Catherine Gouge (WVU): The American Frontier: History, Rhetoric, Concept. An interview with UC-Berkley's Jack Citrin on nationalism, cosmopolitanism and American national identity. The introduction to Providence and the Invention of the United States, 1607–1876 by Nicholas Guyatt. An interview with Jay Winik, author of The Great Upheaval: America and the Birth of the Modern World, 1788-1800. A review of Christopher Hitchens’ Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man. The introduction to American Machiavelli: Alexander Hamilton and the Origins of U.S. Foreign Policy by John Lamberton Harper. David Gordon reviews 33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.


From The Minnesota Review, an interview with Janice Radway on the culture of reading. From The Moscow Times, literature classes are often so dogmatic and boring that students end up hating all the major authors. Learning to hate literature: What is it about school that puts so many people off the books they read there? Sir Vidia Naipaul says the closing of English departments would benefit the nation. From Inside Higher Ed, Ronald Reagan vs. the university press: The late president’s legacy left an unfortunate legacy for academic publishing — one that needs to be challenged. The alternative student press: An increasing number of online-only publications are changing what it means to be a college journalist. From In These Times, an article on creating the 21st century library. Theories come and go: An interview with Bob Slavin, a man charged with compiling an encyclopaedia of what works.  


The true nature of a political promise: With no platform to judge, on what other basis could voters make a decision when casting a ballot? Reading between the lines: Scrutinizing the frontrunners. Word for word, the presidential candidates revealed. Lie Detectors: FactCheck.org, the St. Petersburg Times, and the Washington Post smoke out the political BS. A look at how numbers are used by political campaigns, often improperly, and how two Web sites are seeking to monitor and correct political number games. The Heckler Hall of Fame: A look at how presidential candidates face their challengers. Bill Clinton invented the Sister Souljah moment. Is having one still a political requirement or more a political cliche? Glenn Greenwald on David Brooks and the deceitful tactics of the Beltway pundit: The only real goal of the Beltway pundit is to depict Washington orthodoxies as popular among "most Americans," even when they are not.


From NYRB, the Golden Age at its best: A review of Dutch Portraits: The Age of Rembrandt and Frans Hals; The Rembrandt Book by Gary Schwartz; and Rembrandt's Nose: Of Flesh and Spirit in the Master's Portraits by Michael Taylor. The American appetite for Dutch painting: Christopher Benfey on the allure of conspicuous consumption. Mess MoCA: An artist and a museum fight over a work of art. From Sign and Sight, building on the past: Peter Zumthor's new art museum in Cologne is magnificently successful, in terms of both material presence and dignified handling of the past. Does art have a place in hospitals? Grayson Perry investigates. A review of Art and Photography by David Campany.


From Financial Times, a review of The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World by Alan Greenspan (and more). In Bernanke We Trust: The Fed chair came out from under Alan Greenspan’s shadow with a bold rate cut that may have prevented a recession. What’s Hank Paulson waiting for? A review of The Big Con: The True Story of How Washington Got Hoodwinked and Hijacked by Crackpot Economics by Jonathan Chait. Jared Bernstein reviews The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies by Bryan Caplan and America Works: Critical Thoughts on the Exceptional U.S. Labor Market by Richard B. Freeman.


From The New York Times, a series of articles on space, including a look at how Sputnik changed everything — history, geopolitics, the scientific world. A reflection on the triumphs and disappointments of the space age; the space age launched more than satellites and spaceships, it launched a trend that changed pop culture forever; Moon or Mars, or both? Economic incentives of political? And who will lead the way?; and it has been 35 years since anybody was on the Moon, or more than 300 miles from Earth, for that matter. What happened to the so-called space age? A review of Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries That Ignited the Space Age by Matthew Brzezinski. A review of Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War by Michael J. Neufeld. A review of In the Shadow of the Moon: A Challenging Journey to Tranquility, 1965-1969 by Francis French. Planetary scientists have articulated goals for exploring the solar system. Here are 5 essential things to do in space.


From The Chronicle of Higher Education, if we are to find our readers, we need to think about their pleasure, not just our information. How to get people to read the classics: Just pare them down — to, for instance, George Orwell's 1983 and Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Four. The War Over War and Peace: Two publishers are putting out versions of Tolstoy's masterpiece — but which is the authentic one? Publishers finding Iran is a hot read: Fear? Curiosity? Shelves are full of Persian themes. Farm teams for publishers? At least one mainstream publisher is so attracted by the recent success of people publishing themselves that the company is partnering with a self-publishing outfit. What does the currently ubiquitous Alan Greenspan have in common with George J. Tenet, Bob Woodward and Harry Potter? A year of selling books: A rash of memoirs by people spending 12 months following rules shows self-deprivation is strangely hip.


Mark William Osler (Baylor): Capone and Bin Laden: The Failure of Government at the Cusp of War and Crime. Stephen Farrall (Sheffield), Emily Gray (Keele) and Jonathan Jackson (LSE): Theorising the Fear of Crime: The Cultural and Social Significance of Insecurities about Crime. A review of The Explanation of Crime: Context, Mechanisms and Development. It's a government program whose impact rivals the New Deal. It pushes whole communities out of society's mainstream. It costs tens of billions of dollars a year. Scholars are just beginning to understand how prison is reshaping the country. Revenge begins to seem less sweet: Americans are losing their appetite for the death penalty. Texas is the exception.


A review of The Ends of the Earth: The Arctic and The Ends of the Earth: The Antarctic (Granta). Greenland to World: "Keep Out!": Some of Greenland's residents want independence and full rights to the island's natural resources. Will they get it? Sinking states: What will happen to the thousands of people made legally and physically stateless when climate change drives island states beneath the waves? A review of The Unnatural History of the Sea by Callum Roberts. Why the Earth's air is really an ocean: It's so heavy, it's almost inconceivable that we can walk around in it, says Gabrielle Walker, author of An Ocean of Air: Why the Wind Blows and Other Mysteries of the Atmosphere. An interview with Chris Mooney, author of Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming (and more and more). An article on the world's top 10 most polluted places: Russia, China and India contain the most areas where toxic pollution and human habitation collide with devastating effects (and more).


Cristina Bicchieri and Erte Xiao (Penn): Do the Right Thing: But Only If Others Do So. Steven Erickson (Yale): Minding Moral Responsibility. From Ethica, Alan Watt (CEU): Returning Friendship to Ethics: a Nietzschean Perspective. The introduction to The Globalization of Ethics: Religious and Secular Perspectives. A review of Value and Context: The Nature of Moral and Political Knowledge by Alan Thomas. The introduction to Morality in a Natural World by David Copp. Is "Do Unto Others" written into our genes? Where do moral rules come from? From reason? From God? Some suggest morality can be found buried deep in evolution. A review of The Most Dangerous Animal: Human Nature and the Origins of War by David Livingstone Smith (and more and more). A review of Moral Literacy by Barbara Herman.

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