From American Political Science Review, a series of articles on American elections. From The New Yorker, a special issue on politics, including an editorial endorsing Barack Obama, George Packer on The Hardest Vote: The disaffection of Ohio’s working class; James Wood on the Republican war on words; an article on the many lives of Arianna Huffington; and Lipstick on a Pig: A 2008 campaign quiz. From The Hedgehog Review, a review of Laughing Matters: Humor and American Politics in the Media Age; and a review essay on books on American political cartoons. From New York, how McCain lost his brand: From maverick to crank in an instant; why Mayor Bloomberg’s push for a third term may be the riskiest thing he’s ever done; things look grim at the moment, but where will we be a year from now? That depends on who’s president; and which is more important to a 25-year-old Ochs-Sulzberger heir: the sense of honor that comes with owning the New York Times, or enough money to do whatever he wants for the rest of his life? A review of The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006–2008 by Bob Woodward. The Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America celebrates its creator's centennial this month, but why do we still need field guides? To feel or not: Are we just being used when we are kind and compassionate?