James Surowiecki | New Yorker | 26 December 2011
On the return of "layaway", or saving in instalments for big-ticket items
and buying when you've saved enough. Antithesis of, and antidote to credit
card binge. Not rational perhaps, but works because money to hand is money
A History Of Disappointment
Jackson Lears | London Review Of Books | 29 December 2011
"How did Obama develop his paradoxical combination of fierce ambition and
persistent timidity?" Hostile assessment of US president says part of the
answer may lie in his family background and a "genealogy of disappointment"
Modernisation, Not Morality, Is The Dirty Word Of Politics
Peter Oborne | Telegraph | 28 December 2011
"Modernisation" is little more than set of techniques for securing, keeping
power. Practitioners included Blair, Mandelson, Cameron. Worked in electoral
terms; useless at tackling national problems. Looks intellectually bankrupt
How Much Dam Energy Can We Get?
Tim Murphy | Do The Math | 20 December 2011
Physicist investigating how we can replace fossil fuels turns attention to
hydroelectric power. Steady, self-storing, efficient, low-carbon. Better
than tidal. But a few calculations show it'll never be a big player
George Steiner: A Certain Idea Of Knowledge
Juliette Cerf | Telerama/Presseurop | 30 December 2011
High-flying interview with literary scholar and polymath. Interesting
throughout. "Our world is shrinking. Science is becoming inaccessible to us.
Is it possible to be literate if you do not understand non-linear
Sergei Karaganov | Foreign Affairs | 28 December 2011
Harsh, perceptive global view from dean of Russian foreign policy analysts.
Western democracy follows communism into oblivion. Authoritarianism emerges
as best form of government. History returns to "customary state of chaos"
Best of FiveBooks on Sport
Does the new year prompt thoughts of spending more time at the gym or on the
sports field? Concluding our best of FiveBooks series, here are five books
to inspire sporting (and gambling) endeavour Read on
Featured Special Report
If cooking is your thing, or you want it to be, this is for you. From
interviews with top chefs to articles that range from the perfect appliance,
to food for athletes, to what's in your cappuccino, it's all here. Enjoy
Book of the Day
Book of the Day
All the Days and Nights by William Maxwell
Mona Simpson says: “I absolutely love him. He’s one of our great short
story writers. He’s very delicate, very mid-Western” FiveBooks Archive
Video of the Day
Four minutes of flashing, banging, bubbling and burning. How many can you
identify? More videos
Quote of the Day
Gertrude Stein, on repetition
"There is no such thing as repetition. There is always a slight variation"
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