The first issue of Strategies of Critique is out. From Left Curve, foetry.com: An interview with Steven Ford Brown on what academia doesn't want you to know about the creative writing industry. Intellectuals as castrators of meaning: An interview with Rene Girard. From BBC Magazine, things aren't what they used to be, and thank goodness for that; and towns and cities are designed primarily for men, not women — so what's the difference? From New Matilda, a man drought is a tricky problem, because the solutions we apply to other types of drought don't apply. From Lost, a look back at the losers of American presidential elections. Cass Sunstein on how Obama's views aren't easy to characterize, so stop trying already. Michael Kinsley on how Sarah Palin made the GOP change its mind about presidential qualifications. More on Grand New Party by Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam. Offered perpetually to the Congress, would the so-called Christian Amendment really achieve its objectives? Of all moral issues, war is perhaps the most difficult, and most important; what would a specifically libertarian response to this issue be? From Prospect, African states have arbitrary borders and unsuitable systems of "winner-takes-all" electoral democracy — it is time to develop an African form of democracy; and bullfighting is seen by many as cruel, but can aesthetics justify the suffering of the animal?
From Carnegie Ethics, Devin Stewart on the myth of the nation-state (and responses). An interview with Michael Hudson, author of Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire. An interview with Paul Kennedy, a man still unafraid of tackling the grand strategies of empire and war; and contrary to expectations, it seems that we have succeeded in developing forms of society in which doing the hokey-cokey is what it's all about. A review of Fascism and Democracy in the Human Mind: A Bridge between Mind and Society by I. W. Charny. A review of Executive Orders and the Modern Presidency: Legislating from the Oval Office by Adam Warber. Democracy and accountability: A look at the perverse effects of term limits. Is history siding with Obama’s economic plan? Alan Blinder reviews Unequal Democracy by Larry Bartels. Hepatitis B and missing women: An article on the "morality tale" involving Robert Barro, Steven Levitt, Amartya Sen and Emily Oster. A review of Natural Goodness by Philippa Foot. From NYRB, an article on Georgia and the balance of power; and a review of books on the price of being black. Todd Gitlin on the Left, lost in the politics of identity. From Harp & Altar, sliver of a sliver: A review of Red Shifting by Aleksandr Skidan. A review of The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature by Daniel J. Levitin.
From The New Yorker, can the Democrats get a foothold on the religious vote? Peter J. Boyer investigates; and Steve Coll on David Petraeus, the pressures of politics, and the road out of Iraq. From Studies in Language and Capitalism, Andrew Sola (Maryland): The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to War-Profiteering in Iraq; and Lisa Glebatis Perks (UT-Austin): The Nouveau Reach: Ideologies of Class and Consumerism in Reality-Based Television. From Luna Park, an essay on the future of lit (mags); an article on how to start a war: McSweeney's 26; and Travis Kurowski on the last movement literary magazine: n+1. From The Liberal, an article on Barack Obama and the Idea of America. From First Things, Joseph Bottum on the death of Protestant America: A political theory of the Protestant mainline. A review of Gay Marriage: For Better or for Worse? What We've Learned from the Evidence by William N. Eskridge Jr. and Darren R. Spedale. Martin Amis on terrorism's new structure. Radovan Karadzic has been caught, but the war is not over yet for the heirs of Yugoslavia's war criminals. A futurologist says . In defense of the beta blocker: Is this a performance drug that could actually increase the fairness of Olympic contests? From IHE, should American Politics be abolished (as a field)? Martha Nussbaum reviews On Religious Liberty: Selections From the Works of Roger Williams.
Maia Gachechiladze (CEU) and Chad Staddon (UWE): Towards a Political Ecology of Oil in Post-communist Georgia. From the Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies, a special issue on military justice in Russia. From The New Yorker, Rebecca Mead on the soaring ambition of Santiago Calatrava. From Esquire, an inside look at this year's Young Republican Leadership Conference (and more). From Military.com, Phillip Butler, a fellow Vietnam POW of McCain's warns of the candidate's "quick and explosive temper" and suggests McCain is exaggerating his imprisonment. Noam Scheiber on how Cindy Hensley invented John McCain. Who's your daddy? An article on McCain, Obama, and the men who made them. Even Democrats find it difficult to classify Obama among the party's many types, from traditional liberals to neoliberals, New Democrats, Blue Dogs, and Net-roots activists. From Exiled, here's proof Obama isn't an American. From Hard News, an article on Stiglitz and Sen on profit and pain. A review of The Dismal Science: How Thinking Like an Economist Undermines Community by Stephen A. Marglin. From Jewish Political Studies Review, an interview with Rabbi David Ellenson on how modernity changed Judaism; and an interview with Joel Kotek on major anti-Semitic motifs in Arab cartoons. From JBooks, here's a literary history of the dirty Jew.
From Harper's, Jonathan Franzen and James Wood: An egg in return, in three parts (and more and more on How Fiction Works). If the novels named in 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die seem like a quirky list, that’s no accident: the book is keen to start an argument. Memo to book publishers: Learn from Digg, Yelp, even Gawker. William Saletan on race, genes, and the future of medicine. How racist, conspiratorial crank Jerome Corsi became the Republican attack machine's anti-Obama point man. Rootlessness, the label that sticks to stories like Barack Obama’s, is a national trait that both attracts and repels. John McWhorter on why political oratory sounds so weird. A review of April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Death and How it Changed America by Michael Eric Dyson. A review of We Who Are Dark: The Philosophical Foundations of Black Solidarity by Tommie Shelby. A struggle lies ahead in hip-hop: to wrest away the gun that points at us on the cover of NWA's "Straight Outta Compton". A review of Big Black Penis: Misadventures in Race and Masculinity by Shawn Taylor. A review of A Surgical Temptation: The Demonization of the Foreskin and the Rise of Circumcision in Britain by Robert Darby. From Jewish Quarterly, a review of Foreskin’s Lament by Shalom Auslander; and a celebration of the anarchic freedom of Israeli graphic novels.
From Human Ecology Review, Karen O'Neill, Jeff Calia, Caron Chess, and Lee Clarke (Rutgers): Miscommunication during the Anthrax Attacks; and an article on terrorism risk perceptions and proximity to primary terrorist targets: How close is too close? From the International Journal of Conflict and Violence, a special issue on terrorism, including Michel Wieviorka (EHESS): From Classical Terrorism to “Global” Terrorism; and Brigitte Nacos, Yaeli Bloch-Elkon, Robert Shapiro (Columbia): Post-9/11 Terrorism Threats, News Coverage, and Public Perceptions in the United States. From American Journalism Review, after their credulous performance in the run-up to the war in Iraq, how are the news media handling the Bush administration’s allegations against Iran? Larry Diamond on the time for a “diplomatic surge”: Democracy may be turning a corner in Iraq, but it’s going to need a lot of help. That frontier mythology now threatens the world: A review of What is America? A Short History of the New World Order by Ronald Wright. Alvaro Vargas Llosa on Kobe Bryant and the triumph of internationalism at the games. From Esquire, Chuck Klosterman on The Great American Stasis: When you remove yourself from the exciting scrum of American culture, you realize it's not very exciting, and there is no scrum. A review of Blind Date: Sex and Philosophy by Anne Dufourmantelle.
A new issue of Politikon is out. From Mother Jones, here are five good things Bush has done. From TNR, here's the surprising inside story of how Obama scored the DNC keynote speech that made his career; and diplomacy for Barack Obama is more than an instrument, it is a mentality. The introduction to Philosophy and Real Politics by Raymond Geuss. The first chapter from The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity by Russell Roberts. A review of Republicans and the Black Vote by Michael K Fauntroy. The first chapter from What a Mighty Power We Can Be: African American Fraternal Groups and the Struggle for Racial Equality by Theda Skocpol, Ariane Liazos and Marshall Ganz. An excerpt from Betrayal: How Black Intellectuals Have Abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Rights Era by Houston A. Baker Jr. Beautiful minds on the shelf: A review of Great Ideas: Series Three. It’s a Maddow, Maddow World: MSNBC’s fresh-faced host glows under the hot lights in Denver. From Prospect, flirting with Stalin: Little wonder that Putin has been able to exploit nostalgia for Soviet "greatness"; is behavioural economics such a big deal? Pete Lunn and Tim Harford debate; and why Hamlet's heirs are happy: Shakespeare's prince was a gloomy sort, but a trusting society makes today's Danes rather jolly. From Jewcy, an article on Zizek for Jews.
From Social Policy, an essay on Building Organiziations in a Movement Moment; a look at the struggle over voting rights and the future of progressive politics; an article on living wage policies and Wal-Mart; an excerpt from Transforming the City: Community Organizing the the Challenge of Political Change; and a review of books on grassroots community organizing. From Foreign Affairs, Richard Holbrooke on The Next President: Mastering a Daunting Agenda; Robert Kagan on The September 12 Paradigm: America, the World, and George W. Bush; Stephen Biddle, Michael E. O'Hanlon, and Kenneth M. Pollack on How to Leave a Stable Iraq: Building on Progress; a review of 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War by Benny Morris (and more and more and more); and a review of Freedom's Battle: The Origins of Humanitarian Intervention by Gary J. Bass. A review of A Path Out of the Desert: A Grand Strategy for America in the Middle East by Kenneth M. Pollack. From The Philosopher's Annual, here are the ten best articles published in philosophy this past year. From TLS, a review of Artists in Exile: How Refugees from Twentieth-Century War and Revolution Transformed the American Performing Arts by Joseph Horowitz. What they say may not be as important as what they wear: Convention fashion, explained.
From Critical Mass, Mark Athitakis on the state of alt - weeklies. The road to Wikipedia: A review of Reinventing Knowledge: From Alexandria to the Internet by Ian McNeely and Lisa Wolverton. From THES, Encyclopaedia Idiotica: Wikipedia is created mostly by teenage male computer nerds, so Martin Cohen worries about its growing clout among scholars; a manifesto to discard elitism: A review of Uses of Literature by Rita Felsk; a review of Punctuation: Art, Politics and Play by Jennifer DeVere Brody. From CQ, now, just where are those Clintonites who won’t vote for Obama? David Greenberg on why the Democrats should fix the nominating system. Rogue State: Jonathan Chait the case against Delaware. From Boston Review, Elaine Scarry on presidential crimes: Moving on is not an option. More and more and more on Vincent Bugliosi's The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. Robert Solow reviews Bad Money by Kevin Phillips. From Dissent, a review of The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker by Steven Greenhouse (and more and more) and Love the Work, Hate the Job: Why America’s Best Workers Are Unhappier Than Ever by David Kusnet; and is "The Wire" too cynical? The End of the End of the End of History? The conflict between Russia and Georgia was a turning point of some kind; Scott McLemee wonders what’s the big idea.
From the International Journal of the Commons, Derek Armitage (WLU): Governance and the Commons in a Multi-Level World. From Monthly Review, an article on the myth of the tragedy of the commons. A review of The Prisoners' Dilemma: Political Economy and Punishment in Contemporary Democracies by Nicola Lacey. From n+1, take it to the street: Class clash on Seventh Avenue. A profile of LP presidential candidate Bob Barr, the master of a curious universe. A review of Everything is Connected: The Power of Music by Daniel Barenboim and Music at the Limits by Edward Said. Feeding the Beast: In order to weaken federal agencies, the Bush administration has expanded them to the point of collapse. Is it so outlandish to suggest that we sell the right to live in the United States? Gary Becker wants to know. A review of Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders by Jason Riley. Bent Flyvbjerg promotes a cure for billion-dollar cost overruns in government megaprojects: Use past boondoggles as a baseline. A review of Einstein on Politics: His Private Thoughts and Public Stands on Nationalism, Zionism, War, Peace, and the Bomb. A review of High Wire: The Precarious Financial Lives of American Families by Peter Gosselin. Scientists sequence Neanderthal DNA and find no evidence of ancestral interbreeding with our long-lost cousins.