Holy Wars: Religion and Society in Iran, Europe, India, and America

Table of Contents

In Essence

The new suburban "ideopolises" now hold the balance of power in national elections. Which way will they turn?

It's not just the United States that has found it almost impossible to regulate campaign contributions.

After confronting totalitarian ideologies in the last century, America may have trouble dealing with tyrants in the new one.

The world has too quickly forgotten America's long legacy of pro-Arab and pro-Muslim policies.

People admire charismatic corporate leaders such as Bill Gates and Jack Welch, but in most companies shared leadership roles are they key to success.

It's been a long downhill slide, says Peter Berger, since sociology's golden age in the 1950s.

Large estimates of the U.S. Muslim population have been cropping up every since the 9/11 attacks. Too large, say some experts.

Can journalists learn the ropes at journalism schools? Most professionals think not, but curriculum changes could make a difference.

Ravenous plants are the stuff of science fiction, but today's scientists are using feisty flora to munch on a variety of manmade toxins.

China and India have an overabundance of young men. If history is any guide, that should worry the rest of the world.

iews of articles from periodicals and specialized journals here and abroad Politics & Government 85 98 Religion & Philosophy Foreign Policy & Defense 87 loo Science, Technology Economics, Labor & Business 90   & Environment Society 91 102 Arts & Letters Press & Media 95 107 Other Nations WarA survey of Recent Articlesceeking to justify its threat...

Michael Pinto-Duschinsky, in Journal of Democracy (Oct. 2002), 1101 15th St., N.W., Ste. 800, Washington, D.C. 20005. All around the free and quasi-free world, from Albania to Zambia, there has been no shortage of political finance scandals in recent years-and no shortage of ineffectu- al governn~ent measures to prevent them. Pinto-Duschinsky, a senior research fellow in politics at England's Brunei University, argues that it's time for a dose of realism."Laws are one thing; whether they a...

the progressive Direct Legislation League, the other sponsored sur- reptitio~~slythe utility companies and de- signed to create a commission beholden to them. Perhaps confused, voters defeated both measures. (The state legislature subse- quently created a progressive-backed regu- latory commission.)"Besides sponsoring ballot initiatives," write Smith and Lubinski, "vested eco-nomic interests also successfully placed on the ballot six popular referendums that expressly challenged...

Sujit Chakravorti and Timothy McHugh, in Economic Perspectives (2002: Third Qtr.), Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 230 S. LaSalle St., Chicago, 111. 60604-1413. Every month in the United States, more than 15 checks per person are written. That's more than three times the number in Canada and at least 15 times the number in Italy and several other European countries. What happened to America's commitment to the brave new checkless world?Checks may be less efficient than elec- tronic payments, a...

Sujit Chakravorti and Timothy McHugh, in Economic Perspectives (2002: Third Qtr.), Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 230 S. LaSalle St., Chicago, 111. 60604-1413. Every month in the United States, more than 15 checks per person are written. That's more than three times the number in Canada and at least 15 times the number in Italy and several other European countries. What happened to America's commitment to the brave new checkless world?Checks may be less efficient than elec- tronic payments, a...

Peter S. Bearman and Hannah Bruckner, in American Journal of Sociology (Mar. 2002), Univ. of Chicago Press, Journals Division, 1427 E. 60th St., Chicago, 111. 60637. It's commonly supposed these days (and enshrined in many textbooks) that biology plays the main role in determining an indi- vidual's sexual orientation. Sociologists Bearman, of Columbia University, and Bruckner, of Yale University, have found some evidence that suggests otherwise.In a 1994-96 national study, 18,841 mid- dle and h...

A Survey of Recent Articleswhen Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism appeared in 1951, the West had only recently prevailed over Hitler's Gern~any and now faced the menace of Stalin's Soviet Union. Origins was the first major philosopl~ical effort to deal with total- itarianism, and more than a half-century later it remains perhaps the most significant. But, as several of the 13 scholars who consider Arendt's magnum opus in Social Research (Summer 2002) observe: Origins is as difficult...

uprooted masses who ironically and also tragically sought a world in which they wodd enjoy public recognition, was the appearance of what [she] called 'radical' and 'absolute' evil." "Difficult as it is to con- ceive of an absolute [radical] evil even in the face of its factual existence," Arenclt wrote, "it seems to be closely connected with the invention of a system in which all men are equally superfluous," including even, in their ow11 fanatical minds, the "totalitarian...

Jack Shafer, in Slate (Oct. 7, 2002), www.slate.insn.com; "Some Ruminations on Journalism Schools as Columbia Turns" Orville Schell, and "Getting Journalism Education Out of the Way" by Betty Medsger, in Zoned for Debate (Sept. 16, 2002), www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/joumal/fonim. The prestigious graduate school of journal- ism at Columbia University, the sainted press criticA. J. Liebling once wrote, had "all the intel- lectual status of a training school for future employees o...

subsequent developments. "In professional journalisn~," the authors argue, "business is assumed to be the natural steward of society, while labor is seen as a less benevolent force and left politics generally are held in suspicion."Deregulation of broadcasting and "lax enforcement" of antitrust laws, the authors say, have put "the U.S. media system in the hands of a small number of colossal conglomerates." They pay high prices for media properties and demand...

Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson, and Joan Didion, was every English composition teacher's dream: New Journalism showed and did not tell, and varied in form while making a point. But along the way, style dethroned the story, Shapiro claims. As Wolfe wrote in 1973, "The proof of one's technical mastery as a writer becomes paramount and the demonstration of moral points becomes secondary."A great magazine story can still make peo- ple take notice. A recent example: William Langewiesche's...

2005.The downside to phytoremediation is that it takes time for the plants to do their work. Such techniques, says Kirkwood, "will make sense only if there are appropriate growing conditions, contaminant densities, and aeration of the soil." But phytoremediation can also allow contaminated sites to be partially inhabited even while the cleanup is going on. The ~aughterless Gene"The Plot to Kill the Carp" Todd Woody, in Wired (Oct. 2002), 520 Third St., 3rd FL, San Francisco, Cal...

James Cuno, in Bulletin of the American Academy ofArts 6Sciences (Summer 2002), 136 Irving St., Cambridge, Mass. 02138. Tom Krens, director of New York City's Guggenheim Museum, thought he had a can't-miss formula: "Great collections, great architecture, a great special exhibi- tion, a great second exhibition, two shop- ping opportunities, two eating opportun- ties, a high-tech interface via the Internet, and economies of scale via a global net- work." The museum opened flashy new branches i...

The Periodical Observerrootless transients, unemployed or under- employed. In other words, they are doubly prone to vice and violence.Hudson and Den Boer believe there's a relationship between violence against women within a society and violence "with- in and between" societies. "Exaggerated gender inequality," they argue, leads to heightened internal instability.Even if begun now, efforts to reduce female infanticide and abortion for sex selec- tion would not right the...

Book Reviews



Drugs and the Making of the Modern World.

By David T. Courtwright. Harvard Univ. Press. 277 pp. $24.95 hardcover,
$16.95 paper

FIRST AMONG EQUALS:The Supreme Court in American Life.By Kenneth W Starr. Warner. 320 pp. $26.95NARROWING THE NATION'S POWER:The Supreme Court Sides with the States.By John T. Noonan, Jr. Univ. of California Press. 203 pp. $24.95

FORCES OF HABIT:Drugs and the Making of the Modern World.By David T. Courtwright. Harvard Univ. Press. 277 pp. $24.95 hardcover,$16.95 paperTHE PURSUIT OF OBLIVION:A Global History of Narcotics.By Richard Davenport-Hines. Norton. 576 pp. $29.95OUT OF IT:A Cultural History of Intoxication.By Stuart Walton. Harmony. 366 pp. $24


China's debate over whether to preserve or restore the ruined site of the great imperial palace complex of Yuanming Yuan shows how the Chinese are grappling with their past--and how they imagine their future.

Norman Kutcher

Tensions between the United States and its European allies often ran high during the later days of the Cold War, but today’s conflicts are more numerous and frequently more severe—and they won’t be resolved without strong commitments from leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.

Samuel F. Wells, Jr.

The Louisiana Purchase wasn't just the largest real estate deal in U.S. history. It forever altered the way America sees itself.

Peter S. Onuf

Technology now allows individuals to trace their genetic ancestry and claim an identity. That same process of genetic tracing might have less benign consequences for the larger society.

Carl Elliott

In Iran, where the failing government is Islamic, the colors of protest are of varying and often subtle secular hues.

Afshin Molavi

As the influence of traditional religions wanes, Europeans feel a yearning for spiritual forces they do not control.

Roger Scruton

The word secular in India now signifies an approach that has crippled a great nation by suppressing its basic impulses.

Mukul Kesavan

Browse Our Issues