A new issue of Public Diplomacy is out. An interview with Denis Antoine, author of Effective Diplomacy. From University World News, a profile of Manuel Castells, theorist of power (and more and more). How the sleazy used-car salesmen at Goldman Sachs tricked investors into buying their busted clunkers. Do book editors deserve a cut of the profits? Publish or Perish: Can the iPad topple the Kindle, and save the book business? Dana Rohrabacher's War: In the '80s he took up arms with Afghanistan's mujahideen; now the California Republican is fighting against Obama's surge. A Space Oddity: How an Afghan pilot became a cosmonaut — and a fugitive. David Haglund reviews Everything Matters! by Ron Currie Jr. The Last Yugoslav: A review of Terror and Joy: The Films of Dusan Makavejev by Lorraine Mortimer. Are newspaper critics old hat amid the flood of online critics? Four and twenty: Here are excerpts from Marijuana Magazine’s special issues. The introduction to What's Eating You? People and Parasites by Eugene Kaplan. Channelling Ike: Richard Rayner on Stephen Ambrose’s imagined encounters with Eisenhower. Beauty and the Beast: Not everyone is drop-dead gorgeous, but everyone is intent on pointing that out. A review of The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture by Terry O’Reilly and Mike Tennant. The growing belief that the Internet has led to an increasingly fragmented and polarized media market may be contradicted by new research. Tweet Tweet Boom Boom: A growing community of young, sunny social-media entrepreneurs are inventing ways to amplify the urban experience with technology; in the process, they may be finally turning NY into a true tech town. The Imitation Economy: Innovation is overrated — it's time to appreciate the power of the copycat.
From The American Spectator, Quin Hillyer on the problem with Palin; R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. on conservatism and ideology; and Ben Stein on liberals then and now. From TAP, how conservative Christians get around health-care reform's individual mandate; and when we mock politicians who are outed as gay, who are we really shaming, and are we decrying homophobia — or fueling it? The Fox News Tribe: More than ever, conservatives are working to cast liberals as the other. From TNR, Barry Friedman and Jeffrey Rosen on the battle over the Court: How the right and the left learned to love judicial activism. A new wave of American populism could be good for the Jews. An interview with Charlotte Dennett, author of The People v. Bush: One Lawyer’s Campaign to Bring the President to Justice and the National Grassroots Movement She Encounters Along the Way (and more). Power struggle: Ryan Grim and Arthur Delaney go inside the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party. An interview with Arthur C. Brooks, author of The Battle: How the Fight Between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America’s Future. Thomas Frank on conservatives and the market for alienation: The GOP claims to speak for the working man. Free the Forbes 400: Dan Milbank on the Tea Party's elite populism. Judicial Drama: Why you don't need to pay attention to Supreme Court confirmation hearings. From National Review, Michael Knox Beran on the descent of Liberalism. Strategies that rely on insider influence can't deliver large-scale change — but mobilizations outside government can. A review of Beyond the Echo Chamber: Reshaping Politics through Networked Progressive Media by Jessica Clark and Tracy Van Slyke (and more). Meet your candidate: Idaho cartoon villain Harley D. Brown will save Congress.
From Obit, a review of Greg Critser’s Eternity Soup: Inside the Quest to End Aging; different ways to honor the dead: The age of someone’s demise affects the way we say goodbye; and mourning in the 21st century: What form says you’re sorry for their loss? A review of Dying to Know: Bringing Death to Life by Jane Tewson. A review of Surviving Death by Mark Johnston. What implications might technological advances have on our current definition of clinical death? An interview with Michael de Ridder, author of How Do We Want To Die? There’s a time, from when someone dies to when they magically pop up at the funeral or the cemetery or as a bag of ashes, that remains a black hole, invisible to the rest of the world, and everyone’s happy with the arrangement. An interview with David Eagleman: "We won't die — our consciousness will live forever on the internet". Alix Strauss on her book Death Becomes Them: Unearthing the Suicides of the Brilliant, the Famous and the Notorious. A review of No Good Deed: A Story of Medicine, Murder Accusations, and the Debate Over How We Die by Lewis Cohen. An excerpt from Last Words of the Executed by Robert K. Elder. Near-death experiences explained: Bright lights and angels seen at the brink of death are the products of too much carbon dioxide in the blood. A review of Life After Death: The Evidence by Dinesh D'Souza. A review of After Lives: A Guide to Heaven, Hell and Purgatory by John Casey. Robert Brockway on functional immortality in humans. In the last stage of life, even with the cheeriest outlook, it isn’t easy to keep thoughts of death at bay. Robert Brockway, author of Everything Is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, on isolating the human longevity gene (so we can abuse the crap out of it).
From Skeptic, William D. Stansfield on Punxsutawney Phil and animal weather predictions. An excerpt from Wild Moments: Adventures with Animals of the North. An interview with Philip Hoare, author of The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). This place is a zoo: The Rosaires love their animals like family. A review of The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies by Bert Holldobler and Edward O. Wilson. A review of To Sea and Back: The Heroic Life of the Atlantic Salmon by Richard Shelton. A review of Being With Animals: Why We Are Obsessed with the Furry, Scaly, Feathered Creatures Who Populate Our World by Barbara J. King. A review of Insectopedia by Hugh Raffles (and more). Stephen DeStefano explains his book Coyote at the Kitchen Door: Living with Wildlife in Suburbia. From The Humanist, humanism is under attack in the academy for its assumption of man’s superiority over animals; and the human finger points the way to what makes us truly human, says Raymond Tallis. Lawyers for animals?: Up for a vote in Switzerland. Smile: You're an animal on a Web cam. In dog-speak, "grrrr" can mean different things: Dogs have special growls for different occasions, and other dogs can tell the difference. More on Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz. Form NYRB, Tim Flannery reviews books on animals. Dead Dogs: Colin Dayan on breed bans, euthanasia, and preemptive justice. From Forward, an article on Jews and animals, a very modern story. A review of Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism by Melanie Joy. A review of Nasty, Brutish and Short: The Quirks & Quarks Guide to Animal Sex and Other Weird Behaviour by Pat Senson.
From Education, Franklin Thompson and William Austin (Nebraska): The Gender Role Perceptions of Male Students at a Prestigious, Single-gender, Catholic High School; and Kyle McCallumore, Ervin Sparapani (SVSU): The Importance of the Ninth Grade on High School Graduation Rates and Student Success in High School. Redesigning education: An article on rethinking the school corridor. Accountability in education is here to stay — but you try creating tests that equally suit Texans and Hawaiians. Forcing all high school students onto a college-prep track is not only wrong, it's dumb. The boys have fallen behind: Encouraging boys to read books about monsters and explosions could help improve their faltering verbal skills. Dana Goldstein on kids' dismal reading scores — and a movement to get them to put down Twilight and pick up nonfiction. Mark Bauerlein on avoidance of nonfiction in schools. A review of Making the Grades: My Misadventures in the Standardized Testing Industry by Todd Farley. A review of Free for All: Fixing School Food in America by Janet Poppendieck (and more and more and more). New insights into the nature of learning, memory, and intelligence may prove valuable in the classroom. Diane Ravitch on a new agenda for school reform (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more on The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education and a symposium at TNR). Education in Nihilism: A broadside on a political and social structure that undermines free public education at every opportunity. A review of Public Education — America’s Civil Religion: A Social History by Carl Bankston and Stephen Caldas. An interview with Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach For America.
Jonathan B. Tucker (Monterey): The Future of Chemical Weapons. From Strategic Studies Quarterly, Phillip M. McCauley and Rodger A. Payne (Louisville): The Illogic of the Biological Weapons Taboo. Johnny Golding (Greenwich): Fractal Philosophy (and the small matter of learning how to listen): Attunement as the Task of Art. Here are sample chapters from Measuring Justice Primary Goods and Capabilities, ed. Harry Brighouse and Ingrid Robeyns. A review of The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community by Diana Pavlac Glyer and Narnia and the Fields of Arbol: The Environmental Vision of C.S. Lewis by Matthew Dickerson and David O'Hara. How will the Obama administration respond to a formal complaint in the wake of serious black-on-Asian violence at South Philadelphia High School? A review of The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar (and more and more and more). How Turkey manufactured a coup plot: The case of Cetin Dogan, a prominent Turkish Army general accused of conspiring against the government, suggests an ominous future for the country's democracy. A bushel of facts about the uniqueness of human pubic hair. An interview with Ben Wildavsky, author of The Great Brain Race: How Global Universities Are Reshaping the World (and more). Anthony de Jasay on the justice that overrules the rules of justice. The Las Vegas Sun deconstructs the facade of John Ensign. From Vanity Fair, with an insider’s look at the recent travails of several noble families, including his own, Charles Spencer fears for the future of stately homes — like Althorp, seat of the Spencers since 1508. A review of The Age of Absurdity: Why Modern Life Makes It Hard to Be Happy by Michael Foley. Fuck Church: Japan’s Little Pebble commune shows God how it’s done.
From Harvard International Review, an interview with Chris Foote on reassessing the financial crisis; is it 1848 all over again? Gustavo de las Casas on the unexpected geopolitical implications of today’s recession; beyond Keynesianism: Justin Lin on the necessity of a globally coordinated solution; will Facebook remake the world? John Feffer on the impact of social networking on global governance, reform, and revolution — or are we headed toward a Somalian future? An interview with Karin Von Hippelby. What crisis?: It seemed logical to expect that the economic crisis of 2008 would throw millions of people around the world back into poverty — but it hasn't really happened. Global wellbeing surveys find nations worlds apart: Ten percent or lower are "thriving" in 41 of 155 countries or areas. Here’s something you don’t see every day: One of the most influential promoters of market fundamentalist “free trade” policies admitting that he screwed up big time. A review of Losing the Global Development War: A Contemporary Critique of the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO by John W. Head. A review of Forced to Be Good: Why Trade Agreements Boost Human Rights by Emilie Hafner-Burton. A review of Global Responsibility for Human Rights: World Poverty and the Development of International Law by Margot Salomon (and Salomon on global economic policy and human rights: Three sites of disconnection). And the poor get poorer: An article on the economics of higher global temperatures. Make birth control, not war: The human tendency toward war is based on biology, but the right family planning policies can redirect the world toward peace. Swedish professor Hans Rosling uses a few Lego blocks to explain population growth and global development challenges.
Robert Pippin (Chicago): Participants and Spectators. From GQ, according to Lou Dobbs, we've been completely wrong about him; Jeanne Marie Laskas meets the man we thought we knew. A review of The Stag Hunt and the Evolution of Social Structure by Brian Skyrms. Godfather of the e-reader: Look past Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos to the forgotten Bob Brown and his 1930s reading machine. Benjamin Kunkel reviews Valences of the Dialectic by Fredric Jameson. From Paris Hilton to John Edwards, celebrity sex tapes are the signature art form of our age. Madison Smartt Bell reviews Kissing the Mask: Beauty, Understatement and Femininity in Japanese Noh Theater, with some thoughts on Muses (especially Helga Testorf), Transgender Women, Kabuki Goddesses, Porn Queens, Poets, Housewives, Makeup Artists, Geishas, Valkyries and Venus Figurines by William T. Vollmann (and an excerpt and an interview). Rum and Hope: Haiti’s famed Barbancourt rum factory has survived by taking self-sufficiency to an extreme. A review of 1989: Bob Dylan Didn't Have This to Sing About by Joshua Clover (and more and more). Bless this mess: Molly Young wades through the shit with the disaster masters. Ought implies can: Steven Horwitz on how ethical pronouncements without economics lead to diastrous public policies. Erin Manning on her book Relationscapes: Movement, Art, Philosophy. What civilizes us? James V. Schall, S. J. investigates. The Rubik's Cube is 30: Happy birthday to the colorful, 3x3x3 battle between order and chaos. Michael Henry Adams on Thomas Hoving, Wendy Burden and the end of elite privilege. Backyard fiction: Dean Blumberg on the Great American Myth of Suburbia. How have hominids adapted to past climate change? A review of The Tyranny of Guilt by Pascal Bruckner.
From Bookforum, Robert P. Baird reviews Mentors, Muses & Monsters: 30 Writers on the People Who Changed Their Lives, ed. Elizabeth Benedict; and Nicole Lanctot reviews Heavy Rotation: Twenty Writers on the Albums That Changed Their Lives, ed. Peter Terzian. "Neuro lit crit" is the study of how great writing affects the hard wiring inside our heads — but can we decode the artistic impulse? A look at the 5 most disappointing film adaptations of kids’ books. Lewis Carroll's shifting reputation: Why has popular opinion of the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland undergone such a dramatic reversal? Writing circle: Nick Mamatas can't read enough literary biographies. From Bomb, Justin McNeil reviews The Novel: an Alternative History, Beginnings to 1600 by Steven Moore: "Think of it as B.D.Q., or Before Don Quixote”. Jay Nicorvo of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses takes the editor of Virginia Quarterly Review to task over his article on what’s killing literary fiction — the writers aren’t the problem, it’s the editors. How to Write in 700 Easy Lessons: Richard Bausch on the case against writing manuals. Lost literature, the unknown unknowns: The stories behind great writing that has lain forgotten, suppressed or invisible, are often the most fascinating. Reading War and Peace: Kevin Hartnett on the effects of great art on an ordinary life. Epic endeavors: Daniel Mendelsohn on three novel takes on Greek myth. Nero’s fiddle, Gaddafi’s fiction: Legislators are more often the unacknowledged poets of the world than vice versa. An interview with Michael Silverblatt, host of LA radio station KCRW’s Bookworm, the premier literary forum in America. Minding the memory: David Jays on how literary estates shape artists’ legacies, for good or ill.
When the starved beast bites back: Republicans are trying to create a fiscal crisis they may not survive. Daniel Flynn on Tea Partiers vs. Obama's Zombies. Liberals disappointed by Obama's drilling announcement criticize him for being too conservative, while conservatives have criticized him for being too liberal since day one — what's a president to do? A surge of hate: Antigovernment extremists are on the rise — and on the march. Archon Fung on a Tea Party for Obama: The power of mobilized independent citizens is easily forgotten and often denied by the Washington cognoscenti. With the help of Michael Steele’s blundering and a Supreme Court decision, the RNC — if not the Republicans — is fast losing its grip. What do Tea Party backers want? Sam Tanenhaus on The Radical Center: The Tea Party is new, but this is not the first time we’ve seen an angry populist politics emerge from the American middle class. I love Tax Day: Steve Almond on how he learned to stop being a lazy American and pay his part for what matters. Gene Lyons on Right-wing tax myths. The Tax Man Should Cometh: Stop worrying and love audits. The Right-wing revolutionaries: Marc Hujer and Thomas Schulz on how the Tea Party movement mirrors a deeply divided America. My country Right or Left: One problem with liberals is that they have no appreciation of the normal. How immigration reform could split the Right: If Democrats tackle the issue, they could provoke Tea Party-GOP warfare. Why some liberals can't seem to resist the new bad boys of American politics. Bankspeak: Facing Goldman-fueled outrage, is the GOP reading from the right script? Protect and Serve: Jesse Walker on the Oath Keepers' extremism in the defense of liberty. Who killed the Responsible Republican? Bill Kristol, of course.