paper trail

May 20, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

Peter Beinart

In 2006, Peter Beinart proclaimed that liberals were the only ones who could "Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again," putting a lefty gloss on the neocons' war plans, but oddly he didn't mention Israel's role in America’s “War on Terror.” Now, in an essay in the New York Review of Books, Beinart writes that "morally, American Zionism is in a downward spiral," thanks to its uncritical support for Netenyahu's hard-right coalition government in Israel, against the express wish of most American Jews—especially younger ones—to re-engage the Palestinian peace process.  

Writing from Tel Aviv, Jim Sleeper responds to Beinart's essay, applauding much in it, but judging it "an apostate's over-compensatory ardor against the American Jewish establishment's self-destructive efforts to align public opinion and policy with Israel's ugliest gambits." And in a preview from Bookforum's summer issue, Sleeper reviews Beinart's forthcoming book, The Icarus Syndrome, filling in the backstory of Beinart's blinkered "History of American Hubris." Tablet has posted an interview with Beinart in which he defends his essay's most controversial points. And, at the Daily Beast, Beinart continues to parry with his detractors, writing "Love Israel? Criticize it." The former magazine wunderkind who rarely dissented from the conservative Zionism of Marty Peretz, The New Republic's publisher during Beinart's tenure, now sounds like the sadder and wiser voice of experience.

In an effort to tame the overwhelming BEA experience, eBookNewser has assembled a BEA Digital Toolkit; one tool, Net Galley Buzz, is especially appealing for bookworms too timid to tussle with the sharp-elbowed crowds who swarm booths for galleys—the service allows you to download digital galleys from home.

Last weekend's hyped 48HR magazine found an apt critic in Andrew Losowsky of Stack America, who editorially directed an edition of Colophon magazine produced in two days. Losowsky is disappointed in the finished product: "it simply feels like the worst of both worlds: a slick-looking magazine that feels rushed." At the Times, David Carr calls it a "remarkable artifact," (as the Times itself may soon be). CBS has sent a cease-and-desist letter to 48HR, noting that the network owns the "rights [to] the award-winning news magazine television series." We'd suggest that the publication accelerate its production schedule, but 60 Minutes, is, of course, off limits. We'll have to see what comes of CBS's attempt to pulp the magazine, but in the meantime, you can pick up an issue at MagCloud.

Hurried-writing-as-stunt gets another go-round this week, as author Matt Bell writes a short story live on the Internet at Everyday Genius. Has Apple copyrighted the word "genius" yet?