University of Illinois

The Pale King By David Foster Wallace (Little, Brown, 548 pp., $27.99) Fate, Time, and Language: An Essay on Free Will By David Foster Wallace (Columbia University Press, 252 pp., $19.95) Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace By David Lipsky (Broadway Books, 320 pp., $16.99) I. Today we think of the 1920s as a golden age of American fiction. But to Edmund Wilson, looking back in 1944, the most striking thing about this modern generation, which he did more than any critic to foster, was its failure to reach full development.

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America needs to transform its energy system. The Great Lakes region possesses what may be the nation’s richest complex of innovation strengths--research universities, national and corporate research labs, and top-flight science and engineering talent. Is there a deal to be done?

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A few more things to say about those hacked e-mails from the University of East Anglia. First, the latest news: It looks like the head of the university's Climate Research Unit (CRU), Phil Jones, is stepping aside temporarily while the entire matter comes under independent review. Seems fair. As I noted in my last post, some of Jones's e-mails sounded awfully unprofessional, especially the ones where he told other researchers to delete their e-mail correspondence.

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Gonzo Sociology

The Politics of Truth: Selected Writings of C. Wright Mills Edited by John Summers (Oxford University Press, 320 pp., $21.95) C.Wright Mills published his sociological trilogy during the 1950s: White Collar in 1951, The Power Elite in 1956, The Sociological Imagination in 1959. Those were years of Republican ascendancy, and while the president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, was a moderate, the vice president, Richard Nixon, and a number of key senators, including Joe McCarthy, belonged to the conservative wing of the party.

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Love in Vain

Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues By Elijah Wald (Amistad, 342 pp., $24.95) Robert Johnson: Lost and Found By Barry Lee Pearson and Bill McCulloch (University of Illinois Press, 142 pp., $24.95) Martin Scorcese Presents the Blues: A Musical Journey Edited by Peter Guralnick, Robert Santelli, Holly George-Warren, Christopher John Farley (Amistad, 287 pp., $27.95)   The legend is known to any blues fan: he was an eager kid sitting at the feet of his musical idols, borrowing the guitar he could scarcely play and generally making a nuisance of himself.

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Warming Up

Gregg Easterbrook: The real way we know the earth is warming.

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In Harm's Way: The Pornography Civil Rights Hearings edited by Catharine A. MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin (Harvard, 496 pp., $24.95) Heterophobia: Sexual Harassment and the Future of Feminism by Daphne Patai (Rowman & Littlefield, 288 pp., $22.95) I. In February, Yale Law School sponsored a conference to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Catharine MacKinnon's Sexual Harassment of Working Women.

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