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[Weekend] With South Korea's quiet harmonizer, Ban Ki-Moon, leading the race, the election campaign for the UN's next Secretary General is the most transparent in history, but the politics are as murky as ever. A review of The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power by James Traub. Who is maddest, Hungary's foul-mouthed, lying prime minister or his nationalist enemies with their anti-Semitic pasts? Or any of the other bitter, anti-western, anti-globalisation parties on the march across the region? The reality of Islam and the Republic: A standard riff is developing among the rightwing commentariat in the US when discussing Europe’s 15m Muslims: they are the potential enemy. Dick Cheney offers a new, blanket justification of the invasion of Iraq. In responses, scores of leading legal scholars have sent this open letter to all members of Congress. Behind the NIE: Michael Scheuer parses the intelligence from the politics. Photo Finish: How the Abu Ghraib photos morphed from scandal to law. A meta-read is a better read: The notion that the function of journalists is to explain "the truth" is about as quaint as America's participation in the Geneva Conventions. And from CJR, a look at how Silvio Berlusconi forged a new power paradigm, echoed today in America and elsewhere, in which journalism is merely a political weapon; and Siva Vaidahyanthan illuminates the realm of copyright law, where a riot of new restrictions threaten creativity, research, and history

[Sep 29] News from around the world: From Canada, former prime minister Paul Martin sets out to refurbish his reputation. From Israel, did women exaggerate in their plea for equality? Are they now being put back into place, being downgraded from business to economy, the class they were deservedly ticketed to in the first place? Centered Right: How Scandanavia's neoliberal parties came to love the welfare state. Romania will join the EU in January 2007. Good news for the millions who will flee west for work, but Bucharest's road is the fruit of an unedifying alliance between corporate businessmen and European leftists that will benefit only a tiny elite. Gypsy communities throughout Europe not only face historic discrimination, but are being pushed out of their living spaces due to ostensible concerns about local environmental damage. More on Murder in Amsterdam. Kazakhstan's oil has made it the leading player in Central Asia, and a welcome visitor to the White House. But economic success doesn't guarantee democracy. Bye-bye poverty: Tanzania is an African country that deserves the money it gets. Who is to control Kurdish oil, and protect it from sabotage? The Kurds say they will; the central government in Baghdad begs to differ. From Al-Ahram, an interview with Paul Kennedy: The great wheel of history is turning against the US. Nuclear succession: Why Egypt's unofficial crown prince has staked his country's claim. From Open Democracy, the leftwing leaders who have come to dominate Latin American politics are the products as well as the agents of history. The social dynamics and the people who elevated them can also sweep them away. This is a key to their future. Love Lula if you're poor, worry if you're not. The world according to Chávez: Venezuela's bid for a UN Security Council seat has divided Latin America. As the Security Council takes up Myanmar for the first time, it would be good to be mindful of Burmese history. And why I should run the UN: Seven candidates for Secretary General respond

[Sep 28] From Bahrain, civil rights activist Abdullah Al Madani fights for his right to party. From Poland, controversial education minister Roman Giertych bears the standard for one side of the cultural divide. From Belarus, Valer Bulhakau, editor of Arche, reports that the Ministry of Information suspended publication of the journal for three months, leaving its future in doubt. From Thailand, banned book The King Never Smiles challenges the saintly image of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The military junta in Myanmar has been trying to bring the Karen ethnic minority under its thumb. This year, the offensive has intensified -- magnifying the ongoing refugee disaster in Southeast Asia. The UN, finally, has decided to pay more attention. The US pushes anti-Castro TV Martí, but is anyone watching? From TNR, this is guerrilla warfare, after all: An essay on protecting Venezuela from imperialist invasion; and a look at why Sen. Lindsey Graham is no maverick. Our Pathetic Congress: Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein on how little has been accomplished, too much will be left hanging and what was done was often done badly. From The New York Observer, Al Gore awakens to the sleeping booty of ’00 donors; the Clintons do well by doing good; Mahmoud and Me: Ahmadinejad’s wild week, by his translator: "I heard you sounded great!; and "Ode to Jews! How I love you groovy chosen people". Do newspapers have a future? Michael Kinsley on how the old medium is missing the bigger questions. Crying "treason": The right goes into hysterics over The New York Times. As the lefty linguist’s most recent book rises to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list, George Scialabba explains why Noam Chomsky’s all that. And an interview with Amy Goodman on Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders, and the People Who Fight Back

[Sep 27] From Mexico, the distinction between the demand for a fair vote count and the need to redress deeply felt social wrongs has been subsumed into a general movement for fundamental reforms. From Great Britain, modern prime ministers are too busy to read your letter, let alone sign a response. That's where automated signature technology comes in. Diefenbaker would be outraged. An essay on Tony Blair, child of the Hippie Generation. The coup in Thailand is a "14-year backward step", says Southeast Asian politics specialist, but Ismail Wolff's shock at a military coup was not shared by the rest of the country. In In the Line of Fire, Pervez Musharraf expands on North Korean nuclear link. More and more and more on Ian Buruma's Murder in Amsterdam. Anne Applebaum on what we can learn from the Hungarian PM's disastrous slip-up. A look at how conservationists prop up Burma's military regime. Rogue State: Lawbreaker and torturer -- that's America, loud and proud. The FBI is casting a wider net in anthrax attacks, but it's been five years since anthrax killed innocents and fueled America's paranoia. Can we finally incarcerate the obvious suspect? From The American Spectator, a cover story on Rudy Giuliani. He's a killer strategist and nonstop fundraiser, with a style one ally likens to a "toothache." Meet Chicago Congressman Rahm Emanuel, one of the big reasons the Democrats have a shot to retake the house. The Lieberman-Lamont race gets nasty: To the list of historic feuds (Montagues v. Capulets, Hatfields v. McCoys) we can now add another: Gerstein v. Sirota. Media Matters reviews Bill O'Reilly's Culture Warrior. Organized Groping: How adults cuddle up and reveal their innermost secrets -- to complete strangers. Welcome to the Voyeurdome: Will Pink TV's brand of participatory porn be the future of the industry? In a country whose sex shops teem with bunny-shaped toys and whose porn devourers look for the rabbit icon, we who live here know next to nothing about the lagomorpha. Switch yours off for five minutes and Momus will explain why cell phones are the work of the devil. And believe what you will, but remember urban myths don’t make reality

[Sep 26] From France, in 2002, far-right candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen managed 17 percent of the vote. This time around, he may do even better -- partly because of his charismatic, attractive daughter Marine. She's steering the party away from skinheads and toward the French countryside--so, love it or leave it? There have been signs of growing awareness of the scale of racial discrimination and the media's role in encouraging diversity. From Der Spiegel, an interview with Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany: "I Am Not Weakened"; and an interview with Syrian President Bashar Assad: "America Must Listen". Pervez Musharraf's military rule has led to growing Talibanisation and rising al-Qaida influence in Pakistan. As internal opposition to his policies mounts, how long will the United States continue to support him? A look at why Pakistan gets a nuclear pass. Japan needs to rejoin Asia and avoid unleashing its bubbling nationalism under the new hawkish prime minister, Shinzo Abe. Niall Ferguson on the insanity on a global scale. Within days, America will pass the 300 million mark in population. Behind the numbers, the changes are dramatic. A look at the biggest. From Salon, three members of Sen. George Allen's college football team remember a man with racist attitudes at ease using racial slurs (and more from TNR). Is the Chief Justice really a judicial activist? John Roberts, who likened his role to a passive umpire, may want to do more than just enforce the rules. David Remnick on Bill Clinton’s quest to save the world, defend his record on Al Qaeda -- and elect his wife. Who'd have guessed that H.L. Mencken, Baltimore's most celebrated journalist, would end up homeless in his own hometown? NBC draws protests from religious conservatives over the content of two television shows, but for different reasons: For excluding references to God and for possibly including religious imagery. A look at how Reality TV is changing our lives... for the better. From Government Executive, a look at why numbers don't tell much about how well workers perform. Why CEO pay matters: Breakthrough study examines perceptions of fairness and how over- or underpayment cascades to lower organizational levels. And if Karl Marx were alive today he'd be researching a thesis called Football: A Microcosm of Socialist Injustice in Capitalist Society

[Sep 25] From Yemen, leave your guns at home, and vote: The big surprise is that this was a real live election. From Austria, doubts are beginning to creep in about strands of Natascha Kampusch's story. From India, an article on godless Marxists & their ungodly secularism. A review of In Spite of the Gods: the strange rise of modern India. A review of Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation. His Majesty King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV reigned over the tiny but complex society of Tonga for 41 years. He deserves to be remembered. An entrepreneur sees green: Sir Richard Branson giving his money away, or investing it? We'll have to accept that development has its price instead of conveniently making others responsible for the environmental degradation. Why the firebrands get heard: My but the lesser nations are getting uppity. Hugo Chavez gave a speech at the UN that Khrushchev or Arafat or Che would admire. License to Misbehave: Why diplomatic immunity is a good thing for everyone. "Islamo-Fascism" had its moment: President Bush uttered it. The world noticed. But where has it gone? President Bush has said he will enforce the letter and spirit of the Geneva Conventions. Let's hope he stays true to his word, because if America continues to erode the meaning of the Geneva Conventions, we will cede the ground upon which to prosecute dictators and warlords. Perspectives on the torture debate: Are we really so fearful? Ariel Dorfman wants to know; and dies it work? Edwidge Danticat investigates. When Ken Mehlman took over the Republican Party, his goal was to secure a G.O.P. majority for decades to come. Now he’s just trying to survive November. Howie Rich is the man behind the conservative scheme to undermine legitimate state laws. In the Year of the Gaffe: Everyone keeps saying stupid things. Is it them, or is it the technology? Creepy comb-overs. Macabre toupees. Misadventures in gel. (And that's just the women.) Radar investigates the eight worst trends in congressional coifs. Stop them before they joke again: Why does everyone try to be funny these days? My satirical self: How making fun of absolutely everything is defining a generation. And a review of The Truth, With Jokes by Al Franken

[Weekend 2e] From Canada, Nunavut has passed legislation intended to keep the Inuit language from fading. As southern culture encroaches in the North, it will be a tough fight. From Der Spiegel, the world's largest seed collection is under the permafrost on the Arctic Sea island of Spitzbergen. The tens of thousands of varieties of wheat, corn and beans stored there could even survive a nuclear war. The survival of many crop plant could depend on it. From India's Frontline, back to Gondwanaland: An article on expedition starting in Asia and across the length of Africa by road, in an effort to retrace the long-lost land link between the continents. How climate change became a burning issue: A review of books. A review of The Revenge of Gaia by James Lovelock. More on global warming and the world's vineyards. From Slate, how first-world garbage makes Africans sick, and what Washington can do to clean up its act. A review of High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health; and Challenging the Chip: Labor Rights and Environmental Justice in the Global Electronics Industry. A review of Challenging Nature: The Clash of Science and Spirituality at the New Frontiers of Life. And father of American environmentalism John Muir had God, and other man-eaters, on his mind

[Weekend] From Mongolia, the second country to embrace Communism in the 20th century is having a hard time shaking it off in the 21st. Robert Kaplan on how the furor over Kim Jong Il’s missile tests and nuclear brinksmanship obscures the real threat: the prospect of North Korea’s catastrophic collapse. How the regime ends could determine the balance of power in Asia for decades. China marks the Cultural Revolution's anniversary with silence, as the children of the rich learn class, minus the struggle. From Asia Times, a look at why a rising China can't dominate Asia; an article on the new global populism; and a review of Democracy in Iran. Once the most progressive city in the Arab world, Baghdad has been ravaged by war and bombings. Everyone wants out, but not everyone can afford to leave, and car bomb explosions are a daily fact of life. Turkish novelist Elif Shafak was taken to court on charges of "insulting Turkishness." It's a part of the Turkish penal code often used to go after intellectuals. But do the country's politicians have the courage to change it? Sex and the city: A look at Egyptian TV's first sex education programme. Perhaps the most penetrating one-liner in the history of political philosophy is P.J. O'Rourke's observation that government is to life what pantyhose is to sex. The Prime Minister's spouse is photographed in a clinch with a gay MP. Has New Zealand's politics ever sunk so low? Is Germany ready for a gay Chancellor? An article on Berlin's Mayor Klaus Wowereit. Josip, We Hardly Knew Ye: A review of Tito. A look at how Romania's media is a willing partner in the perpetuation of racism, prejudice and discrimination. Is Romania really ready for the EU? From New Statesman, Anthony Giddens assesses the best ideas on offer in Europe; and like Thatcher and Blair before him, David Cameron is emerging as the politician most in tune with his time. Can Gordon Brown catch him? And Christopher Hitchens on Tony Blair's long goodbye

[Sep 22] From Bolivia, the procedural disputes in the body elected to draft a new constitution reflect the country's deep social and regional polarisations. In Chile, nobody talks to Pinochet anymore. In 1980 Jonathan Power travelled to São Paulo to meet Lula, a firebrand trade unionist. Twenty-six years later, a wealthier and more democratic Brazil is preparing to re-elect him to a second presidential term. From Foreign Policy, an interview with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder of the multifaith Cordoba Initiative, on the Cross and the Crescent. An article on why the pope's speech in Germany really was outrageous, and on why science was the real target. From Der Spiegel, agriculture offers the first serious alternatives to fossil fuels: Diesel, natural gas, and petroleum could give way in the future to "biomass" energy. As development continues apace, so too do concerns about the farmed fuels' effectiveness; and an interview with President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal: "I don't want money. I want trade agreements". Rodrigo de Rato and Paul Wolfowitz on why it's time to get back to business on Doha. More on The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall. The first chapter from The Next Great Globalization: How Disadvantaged Nations Can Harness Their Financial Systems to Get Rich. Does anybody still care about offshoring? Clay Risen investigates. From Government Executive, little fixes can make a big difference in public satisfaction with government services. Rising weapons price tags cause sticker shock, but it’s escalating personnel costs that are going to cripple the U.S. military. The uses of scare-talk: The Republicans think talking about terrorism can save them from defeat in November. A new poll suggests they may be on to something. Here are three more reasons to hate Congress--as if you needed them! Molly Ivins on the Presidential Three-Year-Old, or the worst press conference in history. There's a desperate fight for control at The Washington Times, and accusations from the staff are flying that the newsroom is run by racist good ole' boys. And Ann Coulter died on Thursday at an apartment leased to Sean Hannity on the Upper West Side

[Sep 21] From Thailand, the new military leaders must move fast to fill the political space created by their overthrow of Thaksin Shinawatra, who isn't much better than the coup. From Hungary, Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany is an honest liar. From Sweden, voters say nay to Social Democrats, but "the most successful society the world has ever known" will, alas, survive. We still love the Swedish model: The election turnaround is less of a shift to the right than it appears. What happens to Russia when -- not if -- oil and gas prices begin to retreat? From Prospect, Thatcherism's real triumph: The complaint from the left against Blair is that he missed the chance to push Britain further leftwards. His failure to build a new consensus, plus the collapse in trust over Iraq, means the chance has now gone; from the back streets of Birmingham via Oxford to election as an MP in 2001, Siôn Simon has been at the heart of New Labour. It was never a middle-class coup—it grew from the core of Labour's traditions; and Tony Blair is not the cause of the Labour party's fundamental problems. Their roots go back to constitutional changes made in 1981. James Wood on the men who would be Blair. From The Forum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics, a special issue on Elections and Forecast 2006 (a special kind of registration is required). From GQ, a look at how the frenetic, heated, and borderline-insane race to oust Democratic Senate hawk Joe Lieberman brought new meaning to the term "partisan politics". Quietly, Senate Republicans have already chosen Mitch McConnell as their next leader—because Congress just isn’t partisan enough. Sen. John Cornyn meets the Racist Right's Rockford Institute and Chronicles. Sock Puppet Sinks Pundit: A look at how Lee Siegel's antics made The New Republic into an even bigger joke. A mischievous comment in an internet chatroom for new mothers gets Josephine Wall into hot water. It turns out that the Internet has unleashed the greatest outburst of mass exhibitionism in human history, and it's big business. And going to a gay nightclub shouldn't be an intimidating experience, and could prove to be the most fun straight people have had out in a long time

[Sep 20] From Thailand, Army commander Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin stages a coup and ousts Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra while he was in New York. From Georgia, authorities detain dozens of political activists who they accuse of plotting a coup. From Hungary, what started as a peaceful protest ended with as many as 200 injuries. After a day of preparations, the country is hoping to quell further violence. From Great Britain, Jack Straw argues that The Future of Socialism has vital lessons for Blair, Brown and the government's warring factions; a look at the unholy past of Anjem Choudary, the Muslim cleric demanding the Pope's execution; and Karen Armstrong and Madeleine Bunting on the Pope and ancient prejudices. From NPQ, Tariq Ramadan on the Pope and Islam: The true debate. Is the Pope a Catholic? If the "infallible" Supreme Pontiff is no longer allowed to express certain strong beliefs, what chance is there for the rest of us? Ann Applebaum on why it's time to stop apologizing and start defending freedom of speech. Ralf Dahrendorf on 9/11 and the New Authoritarianism; Ernesto Zedillo on giving globalization a hand; and Richard Falk on the UN after Lebanon. From Carnegie Ethics Online, a look at why democracy cannot be imposed by force. UN-Diplomatic: Bush goes to Turtle Bay—and says nothing. What's behind Bush's new reliance on the United Nations? The US military has created a global network of overseas prisons with 14,000 detainees beyond the reach of established law. From Raw Story, GOP Senator Saxby Chambliss says with better intelligence the South would have won the Civil War. The civic health of the US has steadily declined over the past 30 years, according to the Civic Health Index, the first-ever index of key citizenship measures unveiled by the National Conference on Citizenship. An FBI report finds New York is the safest big city in the US. From New York, an article on The New York Review of Books after Barbara Epstein; and Hipstervangelist Jay Bakker, Tammy Faye's son, lives in Wiliamsburg. And The New York Times appoints Michael Rogers as "Futurist in Residence"

[Sep 19] From Turkmenistan, journalist and rights activist Ogulsapar Muradova is found dead in prison just three weeks after being convicted in a widely denounced trial. From Moldova, voters in the Trans-Dniester region vote in favor of independence from the former Soviet republic and for joining Russia. From Sweden, voters sweep away Goran Persson and the Social Democrats after 12 years of rule in favor of Fredrik Reinfeldt of the Moderate Party. From NPQ, an interview with Rene Girard: "Pope Benedict is right. Christianity is superior." Islam is different: An interview with Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Catholic Church's ecumenical representative. Roman Catholicism's more critical posture toward Islamic fundamentalism could either push Islam toward reform or set off a global "clash of civilizations", or, perhaps, both. Spengler on Jihad, the Lord's Supper, and eternal life. Christopher Hitchens on Joseph Ratzinger's latest offense. Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, the Pope: who's next? The best thing about all those protests against the pope is the fresh outbreak of moronic placards; and was the pope wrong? From Time, an interview with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; and more from Nat Hentoff. Are we going to attack Iran? Fred Kaplan investigates. Ties to GOP trumped know-how among staff sent to rebuild Iraq: An excerpt from Imperial Life in the Emerald City. A tale of the perversity of the American version of a "free press" in Iraq. Jonathan Chait on Democratic doves and hawks going to war over Iraq. Head-in-the-Sand liberals: Sam Harris on how Western civilization really is at risk from Muslim extremists (and a response). Why is the Bush administration so determined to torture people? Paul Krugman wants to know. A review of Richard Posner's Not a Suicide Pact. Bruce Ackerman on all the reasons to hate Bush's wiretapping bill. And Joan Didion reviews books on Dick Cheney: The fatal touch

[Sep 18] From Greenland, people living close to the Arctic Circle are already adapting to climate change. But even the villagers of Angmagssalik were surprised when the temperature hit a record 25.3C in July. A review of The Long Exile: A Tale of Inuit Betrayal and Survival in the High Arctic. Touchy subject: What makes a Canadian patriotic? Blind allegiance to our troops and their mission? Or questioning the role and demanding their withdrawal from Afghanistan? Hugo Chávez recommends works by Latin American political theorists and historians and even the occasional North American. The murder of one of Russia’s top bank regulators served as a reminder that even the upper strata of society are not immune from the vicious rules of the Russian street. Has Liberation lost its fight for freedom? France's fiery leftist paper has a banker on board, and the walkouts have begun. A review of Fritz Stern's Five Germanys I Have Known. Kultur über alles: Prewar Germans disdained politics as low-brow. There's a lesson in that mistake. Pope Benedict seemed to have mellowed. But his remarks on Islam have sparked violence and anger. They are typical of the man they once called God’s rottweiler. From The Los Angeles Times, David Rieff on how the United Nations is a mess, but it beats Plan B; James Traub on how Kofi Annan has revalidated and sharpened the UN's role, regardless of his reputation to the contrary; Stephen Schlesinger on why the US shouldn't have an ineffective bully as its UN envoy; and a defense of John Bolton by Jonah Goldberg: "Lighten up". A review of International Social Work: Issues, Strategies and Programmes. Global gun rights? A look at how the National Rifle Association is promoting a universal right to bear arms. John Yoo on how President Bush has a goal broader than even the fight against terrorism: restoring the federal structure. There's a new bad guy in town: Small-town gumshoes are increasingly beating the bushes for gun runners and terrorist cells. And on the secret life of private investigators: When you misrepresent yourself to establish a connection and achieve your real end, you are "pretexting"

[Weekend 2e] From Open Democracy, George Grayson, a Latin America specialist and biographer of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, discusses the personality and politics behind the ongoing drama. Hugo Chávez conveys an image of a leader who wants to defeat the US and eliminate the capitalist system, to accomplish what even Lenin or Stalin could not bring about. From Rabble, what will be the next issue for women in Canada, or the world? Can we call for it to arrive, or can we just keep preparing the ground? Yet another land-claim dispute turns ugly and shines a spotlight on the failure of Canada's policies towards its aboriginal people. A review of Young Trudeau: Son of Quebec, Father of Canada, 1919-1944. A review of Voting for Jesus: Christianity and Politics in Australia.  A new issue of Portal is out, on Women in Asia. Can a White House visit shore up a sagging US-South Korea alliance? And Daniel Drezner on the US free trade dilemma: Free or Fair?

[Weekend] From Colombia, gang members in one of the country's most violent cities face an ultimatum: give up guns or give up sex, in what is being called a "strike of crossed legs". From Nigeria, an article on the mannerisms of a democracy. From Great Britain, a husband almost throttles his wife during a heated theological argument triggered by Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ". Tony Blair's friends have turned their attention to the next stage: Looking for cash donations to set up a US-style school of government named after him as part of his political legacy. From The Globalist, with troops now helping to secure Lebanon, are Europeans ready to accept the potential consequences of sending troops and civilians on dangerous missions abroad? Immanuel Wallerstein on the loose cannon of the Middle East. From National Journal, a cohort of US foreign-policy thinkers stood in clear, unequivocal opposition to the Iraq war to the idea of the war, not merely its poor planning. Despite being ignored back then, they are now cobbling together a strategic response to the fix America is in. TNR editors say it's time to wipe out moderate Republicans. Robert Reich offered some free advice to congressional Dems: In the event of a November takeover, think positive and don't waste time going after the GOP. Rep. Barney Frank responds. Molly Ivins remembers Ann Richards. Princeton profs hack Diebold machine. So much for ballot security. Michael Gerson spun the deceit; The Washington Post peddled it. Now they’ll operate under the same roof. The New York Times' legendary bestseller lists have expanded once again to a new category: politics. A review of All Governments Lie: The Life and Times of Rebel Journalist I.F. Stone. From Columbia Journalism Review, a review of books about Iran and why Western reporters should re-imagine the country. And nowhere has Al-Jazeera's reporting infuriated governments more than in the Arab world. But despite its success, it has been ineffective politically because its advances have fallen into a void created by the absence of legislative and juridical institutions

[Weekend] From America, a review of Does American Democracy Still Work? by Alan Wolfe. The Democracy Alliance is taking a page from the GOP playbook by funding ideas instead of candidates. If only they could agree on what those ideas are.  From NYRB, Frank Rich reviews The Good Fight by Peter Beinart, The Plan: Big Ideas for America by Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Reed, The Courage of Our Convictions: A Manifesto for Democrats by Gary Hart, and America Back on Track by Senator Edward Kennedy; more on The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright. A quiet revolt is brewing among retired Army and Marine generals like Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who blame an errant, arrogant civilian leadership at the Pentagon. Why can't the right let go of Vietnam? Spencer Ackerman wants to know. A new issue of Parameters is out, including an article on the widening military capabilities gap between the US and Europe: Does it matter?; a review essay on the Germans and the exercise of military power; a review of Restless Giant: The United States from Watergate to Bush v. Gore (scroll down); and an essay on Bridging the Religious Divide on the Long War.  A review of God Won't Save America: Psychosis of a Nation. From Christianity Today, where we are and how we got here: 50 years ago, evangelicals were a sideshow of American culture. Since then, it's been a long, strange trip. Here's a look at the influences that shaped the movement (and more). And a look at how the movie "Jesus Camp" illuminates the political and religious education of evangelical Christian children

[Sep 29] From The Economist, a link between unemployment and inflation is fashionable again. Keynes was surely correct that only a small fraction of total spending is prompted by the desire to flaunt one’s superiority. He was profoundly mistaken, however, in seeing this desire as the only source of insatiable demands. From LRB, Stephen Holmes reviews After the Neocons: America at the Crossroads by Francis Fukuyama. Nearly 400 of the world’s leading foreign policy intellectuals contribute to a Princeton University-organized initiative that calls for a new grand strategy to address America’s national security concerns. From YaleGlobal, jihad is ultimately political action that can be influenced by dialogue and negotiations, but Muslims could benefit from removing the word from the vocabulary of politics. Fouad Ajami on intelligence, jihadists and the Iraq war debate. Bruce Ackerman on how Congress may give the president the power to lock up almost anyone he thinks is a terror threat. From Harper's, an interview with Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten, authors of One-Party Country: The Republican Plan for Dominance in the 21st Century. An interview with Burt Prelutsky, author of Conservatives Are From Mars, Liberals Are From San Francisco. A look at how Republicans betray their base to be loved by the beautiful people. Marvin Olasky on Henry Ward Beecher, Upton Sinclair and Herbert Matthews as three influential Americans who put heart above brain. Arnold Kling on his move from far left to libertarianism. When pundits talk about "moderates," or "the center," or "centrists," what exactly are they talking about? And why does the answer matter? From Reason, ova for sale: An article on the art of the deal in the gray market for human eggs. As the bitter and terribly unfair joke goes, some conservatives believe that the right to life begins at conception and ends at birth. In the case of President Bush it appears to be literally true. And Western academics who use concepts like "culture" and "society" cannot adopt a simple attitude to religion and are never quite as secular as they think

[Sep 28] Carolyn M. Warner and Manfred W. Wenner (ASU): Religion and the Political Organization of Muslims in Europe pdf. Stories of young men drawn to Spain to fight Franco have been told countless times. But there were also lesser-known fascist volunteers - including many from the British Isles. An article on the Society of Jesus, God's unlikely Latin lovers. David Plotz on why the Bible has so many prostitutes. From The Christian Post, R. Albert Mohler, Jr. reviews The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. A review of Righteous: Dispatches From the Evangelical Youth Movement and Body Piercing Saved My Life. An article on a recent Focus on the Family gathering in which followers of James Dobson received their election-day marching orders. A review of The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians and the Battle to Control the Republican Party. Second-Term Blues: Why have our presidents almost always stumbled after their first four years? From Slate, forget Nuremberg: A look at how Bush's new torture bill eviscerates the promise of Nuremberg; and the blind leading the willing: A compromise between those who don't care and those who don't want to know. A interview with Trevor Paglen and AC Thompson, author of Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIA's Rendition Flights. A review of Confronting Iran and Tehran Rising: Iran’s challenge to the United States. From NPQ, an interview with Joseph Stiglitz. An interview with Kenneth Arrow on moral values and economics. A longer life or more stuff: Why isn’t spending on, say, surgery considered good for the economy? Before we get carried away with exciting brain-based arguments for paternalism and regulation, let's understand what we're really talking about. And an interview with Steve Wozniak on growing up nerdy, creating vs. managing and what surprised him most about the computer era

[Sep 27] From Open Democracy, democratising globalisation: An interview with Joseph Stiglitz, and more and more on Making Globalisation Work. A review of Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy. A review of The John Deere Story: A Biography of Plowmakers John & Charles Deere. Mickey Z on 10 reasons cars suck. The earth could be rescued from global warming by an unlikely saviour: A cooler Sun. Research finds positive, informative strategies for health and environmental goals are far more effective than negatives strategies which employ messages of fear, guilt or regret. From Popular Mechanics, a cover story on The Next Atomic Age: America's nuclear power plants will soon have to be replaced--but with what? They're Back: An Iran contra-era fabricator and his associate appear to have opened a new channel to Washington. Paul Craig Roberts on why Bush will nuke Iran. Martin Kramer on Islamism and fascism: Dare to compare. From The Washington Monthly, borderline catastrophe: How the fight over immigration blew up Rove's big tent. George Lakoff on 12 traps that keep progressives from winning. Progressives, meet Goldwater: A new documentary gives a history lesson on American ideology--and a rebuttal to the Arizona Republican’s alleged progressive legacy. An article on the intellectual journey of the National Center for Policy Analysis, celebrating its 25th anniversary. Who is Noam Chomsky? Someone who should have stuck to syntax, Roger Scruton says. From Reason, the Patriotism of "No": Nick Gillespie on the long, proud history of American dissent; and Radley Balko on the case of Cory Maye: A cop is dead, an innocent man may be on death row, and drug warriors keep knocking down doors. This is your ass on drugs: The new case against pot? It makes you lazy. When it comes to antidepressants, nobody really knows anything, anyway, so why not go with ketamine, a mild hallucinogen known to club freaks as Special K? A small step for mankind: Researchers in England open a lab dedicated to pedestrians and their many spills. Why would anyone, man or woman, be more likely to buy a product if a man is made to look like a jackass in the advertisement? Christopher Orr on how TV is wiping out the movies--again

[Sep 26] From The Democratic Strategist, an essay on Authoritarianism and the American Political Divide. From the latest issue of Democracy Journal, James Galbraith reviews Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy and A Free Nation Deep in Debt; Theda Skocpol reviews Soldiers to Citizens and Over Here; Joseph Nye reviews Hard Power; Peter Beinart responds to Michael Lind's review of The Good Fight; John Ikenberry on The Global Security Trap; Anatol Lieven responds to Michael Signer's exceptionalism; Karen Kornbluh on creating a twenty first century social insurance system for today's "juggler families"; Joel Kotkin on how the craze over coffeeshops and condos won't revive American cities; and William Galston reviews George Lakoff's Whose Freedom? Thomas B. Edsall responds to George Will's column on his book Building Red America. From Butterflies and Wheels, an essay on multiculturalism and religion: Jesus doesn’t morris dance. In the world today, one ancient religious ideology, monotheism, stands out as especially dangerous, repressive and loony. An article on religion and comic books: Where did Superman’s theology come from? A review of The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege. A review of Pretensions to Empire: Notes on the Criminal Folly of the Bush Administration by Lewis Lapham and How Bush Rules: Chronicles of a Radical Regime by Sidney Blumenthal. Playing it safe: Christopher Hitchens on the fatuous politics of compromise. More on The Greatest Story Ever Sold. A review of Celsius 7/7 and The Looming Tower. Time to get real: There is no military solution to U.S. problems with Iran. Losing Afghanistan: John Kerry on how we're not adequately fighting the war we should be fighting. Fred Kaplan on how Bush wrecked the Army: Another general revolts. Whipping boy Bush: Andre Glucksmann looks at the logic of the new Chicago, asking how we will face today's world of extended gang warfare. From Counterpunch, Alexander Cockburn on flying saucers and the decline of the Left: A regression in consciousness. A review of From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism. From Reason, an interview with Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail. And a review of Dynasties: Fortunes and Misfortunes of the World's Great Family Businesses by David Landes

[Sep 25] From ARPA, a review of Girls Like You: Four Young Girls, Six Brothers and a Cultural Timebomb. The prologue to Insult to Injury: Rethinking our Responses to Intimate Abuse. More on Arianna Huffington's On Becoming Fearless. Americans wouldn’t stand for women fighting, or so went the conventional wisdom. For some men, there’s nothing more appealing than a woman who knows her way through field and stream. The incredible shrinking Dad: An old debate finds a new twist: fathers may not be essential after all. A review of Feminist Futures: Reimagining Women, Culture and Development. More and more on The Female Brain. More and more young women are tying their tubes before even tying the knot. Is the "tubal" the new birth control pill? A review of Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born. Doctors have operated on babies born with ambiguous genitalia. But there is a growing debate about the role physicians -- and parents -- should play in physically shaping children. So, how have you been sleeping lately? Getting at least a good seven hours? And when was the last time your doctor asked you those kinds of questions? How do you get doctors to wash their hands? Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt investigate. A review of Skin: A Natural History. A review of The Definitive Book of Body Language (and an excerpt). Steve Mirsky on a tale of two toilets. By choosing one of the phobias listed in this article, you could have a psychological ailment within minutes. From Psychology Today, an article on friends with benefits; parents are more likely to interfere in their daughters' dating choices, especially in steering them toward high-achieving mates; and a look at how flimsy puppy loves are a predictor of future depression.  Research finds you don't need a big lottery win for long term happiness, but a few thousand helps. An excerpt from Inside the Lifestyles of the Rich and Tasteful. There are only two groups that the "It'll make a man out of you" campaign for The Dairy Queen Chili Meltdown GrillBurger could possibly expect to appeal to. And an attractive woman comes up to you and asks if you'd be kind enough to take her photo. Naturally, you agree. As you're lining up a good shot, you can't help but notice the camera's sleek, lightweight design. Sucker. Is this the future of advertising?

[Weekend 2e] From Christianity Today, young, restless, reformed: Calvinism is making a comeback—and shaking up the church (and more). A review of Noah Feldman's Divided by God. From The Globalist, an excerpt from Joseph Ratzinger's Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam; and an excerpt from The Parliament of Man: The Past, Present, and Future of the United Nations by Paul Kennedy. From TNR, a look at why Israel secretly loves the United Nations. A review of Purposive Interpretation in Law by Aharon Barak, President of the Supreme Court of Israel. From National Review, a review of The Jewish Divide over Israel: Accusers and Defenders. From Forward, a review of David Mamet's The Wicked Son: Anti-Semitism, Self-hatred and the Jews; a look at why Robert Rosen's Saving the Jews is by its very nature a combative work (and a review); and "A Jew walks into a bar..." Yale establishes the Yale Initiative for Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism, the first center of its kind in North America. Can George Allen be a Jew if he doesn't want to be one? Is being Jewish a state of mind or a matter of blood? And covenant schmovenant: The Ten Commandments are concise and plainly worded, because the Israelites were smart enough to lawyer-up before finalizing the contract. Excerpts from an early draft archaeologists dug up last week

[Weekend] From Policy Review, Tony Corn (USFSI): Clausewitz in Wonderland. A review of The Twilight on the Nation State: Globalisation, Chaos and War. From Crimes of War Project, "In Cowboy and Indian Country:" A Special Forces Unit in Afghanistan. Jack Balkin (Yale) and Sanford Levinson (Texas): The Processes of Constitutional Change: From Partisan Entrenchment to the National Surveillance State. A review of War by Other Means: An Insider’s Account of the War on Terror by John Yoo. From Harper's, an interview with historian Kate Brown on the American "Gulag". Both Bush's proposal and the Senate's alternative improve on the post-9/11 regime of detainee interrogation. But while they enhance the legality of the system, both plans omit accountability. As the hunt for homegrown terrorists sympathetic to Hezbollah intensifies, the Muslims of Dearborn, Michigan are losing their trust in American justice. Foreign Policy looks at ads that hope to sway your vote in November, either by inspiring raw fear, stoking your anger, or appealing to your sense of patriotism. In aggressively pushing twin themes -- that their Republican opponents provide no check on the president, and that it's time for a change in Washington -- Democrats are hardly breaking new ground. It's a familiar election refrain from parties out of power. The movie "Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?" provides a lively, amusing and intimate peek into the inner workings of a campaign fight. More on Frank Rich's The Greatest Story Ever Told. But will it be enough? From American Journalism Review, a look at how top editors decide whether to publish national security stories based on classified information; and four large papers, long dominant in the Pulitzer sweepstakes, have tightened their stranglehold on the competition in the current decade. Why is that the case, and is there a better way?  And journalists fret that newspapers are in decline, but if media outlets keep perpetuating that notion -- inaccurate as though it may be -- it could turn into a self-fulfilling prophesy

[Sep 22] Form TAP, James Baker's Iraq Study Group is supposed to figure out how to fix the Iraq war and convince the Bush administration to accept the plan. To do the first part, the group may likely advocate withdrawal. The second part is anyone's guess. The future of the United States demands a new foreign-policy model: ethical realism. To get there requires a civil war on the American right – and a defeat of the neo-conservatives who have so damaged the country. If we capture Osama bin Laden, the manner in which we bring him to justice will make a critical difference in the way history interprets his legacy, and our own. An article on the difference between the president's lawyers and the military's. He's Our Jerk: John Dickerson on the new standard for foreign-policy bipartisanship. An interview with Elizabeth Edwards Spalding, author of The First Cold Warrior: Harry Truman, Containment, And the Remaking of Liberal Internationalism. From TLS, a review of Francis Fukuyama's America at the Crossroads. From In These Times, an article on the neocon's lexicon. Peter Beinart on the twilight of Bush's new McCarthyism. A review on Frank Rich's The Greatest Story Ever Sold (and more). From The Economist, an article on a better way to help America's jobless, and a look at how boosting unions won't do much for America's workers. A review of Jacob Hacker's The Great Risk Shift. From Writ, an article on President Bush's "Third Awakening" and the mixing of Church and State. From The Huffington Post, an article on Crackpot Christianity and America's current moral degeneration (and part 2 and part 3). A review of Believers: A Journey into Evangelical America and Righteous: Dispatches from the Evangelical Youth Movement. From Salon, you have no right to vote: The Constitution doesn't guarantee it, the Republicans know it, and real democratic values in our country are under assault. A review of Frederick Douglass and the Fourth of July. The first chapter from What a Mighty Power We Can Be: African American Fraternal Groups and the Struggle for Racial Equality by Theda Skocpol, Ariane Liazos & Marshall Ganz. And how the few harms all: Police abuse may arise from just a few "bad apples", but if left unpunished, it rots the entire institution

[Sep 21] From Perspectives on Politics, Ronald Inglehart, Mansoor Moaddel, and Mark Tessler (Michigan): Xenophobia and In-Group Solidarity in Iraq: A Natural Experiment on the Impact of Insecurity pdf. The first chapter from The Citizen and the Alien: Dilemmas of Contemporary Membership. From Harper's, an interview with Emile A. Nakhleh on the CIA and the Iraq War. While the United States doubts the IAEA's efficacy, the UN inspectors fear hawks are trying to make them irrelevant -- just like before the Iraq war. From Time, a flurry of military maneuvers in the Middle East increases speculation that conflict with Iran is no longer quite so unthinkable. Here's how the US would fight such a war. If this truly is a clash of civilizations, the conservatives have chosen to engage it by getting in touch with their inner barbarian. Harold Meyerson on how the US is led by men who have carefully avoided war, and don't understand why we need laws to keep men from becoming the nightmare image of their enemy. An interview with George Soros on The Age of Fallibility. One 9/11 picture, thousands of words: Rorschach of meanings. From American Political Science Review, Dennis C. Rasmussen (Bowdoin): Does "Bettering Our Condition" Really Make Us Better Off? Adam Smith on Progress and Happiness pdf; and Dennis Chong and Dukhong Kim (Northwestern): The Experiences and Effects of Economic Status Among Racial and Ethnic Minorities (and more) pdf. Scott McLemee reviews The Trouble With Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality. A review of Minority Rules: Turn Your Ethnicity Into a Competitive Edge. From American Heritage, how the North lost the Civil War: A review of Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War by Nicholas Lemann. A review of Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America. From Slate, was Ann Richards more than just her acid wit? An article on what is an ifeminist and why we don't need any more of them. More and more on Oriana Fallaci. An interview with Arianna Huffington. From Nerve, an interview with Joe Eszterhas. A review of The Devil's Guide to Hollywood: The Screenwriter as God! And studios push to clean up their act: Hollywood looks to family-focused Dove Foundation and others for favorable reviews 

[Sep 20] Where the Truthiness Lies: A review of The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina by Frank Rich. An interview with Jim Geraghty, author of Voting to Kill: How 9/11 Launched the Era of Republican Leadership. An interview with Bill Gertz, author of Enemies: How America’s Foes Steal Our Vital Secrets—and How We Let It Happen. The Fortune Cookie Game: Context is everything in the debate over democracy promotion in the Middle East. Whatever the given policy objective, the method can't be unilateral. From Salon, a slew of new books on Karl Rove make us question whether the president's deputy chief of staff is truly the Machiavellian genius so many in Washington claim. Brilliance like Barney.gov doesn’t come free: Uncle Sam reaches out to kids on the web. From TAP, why are businesses registering more than 2 million workers to vote? Mark Schmitt on the challenge within the answer; and two great liberal preoccupations, our celebration of cultural difference and the fight against inequality, go hand in hand, right? Wrong. An interview with Walter Benn Michaels, author of  The Trouble With Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality. From CT, an article on The Bird Man, John James Audubon; a review of books on bees; and a review of Agrarian Dreams: The Paradox of Organic Farming in California. The first chapter from Nature: An Economic History. The Grapes of Wrath: As if shrinking glaciers, rising seas, and catastrophic hurricanes weren't bad enough, global warming looks set to devastate the world's greatest vineyards. George Monbiot on The Denial Industry: An excerpt from Heat. Here's the transcript of a talk at NYU by Al Gore on global warming, and his plans for 2008 may be clearer after the release of his book, The Assault on Reason. Roll over Carl Sagan, and tell Voltaire the news: An article on the sad state of atheism today. Why Christians should welcome, rather than stigmatize, unwed mothers and their children. And from the Annals of Medieval Research: Pastor J. Grant Swank wants to know, "Why do Jews suffer? Because suffering hopefully will squeeze them into the position by which they will recognize their loss" (!?!, and a "fisking")

[Sep 19] From The New York Review of Books, Michael Sandel and Thomas Nagel exchange letters on the case for liberalism; Timothy Garton Ash reviews Murder in Amsterdam by Ian Buruma; and The Caged Virgin by Ayaan Hirsi Ali; a review of "The Road to Guantánamo"; Enemy Combatant: My Imprisonment at Guantánamo, Bagram, and Kandahar by Moazzam Begg with Victoria Brittain; and Guantánamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power; a review of The White Man's Burden; The End of Poverty; Millions Saved: Proven Successes in Global Health; The Trouble with Africa: Why Foreign Aid Isn't Working; and Africa's Stalled Development: International Causes and Cures. Robert Higgs considers the construction of "War is horrible, but..." statements. From National Review, an interview with Jim Geraghty, author of Voting to Kill: How 9/11 Launched the Era of Republican Leadership. From Political Affairs, an essay on Jürgen Habermas, Rupert Murdoch and public opinion. From Commonweal, an article on shifting allegiances: Catholics, Democrats & the GOP. Everyone is a Special Interest: In their hunt for voters, microtargeters study how you live and what you like. Does advertising work? What Sticks: Why Most Advertising Fails and How to Guarantee Yours Succeeds finally answers the question. From New Statesman, a cover story on shopping: How it became a national disease; and a review of Heat: how to stop the planet burning by George Monbiot. From The New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert on what the White House can learn from California’s new energy standards; and James Surowiecki on America’s love-hate relationship with online gambling. From Reason, a review of To Hell With All That by Caitlin Flanagan and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism by Carrie Lukas. And from US News, youth training to fight for Jesus: A look at the North Dakota Bible camp Kids on Fire, the subject of a new documentary, "Jesus Camp"

[Sep 18] From The Boston Globe's "Ideas", Lessons of Suez: Fifty years ago, two western powers conspired to invade an Arab country--in defiance of international law and world opinion. Guess which side the United States was on. A review of The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West by Niall Ferguson (and an article on how Scottish intellectuals "are talking the country down"). A review of Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone. From The New York Times Magazine, an article "The Battle for Guantanamo" (again). Last week, Martin Amis hit out at the virulence of Islamism. Pankaj Mishra lambasts Amis's "moral superiority" and takes issue with the intellectual arrogance of political elites in the West who fail to understand the Muslim world. Softy-softy approach: Amid last week’s 9/11 anniversary soul-searching, one theatre of the war on terror was forgotten: the only one where the terrorists are in retreat. Are people raised in fundamentalist societies more apt to hate others? A look at the root causes of terrorism. Meet the New Evangelicals: Is a new generation of "kinder, gentler" leaders suddenly putting the religious right in political play. A review of Believers: A Journey Into Evangelical America. A review of The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America. A review of Does American Democracy Still Work? by Alan Wolfe and Whose Freedom? The Battle Over America's Most Important Idea by George Lakoff. More on Talking Right. A review of Frank Rich's The Greatest Story Even Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth From 9/11 to Katrina. No middle ground: Is the middle class thriving or diving? Liberals fight a bitter statistical battle with serious political implications. A review of LBJ: Architect of American Ambition. A review of Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of Modern Nations. There is no more purely American publication than SkyMall, the catalogue that lets people do what God intended them to do when flying 35,000 feet above the Earth -- shop. More and more and more on Making Globalisation Work: The Next Steps to Global Justice by Joseph Stiglitz. And a look at why the laws of economics don’t work well with oil

[Weekend 2e] From the latest issue of The National Interest, Churchill, not quite: Bush has been unwilling to prioritize America’s response to the gravest threats; just like Old Rome, America’s global leadership could founder in the Persian deserts—if we continue to believe our own hype; neocons amid Lebanon’s rubble: A challenge to Krauthammer's Israel-as-strategic-asset argument; winning wars in the future may depend not only on how many troops you can put into the field but for how long you can afford to pay high prices for gasoline; Vive le Neóconservatisme? Strange as it sounds, a version of this ideology just might become resurgent in France; a review of The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall and Winning the Un-War: A New Strategy for the War on Terrorism; a debate on 9/11, five years on; and how well should you be sleeping? And here is the statement of signers and supporters in the United States of the Euston Manifesto and its reassertion of liberal values

[Weekend] From RealClearPolitics, an interview with Ian Bremmer, author of The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall (and part 2). A review of Joseph Stiglitz's Making Globalization Work. Can the IMF avert a global meltdown? Kenneth Rogoff investigates. From Salon, a review of Louise Richardson's What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy, Containing the Threat. Shlomo Avineri reviews The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End by Peter W. Galbraith. Joseph S. Nye on winners and losers in the post-9/11 era, and an op-ed on the virtual enemy. The Costs of Crying Wolf: If Americans seem burned out and cynical about the terrorist threat, the Bush administration has only itself to blame. From Beliefnet, an interview with Alan Dershowitz on debating torture. How has 9/11 affected American constitutional law? An article on the three intersecting cross-currents that have affected liberty, security, and government accountability. Why did the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit hold in Williams v. Attorney General of Alabama that the Constitution doesn’t protect the use of sex toys? The appetite for blood porn, zombie flicks and sicko sideshows in America is endless. Is capitalism to blame, or is it a natural extension of a free society? An excerpt from The Economics of Prohibition by Mark Thornton (and part 2). From PopMatters, despite mounting debt, it's imperative that we continue to laugh at calls for austerity and conservation, and celebrate those noble marketers that keep us consuming — whoops, I mean innovating. From ZNet, Mickey Z on why he hates America. An interview with James Bowman, author of Honor: A History (and the introduction). Caring for one's country: Roger Scruton on a naturally green aim for a conservative party. An interview with Paul Hollander, author of The End of Commitment: Intellectuals, Revolutionaries, and Political Morality in the Twentieth Century. An interview with Ryan Sager, author of The Elephant in the Room. TV's Healing Powers: What ever happened to the televangelists of the 1980s? And atheists among us: What's it like to be a nonbeliever in a God-fearing city?


[Weekend] From The Nation, who was the real Walter Benjamin? Richard Wolin reviews Berlin Childhood around 1900, The Writer of Modern Life: Essays on Charles Baudelaire and On Hashish by Walter Benjamin; and Fire Alarm: Reading Walter Benjamin's "On the Concept of History"; and a review of Art Czar: The Rise and Fall of Clement Greenberg and Eyesight Alone: Clement Greenberg's Modernism and the Bureaucratization of the Senses. William H. McNeill reviews The Nature of Paleolithic Art and The Cave Painters: Probing the Mysteries of the World's First Artists. The book (and now film) All the King's Men works as art, but does it work as political science? A review of The Great War in History: Debates and Controversies, 1914 to the Present. From Open Democracy, Orhan Pamuk, Elif Shafak, Hrant Dink, and other leading Turkish intellectuals face prosecution for writings that push the boundaries of legal censorship and cultural policing. Their struggle to speak and live in truth is Europe's too. A review of Eating: what we eat and why it matters by Peter Singer and Jim Mason. From PopMatters, a review of My Freshman Year: What A Professor Learned by Becoming a Student by Rebekah Nathan. More on What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts? by Michael Bérubé. More on The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. And from New Scientist, recreational drugs that keep you on the right side of the law have never been more popular, but does that mean they're safe?

[Sep 29] Potpourri: A review of Hume, Reason and Morality: A Legacy of Contradiction. A review of Hegel and the Freedom of Moderns. A review of Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz. A review of Paris: The Secret History. Parisians are all in a fury, they’re reading in the streets. The newest cause célèbre of the French fall publishing season? A 900-page novel about the Holocaust, written in French by an expatriate Jewish American, Jonathan Littell (and more on the banalisation of evil from Sign and Sight). Appeasement at the Opera: Roger Kimball on how Mozart falls victim to fear of Muslim rage. Before, and after, the birth of the cool: A review of The House that Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records. The Chicago Manual of Style marks its centennial with an online version (and more). Looping the loop: A new “theory of everything” is gaining ground. From The Harvard Crimson, depending on your point of view, 2000 was either a great year or a terrible year for Professor of Economics Andrei Shleifer. What do lectures reveal about the lecturer? An article on Zizek! Psychopaths are not a lost cause, one scientist argues. They simply suffer from a learning disability, and proper treatment could save society lots of pain and suffering. From Business Week, a special report on The Best of the Web. A Californian firm has built a virtual online world like no other. Its population is growing and its economy is thriving. Now politicians and advertisers are visiting. Researchers have simulated what would happen to Internet reliability in the US if terrorists were able to knock out various physical components of the network. Posting Truth to Power: Blogger Steve Benen is quietly rising in the punditocracy. Legislating love online: Should states mandate that online dating sites do criminal background checks of their users? A review of Beau Brummell: The Ultimate Man of Style. And Bill Clinton told the Labour conference to get into ubuntu. But what is it? Left-leaning sudoku? U2's latest album? Fish-friendly sushi?

[Sep 28] From Contemporary Aesthetics, Katharine Wolfe (Stony Brook): From Aesthetics to Politics: Rancière, Kant and Deleuze; and Todd S. Mei (Kent): Commitment and Communication: The Aesthetics of Receptivity and Historicity. From Philosophy Now, a look at the troubled relationship between art and theory; performance is the thing: A look at the nature of performance; an article on Albert C. Barnes, cantankerous freethinker; a new column on the question which plausibly must be answered before answering any other question; a review of Hitchcock as Philosopher; and look up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…the Ubermensch???: A review Action Philosophers. A rare copy of Soren Kierkegaard's Either/Or will be sold at auction later this year. Bard College will host the conference "Thinking in Dark Times: The Legacy of Hannah Arendt", on the 100th anniversary of her birth, October 27-29. From Inside Higher Ed, is Michael Bérubé a profiteer in the culture wars? Scott McLemee looks at his blog and his new books and the author discusses them in a podcast. What do you know? If you're an American college student, probably not much. All aboard the charters? Chester Finn Jr. on the state of a movement. From TLS, if the controversy has dented Günter Grass’s reputation as conscience of the nation then that may be no bad thing; not even for Grass himself. In a little known story, the Nobel Prizes almost never came to be, largely because of the unsophisticated way Alfred Nobel drew up his will. From Nextbook, an interview with Anna Shternshis, author of Soviet and Kosher, on how Soviet propaganda forged a new brand of Jewish identity. And from Monthly Review, an interview with Roderick Bush, author of We Are Not What We Seem: Black Nationalism and Class Struggle in the American Century

[Sep 27] From Social Anarchism, an essay on Anarchism and the Question of Human Nature; and a series of articles on Emma Goldman. The Journal of Political Philosophy makes a series of articles available for free. A review of Searle and Foucault on Truth. A review of Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior. From The Morning News, an interview with Sean Wilentz on social studies vs. history, purple prose in founding-father biographies, and how states rights started trumping slavery in Jefferson Davis’s memoirs. From Wired, how do you get general relativity and quantum mechanics to live together? String theory is the darling for now, but other promising approaches are floating out there as well. His research has been widely misused by global warming skeptics. Now, Earth scientist Peter Doran discusses what his work means for Antarctica and the world. Did the Neanderthals become extinct only 24,000 years ago? As a new discovery shows, primeval man apparently survived in southern Spain longer than was previously known. The phrase "easy on the eyes" may hit closer to the mark than we suspected, as research finds judgments of attractiveness depend on mental processing ease, or being "easy on the mind". Linguists are calling for an online public database, similar to the human genome project, that would allow researchers to collaboratively share different studies of language impairment. It is a shame that the recent attention given to early admission programs has been so short on facts and clearheaded analysis. More on The Price of Admission. All in all, 02138 is an attractive and entertaining magazine. The only problem is this: There's too much stuff about Harvard. Letter to a Tenured Professor: Andy Crouch writes back to Edward O. Wilson about The Creation. From Great Britain, to exclude religion from higher education would be to deny students a proper cultural understanding; and the University of St. Andrews is to award an honorary degree to Iran's reformist former president Seyed Mohammad Khatami. And the US government refuses to grant a visa to Tariq Ramadan but drops earlier charges against him of supporting terrorism

[Sep 26] From Hebraic Political Studies, Gary Remer (Tulane): After Machiavelli and Hobbes: James Harrington's Commonwealth of Israel; H. Lee Cheek (Brewton-Parker): Recovering Moses: The Contribution of Eric Voegelin and Contemporary Political Science; and a review of Contemporary Jewish Philosophy: An Introduction. From the Mises Review, a review of The Ethics of War; a review of The Political Sociology of Freedom: Adam Ferguson and F.A. Hayek by Ronald Hamowy; a review of Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy and the Politics of Revelation by Leora Batnitzky and Heinrich Meier; a review of Norms of Liberty: A Perfectionist Basis for Non-Perfectionist Politics; and a review of Markets Don't Fail! From Boston Review, a special issue on "Seeds of Change", including Claudio Lomnitz (Columbia): Latin America's Rebellion: Will the New Left Set a New Agenda?; Michael Piore (MIT) and Andrew Schrank (New Mexico): Trading Up: An Embryonic Model for Easing the Human Costs of Free Markets; Henry Farrell (GWU): Bloggers and Parties: Can the netroots reshape American democracy?; Six Ways to Reform Democracy: a look at what can happen when members of Congress sit down with scholars; Ruth Milkman (UCLA): Organizing the Unorganizable: The Unlikely Spark for a Rebirth of Labor; Jonathan Fox (UC-Santa Cruz): Binational Citizens: Mexican Migrants are Challenging Old Ideas About Assimilation; Mae Ngai (Columbia): The Lost Immigration Debate: Border Control Didn’t Always Dictate Policy; and a review of Charles Murray's In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State. From National Review, an article on why military history is being retired. From The New York Sun (one free hit a day), Clemson University establishes a think tank devoted to studying the moral basis of capitalism. From Swans, an article on the classroom and the class struggle. From The New Yorker, top of the class: Even without early admissions, universities perpetuate America’s class system; and in string theory, beauty is truth, truth beauty. Is that really all we need to know? Jim Holt investigates. From Scientific American, that's debatable: Six debates at the frontier of science. And eat your way to better DNA: Why what your grandmother ate while pregnant with your mother might affect your children's health

[Sep 25] From the latest issue of The New Atlantis, Patrick Lee (Franciscan U.) and Robert P. George (Princeton): The First Fourteen Days of Human Life; Matthew Crawford (Virginia): Shop Class as Soulcraft; Christine Rosen (EPPC): The Self-Portrait of a Scientist; an essay on The Myth of Thomas Szasz; a review of The Limits of Medicine: Cure or Enhancement; and a look at how the Internet is changing science journals. More on EO Wilson's The Creation. More on Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion (and an excerpt). More and more on Michael Frayn's The Human Touch. A review of Europe East and West by Norman Davies. A review of Liberty: The Lives and Times of Six Women in Revolutionary France and Napoleon's Master: A Life of Prince Talleyrand. A review of For Honour's Sake: The War of 1812 and the Brokering of an Uneasy Peace. A review of Democracy Reborn: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Fight for Equal Rights in Post-Civil War America. An interview with Niall Ferguson on The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West. A review of The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn. A review of Lawrence Jacobs and Theda Skocpol (eds), Inequality and American Democracy: What We Know and What We Need To Learn. Writers on trial: Turkey's Elif Shafak on writing The Bastard of Istanbul; and she was, and still is, a nobody. He is Germany's most famous writer. But Margarete Barthel and Guenter Grass share a great deal in common. A review of Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and Those Who Want to Write Them. The Dummies books follow strict rules: no passive voice, no future tense and a laugh track of sitcom-ish humor. The media everywhere are guilty of taking dubious numbers as gospel. It's more than just a question of bad math skills. The real problem is a lack of critical thinking. Check out ENGAGE, a podcast program of global culture, transformative concepts, and engaged philosophy produced at Oregon State. And this fall, the debate over racial preferences in education returns to the national stage. But this divisive issue, Jeffrey Rosen says, just isn’t what it used to be

[Weekend 2e] Book reviews: A review of A History of the Ancient Near East ca. 3000-323BC. A review of Classics and Colonialism. A review of Sugar, Slavery, and Society: Perspectives on the Caribbean, India, the Mascarenes, and the United States. A review of Yankee Don't Go Home: Mexican Nationalism, American Business Culture, and the Shaping of Modern Mexico, 1920-1950. A review of Three New Deals: Reflections on Roosevelt's America, Mussolini's Italy, and Hitler's Germany, 1933-1939. A review of The Language of the Third Reich by Victor Klemperer. A review of Seeing Hitler's Germany: Tourism in the Third Reich. A review of books on German Social Democratic Chancellors. A review of The New Development Economics; The Origins of Development Economics; and The Pioneers of Development Economics. A review of Is There a Right of Freedom of Expression? A review of Rediscovering A Lost Freedom: The First Amendment Right To Censor Unwanted Speech. A review of What Should Legal Analysis Become? by Roberto Unger. A review of Natural Law, Laws of Nature, Natural Rights: Continuity and Discontinuity in the History of Ideas. And a review of Courtiers of the Marble Palace: The Rise and Influence of the Supreme Court Law Clerk

[Weekend] From Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews, a review of Thucydides and the Shaping of History; and a review of The Imperial Cult in the Latin West. From NYRB, rediscovering a lost continent: A review of books on Italy. A review of The Culture of the Europeans: from 1800 to the Present Day. A review of The Unthought Debt: Heidegger and the Hebraic Heritage. From The Moscow Times, a review of Bakunin: The Creative Passion. A review of Nonviolent Struggle: 50 Crucial Points. From Economic and Political Weekly, whither the Social Sciences? The continued development of the arts and humanities is essential to achieving a wider understanding of social systems, the interlinkages these have with other systems, and the role of the individual embedded in it pdf. From The Chronicle, opinion journals are academics' path to the fertile intellectual commons. Far too few of them venture there. openDemocracy's publication of Hossein Derakhshan's article about the release from detention of the Iranian philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo was a serious lapse in editorial judgment, says Danny Postel. Feted for fiction and drama, Michael Frayn now returns to his roots in philosophy as a writer who thinks big, but never loses the human touch. A review of Skepticism, Knowledge, and Forms of Reasoning. From n+1, the problem with autonomy and end-of-life decisions is largely a problem of information—its transmission and, more fundamentally, its adequacy. A review of Genetics and Christian Ethics. More on Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion. The classic play "Inherit the Wind" has something to teach us about the intersection between science and religion at three crucial points in American history. Ten years after the publication of The End of Science, John Horgan says the limits of scientific inquiry are more visible than ever. From Inside Higher Ed, an article on How to Teach a Dirty Book. Article on how to crack the Oxbridge code. And is Google.org the future of philanthropy? And what's in it for them? 

[Sep 22] From Metapsychology Online Reviews, a review of The Stoics on Determinism and Compatibilism; a review of The Bifurcation of the Self: The History and Theory of Dissociation and Its Disorders; a review of Speaking My Mind: Expression and Self-Knowledge; and a review of Like a Splinter in Your Mind: The Philosophy Behind the Matrix Trilogy. From Popular Science, here's the Fifth Annual Brilliant 10. An article on epigenetics and learning without learning: The events of childhood may have an impact on the brain, even if no conventional memory is formed. From IEET, an article on Peter Singer and the fear of genetic inequality. Research suggests that better grades and greater incentives help explain why women outpace men in college degrees and that immigrant children perform as well or better than their same-race, American-born counterparts. Clever red-necks:  it's not just the economy that is booming in Alberta; schools are too. A look at why Ivy League universities are not so much palaces of learning as bastions of privilege and hypocrisy. Colleges and universities should return Advanced Placement courses to their original purpose, which was not college admission, but as the name says, advanced placement. William Bennett and Rod Paige on why the US needs a National School Test. From BBC Magazine, contemporary furniture - - high-end or mass produced - - has become big business. How did it become so appealing to us? Making a happy house: An interview with Alain de Botton. Consuming Passions looks at how the spin-offs from the Industrial Revolution wrought far-reaching changes in the leisure pursuits of workers. An article on learning how to read slowly again. An article on the attraction of other people's books. From Slate, Stephen Metcalf to: Ron Rosenbaum debate The Shakespeare Wars. A review of Philosophy of New Music by Theodor Adorno. An article on artwork and the subjective theory of value. And however we choose to approach Anais Nin and Ayn Rand, it is impossible to deny that they were both writers of great force, who dared to take on some of the defining issues of their time, and who refused to sacrifice the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of their thought

[Sep 21] Science, values and religion: From The Scientist, the scientific manuscript as we know it has outlived its usefulness. Here's how to move forward. From Seed, more on Not Even Wrong and The Trouble With Physics. From Edge, Alexander Vilenkin, author of the Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes, on The Principle of Mediocrity. From New Scientist, antisocial robots go to finishing school. The New Bionics: The prosthetics of the not-so-distant future are intertwined with muscles, nerves... even neurons. An emotional control circuit of the brain's fear response is discovered, and research finds how the brain keeps emotions at bay. Everything you know about British and Irish ancestry is wrong. Their ancestors were Basques, not Celts. The Celts were not wiped out by the Anglo-Saxons, in fact neither had much impact on the genetic stock of these islands. The stunningly complete skeleton of a three-year-old girl who lived 3.3 million years ago has been uncovered in Ethiopia, belonging to the species Australopithecus afarensis like the famous "Lucy". From PUP, the introduction to Stalin and the Soviet Science Wars, and the introduction to The Children of Abraham: Judaism, Christianity, Islam. From Sign and Sight, all believers, even Muslims, should back the Pope's attempt to close the value gap brought about by the technical implementation of reason in the globalised world. Sam Harris responds to Pope Benedict XVI’s speech on the interplay between faith and reason. Pratap Bhanu Mehta on how sanity requires detaching questions of peace from historical and theological debates over what the essence of one religion may or may not be. From Open Democracy, the leading themes of Benedict's Regensburg speech – faith and reason, Christianity and Europe, the emergence of Islam as Christianity's significant "other" – will outlast the furore it provoked. A review of On the Human Condition by Dominique Janicaud. From Salon, an interview with Andrew Newberg, author of Why We Believe What We Believe: Uncovering Our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth. A review of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. And E.O. Wilson hopes Christians will join in preserving all God's creation

[Sep 20] Maimon Schwarzschild (San Diego): A Class Act? Social Class Affirmative Action. From Ethics & International Affairs, Bruce Jones (NYU): Bio-Security, Nonstate Actors, and the Need for Global Cooperation; Roland Pierik (Radboud) and Mijke Houwerzijl (Amsterdam): Western Policies on Child Labor Abroad; a review of Why Globalization Works by Martin Wolf and In Defense of Globalization by Jagdish Bhagwati; and a review of The Debt Threat: How Debt is Destroying the Developing World. A review of Party Funding and Campaign Financing In International Perspective. A review of Cause Lawyers and Social Movements. A review of Is There A Duty To Obey The Law? From PUP, the introduction to David Kennedy's Of War and Law; the first chapter from The Altruism Equation: Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness; and the introduction to Rethinking Friendship: Hidden Solidarities Today. A review of Harvey Mansfield's Manliness. Martha Nussbaum will publish Democracy in the Balance: Violence, Hope, and India's Future which lambastes the Hindu Right. From The Chronicle, an article on The Immobility of the Associate Professor: Should a tenured faculty member buck the odds and re-enter the academic job market? Gen. Wesley Clark is set to join UCLA's Burkle Center for International Relations. Yale University will make select courses available on the internet. From The Atlantic Monthly, Richard Florida on Where the Brains Are: The growing concentration of college graduates in a few cities in the US pdf; and stop the insanity!: An interview with Sandra Tsing-Loh on the elite, utopian island of urban private education. Public Opinion Quarterly finds there are more liberals than conservatives on college faculties, although the proportions aren’t as large as those found in some other reports. Here's the graphic version of Michael Bérubé's What’s Liberal About the Liberal Arts? pdf. And from Writ, an article on The "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" student speech case: With Kenneth Starr seeking high court review of the Ninth Circuit decision, is someone blowing smoke?

[Sep 19] From Scientific American, a cover story on How to Blow Up a Star: It is not as easy as you would think; strangling heat and gases from the earth and sea, not asteroids, most likely caused several ancient mass extinctions. Could the same conditions build again?; will the Wall Street Journal's editorial writers accept a challenge to learn the truth about the science of global climate change? Jeffrey Sachs wants to know; Michael Shermer on why Christians and conservatives should accept evolution; and a review of God's Universe; The Language of God by Francis S. Collins; The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins; and The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God by Carl Sagan. From TAP, a look at how the latest fight over homework only underscores the basic futility of debates about education policy. An op-ed on how making SAT scores optional is the latest instance of a disheartening trend in college admissions. Any college will do: A look at how top chief executives find the path to the corner office usually starts at state university. From the dorms of Choate Rosemary Hall to the Yale Club in Manhattan: An article on The Great Preppy Revival. Princeton announces plans for the expansion of Black Studies program. From Cafe Babel, a special issue on education: crash course on globalisation. A review of Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations ... One School at a Time. From Wespennest, an interview with Indian pyschoanalyst Sudhir Kakar on the pyschoanalyst-astrologer, the female principle in religion, and globalization and fundamentalism in India. From The Moscow Times, Russian literature of the 19th century revolved around St. Petersburg, while Moscow was scantily represented. And from Bookforum, a review of The Shakespeare Wars: Clashing Scholars, Public Fiascoes, Palace Coups and Shylock is Shakespeare

[Sep 18] From The Toronto Star, an article on Ramin Jahanbegloo's prison ordeal, and his dubious state-sanctioned confession; and an essay by Jahanbegloo on bringing liberalism to Iran. Theory as politics: A look at how an engaging, participatory involvement with theory can make a difference in society. A review of Reading Leo Strauss: Politics, Philosophy, Judaism by Steven B. Smith. Give the dead their due: We are all made poorer when good people are trashed after they can no longer defend themselves. A review of Human Remains: Dissections and its Histories. Seizing on our increased interest in the search for meaning, Richard Dawkins, Paul Davies and Michael Frayn are getting to grips with these existential dilemmas in their new books. Could Tim Adams find the answers? More and more on Frayn's The Human Touch: Our Part in the Creation of a Universe. A review of Mind and Its Place in the World: Non-Reductionist Approaches to the Ontology of ConsciousnessMore and more on Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law and The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next. A review of Imaginary Weapons: A Journey Through the Pentagon’s Scientific Underworld. Losing it, 200 miles above the Earth: When a bolt is lost in space, should anyone care? From Science News, Battle of the Hermaphrodites: A look at how sexes clash even when sharing the same body. A review of Francis Crick: Discoverer of the Genetic Code by Matt Ridley (and more). What do you get when you cross a banteng with a zebu? You get a scientific cage match over whether its offspring, the odd-looking kouprey, should lose its status as a species. And from The New York Times, Michael Bérubé on The Academic Blues: So what if college faculties skew liberal? The classroom is just the place for bias; more on The Price of Admission; if other colleges follow Harvard, what might a world without early applications look like? Guess who wins; and an interview with Lee Siegel on TNR, the blogosphere and sprezzatura

[Weekend 2e] Entertainment and stuff: From USA Today, a look at why the race-based "Survivor" makes us squirm, and more from TNR. Celebrities are their own biggest fans: "Loveline's" Dr. Drew's scientific study shows stars really are narcissists first. A review of On Becoming Fearless… in Love, Work, and Life by Arianna Huffington. A review of My Life as a Furry Red Monster: What Being Elmo Has Taught Me About Life, Love, and Laughing Out Loud. A review of You Can Get Arrested for That: 2 Guys, 25 Dumb Laws, 1 Absurd American Crime Spree. A review of Lost Cosmonaut: Observations of an Anti-Tourist. Has magic lost its magic? Today's illusionists attract a lot of attention but rarely give audiences a sense of wonder. Hanging with the in-crowd: Big media firms and investors are cosying up to social networking websites. And MySpace is the coolest hangout space for teens, but parents might be surprised at what their kids do there

[Weekend] From AEI, here's the latest Bradley Lecture, on The Rhetoric of Remembrance: Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. A review of Consuming Passions: Leisure and Pleasure in Victorian Britain. A review of Amartya Sen's Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny. From Christianity Today, historian Jaroslav Pelikan thought theology was too important to be left to the theologians. A review of A History of the End of the World: How the Most Controversial Book in the Bible Changed the Course of Western Civilization. A review of Out of the Cave: A Philosophical Inquiry into the Dead Sea Scrolls Research. The science of ancient truths: Proposing an alliance between science and religion isn't as far-fetched as some sociobiologists would like to think. From The Scientist, an article on environmentally friendly flatulence: A new approach to solving the serious problem of farm animals' gas. From Financial Times, a review of The Epidemic: A Global History of Aids, Body Count: How They Turned Aids into a Catastrophe, and Aids and Power: Why There is No Political Crisis, and a review of Billy, Alfred, and General Motors: The Story of Two Unique Men, a Legendary Company, and a Remarkable Time in American History; The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer; Broken Genius: The Rise and Fall of William Shockley, Creator of the Electronic Age; and Robber Baron: The Life of Charles Tyson Yerkes. An article on the basic dilemma of the artist: "The psychophysical problem is long standing and, probably, intractable". John Gennari's Blowin' Hot and Cool looks at the intimate but fractious relationship between jazz luminaries and their critics. Revisiting 25 years of the MacArthur Foundation's celebrated -- and mysterious -- "genius" grants: Where are they now, and how did they spend their money? From The Weekly Standard, mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be undergraduates. And from The Harvard Crimson, Social Analysis isn’t the sexiest of Core categories, but it ain’t the dreariest either (Hello, Moral Reasoning)