From LRB, why it matters: Ellen Meiksins Wood reviews Hobbes and Republican Liberty by Quentin Skinner; and what’s in a number? Donald MacKenzie on the $300 trillion question. Like George W. Bush, McCain and Palin have to lie, because if they told the truth about their policies, they'd lose the election. Let’s call a lie a lie finally: Euphemism gets put on the shelf as politics grows more partisan. A review of Termites in the Trading System: How Preferential Agreements Undermine Free Trade by Jagdish Bhagwati. A new issue of the Internet Review of Books is out, including a review of A Declaration of Energy Independence: How Freedom from Foreign Oil Can Improve National Security, Our Economy, and the Environment by Jay Hakes; a review of Pearls, Politics, and Power: How Women Can Win and Lead by Madeleine Kunin; and a review of The Return Of Ulysses: A Cultural History Of Homer's Odyssey by Edith Hall. A review of The Wooden Horse: The Liberation of the Western Mind from Odysseus to Socrates by Keld Zeruneith. More on Mary Lefkowitz's History Lesson: A Race Odyssey (and more and more). This season's most controversial book isn't an election-year expose or a celebrity tell-all — it's a historical novel. Laura Stokes reviews Out Backward by Ross Raisin. From Air & Space, a look at 10 aircraft that changed the world.

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