From Conversations with History, an interview with Philip Bobbitt on a new interpretation of terrorism; an interview with Bart Ehrman on how the Bible explains the problem of human suffering; and an interview with Annabel Patterson on the power of words and the power over words. From National Journal, a look at the abortion and gay rights positions of McCain and Obama. From ARPA, why the American alliance should not be the holy grail of Australian foreign policy.  From The Smart Set, we're in a period of biography overkill, with the James family its latest victims. Slate introduces "Open Book", a literary video collaboration with NYU. From The Times, here's a list of the 50 outstanding literary translations from the last 50 years. A review of Blood Matters: A Journey Along the Genetic Frontier by Masha Gessen. An excerpt from Spiral Jetta: A Road Trip through the Land Art of the American West by Erin Hogan (and an interview). The oddly powerless "global power elite": More on Superclass by David Rothkopf. More and more on ID: The Quest for Identity in the 21st Century by Susan Greenfield. Research suggests first Europeans shunned Neanderthal sex. John McCain's approach to terrorism is almost as old as he is, a true relic of the Cold War. From universal empire to the world state: An excerpt from Unjust Justice by Chantal Delsol.