In lieu of posts from me, and probably a far better exchange, I recommend reading the articles of the most recent New York Review of Books. The edition is solid from top to bottom. Among my favorites:
- Where do we go from here? Paul Krugman and Robin Wells repeat the call for a primary opponent to Obama, providing the political and economic rationale for it to happen. Their theme of delinking is one I have tried to work with recently, but have been held back by the nerve problem.
- Why Wikileaks Changes Everything - Christian Caryl delves into many of the same themes I raised early on, particularly the political implications of the indiscriminate release of government data. I particularly like the evaluation of Assange as an incoherent twit, which has been my estimation all along.
- The Concealed Battle to Run Russia - Amy Knight makes excellent use of some leaked diplomatic cables in her review of a book on Russian politics. You want a picture of a truly criminal state? Cheney could only dream of this level of power.
- The Beleaguered Cambodians - Margo Picken provides a look at another criminal state. This one goes into the ways in which imperial & colonial powers have abetted a local elite to rob the nation blind.
- China: From Famine to Oslo - Perry Link discusses two new novels by Chinese writers in the context of the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to Liu Xiaobo. As with the articles on Russia and Cambodia, the author goes into life in a repressive, authoritarian state, discussing the reality of life for people who truly are oppressed, spied upon, imprisoned, tortured and murdered by their governments, and how they respond to this condition. These articles individually and together serve as a useful corrective to the denizens of the Left blogosphere wringing their hands and bemoaning the horrible, horrible behavior of the US Gubmint against Our Hero Julian and who might just be coming after poor little ME next! Get a grip, people.
- Curveballs - Joseph Lelyveld's review of Bush's account of his administration. Cool, almost cold, it eviscerates W's self-exculpation. The final paragraphs on exchanges between W and Bush 41 are particularly good.
- No Thanks for the Memories (access for NYRB subscribers only, but first few paragraphs are available) - Gordon Wood provides a much needed counterpoint to professional liberal pundits' mocking dismissal of the Tea Party by talking about the difference between fact and meaning in cultural memory.