From The New Yorker, I love novels: Young women develop a genre for the cellular age. You never know what you’ll find in a book: Books can be handy places to stow cash, swizzle sticks, rejection letters, even leftover breakfast meats. How foreign car factories have transformed the American South. A review of The Age of Aging: How Demographics are Changing the Global Economy and Our World by George Magnus. A review of A Philosophy of Fear by Lars Svendsen. Here are some very strange portraits of Barack Obama. Eric Rauchway on learning from the New Deal's mistakes. Miss Venezuela: Experiencing what may be the most serious beauty pageant in the world. Philip Zimbardo on how ordinary people become monsters or heroes. Who lives by the road, dies by the road: More people die each month on American roads than were killed in the September 11 attacks, but where is the war on cars? (and more on Autophobia). Do Mozart and Mick Jagger really have anything in common? wonders Noel Malcolm. An essay on the epistemological status of belief. Literary noisemakers: In shift, publishers issue heavyweights for the New Year. Tony Perrottet, author of Napoleon's Privates: 2,500 Years of History Unzipped, on the pervert's grand tour. Some people don’t have “miracle” in their vocabulary, though, so we have to ask: “Are virgin births possible?”

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