Intelligence for Democracies

Review: Michael Hayden, ‘Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror’

According to Michael Hayden, the only man ever to hold both the posts of CIA and NSA director, 9/11 was a seismic event for the U.S. intelligence community, and its effects still reverberate today. Hayden begins this excellent and very personal narrative by describing in the run-up to the attacks how the NSA, like the CIA, had suffered major budget and personnel cuts through the 1990s triggered by belief in a “peace dividend” that had accrued from the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Baseball’s Unsolved Epidemic of Elbow Injuries

Review: Jeff Passan, ‘The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports’

baseballIt’s not fun to sit near me at a baseball game. Unless, of course, you have a good sense of humor and happen to enjoy watching a good-looking dude in a Mets jersey drink a lot of beer and criticize, loudly, everything my team decides to do. I cheer even louder than I criticize—a quality that has gotten me kicked out of my fair share of stadiums. As a Mets fan, the criticism has typically outweighed the cheers. My criticism gets especially vocal when our manager, Terry Collins, slowly trots out to the mound to take out one of our stud pitchers because of his pitch count. Pitch counts don’t matter—I think—and if Matt Harvey is still striking everybody out, he should stay in the game.

Channeling Testosterone

Review: Jack Myers, ‘The Future of Men: Masculinity in the Twenty-First Century’

menAccording to Jack Myers, the future of men in the twenty-first century is bleak. And he thinks men know it. He quotes men to whom he explained his book project asking, wryly, “You mean we have a future?” Women are on the ascendant, and men are being eclipsed: the male dominance that has been the norm for millennia is a thing of the past. Hooray? That’s the part that’s never clear. It’s hard to figure out in this book, a sweeping jog through advertisements, TV shows, statistics about college students, and Mars/Venus generalizations, how Myers feels about the changes he insists have occurred.

The Science of Power

Review: Loren Graham, 'Lysenko's Ghost: Epigenetics and Russia'

The myths of modernity have tossed up their share of heroic martyrs, battling for science against the entrenched bureaucracies of ignorance and superstition. From the Roman Church’s inquisition of Galileo in 1616 to the State of Tennessee’s indictment of John Thomas Scopes in 1925, the tale that the modern age wants to tell, the self-image it wants to hold, is science that stands against the idols of the world to pronounce the truth, though the heavens fall. And then there’s Lysenko.