From Humanitas, James J. Dillon (SUWG): The Tears of Priam: Reflections on Troy and Teaching Ancient Texts; Quentin Taylor (RSU): John of Salisbury, the Policraticus, and Political Thought; Michael P. Berman (Brock): Locke the Hermenaut and the Mechanics of Understanding; William F. Byrne ( St. John’s): Burke’s Higher Romanticism: Politics and the Sublime; Mark T. Mitchell (PHC): Michael Polanyi, Alasdair MacIntyre, and the Role of Tradition; and George Bragues (Guelph): Richard Rorty’s Postmodern Case for Liberal Democracy: A Critique. From The Wilson Quarterly, Theo Anderson on One Hundred Years of Pragmatism: William James grappled with the great question of modern times: How is it possible to believe? A century later, his answers are still fresher and more relevant than most. From Philosophy Bites, does the end justify the means? An interview with Brad Hooker on consequentialism; and an interview with Simon Blackburn on moral relativism. 

For the first time, researchers have published the DNA sequence from both sets of chromosomes in a single person. That person is none other than pioneering genome researcher J. Craig Venter. One man's DNA shows we're less alike than we thought. In the Genome Race, the Sequel Is Personal: A newly decoded genome makes clear that the variation in the genetic programming carried by an individual is much greater than expected. An article on biology and belief: Foundations of faith?  If not religion, What? Science can’t talk with faith, but philosophy can. Alan Contreras argues for a shift in who does the debating in our continuing national argument. A survey finds that the least religious of all medical specialties is psychiatry. A review of The Death of Sigmund Freud: Fascism, Psychoanalysis and the Rise of Fundamentalism by Mark Edmundson. 

The U.S. News Rankings Roll On: Academic leaders seek alternatives, and participation in the survey drops, but no one expects the magazine's college guide to fade away. The Academy as a Community Greenhouse: The “ivory tower” analogy is outdated, and comparing colleges to businesses is shortsighted. A review of God's Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America by Hanna Rosin.Mr. Rodgers Goes to Dartmouth: A cautionary tale about a businessman who ventured back into the Ivory Tower. From Ralph, taking cat-naps four or five times a day helps to keep you in the pink, and the ivy-covered halls of academe, with their windy faculty meetings and frequent seminars, have long provided an ideal venue for this practice; and a letter on boredom and academia. Literary boredom: Why is academic writing so boring? Academics love a dull read.


From Humanitas, Bruce P. Frohnen on American Culture: A Story. From The New Criterion, "The literary life" at 25: On the state of the literary life a quarter-century after Joseph Epstein wrote on this subject for the inaugural issue. From Slate, On the Road Again: Friends and scholars recall the man behind the myth of Jack Kerouac (and more by Meghan O'Rourke and Walter Kirn). From The Believer, The Late Style of Thomas McGuane: The novelist’s language has become more direct, his terrain more realistic, and his comedy less over-the-top. Where will he go next? 

The (Re)Birth of the Classics: A review of Rediscovering Homer: Inside the Origins of the Epic by Andrew Dalby; and Sailing From Byzantium: How a Lost Empire Shaped the World by Colin Wells. A review of Penser sans concepts: fonction de l'epopee guerriere, by Florence Goyet, on how martial epics from three different cultures (the Homeric Iliad, the medieval French Chanson de Roland, and the medieval Japanese Hogen and Heiji monogatari) offer their audiences the intellectual tools to assess complex political situations. From The New Yorker, if you haven’t yet read the Divine Comedy—you know who you are—now is the time, because Robert and Jean Hollander have just completed a beautiful translation of the astonishing fourteenth-century poem.

Divine inspiration: The Italian writer Dante had a huge influence on British art, yet it took us 400 years to discover him. What’s so good about British architecture? Its champions claim it’s the best in the world but the reality is dull, corporate and profoundly uninspired. Britain's historic buildings — some of the jewels in our architectural crown - - are crumbling, not because of a lack of money, but because of a shortage of traditional skills.


From Foreign Policy, Robert Reich on How Capitalism is Killing Democracy. From The Economist, a review of Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang. A review of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein. The Wealth of Nations: Analysis of the connections among different types of economic activities explains why some countries succeed, and others fail, in diversifying their economies. "Occupy, resist, produce": Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis report on how Argentina's worker-run factories have nurtured a powerful social movement, while seamstress Matilda Adorno explains how a dispute over pay became a political struggle. 

From In These Times, an article on The Trial (And Errors) of Hugo Chavez. Crazy like a fox, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has strange ways and a purpose, too. A review of Hugo Chavez by Cristina Marcano and Alberto Barrera Tyszka and Hugo! by Bart Jones (and more). From Monthly Review, an essay on Venezuela as a good example of the bad Left of Latin America. A wannabe Chávez short of oil: Rafael Correa tries his own version of "21st century socialism".

From Vanity Fair, Going After Gore: For the first time, Gore and his family talk about the effect of the press attacks on his campaign—and about his future plans—to the author, who finds that many in the media are re-assessing their 2000 coverage. From National Journal, the '08 campaign beat is a never-ending soft-news story, punctuated now and then by tiny bursts of hard news. Does it seem like there's a new Republican scandal in the news every single week? Well, that may be because there is. The Most Feared Man on the Hill? For gay blogger Mike Rogers, Craig's resignation is just the latest on his list.


From Time, A Time To Serve: In a changing society facing all manner of new challenges, volunteers are helping bind America together. Why the U.S. and the next President should make a new commitment to national service; and National Service? Puh-lease. Michael Kinsley thinks the call for compulsory national service is naive. What we really need is better free-market capitalism.   Good Intentions, Bad Idea: It's not easy to knock H.R. 1671 and S. 960, the House and Senate bills that would establish the U.S. Public Service Academy. Political Engagement 101: Research suggests that political engagement can be taught. Targeting Deliberative Democracy: A review of Diana C. Mutz's Hearing the Other Side and Andrew Perrin's Citizen Speak

A review of Activism, Inc: How the Outsourcing of Grassroots Campaigns is Strangling Progressive Politics in America by Dana R Fisher. An interview with Paul Hawken, author of Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came Into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming. To surprise and dissent: At Heathrow, a potent demonstration of the new tactics of protest (and more).  Passport, or carte blanche to raise hell? An increasing number of activists are blending tourism with aggressive advocacy abroad. In the process, they may be taking their liberty for granted. 

E.J. Dionne Jr. on The Liberal Moment: The American left has its greatest political opening since the 60s, and its greatest philosophical one since the 30s. Mutiny on the Manifesto: Spineless scalawags are sabotaging the most promising leftist doctrine in decades. Don't let them. The guilt-free liberal: It's hard to sympathise with former liberals who completely misrepresent liberalism. They need a broader outlook. What's left, right and wrong? Although the terms of political debate have shifted over the last 25 years, some core values have remained the same.


From Dissent, Squeezing Public Education: History and ideology gang up in New Orleans. From In These Times, an essay on restoring classroom justice. On career-focused education: Starting high school? Aligning studies with interests could reduce dropout rates; or keep options open: Give students broad education, not narrow vocational tracks. Under police guard, about 60 pupils at New York's first Arabic bilingual school turned up for classes on Tuesday amid accusations the institution is a potential breeding ground for Islamic extremists. Snips, Snails, and Puppy Dog Tails: There's finally proof that boys do ruin schools for girls.

A review of Tough Liberal: Albert Shanker and the Battles Over Schools, Unions, Race, and Democracy by Richard Kahlenberg (and an interview from Inside Higher Ed). Teacher Credentials Don't Matter for Student Achievement: Many American school districts pay teachers with master's degrees substantially more, even though a number of studies suggest that having a master's degree has little if any effect on student achievement. A World Without Teacher Unions? Despite the myriad criticisms of teacher unions, their abolition would be a huge loss for supporters of public education — and for the American labor movement as a whole. Back to School: Could teachers become the new lawyers

From The Chronicle, DePaul University has canceled Norman G. Finkelstein's courses, taken away his office, and put him on leave, but the controversial political scientist plans to hold classes, even it means going to jail; and Tenure by Plebiscite: Competing petitions on a Web site have entangled the tenure bid of a Barnard College anthropologist in Israeli-Palestinian politics. The American Psychological Association has adopted stricter standards for its members' involvement in interrogations of suspected terrorists, but critics say the rules are still too lax.


From Harvard Magazine, Stephen Greenblatt on Writing as Performance: Revealing "the calculation that underlies the appearance of effortlessness". A review of This Wide and Universal Theater: Shakespeare and Performance Then and Now by David Bevington. A review of Becoming Shakespeare: The Unlikely Afterlife That Turned a Provincial Playwright Into the Bard by Jack Lynch (and more). Fun with the posthumous reputation of Ann Hathaway: A review of Shakespeare's Wife by Germaine Greer (and more and more and more and more and more and more). This mire of maybes tells us nothing about Shakespeare's true love: Try to prove an unprovable biographical theory and you end up spouting nonsense. A Space for Us: In literary MySpace, Shakespeare and Ovid mingle with authors masquerading as their characters. 

From Columbia Journalism Review, Goodbye to All That: The decline of the coverage of books isn’t new, benign, or necessary. How did we miss these? Far from the fame and glamour of the Booker and bestsellers is a forgotten world of literary treasures - brilliant but underrated novels that deserve a second chance to shine. 50 celebrated writers nominate their favourites (and part 2). Live first, write later: Bookshops are littered with underdeveloped work by young authors. It takes a mature novelist to write a masterpiece. Reclusive writers, a small but mythically resonant category made up mostly of successful, staggeringly prestigious figures whose refusal to play the publicity game, or to appear to swim in the same water as their readers, can signify everything — or nothing at all. Authors should be seen and not heard: Book readings are all part of a writer's promotional duties - so why are the majority so bad at it?

Would Orwell have been a blogger? The great essayist would be appalled by the writing, but applaud the democracy of the web. Can Wikipedia handle politics? A close reading of how it plays the Plame Game. From Literary Review of Canada, The Rise of the Pyjamahadeen: A review of Blogosphere: The New Political Arena by Michael Keren; and The Trial Coverage on Trial: Between the fawners and the tricoteuses, journalism is found guilty. Bat Boy Collapses in Checkout Lane! It’s probably safe to say that no other newspaper in the annals of journalism scored as many shocking scoops as The Weekly World News.


Why the enigmatic Japanese do what they do: A review of Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose by Kenneth B. Pyle. The Rogue That Plays by the Rules: The question is not what's wrong with the Chinese system, but how does it keeps it making progress? China's threat to Russia: Vladimir Putin is worrying too much about relations with the west; he should watch his back in the east.  Joschka Fischer on Confronting Russia: Russia is reasserting itself and Europe must remain focused in order to prevent it from pursuing dangerous options. Vladimir the Great? Putin's inspiration is much older than the Cold War. Britain's role in the new cold war: For years the Soviet Union and the US managed an uneasy balance of power. Now Russia is challenging Bush's dreams of full spectrum dominance. And, as the rhetoric heats up, a corner of Yorkshire finds itself on the front line. 

Up close and personal: Does our insatiable appetite for books on politicians’ private lives help us understand politics? A review of The Blair Years: Extracts from the Alastair Campbell Diaries by Alastair Campbell and The Darlings of Downing Street: The Psychosexual Drama of Power by Garry O’Connor. A review of Them and Us: The American Invasion of British High Society by Charles Jennings and Americans and Europeans: Dancing in the Dark: On Our Differences and Affinities, Our Interests, and Our Habits of Life by Dennis L. Bark. A review of The Hubris Syndrome: Bush, Blair and the Intoxication of Power by David Owen. The Madness of "King" George: If the President is allowed to invoke the divine right of kings, the American Revolution will have come full circle.

Robert Draper's Dead Certain: The Presidency of George Bush tells of dissent in Bush's inner circle and on Bush peeking ahead to his legacy. Does psychology explain why some voters continue to back Bush? Robert Brent Toplin investigates. A review of Cheney: The Untold Story of America’s Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President by Stephen F. Hayes. The elephant in the room: One day, he speaks out against gay issues. The next, he's caught asking for sex in a public men's washroom. He's one of several Republicans whose dubious thought processes lead to an obvious question: Hypocrisy, anyone? (and more) Oh, Everyone Knows That (Except You): The “open secret” lives in a netherworld, until one day it doesn’t. What road does it travel into daylight? The real hypocrisy of Idaho's conservatives: It's on display not in Larry Craig's complicated sexuality, but in some appalling comments made by the man who may succeed him.


From Anarchy, an article on Proudhon's Ghost: Petit-bourgeois anarchism, anarchist businesses, and the politics of effectiveness. From Workers' Liberty, 1917 + 90: Leon Trotsky — Stalinism and Bolshevism. An excerpt from Marxism, History & Socialist Consciousness by David North. A review of Comrades! A World History of Communism, by Robert Service. From The Weekly Standard, The Horror! The Horror! The paranoid style of the American left. When the left wasn't right: A review of The Fall-Out: How a Guilty Liberal Lost His Innocence by Andrew Anthony. A review of Camelot and the Cultural Revolution by James Piereson. 

Is neoconservatism dead? The Bush administration may be in a tail-spin but neo-conservatism will survive because it feeds on deeply-rooted fears. The Paul Wolfowitz of the '60s: Today's neocons echo Walt Rostow, the ideologue who helped push the U.S. into an ill-fated war. A review of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy by John J Mearsheimer and Stephen M Walt. A review of Jews and Power by Ruth R. Wisse (and more from Commentary). The objective anti-Semites: Robin Shepherd is not the first person to try and define the world's oldest hatred, but he is perhaps one of the most unlikely. From Zeek, We Ourselves are to Blame: An article on Hannah Arendt’s Jewish writings. From Forward, the genocide collisions of August should make us re-examine the moral principles we have created for ourselves in the wake of the Holocaust, and consider whether they reflect the realities of today’s cold, hard world. 

From Time, Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith: Her secret letters show that she spent almost 50 years without sensing the presence of God in her life. What does her experience teach us about the value of doubt? Did Mother Teresa believe in God? Christopher Hitchens, the nun's leading critic, argues that her crisis of faith—revealed in newly published letters—was brought on by the crushing unreasonableness of the Roman Catholic Church. The introduction to Vatican II: A Sociological Analysis of Religious Change by Melissa J. Wilde. Christ comes back to the market: A new mall-based house of worship suggests a church moving with the times. A review of Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading and The Jesus Way: A Conversation on the Ways That Jesus Is the Way by Eugene Peterson.


A review of Towards the Light: The Story of the Struggles for Liberty and Rights That Made the Modern West by AC Grayling. The glory of the West is that life is an open book: One of the strangest of recent movements in the world of education has been that promoting "multiculturalism" and attacking the traditional humanities for their "ethnocentricity". The great persuader: Eric Hobsbawm's essays on today's politics are unconventional and astringent. Hardly surprising for a world-famous historian whose communism provoked decades of controversy. A review of Sacred Causes: The Clash of Religion and Politics, From the Great War to the War on Terror By Michael Burleigh. From Telos, notes on an international conference on the nature and evolution of "European political thought after 1989 between globalization and new humanism". 

An excerpt from Making Harvard Modern: The Rise of America's University by Morton Keller and Phyllis Keller. A review of Education's End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life by Anthony T. Kronman. A review of God's Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America by Hanna Rosin. An interview with David Dockery, author of Renewing Minds: Serving Church and Society through Christian Higher Education. Inspired by Aquinas: Like many academics, Christopher Wolfe has lots of ideas about what the ideal university should be. Unlike all but a handful, though, he’s decided to take action in a big way, by creating a new institution. Dinesh D’Souza says Boston College is withholding videotape of a debate on the book he conducted there with the scholar Alan Wolfe — because it shows that the college’s "intellectual emperor has no clothes". The ugly side of student politics: How one university's council collapsed into chaos, corruption and threatened lawsuits.

Edward J. Eberle (RWU): Religion and State in the Classroom: Germany and the United States. A review of Tested: One American School Struggles to Make the Grade by Linda Perlstein; Letters to a Young Teacher by Jonathan Kozol; The Great Expectations School: A Rookie Year in the New Blackboard Jungle by Dan Brown; and A Class Apart by Alec Klein. From Mclean's, fact check: Do boys really learn better from female teachers?; and a growing body of evidence suggests grades don't predict success — C+ students are the ones who end up running the world. The Numbers Guy takes a closer look at SAT score declines. Art for our sake: School arts classes matter more than ever, but not for the reasons you think.


From TNR, a review of History of the Art of Antiquity (Texts & Documents) by Johann Winckelmann; and a look at how Moses became an American icon. A review of Greek Architecture and its Sculpture by Ian Jenkins. A review of Euripides and the Poetics of Nostalgia by Gary S. Meltzer. A review of Spartacus: Film and History. Between Riddle and Revelation: A review of Dante: the Poet, the Political Thinker, the Man by Barbara Reynolds. Building Democracy: A review of Architecture of Democracy: American Architecture and the Legacy of the Revolution, by Allan Greenberg. A review of God's Architect: Pugin and the Building of Romantic Britain by Rosemary Hill. Mussolini spared no effort in transforming Rome into the seat of his empire, turning its architecture into the embodiment of fascism’s muscular, overblown ideals.

Does all this so-called social networking crap make you wish people would stop being so fucking friendly? Do you long to disconnect? No Social Networking which is here to fulfill your need for greater social isolation. The Facebook economy: The No. 2 social network is fast evolving into a new kind of software platform - and the race is on to figure out how to turn users' every move into dollars for enterprising developers. Blogs To You! Kevin Anderson explains the difference between old-school journalism and new-school blogging. Proof of an afterlife: The blog of a dead woman lives on, perhaps redefining the nature of mourning, the nature of love. A small but growing number of parents are getting domain names for their young kids, long before they can do more than peck aimlessly at a keyboard. It turns out that the people who are hiding behind anonymity online for nefarious or selfish reasons are not little guys in pajamas but the very bastions of accountability that haters of the Web have deified.

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