From Jonathan Steele's Defeat: Why They Lost Iraq, a looks at how Britain went to war unbriefed, unprepared and with no idea of the fallout that would ensue (and two more excerpts). The essential critic: James Wood sees literary criticism as a means of revealing truth in novels... and exposing phoneys. The Fifth Columnist: A look at how Bill Kristol landed that Times gig. An interview with Allen Raymond, author of How to Rig An Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative (and a review). The UN has had its own university for more than 30 years, a little-known endeavor with no regular teaching operations. But now the new rector wants to turn it into a serious academic institution. From The Space Review, an interview with Steven Weinberg; an article on the dark side of space disaster theories; and is space exploration worth the cost? David Levy, author of Love and Sex with Robots, explains why technological advances guarantee future bots will be more than just sex dolls.  "Won't somebody please think of the children?": Calm down, it’s just pornography. Form TAP, an article on the convention delegate process explained. Jeff Greenfield on the unexpected ins and outs of the primary calendar. Jack Shafer writes in praise of horse-race coverage: If campaigns are contests, then why not obsess on who's winning? The Sistine Chapel was created 500 years ago by Michelangelo... or was it?

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