Thursday, October 9, 2008

Some Reading

  • Silencing the Students, by Max Fisher in the New Republic, and the related NYT article, discuss various attempts to disenfranchise this year's new (and other) voters. I've been following this story for a while; the most egregious bit, if true, is that Michigan Republicans intend to use foreclosure lists to challenge voters' residency in Michigan. I do not know how much credence to attach to this because the HuffPo is my primary source.
  • David Samuels has a fine article about Obama, Ralph Ellison, and race. I soured on Obama somewhat during the Wright affair, when it became apparent that being in Trinity wasn't entirely opportunistic on his part. Colm Toibin has a much weaker attempt along the same lines in the NYRB, comparing Obama to James Baldwin. Up next -- why Obama is like Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Benjamin Banneker.
  • Freeman Dyson writes about environmentalists and the Galapagos. He has turned, of late, into a full-time dissident on global warming, but I think his point here should be less controversial. Dyson's perspective on this is interesting because his immense enthusiasm for technological progress makes him something of a visceral anti-environmentalist, sometimes against his better instincts.
  • Finally, you should read George Packer's wonderful New Yorker piece about Ohio's undecided voters. Packer's a wonderful reporter, and it's telling, I think, that he has three fewer Pulitzer prizes than Tom Friedman.

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