What We’re Reading

What We’re Reading

Preeti Aroon: "The Last Taboo," by Julia Whitty in Mother Jones. The world does indeed have a population crisis, argues this article. But there’s a paradox: To slow population growth, you need to reduce poverty, but increasing wealth means more people will be living the high-consumption, Earth-destroying lifestyles of the industrialized world. For a differing view, check out FP contributor Charles Kenny’s recent piece, "Bomb Scare."

Elizabeth Dickinson: Americas Quarerly is a great way to keep up with what’s what on this side of the Southern Hemisphere. And Peter Siavelis delivers in his piece on Chile in a post-earthquake, post-presidential inauguration world this week. With a new president, Sebastián Piñera, and a whole host of rebuilding challenges, Siavelis asks how the new government will change the country after 20 years of rule by his predecessors in the Concertación political coalition. Piñera, he concludes didn’t win the election; it was Concertación that last. And that will make it much harder for Piñera to build credibility of his own. Even more of a challenge will be for the now-opposition Concertación to figure out why it lost — and patch up the weaknesses. In short, both sides have tasks of rebuilding — Piñera, Chile and the Concertación, itself.

Joshua Keating: If Tom Ricks ever does a "terrorism fiction festival," Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent — which I picked up again last week about 10 years after I first started it — should be a shoe-in. The agitated reaction provoked in the pompous, by-the-book police commander Inspector Heat by the activities of the anarchist terrorists feels quite contemporary. 

Christina Larson: Expression in-flight magazine on state-run Air China, published by China’s National Development and Reform Commission, the powerful economic ministry. There’s a feature entitled "Low-Carbon Life," which makes the case against "extreme environmentalists" and asserts that "reduction of carbon emissions can never mean returning to the savage and wild age."