From the Stacks: May 18, 2007

| May 2007

From the Stacks: May 18, 2007
By Staff,

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.

As religious conflicts wrack the globe, Interreligious Insight is fostering cooperation among the world's faiths. The April issue covers how to promote peace, the challenges of reporting on religion, and offers a traditional prayer from the Native American Ute tribe called 'Earth Teacher.' In an article about women's interfaith groups, Kathryn Lohre praises storytelling methods, personal testimony, and building everyday relationships as tools to further religious understanding. Additionally, an occasional 'Open Book' department takes a recent publication (this issue picks up Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion) and uses it as a starting point to critically examine interfaith themes with a depth that shorter reviews can't reach. -- Julie Dolan

First published as the Literary Review in 1885, Britain's New Humanist is a bastion of thought on humanism, rational inquiry, and secularism. It's also one of the oldest magazines in print. The May/June issue features articles on global threats to women's rights, the modernist architecture of Alvar Aalto, and a warning that American neoconservatives have big plans for the future, despite the failures of George W. Bush. Jake Bromberg's cover story, 'Hold Relics,' calls for the eviction of the Lords Spiritual, a group of Anglican bishops and archbishops guaranteed 26 seats in the House of Lords. Bromberg argues that with an increasingly multicultural society and falling congregation numbers, Lords Spiritual is a vestige of bygone times that ill-serves the United Kingdom. -- Eric Kelsey

The Consolation of The Shoes --the sixth and newest release from the New Pamphleteer press -- is a personal account by the elusive 'shoeblogger' Manolo of his philosophical journey to find the perfect pair of shoes. After a fleeting visit, 'as in a dream,' by the Lady of Fashion, Manolo is left with only a glimpse of the world's most beautiful shoes and her cryptic message: 'We shall always have the shoes.' Riffing on Christian philosopher Boethius' 6th-century work, the Consolation of Philosophy, Manolo's writing integrates medieval-style text about longing for inner happiness with a fashionisto's 21st century crisis of faith to create a social statement of footwear equality. Manolo's erudition leads the reader on a humor-filled treasure hunt through oblique pop-culture references, quotes from Paradise Lost, the annals of European art history, and world culture. (For more on the New Pamphleteer press, check out 'Attack of the Pamphleteers' by Utne Reader librarian Danielle Maestretti in our May/June issue.)-- Eric Kelsey

Eat the State!(ETS!), packs a lot of political punch into a small, fun-filled paper. Published every other Thursday by an all-volunteer crew out of Seattle, ?ETS! is a self-identified 'forum for anti-authoritarian political opinion, research, and humor.' No political party or figure is safe from the well-informed and boisterous editors. With spot-on political cartoons on nearly every page, ETS! is an entertaining indulgence for the progressive-minded and politically hungry. The May 10 issue features the latest dispatch from the now-famous blogger Riverbend, originally posted on her 'Girl blog from Iraq.' The eloquent and anonymous blogger has finally decided to leave her homeland for an uncertain future. 'It's difficult to decide which is more frightening,' she writes, 'car bombs and militias, or having to leave everything you know and love.' ?-- Natalie Hudson
DemocracyIn the introduction to the first issue of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, editors Kenneth Baer and Andrei Cherny muse, 'What could be more anachronistic -- in the media culture and political climate of 2006 -- than the founding of a quarterly journal of ideas?' The publication seems to have found its place, though, eliciting progressive debate with new and creative concepts from some of the heaviest hitters in the field of public policy. In the latest issue (Spring) Steven Spiegel, rejects the strategies often pursued by the United States in the Middle East, which tend to either look too narrowly at local issues or too broadly at global ones and miss the interconnectedness of the problems plaguing the region. Spiegel proposes a 'neo-regionalism' tack that takes into account the larger implications of US policies, while continuing to address country-specific concerns. -- Natalie Hudson

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