The introduction to Jeff Swift's "Cascades and the Political Blogosphere," First Monday, 5 December, tracks the growing influence of Aaron Bady's zunguzungu. Aaron won a Cliopatria Award in 2008 for Best Writer and was subsequently one of our colleagues at Cliopatria. His "‘The Grass Is Closed': What I Have Learned About Power from the Police, Chancellor Birgeneau, and Occupy Cal," is a semifinalist for 3 Quarks Daily's Politics and Social Science Prize for 2011.
Mike Dash, "Emperor Wang Mang: China's First Socialist?" Past Imperfect, 9 December, looks at a Chinese emperor who proposed revolutionary reforms, provoked rebellion, and died a terrible death.
Caleb Crain, "iPhone vs. The Police," New Yorker, 7 December, draws on Randolph Roth's American Homicide and Douglas W. Allen's The Institutional Revolution: Measurement and the Economic Emergence of the Modern World to explain the emergence of police forces in an industrial world.
Ta-Nahisi Coates considers "Why Do So Few Blacks Study the Civil War?" Atlantic Monthly, ca 7 December.
Alec Ash interviews "Anna Reid on the Siege of Leningrad," The Browser, 11 December, for her recommendation of five essential books on the subject. Murray Polner reviews Reid's Leningrad: The Epic Siege of World War II, 1941-1944 for HNN.
Josh Rothman reviews Jean-Louis Cohen's Architecture in Uniform: Designing and Building for the Second World War for Brainiac, 6 December.
Philip Hensher reviews George Craig, et al., eds., The Letters of Samuel Beckett: Volume 2, 1941-1956 for the Guardian, 9 December.
Barry Gewen, "Isms," The Book, 12 December, reviews Ned O'Gorman's Spirits of the Cold War: Contesting Worldviews in the Classical Age of American Security Strategy.