From the Stacks: August 24, 2007

Utne Reader‘s library is abuzz with a steady flow of 1,500
magazines, newsletters, journals, weeklies, zines, and other lively
dispatches from the cultural front that are rarely found at big-box
bookstores, newsstands, or even online. So we share the highlights
(and occasional lowlights) of what’s landing in our library each
week in ‘From the Stacks.’ Check in every Friday for the latest
edition.

The
July/August issue of the
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists takes a
peek into the terrifying world of nuclear weapons research. Michael
J. Neufeld, chair of the Space History Division at the
Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, writes about the
oft-forgotten space station plans of ex-Nazi scientist Wernher von
Braun. Even before Sputnik kicked off the era of manned
spaceflight, von Braun dreamt up a fleet of American nuclear-armed
space stations orbiting the earth to ensure US superiority in
space. But the Bulletin is not just about history; the
current issue also hosts a lively debate on the state of nuclear
nonproliferation efforts today.? — Brendan Mackie

Twice
each year students finishing up their studies at the Ryerson
University School of Journalism in Toronto put out the
Ryerson Review of
Journalism
, a sleek, colorful publication that doubles as
an ardent watchdog of the Canadian media and a senior journalism
project. A fun graphic in the Summer issue runs through the most
hackneyed phrases in journalism (‘the big picture,’ ‘in the wake
of,’ and ‘boils down to,’ to name a few)? and tracks how often the
major Canadian newspapers tap the clich?s. The issue also provides
in-depth reporting on media wonk, such as the power-struggles
within the Vancouver newspaper scene and a historic look back at
reporters who have haunted Canada’s Parliamentary Press Gallery. —
Brendan Mackie

Published three times a year by the nonprofit En Foco, the
photojournal
Nueva Luz exhibits the work of
American artists of African, Asian, Latino, Native American, and
Pacific Islander descent, with commentary in both English and
Spanish. In issue #12.1 U.S. artist Sama Alshaibi, whose parents
are Iraqi and Palestinian, explores ‘the impact of war and exile’
in a personal photo essay. Elsewhere, Larry McNeil takes on Native
American stereotypes in defense of his heritage with a biting wit.
‘[M]y spirituality is not for sale,’ he writes in the text
accompanying a series of landscapes, ‘but can be rented at
reasonable rates.’ — Eric Kelsey

In Balance, the quarterly newsletter from the
Center for a New
American Dream
(CNAD), is a leader in ecofriendly lifestyle
coverage. In the Summer update, ecobusiness expert Joel Makower
makes the case that news of a green business ‘bubble” is a myth
because ‘the problems aren’t getting any better.’ As long as
‘there’s money to be made,’ Makower writes, green is here to stay.
Also in the issue, author Tim Sanchez advocates some simple
measures to help the environment, including washing your clothes
with cold water and buying a pound of local food each week. In
Balance
garnered an
Utne Independent Press Award nomination for
general excellence in newsletters in 2006. — Eric
Kelsey

In the
premiere issue of Canteen, publisher Stephen Pierson and
editor in chief Sean Finney declare that, ‘Interest in reading
literature has been eclipsed by interest in how and why literature
is made.’ The eye-catching literary magazine responds to this trend
by offering up essays, fiction, poetry, and art that delve into the
artistic process of creation and the relationship between artists
and their work. In the essay ‘Knowing Your Audience,’ Po Bronson
tells of a letter he received from a reader who attempted suicide
after reading his book. It’s a cautionary tale for Bronson, who
argues that writers often isolate themselves in a ‘literary code’
that distances and neglects their audiences. — Julie
Dolan

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