The lead article is a double length one on Samuel Johnson as a maladroit individual. The second article is a review of Michael Chabon's "The Yiddish Policemen's Union". The third article (not inspired by Chabon, in that it was composed ten years ago) is an alternative history that follows upon a partial Hitler victory. It shows, as alternative histories tend to do, perhaps because they can do no other, given that their authors always live in actual history, how the actual present and the imagined future are woven together and perhaps even converge. The last article, by Arnold Birenbaum, is about the rhetoric of the unfolding health care debate.
The purpose of this e-journal is to use in tandem the techniques of literary criticism and social structural analysis to illuminate American politics and the various institutions in American society and sometimes matters more global, like religion or war, by turning an eye on the events and objects and performances that are considered art and entertainment, those defined broadly enough to include whatever is covered in newspapers and other media. Another concern is to pick up the texture of social life, both in the United States and in general, through the analysis of those events, objects and performances that are to be found in everyday life.