The Modest Proposal

Winter 2009

"I would rather return to the dioramas, whose brutal and enormous magic has the power to impose on me a useful illusion. I would rather go to the theater and feast my eyes on the scenery, in which I find my dearest dreams artistically expressed and tragically concentrated. These things, because they are false, are infinitely closer to the truth."
—Charles Baudelaire, from Oeuvres, via Walter Benjamin's Das Passagen-Werk

In This Issue...

2008 Spaced Out

The past year in a scientific and political nutshell.

Review of Amazon Expeditions: My Quest for the Ice-Age Equator

An impassioned, personal case for the future of the Amazon.

"Circus Maximus in Flux” (Philadelphia's City Planning Issues: Education, Entertainment, and Commerce)

Philly faces a flood of cultural and infrastructural problems, not the least of which is a troubled economy.

On My Own Photography

Eric Knapp develops his thoughts on photographing the people and places of New York City.

Review of From Sawdust to Stardust: The Biography of DeForest Kelley, Star Trek’s Dr. McCoy

A fitting chronicle of a favor character actor who personified the moral core of Star Trek.

Move Me ‘98

Lost love washed ashore...

Review of Taboo Breakers: 18 Independent Films that Courted Controversy and Created a Legend

In our shopworn culture of shock-cliché, where can we turn for true transgression?

Review of Salvador Dalí: An Illustrated Life

An authoritative historical source for an enigmatic-but-loved artist.

Review of Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life

A timely look at the massive, still perplexing shifts in contemporary capitalism over the last several years.

Review of The Literary in Theory

Which came first: the literary or the theoretical?

Review of “A Room of Their Own: The Bloomsbury Artists in American Collections”

A major exhibition on the visual aspect of Bloomsbury cultural production.

The Modest Proposal is an electronic journal specializing in book reviews, emerging thought, and polemical essays of general interest. Direct all inquiries to the editor.