From Conversations with History, an interview with Jeremy Waldron on dignity, human rights, and torture; and an interview with John Perry on the problem of identity. A Defense of the Unreasonable: If you want to understand President Obama's soul, read his books, but if you want to understand his beliefs, read John Rawls. From TAC, David Bromwich on how Burkean conservatism must be as much about civil liberties as property rights; and John Mearsheimer on saving Israel from itself: The creation of a Palestinian homeland is in the Jewish state’s best interest, but will Obama make the case? An excerpt from Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States by Trita Parsi. Laura Secor on Iran’s stolen election. Do elections expose weak states to too much foreign influence? The first chapter from The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates by Peter T. Leeson. If gay marriage isn't such a big deal anymore, then maybe the religious right isn't, either. Who controls the Internet? The United States, for now, and a good thing, too. Here are six ways the financial bailout scams taxpayers. Jim Hightower on why Goldman Sachs is the greediest and most dastardly of the Wall Street pigs. A best sport city contest draws fans worldwide.
From Metapsychology, a review of Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion; a review of Copernicus, Darwin and Freud: Revolutions in the History and Philosophy of Science by Friedel Weinert; and a review of Science Talk: Changing Notions of Science in American Culture by Daniel Patrick Thurs. An interview with Blake Bailey, author of Cheever: A Life (and more; and a review at Bookforum). The Forever Virgins: Even before the Catholic Church had nuns, it had consecrated virgins — and, today, women are choosing and reviving this largely forgotten vocation. Still looking for the western feminists: Women who believe liberal values exploit their sexuality have something much greater to fear — the jackboot of dictatorship. An interview with Ian Bremmer on the rise of state capitalism. A review of The Richness of Art Education by Howard Cannatella. Should we defer to Aristotle or Plato on the potatoness of Pringles, or ask a child? (and a review of Potato: A History of the Propitious Esculent by John Reader). From ARPA, a review of books on unions in the US and Australia. From SSIR, an interview with Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation. Decline and fall: What the Roman Empire and the newspaper industry have in common.
From New York, sex, jazz, and Datsuns: 1959 was a year that left its mark — many marks — on the city and the world. A review of Matteo Pasquinelli's Animal Spirits: A Bestiary of the Commons. Who was Abdul Wahhab? The life of the Islamic cleric who shaped Saudi Arabia. Tony Wright may not be the best known member of the British parliament, but the highly respected politician is arguably its most important back bencher. A review of Responsibility to Protect: The Global Effort to End Mass Atrocities by Alex J. Bellamy. Growing Pains: Watching these actors turn into awkward teenagers before our eyes has lent the films an atmosphere of uncertainty. Here is the curious thing: Ayn Rand, the writer/philosopher/harridan, often cited, less often read, is back. Ha, I'd buy: that A recent study suggests that humor may indeed have a subliminal effect. Long lost relative: A front-page introduction for a 47-million-year-old primate fossil. Power to the People? Some things are best left to undemocratic bodies. From Christianity Today, an essay on the strange place of religion in contemporary art. A panel on The Geopolitics of Emotion: How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation, and Hope are Reshaping the World by Dominique Moisii. Every town has a richest person — do you know who the richest person in your town is?
From Good, why we should encourage — and incentivize — immigrants to rejuvenate our ravaged cities, one thousand-dollar house at a time. From Triple Canopy, utopian modernism turned on its head in Caracas, where residents have made fifty-year-old superblock housing projects into the locus of sprawling improvised settlements; and in 1966, New York's new mayor, John Lindsay, launched a series of far-reaching plans to transform the city, most of which were never realized — Ian Volner and Matico Josephson recover that vision and its lessons for the present day. A review of Gene M. Heyman's Addiction: A Disorder of Choice. The fight to fit back in: When Craig Lewis left his teaching job to fly a helicopter in Iraq, he was risking more than just his life. An article on Chinese political attitudes and values in comparative context. From Cafe Babel, should Britain become America? Lacrosse, created by American Indians and incubated by schools on the East Coast, is showing serious growth. Artificial intelligence is back in fashion, which raises the question: Will computer intelligence surpass our own? It seems that Jim Collins, for all his exacting approaches to time management and research, has been blessed with something he cannot control: repeated bouts of flat-out luck.
From TED, Jay Walker explains why two billion people around the world are trying to learn English. A review of In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build a Perfect Language by Arika Okrent (and more). Knockabout popular debate appeals to few scholars, but if intellectuals disappear from the public eye, academia may suffer. A review of How to Win a Cosmic War by Reza Aslan. Giles Fraser doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry about the absence of humour in much thinking about religion today. Thumbs down from film critics? Studios find some love on the Internet. What do former beauty queens do once they've healed humanity of all its ills? A review of Fear of Music: Why People Get Rothko But Don’t Get Stockhausen by David Stubbs. Here's a top 10 list of the planet's evil greens. What would Martin Luther King Jr. — had he been alive today — thought of our latest president’s oratory? A review of History, Historians, and Conservatism in Britain and America: From the Great War to Thatcher and Reagan by Reba Soffer. Here's love letter to the Interstate System. A newspaper stole my grandmother: A writer's family history runs smack into the concept of plagiarism in the post-Google age.
From New Scientist, an article on the science of voodoo: When mind attacks body. Francis Bacon believed there was beauty in the colour of meat, and it was possible "to be optimistic and totally without hope" (and more on Bacon at Bookforum). Is your flirting a disaster? It's official — men can't tell when women fancy them. From TED, Mary Roach on 10 things you didn't know about orgasm. Do narcissists have better sex? People commit adultery all the time, but what makes us so suspicious of faithful partners? The real lab rats: Three books on research fraud and misconduct illustrate the human personalities and emotions that lie behind hard science. Is a degree in homeopathy a sick joke? Scientists say there's almost no evidence that any of it works. A review of The Global Assault on Teaching, Teachers, and Their Unions: Stories for Resistance. True Grits: Why soul food is actually good for you. Child Soldiers: What human rights activists never tell you about young killers. Just as John Howard Griffin attempted to expose racism, Jake Nyberg hopes to expose "mulletism", the mistreatment of mulleted Americans. Bruce who?: A review of Wing Chun Warrior by Ken Ing. Why Donald Duck is the Jerry Lewis of Germany: The cartoon character turns philosophical in translation.
From Fortune, an article on the end of blogging: The way we communicate is changing at a breakneck pace, and don't expect it to slow down; and men are from Facebook, women are from Twitter? Studies show the genders really are different online. Peter Osnos on why the Times blew Watergate. A Defense of Quiet Loners: With every high profile murder one expects to read some rattled neighbor saying the suspected killer was "a quiet man who kept to himself". At MIT's fabled Media Lab, some will change the world with robots and computers, others with Wii guitars. A review of Global Justice: A Cosmopolitan Account by Gillian Brock. A review of Satire TV: Politics and Comedy in the Post-Network Era by Jonathan Gray, Jeffrey Jones, and Ethan Thompson. Lynn Barber describes her introduction to an adult world of sexuality and betrayal and how she was damaged by her suitor's lessons in life. Ange Mlinko reviews Hollywood & God by Robert Polito and Assorted Poems by Susan Wheeler. Christopher Buckley on how Joe Scarborough can save the GOP (and more). From Metapsychology, a review of The Case Against Punishment: Retribution, Crime Prevention, and the Law by Deirdre Golash; and a review of The Problem of Punishment by David Boonin.
From Guernica, an interview with Mahmood Mamdani on the genocide myth (and more and more and a review); and Ken Wiwa, Jr., and Richard North Patterson discuss Ken Saro-Wiwa’s legacy and the upcoming landmark trial. A review of Red Lights: The Lives of Sex Workers in Postsocialist China by Tiantian Zheng. A review of To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise by Bethany Moreton. From The Black Commentator, a look at what blacks can learn from gays. Once a relic of the aristocratic age, multiple surnames have a new lease of life. A review of Enlightening: Letters 1946-1960 by Isaiah Berlin. It's gotten a bad rap over the last few weeks, but graduation season is the perfect time to remember that empathy may be society's best hope. Peak-Oil Prophet: An interview with James Howard Kunstler on food, fuel and why he became an almost vegan. Either commit suicide or start giggling: An interview with Andrei Codrescu, author of The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tzara & Lenin Play Chess. More on Animal Spirits by George A. Akerlof and Robert J. Shiller. A review of Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed by Brian Cronin. A review of Gun Control on Trial: Inside the Supreme Court Battle Over the Second Amendment by Brian Doherty.
A new issue of h+ is out. Toxic to Democracy: Chip Berlet on conspiracy theories, demonization, and scapegoating. Thomas Frank on how a murder fed conspiracy theories about the liberal media. From Standpoint, Nick Cohen on the Golden Age of Conspiracy; and an essay on intellectual life under Obama. Heresy on the Right: A handful of new Web sites try to rewire conservative media. Research suggests conservatives are more easily disgusted. What do Pope John Paul II and Hugh Hefner have in common? A review of Good News About Sex and Marriage: Answers to Your Honest Questions About Catholic Teaching by Christopher West. Have the days of Christian media come and gone? From The Weekly Standard, a look at how the least pious among us are the fastest growing group in the country; Post-Modern Prophet: Meet Donald Miller, the Evangelical Left's poster-boy; and Andrew Stuttaford on America's real power struggle: super rich liberals vs. ordinary plutocrats. A review of Origins of the Specious: Myths and Misconceptions of the English Language by Patricia O'Conner and Stewart Kellerman. From Wired, bullion and bandits: An article on the improbable rise and fall of e-gold; and in his 25-plus years as a Texas state senator, John Whitmire had never received a phone call like this one.
From Vanity Fair, talking to students, alumnae, and the headmistress, Evgenia Peretz discovers that Tatum Bass, a student at Miss Porter’s School, in Farmington, Connecticut, violated a deep, unspoken code. An excerpt from Bite the Hand That Feeds You: Essays and Provocations by Henry Fairlie. A review of The Unfinished Game: Pascal, Fermat and the Seventeenth-Century Letter that Made the World Modern by Keith Devlin. Can you run a government with prediction markets? They actually might be useful for all kinds of political and business decisions. The starting gun for a student movement: The news that Benno Ohnesorg was shot by a Stasi spy sheds new light on the birth of '68 (and more). Highborn Fools: A review of books by Duc de Saint-Simon. How much will the financial crisis hurt America’s economic potential? Obsessive Housing Disorder: Nearly a century of Washington’s efforts to promote homeownership has produced one calamity after another. How much is a dead Nigerian worth to Shell? A look at how attractiveness enhances income prospects. Wrong Again: Why Naomi Wolf needs to update her knowledge of feminism. A review of David Sedley's Creationism and Its Critics in Antiquity. Jessa Crispin reviews Wrath of Angels: The American Abortion War by Jim Risen and Judy Thomas.