The Survival Of The Fattest
March 19, 2007

Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think By Brian Wansink (Bantam, 276 pp., $25) The idea of "the survival of the fittest" is one of the most powerful organizing principles in all of science. That simple idea, stated by Herbert Spencer on the basis of Charles Darwin's work and later endorsed by Darwin himself, captures the theory of evolution, the process of natural selection, and a host of associated notions. And yet the phrase can produce confusion.

Are The Stars Aligned For Gore?
February 15, 2007

That's the question asked by Steve Kornacki in the (newly redesigned, handsomely redesigned) New York Observer. The columnist makes the case for why Gore is not rushing into the race and why waiting is a wise strategy. It's not just the Academy Award or the Nobel nominations and the world-wide musical jamboree on climate change scheduled for early summer. It's also that the three front-runners (Hillary, Obama, Edwards) will bash each other up. For Gore, the best scenario would be HC left standing but battered and having bored everybody to death by the fall.

Exile and the Kingdom
March 15, 1998

Messianism, Zionism, and Jewish Religious Radicalism By Aviezer Ravitzky. Translated by Michael Swirsky and Jonathan Chipman (University of Chicago Press, 303 pp., $17.95) When it emerged as a political program for the Jews at the end of the nineteenth century, Zionism was a phenomenon for which traditional Jewish life was completely unequipped. It was new and it was perplexing, a movement that eluded categorization in the religious terms and the religious images of the past. It promised a political solution that was neither redemption nor exile.