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Happy Holidays

About the only place this book hasn't been is in my hands, open and upright, with my eyes pointed at it. But that's about to change. Because I'm going to read this book in 20-minute bursts over the next eight hours. Why 20-minute bursts? Because that's how long it takes for a batch of my mother's Slog-famous Christmas Snowball cookies to bake. I'm going to put a tray in the oven, read, swap trays out, read some more. And I think it's fair to say that by the end of the day today—after all my Christmas cookies are baked—I will have read more of this book than Sarah Palin wrote. - Dan Savage reviews Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas.
posted by Artw on Dec 22, 2013 - 91 comments

The New York Review of Books turns 50

In February 1963, a new publication took advantage of the New York City printers strike and launched with a daring editorial: It does not, however, seek merely to fill the gap created by the printers’ strike in New York City but to take the opportunity which the strike has presented to publish the sort of literary journal which the editors and contributors feel is needed in America. The New York Review of Books is now 50. [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on Oct 21, 2013 - 7 comments

Niza Yanay - the ideology of hatred: the psychic power of discourse

"The Ideology of Hatred": An interview with Niza Yanay - "Once we understand how hatred operates as an apparatus of power relations, and particularly how the discourse of hatred is motivated and mobilised in national conflicts, serious questions about misrecognition, veiled desires and symptomatic expressions arise. These questions have, to a large extent, been left unaddressed in studies of hatred between groups in conflict." [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 15, 2012 - 13 comments

How thick is your bubble?

Charles Murray, author of the controversial 1994 work The Bell Curve, has a new book coming out, entitled Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010. He's included a twenty-five question, weighted quiz to get a feel for how in touch you are with mainstream, blue-collar American culture. It's not automated, so you'll need pen and paper. [more inside]
posted by valkyryn on Jan 26, 2012 - 358 comments

A not so uplifting work...

David Brin on Atlas Shrugged, the book and movie
posted by Artw on Dec 20, 2011 - 66 comments

Over 2.7 million nations served.

NationStates is a free political simulation game founded by author Max Barry back in 2002 (previously). Loosely based on his dystopian corporate thriller Jennifer Government, the game starts by asking players to provide some national trappings and answer a few civics questions, then generates a virtual country with a matching political outlook. Periodic policy decisions like mining rights and compulsory voting allow players to further modify their country along axes of social, political, and economic freedom, arriving at one of twenty-seven colorful government types like Tyranny By Majority or Scandinavian Liberal Paradise. There's also a healthy roleplaying community -- players can discuss current events in the General forum, practice wargaming in International Incidents, form cooperative Regions to debate internal affairs (many of which form their own communities), and elect Delegates to send to the World Assembly (so renamed after an amusing cease-and-desist from the real-world U.N.). Their collective history is thoroughly recorded in the 35,000-article NSWiki, which provides a detailed legislative record, gameplay guide, and profiles on many of the 90,000 active nations, 8,000 player regions, and countless characters that currently make up the game world.
posted by Rhaomi on May 9, 2011 - 62 comments

Salesmen, Not Scientists

Merchants of Doubt is a new book that reports how a small group of scientists committed to an extreme free-market ideology have been employed by large corporations over several decades to cast doubt on such different environmental issues as the risks of tobacco smoke, the dangers of DDT, the effectiveness of the Strategic Defence Initiative, the regulation of CFCs, and the causes of global warming. A review in the Christian Science Monitor calls this "one of the most important books of the year. Exhaustively researched and documented..."
posted by binturong on Jul 12, 2010 - 48 comments

Assault on Reason

Book Excerpt: The Assault on Reason Time Magazine publishes an excerpt to further whet appetites. Releases on the 22nd.
posted by allkindsoftime on May 18, 2007 - 93 comments

"The Uncontainable Kurds"

"The Uncontainable Kurds" (NYRB). Nice summary of recent Kurdish politics in Iraq, Iran and Turkey.
posted by stbalbach on Feb 11, 2007 - 21 comments

The Wealth of Networks

The Wealth of Networks. Yochai Benkler is a Professor of Law at Yale Law School. A few years ago he wrote one of the seminal papers on Commons-based production, Coase's Penguin, or Linux and the Nature of the Firm. Now he has a new book - The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom. You can buy it, download it or add to it.
posted by scalefree on Apr 16, 2006 - 6 comments

Help! Mom! Liberals! Bed!

Help! Mom! There are Liberals Under My Bed! (54 pp., illustrated, "The story of two boys who dream about opening a lemonade stand when a strange thing happens...") Don't miss the excerpt [pdf] and the "cast of 'characters'" links on the left. Feel free to skip the author's note. (via.)
posted by nobody on Aug 25, 2005 - 74 comments

G.O.P. D.O.A.

G.O.P. D.O.A., the new novel by Brooklyn-based Contemporary Press, just got denied a reprinting by St. Louis-based Plus Communications. Although they printed the first edition less than one month ago, the publisher says that their religious clients would be upset by the book's 'language' and have refused to reprint it.

I guess that is in the same spirit as Rev. Breedlove's attempt to rekindle the tradition of book burning earlier this month.
posted by Miyagi on Jul 28, 2004 - 12 comments

It turns out it wasn't Joe Klein

The anonymous author of Imperial Hubris has been revealed.
posted by sixpack on Jul 2, 2004 - 12 comments

Paul Krugman's Musings Upon Reading Kevin Phillip's Wealth and Democracy

Plutocracy and Politics. Paul Krugman's musings upon reading Kevin Phillip's Wealth and Democracy: How Great Fortunes and Government Created America's Aristocracy, reviewed here by Bruce Reed of the Washington Monthly. Also, Three Questions For Kevin Phillips.
posted by y2karl on Jun 14, 2002 - 9 comments

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