Swinehart on Menand’s “The Marketplace of Ideas”

The Chicago Tribune featured a review by Kirk Swinehart, assistant professor of history, of Louis Menand’s latest book, The Marketplace of Ideas, which examines American universities. Menand, a faculty member at Harvard University as well as a staff writer at The New Yorker, examines the forces that have shaped these institutions, especially in the last few decades. Swinehart writes that “To anyone who has spent time on the inside, as they say, The Marketplace of Ideas is alternately bracing and chilling.” He says that Menand writes with the same “wry elan” that made his last book so good, and that The Marketplace of Ideas is “deeply relevant.”

Rutland: Obama’s ‘Reset’ with Russia Failing

In a recent opinion piece for The Moscow Times, Peter Rutland, professor of government, Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, says that, despite a good start, the much publicized “reset” with Russia enacted by The Obama Administration has ground to a halt. Rutland discusses the reasons for this, including some miscalculations and questions as to what kind of relationship Russia wants to have with the U.S.

Yohe on Costs of Polar Ice Melt, Global Warming

Gary Yohe, Woodhouse/Sysco Professor of Economics and a senior member if the U.N.’s IPCC panel, discusses the economic implications of polar ice melt with ABC’s Bill Blakemore ’65. Some estimates have the costs of polar ice melts and ensuing rising seas at $2.4 trillion over the next few decades. Yohe says that there have been more than 300 studies on the dollar costs of global warming with varying outcomes projected. Yohe points out more than 88% of the studies show negative implications and heightened dollar costs over the long term.

Basinger on Kathryn Bigelow and The Oscars

Chair and Corwin Fuller Professor of Film Studies Jeanine Basinger comments in The Philadelphia Inquirer about “Hurt Locker” director Kathryn Bigelow, who received a Directors Guild of America award for her work on the film, and who has been nominated for an Oscar. Basinger not only discusses how rare it is for a woman to be nominated in this category, but how the director’s job has become a decidedly male domain since sound was added to motion pictures.

Swinehart on Jonathan Dee’s “The Privileges”

In The Chicago Tribiune, Kirk Swinehart, assistant professor of history, reviews the new novel by Jonathan Dee titled, The Privileges. Swinehart writes “Jonathan Dee has written, among many other things, a riveting book about the new American family and the atomizing pressures of modern life. ‘The Privileges’ may be our finest guide yet to gracious living in the 21st century,” and that the main characters,  Adam and Cynthia Morey,  “finally resemble no one so much as ourselves.”

McAlister Weaves the History of Haiti Through Music

Elizabeth McAlister, associate professor of religion, associate professor of American studies, associate professor of African American studies, and Holly Nicolas, department assistant V, recently appeared on AfroPop Radio WorldWide to narrate and present a program called “Music and the Story of Haiti.”

McAlister’s additional commentary on Haiti and the recent earthquake in the Caribbean country can be found here.

Swinehart on Gordon’s “Dorothea Lange”

In The Chicago Tribune, Assistant Professor of History Kirk Swinehart reviews Dorthea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits, by Linda Gordon. Despite enduring attempts to wrap Lange in larger than life folklore and mystique, Gordon says that the pioneering photographer from the last century saw herself less as a proto feminist and “artist” and more of a working photojournalist, albeit, one who enjoyed the limelight. According to Swinehart, “In its grace, precision, and infinite subtlety, Gordon’s biography resembles Lange herself. Indeed, the whole is founded on a bedrock of human decency that Lange would have admired.”

Foyle on Voter Anger, Poor Communication By Obama

Douglas Foyle, the Douglas J. and Midge Bowen Bennet Professor of Government, discussed the political landscape in the aftermath of the special election for U.S. Senator in Massachusetts and how it affects Connecticut and the nation. Foyle says that along with voter frustration, President Obama has been ineffective in communicating his message, especially with regards to specific plans for repairing the economy.