From The Wilson Quarterly, an essay on The New Kindergarten: The case for universal pre-kindergarten isn’t as strong as it seems; a review of Einstein's Mistakes: The Human Failings of Genius by Hans C. Ohanian; and in the digital age, will the OED remain a cultural cornerstone? A look at the top five issues facing the United Nations in 2009. The Obama tide lifted some clear winners: James Wolcott on The Good, the Bad, and Joe Lieberman. Michael Kinsley on the Bush Presidency, eight years later. From THES, a review of The Social Impact of the Arts: An Intellectual History by Eleonora Belfiore and Oliver Bennett; and a review of Try to Remember: Psychiatry's Clash over Meaning, Memory and Mind by Paul R. McHugh. From Mental Floss, an article on 6 cases of shamelessly false advertising; here are 3 maps that get people worked up; and the stories behind 20 Muppet favorites. On second thought: Why being wrong can be a good thing. A review of Hollywood Under Siege: Martin Scorsese, the Religious Right, and the Culture Wars by Thomas R. Lindlof. For scholars, a combustible question: Was Christ real? Conservatives are getting down and dirty to spread their social agenda. Playboy, like its founder, is getting rickety — a lament for a heyday more glorious than we knew. An American at Cambridge: Hot Victorian Sex!
From The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, a special issue on The Vanity of the Philosopher: From Equality to Hierarchy in Post-Classical Economics by Sandra Peart and David M. Levy. Here are tips for budding politicians on how to avoid embarrassment on Facebook. Iceland after the Fall: Down with the man, up with the potato! Out of sight, out of mind: Why the president should come face to face with public criticism. A review of Scared to Death: From BSE to Global Warming — Why Scares are Costing Us the Earth by Christopher Booker and Richard North. Deep Throat meets data mining: In the nick of time, the digital revolution comes to democracy's rescue — and, perhaps, journalism's. How the split between creation care's leaders and its grassroots activists is dictating the future of the green evangelical movement. A study finds that not all self-help books are created equal — some are actually pretty good. Is this "the end of neoliberalism"? Sorry, not yet. Small, patriotic pieces of cardboard are common coin for US military airmen. Jan Freeman on the language dustbin: Some advice doesn't age well. A review of How To Live: A Search for Wisdom From Old People (While They Are Still on This Earth) by Henry Alford. Boring, web encyclopaedia management stuff — everyone keeps their cool, except for on one topic: Garfield.
From Human Affairs, a special issue on The Ideals of the Good Life, including Richard Shusterman (FAU): The Good Life, The Examined Life, and the Embodied Life; Erich Mistrík (Comenius): Pseudo-Concrete Ideals of a Good Life; Blanka Sulavíkova (SAS): The Good Life and the Ideal of Flexibility; and L'Uboslava Sejcova (Comenius): Body Dissatisfaction. A review of books on human rights and humanitarian intervention. After Bush: E.J. Dionne, Jr. on why 2009 finally marks the beginning of the 21st century. The sentimentality of crowds: Charities wonder if giving donors control over their donations makes for wise policy. Online v. print reading: which one makes us smarter? Not-So-Lonely Planet: A photograph of the earthrise taken on Christmas Eve 1968 provided a new perspective on the thing that all humanity shares. More on The Choice of Hercules by AC Grayling. A review of Sneaker Wars: The Enemy Brothers Who Founded Adidas and Puma and the Family Feud That Forever Changed the Business of Sport by Barbara Smit. More on Reborn: Early Diaries 1947-1964 by Susan Sontag (and more and more; and more from Bookforum). An interview with Russ Roberts, author of The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity. Welcome to the coldest town on earth: Oymyakon, Siberia, is bracing for temps as low as -90 degrees Fahrenheit.
From Monthly Review, more on Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine. Five decades of revolution: Waiting for a new dawn in Havana. A review of A Disastrous History of the World by John Withington. Why not start your weekend on Wednesday? There's no need to preach the gospel of leisure — most of us work less than our parents did. A review of The Criminal Brain: Understanding Biological Theories of Crime by Nicole Rafter. Houses of Pain: When did declining home prices become politically intolerable? Michael Berube reviews Beyond the Hoax: Science, Philosophy and Culture by Alan Sokal. A review of Margaret Mead: The Making of an American Icon by Nancy C. Lutkehaus. Peter Singer on the tragic cost of being unscientific. Congratulations, Obama — here's your decay curve: Researchers analyze the productivity and popularity of new U.S. presidents. More and more on Shakespeare and Modern Culture by Marjorie Garber. From Newsweek, Fareed Zakaria on writing the rules for a new world; and Larry Diamond on doing democracy promotion right. Expanding liberty's reach: Justice Stephen Field and the libertarian legacy of the 14th Amendment. Explosives and giant machines are destroying Appalachian peaks to obtain coal; in a West Virginia town, residents and the industry fight over a mountain's fate. An “anti-energy” drink’s novel image: chic — or shameful?
From Folio, a cover story on why would anyone launch a print magazine today? A review of The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America by Steven Johnson. A review of The Culture Wars of the Late Renaissance: Skeptics, Libertines, and Opera by Edward Muir. Ronald Bailey on exposing Obama's genome — and Oprah Winfrey's, Brad Pitts', and yours. If you can draw, then you should be in school: The case for making American universities into patrons of the arts. From Scientific American, does exercise really make you healthier? Shankar Vedantam on how high-status criminals face greatest public wrath. Reading isn't fundamental: How to help your child learn to read. After decades of discouraging setbacks, plasma physics has made jaw-dropping recent progress — could it save the world? More on Stuff White People Like by Christian Lander. Searching for Jesse Camp: Personal desperation led to a quick, shallow obsession with MTV’s most unlikely (and annoying) star. An interview with Salman Rushdie: "Provoking people is in my DNA". A review of The Forsaken: From the Great Depression to the Gulags: Hope and Betrayal in Stalin's Russia by Tim Tzouliadis. From TED, Susan Blackmore on memes and "temes"; and Stephen Hawking is asking big questions about the universe.
From MR, how should the Left criticize Obama? Gregory W. Esteven investigates. From Cracked, an article on why America is still awesome. Gigonomics, now rock bands must sing for their supper: It used to be all about records, but now the music business revolves around gigs. Tim Wu reviews The Future of the Internet (And How to Stop It) by Jonathan Zittrain. What we now think of as the picture of American masculinity is attributable in large part to J.C. Leyendecker — who? Republicans are blinded by love: Lefties just don't have the same feeling about America as the hard right does. Sex on the Beach: Is Western decadence a Molotov Cocktail? A review of Pigeons: The Fascinating Saga of the World’s Most Revered and Reviled Bird by Andrew D Blechman. The mail-order catalog is dead — all hail the mail-order catalog: An interview with Robin Cherry, author of Catalog: The Illustrated History of Mail Order Shopping. A review of Thou Shalt Not Speak My Language by Abdelfattah Kilito. From n+1, John Barry on not being invited to speak at panel discussions; and an article on The People of the Magazine. A look at how hunting is driving "evolution in reverse". Bourbon’s Beauty: An ode to a distinctly American drink. It’s no longer just guide dogs for blind people — service animals now include monkeys for quadriplegics, parrots for psychotics and at least one assistance duck.
From Harper's, justice after Bush: Scott Horton on prosecuting an outlaw administration. From In These Times, an article on two dangerous Bush-Cheney myths. From The Hindu, why do Indians, across the political spectrum, seem to crave Western approval for their actions, policies and prejudices? How footnotes changed history: We all know about great heroes and epic battles, but the course of history often hinges on small accidents of chance; here are the slip-ups and lucky escapes that changed the world. Why do apologies for history sometimes work and sometimes don't? From Index on Censorship, Salman Rushdie’s critics lost the battle, but they won the war against free speech, says Kenan Malik; and a return to law and order, national pride and upright morals is colliding with Russia’s exuberant and skandal-seeking art world. How do you draw the line between art and craft? David McFadden, head curator of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, says don't bother. An interview with Mickey Rapkin, author of Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate a Cappella Glory. A review of Future Imperfect. Technology and Freedom in an Uncertain World by David D. Friedman. From Thermopylae to the Twin towers: An article on the West’s selective reading of history. A look at what science says about enlightened sex. Here are 10 fixes for the planet.
From The Economist, a special report on India. From Mute, copyleft in the current form keeps free software legally grounded – nothing more, but also nothing less. Obama's writing suggests a surprising lesson from Abraham Lincoln: Style matters. A review of books on happiness and wisdom through solitary living. An interview with Roland Huntford, author of Two Planks and a Passion: The dramatic history of skiing. Peter Berkowitz on how conservatives can unite around the Constitution. A review of Fakers: Hoaxers, Con Artists, Counterfeiters, and Other Great Pretenders by Paul Maliszewski. A review of Don’t Stop Believin’: How Karaoke Conquered the World and Changed My Life by Brian Raftery. What do Dubya, Blago, Bernie Madoff, and Roland Burris have in common? (Do you know the Spanish word "sinverguenza"?) A review of The Last Taboo: Opening the Door on the Global Sanitation Crisis by Maggie Black and Ben Fawcett. An evolving strategy: Rebuffed in the courtroom, critics of evolution head to the statehouse to see their views represented in the classroom. Absolutely sensational: A review of The Godfather of Tabloid: Generoso Pope Jr. and the National Enquirer by Jack Vitek and The Flash Press: Sporting Male Weeklies in 1840s New York by Patricia Cline Cohen, Timothy J. Gilfoyle, and Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz.
From The Observer, a special report on the financial crisis: Reasons to be fearful. Iceland’s banking collapse is the biggest, relative to the size of an economy, that any country has ever suffered; there are lessons to be learnt beyond its shores. An interview with Eileen Myles, author of The Importance of Being Iceland. An uber language for the Zeitgeist: Seen from the other end of the dictionary the increasing use of German words in English is a surprise. I believe because it’s impossible: Memories lie because they build on memories; photographs lie more convincingly because they offer proof. Modern software has made manipulation of photographs easier to carry out and harder to uncover than ever before, but the technology also enables new methods of detecting doctored images. Twilight of the color photo: As printed snapshots vanish, we're losing more than shoe boxes full of mementos. Alan Brinkley on learning from FDR's mistakes. Here are the five rules that make college football great. With his reputation for romanticism and rambling and his love of gossip, Herodotus was dismissed by the serious thinkers of his day , yet his work is both entertaining and deeply moral. A review of Keith Yellin's Battle Exhortation: The Rhetoric of Combat Leadership. A review of Sex, Drugs & Chocolate: The Science of Pleasure by Paul Martin. More on Hubert's Freaks by Gregory Gibson.
From First Things, Richard John Neuhaus on causes beyond Left or Right; a review of The Nature of Biblical Criticism by John Barton; a review of The Return of Ulysses: A Cultural History of Homer’s Odyssey by Edith Hall; a review of History Lesson: A Race Odyssey by Mary Lefkowitz; a review of Save the World on Your Own Time by Stanley Fish; and iPhones have consequences: More on Mark Bauerlein’s The Dumbest Generation. Of music, murder and shopping: It is time to turn to Darwin to explain human behaviour. From FT, a look at why 1958 changed our lives. Big Middle-Class Sister: We shouldn’t apologize for teaching poor kids how to move up in America. Here are surprising insights from the social sciences (and more). A review of The Elfish Gene: Dungeons, Dragons and Growing Up Strange by Mark Barrowcliffe (and more). An article on 7 (stupid) people who sued the scientific method. The future is another country: A world of colleges without borders should benefit everyone, including students who stay at home. From Forward, no longer in power, free to talk, neocons seek to rewrite history. An interview with Guantanamo whistleblower Stephen Abraham (and part 2). A former MI6 agent, Alastair Crooke worked in varied trouble spots worldwide; now he has gone freelance as a go-between for the west and radical Islam’s political leaders.