Seth Stevenson in Slate: Before any of the six entrants in the 2014 Sinquefield Cup had nudged a white pawn to e4, they’d already been hailed as the strongest collection of chess talent ever assembled.
Jonathan Webb at the BBC: A major study suggests that killing among chimpanzees results from normal competition, not human interference.
Hussein Ibish in Bookforum: As this review was going to press, the latest bout of hostilities between Hamas and other Gaza-based militants and Israel had become even more bloody and destructive than 2009’s brutally named Israeli incursion into Gaza, Operation Cast Lead.
Carl Zimmer in his excellent blog, The Loom: There’s a unity to life. Sometimes it’s plain to see, but very often it lurks underneath a distraction of differences.
Daniel Genis in The Concourse: When I tell people that I recently finished serving a 10-year prison sentence for armed robbery, mostly in maximum-security facilities, I often feel a question lingering in the air.
Nathaniel Comfort in Nature: Is race biologically real? A clutch of books published this year argue the question.
Land of the Houyhnhnms ........it is what they see done every day, and .....they look upon it as one of the necessary .....actions of a reasonable being.
In Full Stop: Paul Holdengräber of the New York Public Library claims that good conversation can leave one “hopeful about the possibility of speech.” As one of the world’s leading conversationalists, he would know.
Patrícia Vieira on Doris Summer's The Work of Art in the World: Civic Agency and Public Humanities and Peter Brooks's (ed.) The Humanities and Public Life, in The LA Review of Books: Peter Brooks’s edited collection The Humanities and Public Life and Doris Sommer’s The Work of Art in the World: Civic Agency and Public Humanitiesoffer spirited defenses of the humanities that attempt to explain why these fields of study matter.
David Marquand reviews Inventing the Individual: the Origins of Western Liberalism by Larry Siedentop and Liberalism: the Life of an Idea by Edmund Fawcett, in TNR: In its 19th-century heyday, as Fawcett’s history reminds us, liberalism was optimistic, passionate and imbued with strongly held moral convictions.
Eric Lundgren at The Quarterly Conversation: Levé’s projects often invite us into discomfort, into awkward gaping at the failures of art.
Pilita Clark at The Financial Times: Her thesis is that the climate movement has been a victim of appalling timing.
Noel Malcolm in TheTelegraph: 'Many of us saw religion as harmless nonsense. We thought, if people needed a crutch for consolation, where’s the harm?
Marc Parry in the Chronicle of Higher Education: On a Friday night in early August, Corey Robin put out a call on his blog.
Elliott Colla in his blog: My first year as a student in Cairo. I visit Cairo’s main book market located in the famous area of Ezbekiyya.
James Bennet in The Atlantic: In his distinction-defying way, Clinton has managed to prove the worriers both right and, more fundamentally, wrong.
From NPR: One is becoming as well-known for her autobiographical work as she is for her test for what movies meet a gender-balance baseline.