From the Stacks: May 18, 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

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

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
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
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
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
In 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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