From Newsweek, a cover story on The Story of Power: The study of power is not only diverting (which Homer and Shakespeare knew), but illuminating. From NYRB, a review of books on the war we don't want to see. Anatomy of a breakdown: Concerted government policy helped trigger the financial meltdown — and will almost certainly extend it. More and more and more on Panic! The Story of Modern Financial Insanity by Michael Lewis. From The Immanent Frame, Akbar Ganji interviews Charles Taylor, author of Varieties of Religion Today: William James Revisited. Dark days ahead: Why Republicans need Xmas vacation. What happens in Washington when no one is afraid of anyone else? From The Atlantic, Henry Blodget on why Wall Street always blows it — and why we never learn from the last bubble; pop psychology: Why asset bubbles are a part of the human condition that regulation can’t cure; and “be nice to the countries that lend you money”: James Fallows interviews Gao Xiqing, America's Chinese banker (and more and more). The case for keeping score: A democracy index could push states toward more ambitious electoral reforms. and Emily Bazelon, David Iglesias, Dahlia Lithwick, Joseph Rich, and Stuart Taylor Jr. set the table for Obama's Justice Department. A report finds post-Katrina, white vigilantes shot African-Americans with impunity.

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