bauer on why public confession speaks to a secular America. From Discover, an article on science's alternative to an intelligent Creator: The multiverse theory. Lee Smolin on how science is like democracy. John Kay on Milton Friedman and the limits of academic pluralism. KC Johnson on Obama and the Campus Left. New studies show academics do not influence their students' politics, but fears run deep. John McWhorter on the Revenge of the Black Nerd: Finally, an end to the myth that being bookish means you’re “acting white”. Can Barack Obama's "No Drama" motto survive the transition? Surgical Prep: Jonathan Cohn on the Democrats' secret health care plan. The new baseball economics: An interview with Craig Calcaterra, Mr. ShysterBall. From The Walrus, an article on the lynching of Louie Sam: In 1884, an American mob brought frontier justice to the Canadian border; and an essay on the Archipelago of Fear: Are fortification and foreign aid making Kabul more dangerous? A review of Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed America by Jay Parini.
From Essays in Philosophy, Per Bauhn (Kalmar): The End of Duty; and Eric Smaw (Rollins): From Chaos to Contractarianism: Hobbes, Pojman, and the Case for World Government; and a review of Inhuman Conditions: On Cosmopolitanism and Human Rights by Pheng Cheah. Paul Rogers on the latest SWISH Report: In light of Barack Obama's victory in the United States presidential election, the al-Qaida movement once more solicits advice from the renowned management consultancy. The US has power — what it needs is authority. A look at how the US can fix its damaged reputation abroad. More on The American Future: A History by Simon Schama. Jeffrey Sachs on how to rebuild America: The era of small government is dead — we need a strong, skillful Washington again to start rebuilding America from the ground up (and an interview). In search of answers to his country's financial crisis, Charles P. Pierce goes to a place where he, and only he, can control his gains and losses. Robert Hepple on the right to equality, then and now. Sinclair on James Bond, the genius of Ian Fleming's literary creation. From the Annals of Improbable Research, can punks grow old gracefully? Millions once moved to California for its boundless promise, but time has not been kind to the Golden State. Here are 5 ways to stop trolls from killing the Internet.
From NYRB, a review of Can't Remember What I Forgot: The Good News from the Front Lines of Memory Research by Sue Halpern; and a review of books on Iraq. Detroit's Big Three are a national disgrace — but we still need to save them. From Counterpunch, RIP: the Experts, 1929-2008. Ed Kilgore on the anatomy of conservative self-deception. Three conservatives plot the future of the GOP, and handicap the chances of Sarah Palin and other 2012 contenders. The green conservative: An interview with Jim DiPeso of Republicans for Environmental Protection. Are human beings hard-wired to ignore the threat of catastrophic climate change? Can science save the world? Martin Rees investigates. From Science News, an article on how to (really) trust a mathematical proof. What really drew Russia and Georgia into conflict this summer? James Rubin wants to know. Of Genital Thieves: Andrian Kreye on the exploration of economic irrationality. Michael Perelman on the hegemony of Internet porn. From TLS, longitude forged: How an eighteenth-century hoax has taken in Dava Sobel and other historians. Selective Testing: Does Big Pharma stand to gain the most from new genetic tests for drug therapy? When the deity knows you're dead: How do different religions define death? A review of The Language of Things by Deyan Sudjic.
From Blogging Heads, Anne-Marie Slaughter and Stephen Walt debate Foreign Policy: Year One. From Progressive to Liberal Internationalism: An article on Congressional liberals and the making of a postwar consensus. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (and three other administration veterans) discuss what President Obama will inherit — and what to look out for. Peter Singer on Obama’s global ethical challenges. Slavoj Zizek on why cynics are wrong: The sublime shock of Obama’s victory. A review of A Great Idea at the Time: The Rise, Fall, and Curious Afterlife of the Great Books by Alex Beam (and more and more and more). An innovative business model plus cross-platform software means that home-made books need never go out of print. A review of On the Side of the Angels: An Appreciation of Parties and Partisanship by Nancy Rosenblum. So what do you do, Dan Savage, alt-weekly editorial director/columnist? Racism is the wrong frame for understanding the passage of California's same-sex marriage ban. Zen and the Art of New York Times Headline Writing: There's nothing to it, except when there is. Ronald Bailey on the food miles mistake: Saving the planet by eating New Zealand apples. From JBooks, what do Jewish-American writers need (really need)? A look at how online games are solving uncomputable problems.
From Intelligent Life, an article on the rise of the journo-gurus. From The New Yorker, a better brew: An article on a the rise of extreme beer; Elizabeth Kolbert on how Bush is rewriting the rules; the perils of efficiency: James Surowiecki on how we created the food crisis; and are violins the last safe investment? Daniel Menaker wants to know. Here are three reasons why Monopoly is the perfect symbol of the financial crisis. The best book of 2008, a masterpiece?: A review of 2666 by Roberto Bolano (and more and more; and from Bookforum, an excerpt from Bolano’s Nazi Literature in the Americas and a review of The Savage Detectives). From New York, the “Bitch” and the “Ditz”: How the Year of the Woman reinforced the two most pernicious sexist stereotypes and actually set women back; building a new WPA: Great architects need a great canvas; New York needs infrastructure; and a lot of people need jobs — a proposal; and for junior capitalists fleeing the financial meltdown, is Dubai, the highly leveraged, hotly speculative Middle Eastern insta-metropolis the last, best place on Earth — or a mirage? A review of The Unprecedented Reach of the Global Citizen by Daniel Drache. Herbert Gintis reviews Jeffrey Alexander's The Civil Sphere and reviews The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt.
From New Scientist, a look at how warfare shaped human evolution. As a recession looms and junk profits boom, a study sheds new light on what makes us fat; the real enemy is corn. An interview with Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers: The Story of Success (and more and more and more and more and more and more and an interview and an excerpt on why Asian children are better at maths). Jacob Weisberg on why Obama should fill his Cabinet with geniuses. From pickin’ cotton to pickin’ presidents: Strange Maps on the same segment of the southern US at different times but with a similar pattern. A review of X-Rated!: The Power of Mythic Symbolism in Popular Culture by Marcel Danesi. Cynthia Crossen on a book in need of a good editor. A review of From the Kitchen to the Parlor: Language and Becoming in African American Women’s Hair Care by Lanita Jacobs-Huey. From Dissent, in Puntin's Russia, many intellectuals have turned toward a new emotionalism — one that has "rejected the worst aspects of postmodernism". From Salon, Walter Shapiro talks to Bill Ayers, the ex-Weather Underground member turned Republican talking point. A threat to its reputation for erudition: National Review faces the twin challenges of re-energizing the conservative movement while trying to stay relevant. Harold Meyerson writes to Roger Ailes: "I'm writing to apologize".
From African American Review, a special issue on theorizing the post-soul aesthetic, including Mario David McKnight (Florida): Afrofuturism and Post-Soul Possibility in Black Popular Music. From Music & Politics, “I compose the Party Rally”: An article on the role of music in Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Will". A review of Alphabet Juice: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret Parts, Tinctures, Tonics, and Essences; With Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory by Roy Blount Jr. From HNN, Harold Holzer on why President-Elect Obama should follow the example of President-Elect Lincoln; an article on the suburban Sunbelt and the making and unmaking of the conservative Republican majority; and did Obama make the South irrelevant? James C. Cobb investigates. Change: Ron Suskind on how political eras end and begin; and the other winner: Howard Dean unleashed the new progressives — can Barack Obama deal with them? Maybe the meltdown’s a guy thing: A study finds raging male hormones pumping up the bull-bear cycle. A review of Desire: Where Sex Meets Addiction by Susan Cheever. Enough with the sweet talk: Forget unfair negative reviews — the real problem is the unfair positive ones. Are cyberattacks warfare? It’s a lot more complicated than you think.