David Meyer (UC-Irvine) and Deana Rohlinger (FSU): Big Books and Social Movements: A Myth of Ideas and Social Change. From NYRB, why finish books? Tim Parks wonders. Elevated Reading Club: Ralph Gardner writes about a book club where participants gather to deconstruct the articles in the New York Review of Books. From Meanjin, Lili Wilkinson on why teenagers today are the first generation of true readers. From Interface, “everything we do is niche”: A roundtable on contemporary progressive publishing. To be read by all parties: An article on the impact of books on Washington policy. Maria Bustillos on romance novels, the last great bastion of underground writing. Do you have any bizarre nonfiction recommendations? The new tastemakers: Few newspapers review books these days — so who does? As society embraces all forms of digital entertainment, a latter-day Noah is looking the other way; Brewster Kahle, who runs the Internet Archive, a nonprofit, hopes to collect one copy of every book. How does one review a book like BibliOdyssey? This feels like a book and looks like a (very handsome) book, is anything but.

A new issue of Cultura: International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology is out. Ronald Osborn (USC): Seyla Benhabib, Wendell Berry, and the Question of Migrant and Refugee Rights. From TNR, Eric Cantor last week became the highest-ranking Republican poobah to say, pretty much outright, that we need to soak the poor; and Florida Governor Rick Scott uses line-item veto on program to fund rape crisis centers, a preview of what a Romney/Ryan agenda would do to America. What makes heroic strife: Computer models that can predict the outbreak and spread of civil conflict are being developed. From Cato Unbound, Brandon Garrett on learning what we can from DNA. The nation-state and its discontents: Ulrich Beck on the reality of cosmopolitanism. From Transcript, a special issue on the literatures of stateless nations. Does this smartphone make me look stupid? Meet the "ladyphones". It is perhaps not widely appreciated that the Cold War was actually won in the summer of 1959 by the noted lounge-chair designers Charles and Ray Eames. Which direction now? Just ask the north-facing map in your head.

Charlotte Bartels (FUB): Redistribution and Insurance in the German Welfare State. Alfons J. Weichenrieder and Tasneem Zafar (Frankfurt): Evaluating Real World Income Distributions Behind the Veil of Ignorance: How Risk Averse Do You Have to Be to Prefer Europe Over the US? Clifford Bob (Duquesne): When Rights Become Weapons: Comparative Insights from Political Battles in Europe, the United States and Elsewhere. From Policy Review, Mars and Venus, ten years later: A symposium on Robert Kagan’s “Power and Weakness”, including contributions by Robert Cooper, Daniel Drezner, Mary Elise Sarotte, Justin Vaisse, and more. With friends like these: Europeans still seem eager — not just willing — to believe the worst about us. Dear Mitt: What's this European socialist nightmare you're so afraid of? Trust me, la belle vie ain't that bad. Samuel Gregg on the American Left's European nightmare. Does the American Dream exist only in Europe? Perhaps, but if you think America’s class system is as rigid as Europe’s, then you don’t know an old-fashioned social hierarchy when you see one. Why Europe's long vacations may make economic sense.