The Nightstand (June-July Mega Update)

So, its been over a month since I last published an edition of The Nightstand.  Instead of individual posts for each of the six weeks or so that I missed, I decided to combine them all into one MEGA update, or to be more formal, we’ll call it the Summer Vacation edition.  This represents all my recommended articles from the latter part of June and the entire month of July.  If you feel the need to whittle this down even further, I have placed asterisks on the 10-12 most important articles (IMO) from this larger set.


Mormonism

**How the Mormons Make Money (Caroline Winter, Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

**Confessions of an ex-Mormon (Walter Kirn, The New Republic)

Mormons’ First Families Rally Behind Romney (Jim Rutenberg, NYT)

The Mormon Lens on American History (Jennifer Schuessler, NYT)

**I’m a Mormon, Not a Christian (David V. Mason, NYT)– So awesome, on so many different levels.

Mirroring Mormonism (Richard Livingston, Peculiar People)

Mormons, Soldiers, Socialists and Me (Heidi Harris, Peculiar People)

Why We’re Afraid of Mormons (Rich Barlow, Boston University Today)

Is Mormonism an Experience? (Stephen Mansfield, WaPo)

The Truth about Mormon Stereotypes (Taylor Petrey, Peculiar People)

**Individualism, Communalism, and the Foreign Past of Mormonism (Ben Park, Peculiar People)

Economics

The Opportunity Gap (David Brooks, NYT)– I have some problems with the analysis here, as well as the false dichotomy being perpetuated in the prescription, but all in all, a good reminder.

**The Sharp, Sudden Decline of the American Middle Class (Jeff Tietz, Rolling Stone)– A nation and institutions that allow this sort of thing to persist do not deserve to live.

The Rise of Innovative State Capitalism (Joshua Kurlantzick, Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

Do Business Schools Incubate Criminals? (Luigi Zingales, Bloomberg View)

Workingman’s Constitution (William E. Forbath, NYT)

**Two Classes, Divided by ‘I Do’ (Jason DeParle, NYT)

The Heart of the Matter (John Hussman, Hussman Funds Weekly Market Comment)

Poverty in the 50 years since ‘The Other America’ (Dylan Mathews, WonkBlog)

The Spreading Scourge of Corporate Corruption (Eduardo Porter, NYT)

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney and the New Gilded Age (Robert Reich)

**Where the Money Lives (Nicholas Shaxson, Vanity Fair)

What Happened to Romney’s “Evangelical Problem”? (John-Charles Duffy, Religion & Politics)

Mexico


Mexico’s election gives a mandate to compromise (Jorge Castaneda, WaPo)

A Fight to the Last Mexican (David Simon, The Audacity of Despair)

One More Massacre (Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker)

Unpopular Mandate (Ezra Klein, The New Yorker)

For Mexico’s President-Elect, a Strategic Journey (Randal C. Archibold, Karla C. Zabuldovsky, NYT)- For better or worse, Enrique Pena Nieto is probably your future Mexican president.

**Cocaine Incorporated (Patrick Radden Keefe, NYT)

The Kingpins (William Finnegan, The New Yorker)

Politics and Policy


**The Trouble with Online Education (Mark Edmundson, NYT)– I am very confident in the ability of an online course to help students in more technical areas (e.g. statistics, sciences, etc.), but I agree with the author that it will never be the match of an in-person class when it comes to literature and more humanistic studies.

We’ve Seen this Movie Before (Roger Ebert, NYT)

What Would a Second Obama Term Bring? (Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker)

Benched (Jill Lepore, The New Yorker)

The Downside of Liberty (Kurt Andersen, NYT)

Rachel Maddow’s Quiet War (Ben Wallace-Wells, Rolling Stone)

The Founders’ True Spirit (E.J. Dionne, WaPo)

The Age of Illusion: An Interview with Chris Hayes (Jake Blumgart, Jacobin)

The Moral Hazard of Drones (John Kaag, Sarah Kreps, NYT)

Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close (Milos Forman, NYT)

How Pensions Violate Free Speech (Benjamin Sachs, NYT)

An Arms Race We Can’t Win (Andrew Jensen, NYT)

What Can Mississippi Learn from Iran? (Suzy Hansen, NYT)

Why History Matters to Liberalism (E.J. Dionne, Democracy)

**War is Betrayal (Chris Hedges, Boston Review)

Five Delusions about our Broken Politics (Norman Ornstein, Thomas E. Mann, The American Interest)

Culture


‘In Hell, We Shall be Free’ on Breaking Bad (Michelle Kuo, Albert Wu, LA Review of Books)

Roger Ebert at 70: Did He Save or Kill Film Criticism? (Gary Susman, Moviefone)

**You Will Be Embarrassed About This in 20 Years (Michael Kinsley, Bloomberg View)

Moral Enhancement (Julian Savulescu, Ingmar Persson, Philosophy Now)

**Why Women Still Can’t Have it All (Anne-Marie Slaughter, Atlantic Monthly) (with response at On Having it All (mraynes, First Fig))– Will probably end up being the most-read long-form article of 2012.


How to Raise a Child (Judith Warner, NYT), review of Madeline Levine’s Teach Your Children Well


The Olympics as Ritual (Louis Menand, The New Yorker)


Other News

**Back in the Gay (William Saletan, Slate) and Are Gay Parents Really Worse for Children? How a New Study Gets Everything Wrong (John Corvino, The New Republic)– Discussing a new study summarized by the author here.  Worst survey methodology ever.

Dream to Nightmare (Doug Glanville, NYT)- I have a photo of me with Brien Taylor and a signed #1 pick baseball card from when I was in middle school.  We all really thought he was going to be somebody…I guess now he is– a cautionary tale.

Why Elites Fail (Chris Hayes, The Nation)

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