From The New Criterion, Anthony Daniels discovers what ails Shakespeare’s King Lear. Old man redeemed: Ian McKellen takes a quieter, eventually wiser King Lear on tour (and an interview). Tiny Ninja Shakespeare! When it comes to quotability, no one, but no one, beats the Bard. 

Salman Rushdie has been made knight, Buckingham Palace announced yesterday, a reward for abandoning the anti-establishment stance he once espoused. Britain's most formidable literary couple: A new Pinter revival has opened to rave reviews, while his wife Antonia Fraser continues to write bestselling biographies. How did a working-class divorcee and a Catholic aristocrat become Britain's formidable literary couple? Kingsley Amis never quite caught on with Americans. Why not? asks Michael Dirda. Beyond Wives and Lovers: In a new book Between Women: Friendship, Desire, and Marriage in Victorian England, the literary scholar Sharon Marcus maps out the complex geography of Victorian womanhood. The secret world of E M Forster: The novelist's letters reveal his private passions He is famous for stories that feature clashes between class and culture. But, says Zareer Masani, there is another theme to one of his most famous works: his own, unrequited, homosexual passions.

The Harder They Write: Caribbean literature is a concept in flux at Jamaica's Calabash International Literary Festival, writes Carlin Romano. Notes from a small island: Daniel Trilling discovers a thriving literary scene between the mountains and the Caribbean. He drew upon the horrors of his captivity in a Japanese concentration camp to spin mesmerizing tales of adventure in the Far East. Meet James Clavell, the man who gave us Shogun. A Red-Envelope Day: Artist and author Nathan Huang looks at how a Chinese New Year tradition in his family came to an end. 

From n+1, Whatever Minutes: How we've developed a cultural style of ceaseless babbling. Better than famous: A review of The Big Book of Pop Culture: A How-to Guide for Young Artists by Hal Niedzviecki. Peter Blake was paid only £200 for the Sgt Pepper album cover in 1967 and has never made much money since. But meeting the grandfather of British pop art in the cabinet of curiosities that is his studio, Lynn Barber decides he is certainly a national treasure. Fade Out: Popular music, like other media, has fragmented, and the day of the rock star as broad cultural icon is behind us. The Boys in the Band Are in AARP: The classic American midlife crisis has found a new outlet: garage-band rock ’n’ roll.

Even as an occasional endeavor, the arts have the power to transform lives, so go ahead and sue me: Just liking books is fine. Peer-to-peer book reviews fill a niche: Social-networking websites that connect people through their taste in literature are gaining in popularity – and publishers are starting to take notice. We live in the Internet age, and one of the things we love about the Internet is its ability to connect people to each other, right? Maybe instead of always doing it themselves, artists could do it with others once in a while. Social software is ready for business, but is business ready for social software? Companies of all kinds are figuring out which tools work and how to use them.


From Foreign Policy, a look at the World’s Most Powerful Crime Syndicates. How Dr Chan intends to defend the planet from pandemics: The new powers vested in the WHO's boss should, in theory, cut the risk of killer diseases raging round the world. Megacities, mega dreams for a connected world: Cities such as Bombay present many strange paradoxes, linking challenge with opportunity. Home on the Rainforest: Programs like carbon ranching represent the world’s best hope to save vanishing tropical forests and avert global climate catastrophe. A review of How Rich Countries Got Rich and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor by Erik S. Reinert. 

From Human Rights & Human Welfare, a series of essays on Human Rights in Russia and the former Soviet Republics. From The Liberal, a series of essays on Russia in the age of Putin, and on 27th February 2007, you could not buy the newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta in Moscow for love nor money – something unheard of since the heady days of perestroika. The reason for the furor? During the row over weaponry that thundered on during the G8 summit at Heiligendamm, Vladimir Putin took a leaf out of his own book, Judo: History, Theory, Practice. A review of First Person: An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait by Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Reinventing Russia: Russian Nationalism and the Soviet State, 1953-1991. A review of Death of a Dissident: the Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGB by Alex Goldfarb. From Exile, what's a gopnik? They're the last males on planet earth who can get away with wearing those 20s-style leather gangster caps without looking like drama school fags rehearsing for a musical. 

Immanuel Wallerstein on a missile defense shield: Crazy idea or rational objective? Policing the undergoverned spaces: The Americans are intensifying their hunt for al-Qaeda in the Sahara and beyond. Hamas may find it needs its enemy: Two Palestines could emerge. But don’t write off the chances for unity (and a comparison of the two territories). Should we simply ignore the Mideast? Niall Ferguson on why the Mideast matters. More troops, more troubles: Candidates who call for beefing up our armed forces to deter terrorism show a profound misunderstanding of the Mideast. 

From TNR, a look at why America doesn't need to hear from Mike Gravel; and Bill Richardson v. his resumé: The New Mexico governor is running for president on his experience. That might not be such a great idea. Hillary Studies: Two new books about Clinton add to the canon, but do little to illuminate who she really is as she eyes the White House (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). An interview with Bay Buchanan, author of The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton (and a review). What Women See When They See Hillary: Some of the same feminists who loved Hillary as First Lady are now fiercely opposing her bid for the White House. For the male candidate, sports equal machismo, but there is no playbook for a woman running for president. It has got to be Al Gore: If he is as serious about climate change as he says he is, he has to run for the US presidency.


From The American Interest, it is obvious that a military can only fight well on behalf of a society in which it believes. But a society which believes that little is worth fighting for cannot, in the end, field an effective military. Obvious as this is, we seem to have forgotten it; and U.S. Army General David H. Petraeus on the debate concerning the relationship between the Services and the civilian academy. The War Inside: Troops are returning from the battlefield with psychological wounds, but the mental-health system that serves them makes healing difficult. 

From The New Yorker, The General’s Report: Sy Hersh on how Antonio Taguba, who investigated the Abu Ghraib scandal, became one of its casualties. From TAP, a look at how the military commissions obscure Gitmo's real purpose. Shankar Vedantam on why torture keeps pace with Enlightenment. Philippe Sands discovers the legal equivalent of outer space in Clive Stafford Smith's survey of Guantánamo, Bad Men: Guantánamo Bay and the Secret Prison.

A review of Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas by Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher. Jeffrey Toobin on how the Supreme Court, no less than the Presidency, will be on the ballot next November. Did we always care about voting rights? Brian K. Landsberg investigates. Did the Federalist Society have a hand in attorney firings? The right-wing lawyers' group is the casting couch for the federal judiciary—and may have been, newly released documents indicate, for the Justice Department too.

From The New Individualist, here's a guided tour through the chaotic, crumbling conservative landscape and Dr. Hudgins’s 12-Step Cure for Big-Government Conservatism; a review of Crunchy Cons by Rod Dreher. A review of Why I Turned Right: Leading Baby Boom Conservatives Chronicle Their Political Journeys. A review of Freedom's Power: The True Force of Liberalism by Paul Starr. The people's party? A review of Comrades: A World History of Communism by Robert Service. Communism's grim toll: Despite its bloody and failed history, it still holds sway in some nations.

A review of The Political Teachings of Jesus by Tod Lindberg. The first chapter form The Secular Bible Why Nonbelievers Must Take Religion Seriously by Jacques Berlinerblau. Slim, portable gift book for atheists: Carlin Romano reviews The Atheist's Bible, ed. by Joan Konner. Edward Skidelsky reviews In Defence of Atheism by Michel Onfray tr by Jeremy Leggatt and God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens (and more and more). How to be a successful atheist priest: The secret life of Jean Meslier, unsung Enlightenment hero.

A review of Straight to Jesus: Sexual and Christian Conversions in the Ex-Gay Movement by Tanya Erzen. Transexual finds sexism in feminism: A review of Whipping Girl A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano. From The Humanist, don't give up your day job: An interview with Leslie Bennetts, author of The Feminine Mistake. A review of The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine. A review of Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause and I Feel Bad About My Neck, and Other Thoughts about Being a Woman by Nora Ephron.


From The Chronicle, remembering Richard Rorty: The pragmatist philosopher who died this month may have been soft-spoken, but he caused more than his share of scholarly brawls. Slate asks a number of philosophers and intellectuals to share reminiscences of Dick Rorty, personal and otherwise. A review of The Meaning of Life by Terry Eagleton. In a speech, President JF Kennedy said that if only Karl Marx "had remained a foreign correspondent, history might have been different". How wrong he was, argues Christopher Hitchens. Much of Marx's writing during his years as a hack was a passionate defence of the values that were to inform his political philosophy. 

From The Global Spiral, Basarab Nicolescu (ICTRS): Transdisciplinarity as Methodological Framework for Going Beyond the Science-Religion Debate; Mark Sagoff (Maryland): Is an Environmental Ethic Compatible with Biological Science?; Jean L. Kristeller (ISU): Quiet Mind, Meditative Mind and Emerging Wisdom: A Transtheoretical Model of the Wisdom Process; David Allan Larrabee (ESU): A Reductionism Based Challenge to Strong Emergence; Michael Ruse reviews Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge by E. O. Wilson; and a review of Why Religion Matters: The Fate of the Human Spirit in an Age of Disbelief by Huston Smith.

From Scientific American, should science speak to faith? Lawrence M. Krauss and Richard Dawkins exchange their views on how scientists ought to approach religion and its followers. From TNR, Jerry Coyne reviews The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism by Michael J. Behe. A review of Negotiating Darwin: The Vatican Confronts Evolution, 1877–1902. For weeks, the physics world has been buzzing with rumors juicier — at least in context — than any Washington scandal: Researchers at Fermilab's Tevatron particle collider may have made one of the biggest scientific discoveries in decades, the Higgs boson, sometimes dubbed the "God particle". Biology's Big Bang: What physics was to the 20th century, biology will be to the 21st—and RNA will be a vital part of it. 

A new study suggests that the so-called Goldilocks planet is too hot to be like Earth, but astronomers have uncovered another, cooler option. Can studying the red deserts of Mars, the thick atmosphere of Venus, and the methane seas of Titan help us to predict our own planet's climatic future? An Earth Without People: A new way to examine humanity's impact on the environment is to consider how the world would fare if all the people disappeared.

Michael Shermer on the prospects for Homo economicus: A new fMRI study debunks the myth that we are rational-utility money maximizers. From The Economist, a review of The Myth of the Rational Voter by Bryan Caplan. A look at how George Mason University economists practice their own brand of "Freakonomics".


From The Guardian, a review of Imaginary Futures: From Thinking Machines to the Global Village by Richard Barbrook; and how we have been fooled by utopian visions of the future: Our expectations of technology are borne out of Cold War spin. The community-building projects of the digital world are celebrated for the abundance they make it possible to access and share; but what if the culture of a community only arises from jointly endured constraints? Tony Curzon Price explores a key paradox of the online age. Lost in cyberspace: The network society may ultimately lead to information overload, triviality, and loneliness. It's better in the flesh: Social networking sites don't foster meaningful communication. They are a complete waste of time. Is Wis.dm your next online obsession? Answer yes or no. This new social-networking site is based upon your responses to all kinds of questions.

From The Economist, a special section on technology, including an interview with Tom Standage, editor of Technology Quarterly. Genius and misfit aren’t synonyms, or are they? In Silicon Valley, where misfits rule, rejecting the received wisdom is commonly viewed as a path to creativity and wealth. A review of The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing Our Culture and Assaulting Our Economy by Andrew Keen (and more). An interview with David Weinberger, author of Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder

From Business Week, Where Tech Got Its Start: The early quarters of tech giants like Hewlett-Packard and Apple could be must-see tourist spots for your grandkids. From Time, can Google get any bigger? We now use the #1 search engine as our main tool for navigating the web. But aside from search, Google still lags behind Yahoo! and MySpace. Private Parts, Public Streets: Google hits the streets. Will we get screwgled? From Wired, thanks to Google Earth's Street View, the paranoids don't seem so paranoid anymore; and researchers chart the internet's "Black Holes", the more than 10 percent of the internet that flickers out like a candle every day.

Law enforcement cannot stop spam with periodic high-profile busts, or with sentences greater than those received by rapists or murderers. Unfortunately, there's no quick fix, and we should search for something other than these symbolic incarcerations. Scamming the Spammers: Internet spammers are creative, but so are the people devoted to catching them. How many ways can you spell V1@gra? Spam mutates, and the Internet community mounts an immune response.


From Perspectives on Politics, Michal Ben-Josef Hirsch (MIT): From Taboo to the Negotiable: The Israeli New Historians and the Changing Representation of the Palestinian Refugee Problem. An excerpt from Foxbats Over Dimona: The Soviets' Nuclear Gamble in the Six-Day War by Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez. A review of Tom Segev's 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year That Transformed the Middle East (and an interview). Is this the end of the Two-State Solution? The consequences and possibilities of the civil war in Gaza.

From The Nation, a review of The Shia Revival: How Conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Future by Vali Nasr; Reaching for Power: The Shi'a in the Modern Arab World by Yitzhak Nakash; Hidden Iran: Paradox and Power in the Islamic Republic by Ray Takeyh; and Confronting Iran: The Failure of American Foreign Policy and the Next Great Conflict in the Middle East by Ali Ansari. What do liberal hawks actually want to do regarding Iran? Ezra Klein wants to know. For Liberal Internationalism: Now that neoconservative policies have led us into disaster, it's time to give liberal internationalism a chance.

Iraq's Founding Mother: A review of Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations by Georgina Howell (and more). Bush's blank check: Do we really need to spend more than a trillion dollars a year to defeat small groups of terrorist fanatics? The Enemy of My Enemy: Fred Kaplan on how Sunni insurgents can help us. Kidnapped in Iraq: A review of Friendly Fire by Giuliana Sgrena and The Jill Carroll Story. Hindsight's insight on Iraq: Accusations of hypocrisy and flip-flopping shouldn't obscure the facts. Timothy Stewart-Winter on Sam Greenlee's 1976 mass-market paperback novel Baghdad Blues, the book that should be on President Bush's reading list.

In Iraq and beyond, America's empire of permanent bases grows at an alarming pace. World oil supplies are set to run out faster than expected, warn scientists. The Pentagon v. Peak Oil: How wars of the future may be fought just to run the machines that fight them. 

From Wired, an article on a Portrait of the Modern Terrorist as an Idiot. A review of The Infernal Machine: A History of Terrorism by Matthew Carr (and an interview). A look at the trade secrets of an Iraq insurgency bomb technician.


From The Little Magazine, an essay on Amartya Sen, economic exclusion and inclusive policy. From Philanthropy, a review of Andrew Carnegie by David Nasaw; and an essay on Preparing for Disaster: Philanthropy and medicine in a post-9/11, post-Katrina, pre-pandemic world. Can we fix inequality without cutting the fortunes of the wealthy? Doubtful, says Robert Frank. Experts answer what they know. The Non-Expert answers anything. Eric Feezell helps a poor man figure out how to make the system work—by any means necessary.

From TNR, Clay Risen on GS TrUE, the private stock exchange that could revolutionize the U.S. financial system. Wal-Mart's Latest Ethics Controversy: An employee who scrupulously followed the company's own ethics guidelines may find herself out of a job. An interview with Amity Shlaes, author of The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression (and two reviews). The first chapter form The New Industrial State by John Kenneth Galbraith.

Blame it on the underpants: A review of Clean: a History of Personal Hygiene and Purity by Virginia Smith. Eternal youth is all in your head: You may not be able to relive your youth but part of your brain can. Mental illness and the price of free will: Are laws protecting the right to refuse psychiatric treatment doing more harm than good. An interview with Allan M. Brandt, author of The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall, and Deadly Persistence of the Product that Defined America.


From the Journal of Public Deliberation, Alison Kadlec and Will Friedman (Public Agenda): Deliberative Democracy and the Problem of Power; David M. Ryfe (Nevada): Toward a Sociology of Deliberation; Peter Levine (Maryland) Rose Marie Nierras (Sussex): Activists’ Views of Deliberation; Renée A. Daugherty and Sue E. Williams (OSU): Applications of Public Deliberation: Themes Emerging from Twelve Personal Experiences Emanating from National Issues Forums Training.

Janette Hartz-Karp (Murdoch): How and Why Deliberative Democracy Enables Co-Intelligence and Brings Wisdom to Governance; Ted Becker (Auburn): How Deliberative Democracy May Keep Pseudo-Democracy, The New Rule by the Few, From Bungling Into Global Catastrophes; a review of Democracy as the Political Empowerment of the Citizen by Majid Behrouzi; a review of The Next Form of Democracy by Matt Leighninger; and a review of Saving Democracy: A Plan for Real Representation in America by Kevin O’Leary. 

A new issue of Ephemera is out Immaterial and Affective Labour, including an introduction.  From New & Letters, a review of The Theory of Revolution in the Young Marx by Michael Löwy; and an excerpt from Reclaiming Marx's Capital: A Refutation of the Myth of Inconsistency by Andrew Kliman. The Makhno myth: Jason Yanowitz looks that the myth and reality surrounding an anarchist hero of the Russian civil war.

From Inside Higher Ed, the more you pursue a higher education, the more likely you are to abandon your faith? That’s what conventional wisdom holds. Beyond the Walls of the Secular Cathedral: An interview with Greg Epstein, humanist chaplain of Harvard. If today’s students are to become good citizens of the world, they’ll need to be able to argue effectively.

You don't need to donate to charity to feel all warm inside. Researchers have found that even when money is taken from some people involuntarily, they feel good about the transaction, as long as the funds go to a good cause. Paying taxes is a pleasurable duty: It seems people enjoy parting with money more than they let on, a new study shows that giving away cash triggers a physiological reward. 


From The Gay & Lesbian Review, a review of The Mirror of the Self: Sexuality, Self-Knowledge, and the Gaze in the Early Roman Empire by Shadi Bartsch; heroes in the culture wars: A review of Shameless: Sexual Dissidence in American Culture by Arlene Stein; a review of Tennessee Williams: Memoirs; “Kinsey and I thought very much alike”: An interview with Gore Vidal, author of Point to Point Navigation; proof that poetry can be about assholes: a review of The Book of Martyrdom and Artifice: First Journals and Poems, 1937-1952 and Collected Poems, 1947-1997 by Allen Ginsberg, and I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg by Bill Morgan.

From The Liberal, poetry was for Bertolt Brecht something he did on the side, almost a vice, a peccadillo. He didn't want it to be his living, but was helpless to prevent it from remaining his primary expression. From The New Criterion, The Heraclitus of New Hampshire: A review of The Notebooks of Robert Frost; let's do it, let's fall in luff: A review of  A Worldly Country by John Ashbery, Forty-Five by Frieda Hughes, Dance Dance Revolution by Cathy Park Hong, Ooga-Booga by Frederick Seidel, and Selected Poems: Expanded Edition by Robert Lowell.

Roger Kimball on why the art world is a disaster. Art on the cutting edge? Brigitte Werneburg asks what contemporariness means in the artworld today. A review of Creators: From Chaucer and Dürer to Picasso and Disney by Paul Johnson. From Smithsonian, a photo contest attracted thousands of photographers from 86 nations. Her are the winners. An excerpt from No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy by Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites. A review of An American Lens: Scenes from Alfred Stieglitz's New York Secession by Jay Bochner. 

From Print, high-flying artist? Man of the streets? Whoever Banksy wants to be, he’s keeping it a secret for now; amateurs taking over? Don't panic—DIY design culture might just have something to teach us; infusing an old culture with a complex tangle of Western influences, Lithuania’s PetPunk is helping forge a sensibility for the New Europe; and what happens when Miami meets Japanese culture? Lots of toys, parades, and playgrounds. Behold the power of Friends With You! From Resurgence, a review of Design Like You Give a Damn by Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr.


From Foreign Affairs, Kenneth F. Scheve (Yale) and Matthew J. Slaughter (Tufts): A New Deal for Globalization. An excerpt from Bound Together How Traders, Preachers, Adventurers, and Warriors Shaped Globalization by Nayan Chanda. From Cato Unbound, Daniel Drezner on The Persistent Power of the State in the Global Economy (with reaction essays). Anette Ahrnens at Lund University in Sweden shows that the Security Council can be a shortcut for great powers wishing to manipulate other countries into granting their consent. 

From Perspectives on Politics, Bronwyn Leebaw (UC-Riverside): The Politics of Impartial Activism: Humanitarianism and Human Rights. An interview with Carla del Ponte, chief prosecutor for the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, on the prospects for bringing the last few Serbian war criminals to justice. Can kids be war criminals? A review of A Long Way Gone: Memoir of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah.

Susan Waltz (Michigan): US Policy on Small Arms Transfers: A Human Rights Perspective. Jonathan Schell on the Spirit of June 12: Twenty-five years after the largest antinuclear demonstration ever, the movement has dwindled. But the threat of mass destruction grows greater.

From RSA Journal, millions of people die each year because they cannot afford routinely available medicines. Professors Thomas Pogge and Sunil Shaunak propose a new way forward. From Women's Review of Books, an article on The Dickensian World of Micro-Finance: Grameen may not be so good for women after all.

From Financial Times, who are the villains and the victims of global capital flows? The World’s Worst Currencies: Most countries seem to have finally whipped inflation—at least for now. But not everyone is celebrating the world’s impressive economic stability. A look at the soft currencies of some of the most unstable economies on the planet. 

Consumerism and its Disconnects: What connection does the rural backwater of Rosia Montana have to European integration and Global climate change? Horatio Morpurgo mines the controversy surrounding a Canadian company's plans for a small Romanian town, and finds food for thought for western eco-warriors and liberals alike. Can global warming be blamed for the shrinking glaciers of Kilimanjaro? The Kibo ice cap, a "poster child" of global climate change, is being starved of snowfall and depleted by solar radiation.

Advertisement