The Age of Connection

Spring 2012

The Age of Connection

The Age of Connection Cover Image

Technology is making it as easy to keep in touch with someone on the other side of the world as it is with a next-door neighbor. Social networks bring news and tidbits from far and wide, sometimes with startling results. But is technology really increasing understanding between people? Between nations?

More From This Issue

Table of Contents

Essays

Liberals and conservatives alike wrap groupthink in the cloak of science whenever convenient. The results are seldom good.

Christopher Clausen

Friendships that were once maintained with the rudimentary technology of pen and paper are now reinforced 24/7 with the stroke of a few keys. A longtime letter writer reflects on what has been gained... and lost.

Christine Rosen

Today we worry about the social effects of the Internet. A century ago, it was the telephone that threatened to reinvent society.

Tom Vanderbilt

Solitary confinement, once regarded as a humane method of rehabilitation, unravels the mind. Yet today, more than 25,000 U.S. prisoners languish in isolated cells.

Stephanie Elizondo Griest

Many nations have aging populations, but none can quite match Japan. Its experience holds lessons for other countries as well as insights into the distinctiveness of Japanese society.

Nicholas Eberstadt

The Port Huron Statement launched America’s New Left in 1962. Today it seems naive and in some ways misguided—yet it raised questions that still agitate Americans today.

Daniel Akst

The Internet has changed many things, but not the insular habits of mind that keep the world from becoming truly connected.

Ethan Zuckerman

In Essence

THE SOURCE: “The Future of History” by Francis Fukuyama, in Foreign Affairs, Jan.–Feb. 2012.

THE SOURCE: “The Strategic Use of Prisons in Partisan Gerrymandering” by Jason P. Kelly, in Legislative Studies Quarterly, Feb. 2012.

THE SOURCE: “Sea Change” by Ronald Spector, in The Quarterly Journal of Military History, Winter 2012.

THE SOURCE: “Not Fade Away” by Robert Kagan, in The New Republic, Feb. 2, 2012.

THE SOURCE: “Why ‘Good Jobs’ Are Good for Retailers” by Zeynep Ton, in Harvard Business Review, Jan.–Feb. 2012.

THE SOURCE: “Does Trade Adjustment Assistance Make a Difference?” by Kara M. Reynolds and John S. Palatucci, in Contemporary Economic Policy, Jan. 2012.

THE SOURCE: “Bankers’ Bonuses and the Financial Crisis” by Ian Tonks, in Vox EU, Jan. 8, 2012.

THE SOURCE: “Atomic Bread Baking at Home” by Aaron Bobrow-Strain, in The Believer, Feb. 2012.

THE SOURCE: “The New Goliaths” by Margot Sanger-Katz, in National Journal, Feb. 18, 2012.

THE SOURCE: “Is a College Degree Still the Great Equalizer? Intergenerational Mobility Across Levels of Schooling in the United States” by Florencia Torche, in American Journal of Sociology, Nov. 2011.

THE SOURCE: “Social and News Media Enable Estimation of Epidemiological Patterns Early in the 2010 Haitian Cholera Outbreak” by Rumi Chunara, Jason R. Andrews, and John S. Brownstein, in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Jan. 2012.

THE SOURCE: “Jews, Christians, and Judaeo-Christians” by Geza Vermes, in Standpoint, Dec. 2011.

THE SOURCE: “Christianity and the Future of the Book” by Alan Jacobs, in The New Atlantis, Fall 2011.

THE SOURCE: “Why Chinese People Play Western Classical Music: Transcultural Roots of Music Philosophy” by Hao Huang, in International Journal of Music Education, Oct. 11, 2011 (online).

THE SOURCE: “I Thought You Were a Poet” by Joshua Mehigan, in Poetry, July–Aug. 2011.

THE SOURCE: “Browning in Hackney” by Alexandra Lawrie, in Times Literary Supplement, Jan. 20, 2012.

THE SOURCE: “The Accidental Universe: Science’s Crisis of Faith” by Alan Lightman, in Harper’s, Dec. 2011.

THE SOURCE: “Economic Liberalization and Indian Economic Growth: What’s the Evidence?” by Ashok Kotwal, Bharat Ramaswami, and Wilima Wadhwa, in Journal of Economic Literature, Dec. 2011.

THE SOURCE: “Iran’s Declining Influence in Iraq” by Babak Rahimi, in The Washington Quarterly, Winter 2012.

THE SOURCE: “Climate Change, Rainfall, and Social Conflict in Africa” by Cullen S. Hendrix and Idean Salehyan, in Journal of Peace Research, Jan. 2012.

THE SOURCE: “Competitive Food Sales in Schools and Childhood Obesity: A Longitudinal Study” by Jennifer Van Hook and Claire E. Altman, in Sociology of Education, Jan. 2012.

Book Reviews

One Nation Under God  Image

SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, SHIELD OF FAITH:
Religion in American War and Diplomacy.
By Andrew Preston.
Knopf. 815 pp. $37.50

An Economy of Regard  Image

SOMEDAY ALL THIS WILL BE YOURS:
A History of Inheritance and Old Age.
By Hendrik Hartog.
Harvard Univ. Press. 353 pp. $29.95

The Urban Future  Image

THE GREAT INVERSION AND THE FUTURE OF THE AMERICAN CITY.
By Alan Ehrenhalt.
Knopf. 276 pp. $26.95

Human Circuit Board  Image

CONNECTOME:
How the Brain’s Wiring Makes Us Who We Are.
By Sebastian Seung.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 359 pp. $27

Mexico's Gruesome Icon  Image

DEVOTED TO DEATH:
Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint.
By R. Andrew Chesnut.
Oxford Univ. Press. 221 pp. $24.95

A Wealth of Insight  Image

WHEN I WAS A CHILD I READ BOOKS.
By Marilynne Robinson.
Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 206 pp. $24

Sweet Possessives  Image

THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND:
Woody Guthrie and the Journey of an American Folk Song.
By Robert Santelli.
Running Press. 256 pp. $24

Leader of the Pack  Image

JULIETTE GORDON LOW:
The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts.
By Stacy A. Cordery.
Viking. 382 pp. $28.95

India's Underbelly  Image

BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS:
Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity.
By Katherine Boo.
Random House. 256 pp. $27

A Genius for Languages  Image

BABEL NO MORE:
The Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Language Learners.
By Michael Erard.
Free Press. 306 pp. $25.99

Noble Savages  Image

MORAL ORIGINS:
The Evolution of Virtue, Altruism, and Shame.
By Christopher Boehm.
Basic Books. 418 pp. $28.99

Rollin' Through the Years  Image

ENGINES OF CHANGE:
A History of the American Dream in Fifteen Cars.
By Paul Ingrassia.
Simon & Schuster. 416 pp. $30

United States of Givers  Image

PHILANTHROPY IN AMERICA:
A History.
By Olivier Zunz.
Princeton Univ. Press. 381 pp. $29.95

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