From New English Review, Theodore Dalrymple on Austria and evil; Rebecca Bynum on the myth of equality; and an essay on the philosophic principles and mechanisms of democracy (and part 2 and part 3). From Vanity Fair, a look at how Jacqueline Kennedy turned the unprecedented, perilous loan of the Mona Lisa into a powerful Cold War symbol; Christopher Hitchens on America the Banana Republic; James Wolcott has lived through a lot of hair-raising times, but now he’s sure the world is going to hell in a handbasket — and, God knows, the media are only making it worse; and now that David Levine, the greatest caricaturist of the late 20th century, is going blind, is he owed more than a fond farewell? From World Politics Review, there are no quick solutions to the Somali pirate crisis. Whenever word comes out that pirates have taken yet another ship in Puntland, extraordinary things start to happen. Pirates versus weapon dealers: Looking for the good guys off the Somali coast. The Coke Coast: An article on cocaine and failed states in Africa. More and more and more on Thomas Friedman's Hot, Flat and CrowdedFree World Colossus: In the new Cold War, the US is the revolutionary force. From The New Yorker, a review of Looking for Lincoln: The Making of an American Icon by Philip Kunhardt. More on Annette Gordon-Reed's The Hemingses of Monticello.

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