From The Space Review, a review of The Star Wars Enigma: Behind the Scenes of the Cold War Race for Missile Defense by Nigel Hey; proponents of human space exploration often struggle to develop compelling rationales for such missions — Frank Stratford explains how the best reason for human spaceflight may be to unlock the vast untapped potential of humanity; spaceflight is an expensive, high-tech endeavor that suffers from too much government regulation, right? A lot of people might agree with that sentiment, but Wayne Eleazer busts some enduring myths; and only a lucky few get to fly Nasa’s state-sponsored shuttles, but a new era of space tourism will demand one more skill from astronauts: business acumen. A review of Living Off the Land in Space: Green Roads to the Cosmos by Gregory L. Matloff, Les Johnson, and C Bangs. Here are 20 things you didn't know about living in space: Exploding boobs, toilet target practice, the second birth. If we make radio contact with an extraterrestrial civilization, and the only thing we can transmit is text, and we transmit the entire text of a dictionary, what can they learn from it?

From the first issue of Lapham's Quarterly, Lewis H. Lapham on The Gulf of Time. From Ovi, Emanuel L. Paparella on a revolutionary new view of history and humanity. A review of The Roman Triumph by Mary Beard. Empire the West forgot: A review of Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire by Judith Herrin (and more and more). A review of The Mughal Emperors and the Islamic Dynasties of India, Iran and Central Asia, 1206-1925 by Francis Robinson. A review of Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu by Laurence Bergreen (and more and more). A review of Amerigo: The Man Who Gave His Name to America by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto (and more and more). A review of Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire, 1714-1783 by Brendan Simms. From TNR, utopia and calculation: A review of The Demands of Liberty: Civil Society in France Since the Revolution by Pierre Rosanvallon. A review of Storm and Conquest: The Battle for the Indian Ocean, 1808-10 by Stephen Taylor. A review of Napoleon's Wars: An International History, 1803-1815 by Charles Esdaile. The first chapter from Garibaldi: Citizen of the World: A Biography by Alfonso Scirocco. A review of Towards the Light: a Story of the Struggle for Liberty and Rights that made the Modern West by A C Grayling. A review of The Time of the Rebels: Youth Resistance Movements and 21st Century Revolutions by Matthew Collin. The looking glasses war: The history of the past four decades has been writ large in spectacles: from the open, dreamy, spiritual circle to the narrow oblong of survival.

From TAP, Ezra Klein on ten reasons why American health care is so bad. Henry Aaron on why healthcare reform has failed: To make it work, lawmakers need to understand the barriers that have blocked reform. From TNR, wrestling with the innovation question: Jonathan Cohn on the best case against universal health care. Health care excuses: The reality is that the best foreign health care systems do as well or better than the U.S. system, while costing far less money. From The Atlantic Monthly, the health-care crisis no candidate is addressing? Too many doctors. A review of Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer by Shannon Brownlee. A review of Alternative Medicine? A History by Roberta Bivins.

From Japan Focus, an essay on Japan’s future as an international, multicultural society: From migrants to immigrants; and philosophy as activism in neo-liberal, neo-nationalist Japan: An interview with Takahashi Tetsuya. Enter the dragon: There is no end of theories about the ideological basis for China’s rise as an economic superpower. From The Economist, a special report on technology in India and China: China and India have much to offer the world of technology, but more still to gain from it. A review of Asian Godfathers: Money and Power in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia by Joe Studwell. Deconstructing Cambodia's modernist heritage: A review of Building Cambodia by Helen Grant Ross and Darryl Leon Collins. Understanding SPDC tyranny: An article on the geopolitics and economics of Burma’s military regime, 1962-2007. The revolution that never was: Burma's pro-democracy protesters are learning the hard way that in international politics, attention spans are short.

Nythamar de Oliveira (PUCRS): Rawls’s normative conception of the person: A Kantian reinterpretation. A review of Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy by John Rawls.  Robert Nozick and the immaculate conception of the state: An excerpt from Murray Rothbard's The Ethics of Liberty. A review of Michael Oakeshott on Religion, Aesthetics, and Politics by Elizabeth Campbell Corey. From Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Alan Gross (Minnesota): Habermas, Systematically Distorted Communication, and the Public Sphere. "And to define America, her athletic democracy": Jurgen Habermas on the philosopher and the language shaper, in memory of Richard Rorty. "I’m bringing more people to philosophy": Simon Blackburn has strong views on politics and religion. One of most relevant thinkers you’ve never heard of: A review of The Life and Thought of Hans Jonas: Jewish Dimensions by Christian Wiese. A challenge for philosophy: Penn's Anita Allen is at the top of her field, but she has serious concerns about its lack of openness and diversity.

A new issue of The New York Times' "Play Magazine" is out. Michael Lewis on baseball’s losing formula: There are a variety of ways to drum up fan interest, from free-hat days at the park to post-game fireworks, but the best way is to field a competitive team. A review of I Dream in Blue: Life, Death, and the New York Giants by Roger Director and The Blueprint: How the New England Patriots Beat the System to Create the Last Great NFL Superpower by Christopher Price. A study of former high-school American football players has found that more than a third said they had had sexual relations with other men. A look at the world's most ridiculous sports team names. Sequins & Scandals: Why figure skating's popularity is in freefall — and no, it ain't just the costumes. London's Olympic venue has been unveiled with much fanfare, but what do national stadiums really say about the countries they are in?

From Vanity Fair, William Langewiesche on The Mega-Bunker of Baghdad: The new U.S. Embassy in Iraq may be fortified to the teeth and lavished with all the amenities, but it sure isn’t built for diplomacy. From Salon, an article on the Battle of the Bushes; how George Bush really found Jesus; how Cheney took control of Bush's foreign policy: Excerpts from The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America's Future by Craig Unger. How Bush saved Iran’s neocons: Not long ago, Tehran’s hardliners were just one faction among many. But a series of diplomatic blunders by the Bush administration has put these guardians of Iran’s Islamic Revolution in the driver’s seat—and made war much more likely. Pervez W. Busharraf: The language Musharraf uses to justify his state of emergency seems lifted from Republican talking points. Can Pervez Musharraf hang tough in Islamabad? An interview with Najam Sethi, editor of Pakistan's Daily Times. Jazz, Rock 'n' Roll, and Diplomacy: Can American culture make Muslims love us? The Revolt of the Comic Books: America's superheroes take on preemptive war, torture, warrantless spying, and George W. himself.

From New Statesman, a cover story on how to stop climate change, the easy way: Changing your light bulbs may not be enough to save a single polar bear, but there are things we can do collectively - and easily - that will really make a measurable difference in the battle against global warming. A review of The Onion's reference book, Our Dumb World: Atlas of the Planet Earth, 73rd Edition. A review of The Geography of Hope: A Tour of the World We Need by Chris Turner. From Plenty, Travis Price's The Archaeology of Tomorrow: Architecture & the Spirit of Place makes a case for restoring the green building movement to its spiritual and aesthetic center. But will his ideas take hold? Alain de Botton on Remembrance of Things Built. A review of The World in a City: Traveling the Globe Through the Neighborhoods of the New New York by Joseph Berger. A review of Renewable City: A Comprehensive Guide to an Urban Revolution by Peter Droege. Call it New Urbanism, but it's still the oldest way there is to make a city neighborhood. From The New Yorker, is there any hope for the automobile? Elizabeth Kolbert reviews Zoom: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future by Iain Carson. Life in the Slow Lane: An article on the potential of a toll booth-free America. An article on why students, schools, and governments should care about mass transit. Oversized and overhyped, the world's biggest plane is here. Is the Airbus 380 the "most hideous airliner ever conceived"?

From The Nation, a review of My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir by Clarence Thomas; Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas by Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher; and The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin. From The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin reviews My Grandfather's Son. From Flak, an article on John Roberts and the Supreme Strike Zone; and a look at the unmitigated gall of John Roberts. Who are the bench's judicial activists? Looking at the Supreme Court justices' voting records, the lines between activism and restraint may surprise you. A review of The Supreme Court in the American Legal System by Jeffrey A. Segal, Harold J. Spaeth, and Sara C. Benesh. A review of Law Lit: From Atticus Finch to The Practice: A Collection of Great Writing About the Law.

Slavoj Zizek (Ljubljana): From Che vuoi? to Fantasy: Lacan with Eyes Wide Shut. From The New York Times Magazine, a special issue on How the Western Was Won. Hollywood, year zero: Now that the internet brings us uncensored footage of the Iraq War, film-makers must move quickly to stay relevant. Whose cultural identity is it, anyway? TV producer Phil Redmond on the role of a nation’s cultural institutions. From Vanity Fair, Showdown at Fort Sumner: Two years after Paramount purchased DreamWorks, Hollywood is transfixed by one of the nastiest breakups ever. As Sumner Redstone and David Geffen went to war (over Steven Spielberg?), the author got it from both sides. A review of Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would Be King by Foster Hirsch (and more). Fasten your seatbelts: A review of Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis by Ed Sikov (and more and more). 90% smart, 10% silly: Arriving at a successful formula for screen spoofery is an art form — meet Jake Kasdan, the man who cooked up the legend of "Dewey Cox".