From The Washingtonian, Joe Biden is now a heartbeat away from the presidency — his life has been full of surprising highs and extraordinary lows; how social networks, bloggers, “macaca moments,” and other products of the new technology are changing politics — and presidential campaigns; a look at what happens when you call 911 in Washington, DC; and an article on journalists' secret lives. The cancer drug Herceptin saved Virginia Postrel’s life; it also cost $60,000 — would health-care reform put it, and other expensive new drugs, out of reach? More on The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V. S. Naipaul by Patrick French (and more from Bookforum). A review of The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization by Jonathan Lyons (and more). An interview with James Boyle, author of The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind. Entwined contemplations of author Chris Hedges (War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning) and former ad-man Bruce Bauman, and their respective relationships to the essay’s author (a ne’er-do-well novelist and ex-soldier). Casualty and other war statistics suggest that despite terrorism’s terrible toll, the New World Order really has created a more secure world. When did the Great Depression receive its name? (and who named it?) More on Stefan Collini's Absent Minds.
From The Nation, sallow, queer, sagacious: A review of The Lincoln Anthology: Great Writers on His Life and Legacy From 1860 to Now; and Abraham Lincoln in the Post-Heroic Era: History and Memory in Late Twentieth-Century America by Barry Schwartz; and a review of The Politics of Truth: Selected Writings of C. Wright Mills. From H-Net, a review of Creating the National Security State: A History of the Law That Transformed America by Douglas Stuart; and a a review of Philosophical Perspectives on the "War on Terrorism". Paul Pillar on how to discourage the speaking of truth to power: The damage done by the Chas Freeman saga. Will George Bush’s presidential center be for scholars or for the pursuit of the former president’s policies? The final mystery of a tantalisingly incomplete novel by Charles Dickens, both a global celebrity and the epitome of an era, continues to move our hearts nearly two centuries after his birth. Are we ready to use Wikipedia? The popular online encyclopedia — much derided by many professors — can provide guidance that no instructor alone can offer. President Obama has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape Americans' attitudes about their government, though Obama's job is harder than FDR's (and more). You, only different: Why do girlfriends and wives keep trying to change their men?
From the International Journal on Multicultural Societies, a special issue on Citizenship Tests in a Post-National Era. John W. Stickels (UTA): The Victim Satisfaction Model of the Criminal Justice System. A review of The Apology Ritual: A Philosophical Theory of Punishment by Christopher Bennett. A deeper look at “justice” takes us to the hearts of deeply opposed philosophies: Are you a retributivist? A utilitarian? Neither position provides a perfect defense of our desire to punish people. From Cato Unbound, Glenn Loury on A Nation of Jailers. From FT, an article on the case for a Glass-Steagall "lite". From Plus, an article on understanding uncertainty: 2845 ways of spinning risk. "This Week at War" is a weekly feature at Foreign Policy, reviewing what's hot in small wars, and at Small Wars Journal; and criminal activity is spreading to some surprising places and groups — here are five crime waves that authorities never saw coming. To Kindle or not to Kindle? Scott McLemee thinks that's not really the question. Matthew Yglesias reviews Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. Ross Douthat, the college years: A look at the newest New York Times columnist’s undergrad writing. From Bookforum, a roundtable on The New Geography by Jeffrey Kastner, Tom McCarthy, Nato Thompson, and Eyal Weizman.
From FT, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is the book that’s in and out of fashion (and more from Portfolio); and Paul Kennedy on reading the big four — Smith, Marx, Schumpeter, and Keynes — to know capital’s fate. Alan Wolfe on Obama vs. Marx (Hint: One of them's not a socialist). From NPR, is capitalism dead? Yes, no, maybe (though worldwide, there are hardly any socialists in positions of power). Is this really the end of neoliberalism? David Harvey investigates (and more and more). From International Socialism, Marxism and ethics; and where is the radical left going? Alex Callinicos investigates. From Canadian Dimension, if twenty-first century socialism differs from yesterday’s, what is it? From Green Left Weekly, a review of The Challenge and Burden of Historical Time: Socialism in the Twenty-First Century by Istvan Meszaros; an essay on the rise of "socialism for the 21st century"; an interview with John Bellamy Foster on capitalism’s burning house; a review of Meltdown! A Socialist View of the Capitalist Crisis; a look at Karl Marx the ecologist (and more); and a review of Hell & High Water: Climate Change, Hope & the Human Condition by Alastair McIntosh. Does Malthus or Marx have the best solution for global population growth? Al Gore did not invent the Internet, but with the advent of his .eco domain, he could lay claim to inventing a "green Internet" (and more).
From First Principles, a symposium on the cultural impact of Obama and the New Progressivism, on economics, on education and on technocracy. Don't write off America: It's fashionable to say the US is in terminal decline; don't bet on it — still less wish for it. Is the battle for same-sex marriage worth it? Here's William Rusher's final column. Neither moderate nor centrist: Peter Robinson on how Buckley, Gergen and Brooks finally realized Barack Obama's left leanings (and a response by Buckley). Alan Wolfe on conservatism in the Age of Wurzelbacher. Intellectuals at the gates: A review of Democracy Denied, 1905–1915: Intellectuals and the Fate of Democracy by Charles Kurzman. A review of The 10000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution by Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending (and more and more). The end of alone: At our desk, on the road, or on a remote beach, the world is a tap away — it's so cool, and yet it's not. A review of Who Does This Language Belong To? by Avital Feuer. The future of reading: In Web age, library job gets update. Last year a single letter written by Albert Einstein changed hands for over $400,000, but could a printout of an email or an electronic file ever reach similar heights? The art of the con, learning from Bernard Madoff: A skeptic's advice on how to avoid falling prey to con artists (and more from John Allen Paulos).
Daniel B. Klein (GMU) and Charlotta Stern (Stockholm): Groupthink in Academia: Majoritarian Departmental Politics and the Professional Pyramid. From FP, Nathan Brown on how Middle East peacemaking has failed — it’s time for Plan B; and from Tokyo to Riyadh, governments are pouring billions into their economies — find out who stands to gain the most and who's out of luck. Barrett Brown on Thomas Friedman’s five worst predictions. From Literary Review, a review of Hot Flushes, Cold Science: A History of the Modern Menopause by Louise Foxcroft; and a review of Why Us? How Science Rediscovered the Mystery of Ourselves by James Le Fanu. The long and winding road to an MA in Beatles songs: Liverpool Hope University launches UK's first master's course in fab four studies (and more and a quiz). Organic and local is so 2008: Our industrial food system is rotten to the core; heirloom arugula won't save us — here's what will. A look at how Mother Jones is testing the nonprofit model in a race to survive the recession. From The Atlantic, resisting the Kindle: Sven Birkerts comments on what we lose in the page-to-screen transfer; and in defense of the Kindle: Rare books librarian Matthew Battles contends that the Amazon Kindle will promote the culture of letters, not undermine it. Whatever happened to cinephilia? Does it still exist? Scott McLemee wants to know.
From TLS, the ultimate French intellectual: A review of Paul Valery by Michel Jarrety; a review of The Letters of Samuel Beckett: Volume 1, 1929-1940; and what would Conor Cruise O'Brien, the prophetic analyst of Irish militancy, have made of recent events in Northern Ireland? The Czech novelist Milan Kundera is accused of informing on an anti-communist as a student; is there any truth in the charge? An excerpt from The Subversive Copy Editor Advice from Chicago (or, How to Negotiate Good Relationships with Your Writers, Your Colleagues, and Yourself) by Carol Fisher Saller. From OJR, a look at how the Web can help the WaPo (and other papers) write a new chapter about the world of books. Get off the bus: Amanda Michel on the future of pro-am journalism. America's Shame: When are we going to do something about global poverty? Peter Singer wants to know. Is pop culture bad? Queries like this tempt academics to make use of one of several ploys. A review of Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America by Jeff Wiltse. Here are two excerpts from The Posthuman Dada Guide: tzara and lenin play chess by Andrei Codrescu. Agonies of the Twitterati: More on Elsewhere, U.S.A. by Dalton Conley (and more from Bookforum). If Harvard MBAs are all so clever, how come so many are now in disgrace?
From Dissent, should we still make things? A symposium with contributions by Marcellus Andrews, Dean Baker, Susan Helper and Jeff Madrick. Here's David Miller's introduction to Thinking Politically: Essays in Political Theory by Michael Walzer. The ICC's indictment of Sudan's president for war crimes may have done nothing other than ruin his holiday plans — but at least that's a start. The activist: An article on Alex de Waal, among the war criminals. From TPM, an index of reports produced by "idea factory" Office of Net Assessment over the past 20 years provides a window into the thinking and concerns at the highest levels of the Defense Department. The Terminator comes to Wall Street: How computer modeling worsened the financial crisis and what we ought to do about it. A review of Philosophy, Black Film, Film Noir by Dan Flory. More and more and more and more and more and more on Snark by David Denby. From NYRB, a review of Let's See: Writings on Art from The New Yorker by Peter Schjeldah. Abu Ghraib investigator Antonio Taguba talks to Salon about why he backs a commission to examine Bush torture policies. "I was Kim Jong Il's teacher": Few people have the chance to watch a shy young man grow into a ruthless dictator — and live to talk about it. Anchors away: A look at the strange resilience of the local TV personality.
From Turbulence, a special issue on Present Tense, Future Conditional, including an interview with Felix Guattari: "There is no scope for futurology; history will decide". Back to the land: Why moving to the country will save us all. An interview with Tim Carney, author of The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money. A look at what today’s veterans can learn from tales of the Trojan War. From The Politic, an interview with Stephen Skowronek, author of The Politics Presidents Make: Leadership from John Adams to Bill Clinton; an interview with Gary Sick, author of All Fall Down: America’s Tragic Encounter With Iran. A review of The Ethics of Emmanuel Levinas by Diane Perpich. From World Watch, unnatural increase?: An essay on reducing family size and birthrates; and our panarchic future: An excerpt from The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization by Thomas Homer-Dixon. A review of A Movable Feast: Ten Millennia of Food Globalization by Kenneth Kiple. From EnlightenNext, a special issue on Constructing the New Man. From SciAm, a look at how renewable energy and storage solutions stack up; and does exercise really make you healthier? From Moment, an interview with Aaron David Miller, author of The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace (and more from Bookforum).
From The University Bookman, Katherine Dalton on the "Time" of Elizabeth Madox Roberts; an essay on Newton Booth Tarkington, neglected Hoosier; an article on Robert Traver: Anatomy of a Fisherman; a review of Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power, and Lies by Ginger Strand; a review of Say It One Time for the Broken Hearted: Country Soul in the American South by Barney Hoskyns; Donald Davidson and the South’s conservatism: An excerpt from Russell Kirk's The Politics of Prudence; a review of Contrary Country: A Chronicle of Vermont by Ralph Nading Hill; Gerald Russello in on Brooklyn’s side; and an interview with Christine Rosen on examining our technological assumptions. Is talk cheap? Thomas Sowell on Barack and Adolf. An article on the slow death of handwriting. From SciAm, a special section on the science of love. From The Futurist, two British researchers offer an ambitious plan to save the world from global warming; Reinventing morality: Evolutionary biology and neuroscience are adding to our understanding of a historically unscientific area (and an interview with Marc Hauser); a review of Imagining America in 2033: How the Country Put Itself Together after Bush by Herbert J. Gans; and a review of Free Market Madness: Why Human Nature Is at Odds with Economics — And Why It Matters by Peter A. Ubel.