From the Journal of Global History, a review of Pathfinders: a global history of exploration by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto; a review of Bound together: how traders, preachers, adventurers, and warriors shaped globalization by Nayan Chanda; a review of Dictating development: how Europe shaped the global periphery by Jonathan Krieckhaus; and a review of The shock of the old: technology and global history since 1900 by David Edgerton. From Think, Paul Kurtz (SUNY-Buffalo): Why I am a Skeptic About Religious Claims; Lisa Bortolotti (Birmingham): What Does Fido Believe? A review of Farm Friends: From the Late Sixties to the West Seventies and Beyond by Tom Fels. From New Statesman, a look why greens must learn to love nuclear power. When two intrepid women set out to slay the Wedding Industrial Complex, things get complicated fast. A review of The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul by Mario Beauregard and Denyse O’Leary. The introduction to Public Freedom by Dana Villa. A review of The Eagle and the Crown: Americans and the British Monarchy by Frank Prochaska and In Defence of America by Bronwen Maddox. A review of Tell Me How This Ends: General David Petraeus and the Search for a Way Out of Iraq by Linda Robinson.
Vanity Fair goes inside Colombia’s hostage war. From Psychology Today, coddled from infancy and raised to be academic machines, China's only children expect the world — now they're buckling under the pressure of their parents' deferred dreams; and why are millions of Japanese youths hiding from friends and family? A review of How Sadness Survived: The Evolutionary Basis of Depression by Paul Keedwell. A review of Clean: A History of Personal Hygiene and Purity by Virginia Smith and The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History by Katherine Ashenburg. A review of Sensory History: Seeing, Hearing, Smelling, Tasting, and Touching in History by Mark M. Smith. A review of books on loneliness. Tom Davis Gives Up: He was a star in the Republican Party; now, like dozens of his G.O.P. colleagues, he’s quitting Congress, fed up with his party, his president and the process. A review of Right is Wrong by Arianna Huffington and Why We're Liberals by Eric Alterman. A review of The Race between Education and Technology by Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz. An excerpt from Enemies of Intelligence: Knowledge and Power in American National Security by Richard K. Betts. A review of Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are by Rob Walker (and an interview).
Here's CQ’s guide to all of the races. From TLS, a review of books on Lucretius; and a review of books on what the West makes of Chinese science. Naked ambition: Here's a step-by-step guide on the secrets for success in the Playboy empire. A review of Mr. Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream by Steven Watts (and more). The New Larry Flynt: Strip-club king Joe Redner is Florida's unlikeliest folk hero. From Policy Innovations, an article on the founding of Transparency International: A global campaign against corruption takes form. A review of Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You by Sam Gosling (and more and more and more). Everett Ehrlich and Felix Rohatyn on a new bank to save our infrastructure. The One-Man Wall: How a single Arizona legislator's obsession has changed immigration policy for the worse. A review of The Idea of a European Superstate: Public Justification and European Integration by Glyn Morgan. From TED, Steven Pinker on language and how it expresses what goes on in our minds; and Noah Feldman on how politics and religion are technologies. A review of Blue Dixie: Awakening the South's Democratic Majority by Bob Moser. An interview with Dave Zirin, author of A People’s History of Sports in the United States. From Cracked, here are the 10 Commandments of Facebook
Keally McBride (USF): State of Insecurity: The Trial of Job and Secular Political Order. We are not yet done screwing up this planet, OK? Scott Feschuk shall teach the tribe of philosophy and the miracle of fire, of triumphs like the McRib. Climate engineering will not be perfect, but who thought it would be? A review of Fixing Climate: What Past Climate Changes Reveal About the Current Threat—And How to Counter It by Wallace Broecker (and an interview). What does volume 140 of Harvard Law Review reveal about Obama's future career? From Communalism, an essay on Murray Bookchin’s originality. A look at why running "on the record" is harder than you think. A review of The Political Mind by George Lakoff (and more on the mind and the Obama magic, and more and more). How much do Republican-leaning corporations benefit from Republican political success? A review of Provoking Democracy: Why We Need the Arts by Caroline Levine. Here's a look at 5 myths about lobbyists. Thomas Friedman on Palin’s kind of patriotism. An interview with BHL on McCain, Obama and the Left. Here are four ways McCain might be able to turn it around and win. Patricia Williams on the politics of Michelle Obama's hair. The Philadelphia Story: Obama finally speaks to an inner-city crowd — and it could not have been more different than McCain's recent events.
From Esquire, Noah Feldman on the end of the war on terror. Is Petraeus "beyond naive"? He thinks we should negotiate with our enemies — just like Barack Obama. Retired generals of the Israeli Defense Forces and high-ranking Mossad officials on Obama. Shashi Tharoor on why India loves Bush. An interview with Andrew Bacevich on the end of exceptionalism (and more). Dahlia Lithwick on bringing Guantanamo home: The lawlessness abroad was never very far from home. A review of Bush's Law: The Remaking of American Justice by Eric Lichtblau (and more). Spying on Americans without warrants, charges based on secret evidence: Welcome to the world of Bush's "specially designated global terrorists". The next president must free us from Bush's freedom agenda, but that's not an excuse to disengage from the world. A review of The Freedom Agenda: Why America Must Spread Democracy (Just Not the Way George Bush Did) by James Traub. George W. Bush as Harry S. Truman? Robert Dallek says no. Here's an extremely abridged history of the George W. Bush presidency. In his final months in office, Bush is burdened but still confident. Arianna Huffington thinks George Bush is a criminal. The Bush administration prized loyalty over competence; the next White House team will do the opposite. More and more and more and more and more on Angler by Barton Gellman.
From LRB, having fully indulged their greed on the way up, and created the risks, the bankers are now fully indulging their fear on the way down, and allowing the system to seize up. How fear is making the financial catastrophe worse than it needs to be. Don't watch the Dow: Here’s the number that really captures the financial crisis. The Fed has historically been the lender of last resort to banks — now it’s becoming the lender of last resort to everyone. From Counterpunch, Chris Floyd on The God That Failed: The 30-year lie of the market cult. More on The Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs by Charles D. Ellis. A review of Transcending Capitalism: Visions of a New Society in Modern American Thought by Howard Brick and American Capitalism: Social Thought and Political Economy in the Twentieth Century. From YaleGlobal, article on the global crisis: How far to go? (and part 2 and part 3). From Big Think, Joseph Stiglitz links the economy to the Iraq war; and why Niall Ferguson is a pessimist: The economic historian outlines the three historical factors that lead to international conflict. An interview with George Soros: The end of the financial crisis could be in sight. The current crisis is clearly one of those times when we can’t wait for science to catch up to common sense. Rick Shenkman on American democracy and the 10 alarm fire we're ignoring (and more).
From NPQ, a special section on the fraying seams of globalization, with essays by Naomi Klein, Robert Reich, Francis Fukuyama and Joseph Stiglitz. From New Internationalist, what are the West’s nuclear weapons actually for? From Wired, an article on how to visit a secret nuclear bunker. Terry Eagleton on how the age-old conflict between civilisation and barbarism has lately taken an ominous turn. A review of Vote For Caesar: How the Ancient Greeks and Romans Solved the Problems of Today by Peter Jones. From TLS, an article on Clive Sinclair's po-mo Wild West. Can there be great composers anymore? Webster Young wants to know. A review of Philosophical Perspectives on Art by Stephen Davies. More on Planet Google: One Company’s Audacious Plan to Organize Everything We Know by Randall Stross. A review of Lenin's Brain and Other Tales from the Soviet Archives by Paul R. Gregory. An article by Alain de Botton on the idea of home. A closet full of monsters is a scary place where "straight people" can safely negotiate and articulate their fascination and/or dread of "difference" in sexual preferences. Sorry, Fido, it’s just a guy thing: More men are unabashedly embracing their love of cats. Creative thinking key to economic future: "Mickey Mouse" courses are the first to respond to worldwide shortages of graduates vital to the creative economy.
Andrew Koppelman (Northwestern): Is Pornography "Speech"? As more countries move to ban or restrict hate speech, some legal scholars say the US should reconsider the broad scope of First Amendment protection. An excerpt from Shock Jocks: Hate Speech and Talk Radio by Rory O'Connor with Aaron Cutler. How did Stephen Colbert become a progressive political force? An interview with Theodore Hamm, author of The New Blue Media. A review of Germany's New Right as Culture and Politics by Roger Woods. Cultural Learnings of Kazakhstan: Officials are frustrated by their most famous "citizen", Borat. Human rights campaigner Fiona Watson went to Brazil to meet recently contacted tribespeople. A review of The Sovereign Map: Theoretical Approaches in Cartography through History by Christian Jacob. From Vox, the economic case for prompt and powerful measures to mitigate climate changes is overwhelming once discounting and equity concerns are properly modelled. Harnessing the weather: Could new technology help humans eliminate "acts of God"? Today's government systems were built to cure the ills of the 19th century's spoils system, but what was a good idea a hundred years ago is not what we need now. A review of The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist's Guide to Success in Business and Life by Avinash K. Dixit and Barry J. Nalebuff.
From Policy Review, Peter Berkowitz on Leviathan Then and Now: The latter-day importance of Hobbes’s masterpiece; and a review of Edmund Burke: Volumes I & II. Kwame Anthony Appiah wants you to turn to philosophy. A review of The Really Hard Problem: Meaning in a Material World by Owen Flanagan. From Dissent, Carlos Fraenkel on teaching Aristotle in Indonesia. From NDPR, a review of French Theory: How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, & Co. Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United States by Francois Cusset. A review of Philosophers Without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life. From the latest issue of NPQ, Nathan Gardels on the challenges of non-Western and post-secular modernity; Jurgen Habermas on post-secular society and Regis Debray on God and the political planet. O death, when is thy sting: Some bioethicists reckon that the definition of death is starting to embrace the living; indeed, some reckon that it should. Mysterious DNA found to survive eons of evolution. Do intelligent men have better sperm? A look at how DNA could reveal your surname. From Dissent, zipped trousers, crossed legs, and magical thinking: An article on sex education in the Age of Aids. From Cato Unbound, the proposition that Charles Murray hereby lays before the house is that the BA degree is the work of the devil.
From Harper's, the specter of a no-growth world: A review of The Age of Abundance: How Prosperity Transformed America’s Politics and Culture by Brink Lindsey; The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth by Benjamin M. Friedman; and Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben. From TNR, Cass Sunstein on why policymakers need to understand psychology as much as economics to solve the financial crisis. How the philosophies of a physicist, a wizard and a serial killer warned us of this financial crisis. Harold Bloom on how financial panic influenced the philosophies of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Prosperity theology: Can we blame a Christian branch of evangelicalism for the U.S.'s subprime crisis? Looking for someone to blame in the worsening crisis? Let's go back to Bedford Falls. Rampant consumerism nearly killed off civil society, says Benjamin Barber, but the financial crisis offers us a chance to make amends. How we got in over our heads: Johnna Montgomerie argues our high levels of consumer debt derive more from political decisions than from economic conditions. From the John Templeton Foundation, does the free market corrode moral character? Jagdish Bhagwati, Michael Walzer, Tyler Cowen and others respond. Have yourself committed: The market, combined with technology, can help you help yourself.