Geoff Cooper (Surrey) and Mary Ebeling (Drexel): Epistemology, Structure and Urgency: The Sociology of Financial and Scientific Journalists. From Neiman Reports, special issues on Afghanistan: Stories come back into view and on Islam: Reporting in context and with complexity. An interview with John Byrne Cooke, author of Reporting the War: Freedom of the Press from the American Revolution to the War on Terrorism. A review of What Orwell Didn't Know: Propaganda and the New Face of American Politics. Feeeeeelings: News features detailing tragedy in candidates' lives focus too much on emotion and sympathy and not enough on substance and balance in the race for the White House. Read all about it! Tom Brokaw recommends books on journalism's high aims and low comedy. A review of Breaking News: How the Associated Press Has Covered War, Peace, and Everything Else. A review of Online News: Journalism and the Internet by Stuart Allan. The cyber guardians of honest journalism: No longer trusting what they read, see and hear, people in western democracies are questioning as never before, particularly via the internet. From TNR, Franklin Foer on the story of Baghdad Diarist. In The Tank: Did National Review reporter make his stories up? Thomas Edsall investigates. Forever weird: A review of Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson by Jann S. Wenner and Corey Seymour (and more and more).

From New Statesman, a special section on Vlad the Great: Putin has dismantled the fragile democracy of the 1990s, but has never been more popular; an article on the modern Russian paradox: Ironies behind the elite’s confused thinking; and whether in pro-western or pro-Moscow states, repression and corruption are flourishing among Russia's neighbours. Portrait of a reluctant democracy: Der Spiegel presents five regional snapshots of a nation with eleven time zones, pinning its hopes on one man. An article on Putin’s last realm to conquer: Russian culture. An article on Putin and the dawn of the New Authoritarians. Saviours of nations, but at what cost? Why Putin's and Chavez's policies and style of leadership are perceived positively at home while openly condemned by so many abroad. Donald Rumsfeld on the smart way to beat tyrants like Chavez. Venezuela's president and public enemy No. 1: Despite his anti-U.S. rhetoric and ambitions, the only country that Hugo Chavez really threatens is his own. How is it that the people of Venezuela have reached such a bizarre crossroad that we now ask ourselves if it is democratic to establish the indefinite re-election of the president? Pakistanis go to the ballot box, if only in the hope that some kind of reconciliation among the powers that be will bring us out of these “emergent” and “extraordinary” times. If you thought Musharraf was bad: Former Pakistani Prime Ministers Sharif and Bhutto are hardly the right leaders to nurture democracy and fight terrorism. They just keep us hangin' on, but why? New studies shed light on that age-old delusion of leaders: Irreplaceability.

From Political Affairs, an article on the new struggle for socialism, and an essay on theory and practice of class struggle in a socialist market economy. From Politics and Culture, a review of Henryk Grossman and the Recovery of Marxism by Rick Kuhn; a review of Learning from the Left: Children’s Literature, the Cold War, and Radical Politics in the United States by Julia L. Mickenberg; and lovers and political movements: A review of Communism: A Love Story by Jeff Sparrow. From Dissent, a review of Freedom’s Power: The True Force of Liberalism by Paul Starr. More on The Conscience of a Liberal by Paul Krugman. A review of Living Blue in the Red States by David Starkey. More on Michael Gerson's Heroic Conservatism. The preface to Roger Scruton's Culture Counts: Faith and Feeling in a World Besieged. From 10 Zen Monkeys, RU Sirius proposes a Liberal/Libertarian/Other unity party that will develop ideas and solutions to America's political problems through an Open Source process that will be engaging and fun; and it is time for all those who oppose authoritarian governance and culture to join together in a coalition — it is time for QuestionAuthority.

From Der Spiegel, an interview with Portuguese foreign minister Jose Socrates: "The European Project is one of the grandest ideas in the world"; and perfecting a system of total control, Brussels regulates our daily lives. The first chapter from The Europeanization of the World: On the Origins of Human Rights and Democracy by John M. Headley. The introduction to The Sovereignty of Law: The European Way by Francis G. Jacobs. A review of Religion in an Expanding Europe, ed. Timothy A. Byrnes and Peter J. Katzenstein. From Cafe Babel, adverts: art or atrocity? The European advertising landscape tumbles between art and consensus — there's no end to national stereotypes, whilst "Europe" struggles in having a common "brand" image. A print and television review from across the continent.

From Wired, an article on the difficult economics and science of genetically modified produce. Red, White, and Bleu: What do we eat when we eat meat? Fishin’ suppers and bluegrass tales: A review of Around the Opry Table: A Feast of Recipes and Stories from The Grand Ole Opry by Kay West. A review of Taste: The Story of Britain through its Food by Kate Colquhoun. A review of The Food Snob's Dictionary. From TLS, a review of Questions of Taste: The philosophy of wine by Barry Smith. A review of Starbucked: A Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce, and Culture by Taylor Clark (and more and more).

A review of Joseph Ellis's American Creation (and more and more). A review of A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign by Edward J. Larson. An interview with Jonathan Miles, author of The Wreck of the Medusa: The Most Famous Sea Disaster of the Nineteenth Century. The introduction to Trying Leviathan: The Nineteenth-Century New York Court Case That Put the Whale on Trial and Challenged the Order of Nature by D. Graham Burnett. A review of What Hath God Wrought: Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe. More and more on American Transcendentalism by Philip F. Gura. A review of Reconstructions: New Perspectives on the Postbellum United States. A review of A Matter of Justice: Eisenhower and the Beginning of the Civil Rights Revolution by David A. Nichols. A review of Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full by Conrad Black. A review of Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power by Robert Dallek and Henry Kissinger and the American Century by Jeremi Suri. A review of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher: A Political Marriage by Nicholas Wapshott.

From In-Spire, a review of Critical Security Studies and World Politics. A review of Complexity in World Politics by Neil Harrison. Philip Stephens on why a global response is needed to the shifting world order. From The National Interest, Graham Allison, Joseph Cirincione and William Potter respond to John Mueller, who argued that the threat from nuclear proliferation was exaggerated. Could we have a little talk about World War III? It's back again, that phrase, and it doesn't look like it's going to go away soon. From the US Army War College's Parameters, an article on propaganda: Can a word decide a war? From Peace, terrorism has not always been considered a bad thing (Robespierre, for example, thought it a virtue) — thank goodness times are changing; and who failed the world's "failed states"? An interview with Stephen Krasner on the greatest threats to the stability of the international system.  An interview with Christopher Coyne, author of After War: The Political Economy of Exporting Democracy. After the empire: Despite its colonial roots, the Commonwealth offers an important model of genuine multilateralism for the world. When your only weapon is shame: Using its power to ostracise and exclude, the Commonwealth has had sporadic success as a promoter of democracy; other clubs find it harder.  It's tough to live in stateless limbo: An article on the growing danger of falling between the cracks of geopolitics and war.

From TLS, novel thoughts: Neuroscience is helping us to understand how art works – and it may offer us a way out of narcissism. More on Mirror of the World: A New History of Art by Julian Bell. A review of Technologies of the Picturesque: British Art, Poetry, and Instruments 1750-1830 by Ron Broglio. From New Statesman, Moscow's extraordinary architectural heritage is being wiped out in the ruthless pursuit of a new Russia; and wild, wild east: Soviet-era cowboy films have inspired politicians, writers and cosmonauts alike. The Gospel According to Philip Seymour Hoffman: An excerpt from A Jesuit Off-Broadway by James Martin. Like a complete unknown: "I'm Not There" and the changing face of Bob Dylan on film. Far from Hollywood: With his kaleidoscopic Bob Dylan anti-biopic, director Todd Haynes takes a bold leap back to his avant-garde roots. A review of I Hate Myself and Want to Die: The 52 Most Depressing Songs You've Ever Heard by Tom Reynolds. The Pretenders: A rock-star fantasy that demands a different set of skills. Is it possible to make pop music without concern that it's popular? A look at paradoxes of home recording. Move over, iPod: Internet radio captures the enduring magic of the medium and makes the local global.

From Sociological Research Online, a special issue on Pierre Bourdieu: A Critical Tribute in Times of Uncertainty, including Michalis Lianos (Rouen): Pierre Bourdieu: Episteme, Polity and Critique; Eric Hobsbawm (Birkbeck): Critical Sociology and Social History; Alice Sullivan (IE): Cultural Capital, Cultural Knowledge and Ability; and Nicos Mouzelis (LSE): Habitus and Reflexivity: Restructuring Bourdieu's Theory of Practice; and a review of The Disobedient Generation: Social Theorists in the Sixties. Hanno Hardt (Ljubljana): Cruising on the Left: Notes on a Genealogy of Left Communication Research in the United States. From Graduate Journal of Social Science, Nicole Akai Hala (Columbia): Representing the Nation and Others: A Formal Method for the Analysis of Political Identities; and a review of Designs on Nature: Science and Democracy in Europe and the United States by Shelia Jasanoff. From CTheory, Marcel O'Gorman (Waterloo): Detroit Digital: On Tourists in the Apocalypse; and Matthew Tiessen (Alberta): Urban Meanderthals and the City of "Desire Lines".From Politics and Culture, a special issue on (Politics and) Neoliberal Culture; and a review of Adorno and the Political by Espen Hammer. Slavoj Zizek on why Heidegger made the right step in 1933.

Kate Orton-Johnson (Edinburgh): The Online Student: Lurking, Chatting, Flaming and Joking. From The Philosophers' Magazine, Steve Fuller and Alan Haworth debate the merits of the recent statement by Academics for Academic Freedom. The dangerous wealth of the Ivy League: Higher education is increasingly a tale of two worlds, with elite schools getting richer and buying up all the talen. From 02138, a million little writers: Welcome to the world of celebrity academics–and the behind-the-scenes scribes who help make their fame and fortune possible; and a Harvard alumnus in flagrante delicto? Veritas? Looking back, sex scandals are actually a long-running Harvard tradition — grads (and undergrads) have been caught with their pants down since at least the 18th century. From Forward, a grand dream of the American Jewish community may be realized by the establishment of a stand-alone Center for Jewish History at NYU — or is independence invaluable? Researching death to save life: The new Centre for the Study of Genocide and Mass Violence at Sheffield University will tackle an evil that may be exacerbated by climate change. The debating society Oxford Union has a curious knack of stirring up enormous rows., but why do people take it so seriously? Freak shows and other seediness figure large in A Provincial View of Popular Entertainment, a book exploring how the Victorians got their kicks. Freud is widely taught at universities, except in the Psychology Department: If you want to learn about psychoanalysis at the nation’s top universities, one of the last places to look may be the psychology department. Sense and nonsense: An interview with Rev. James V. Schall, S.J. on the life of the mind, the future of the West, and lessons learned over a long career in education. Pursuing a PhD? Consider Wii Studies: The study of video games is a fast-growing and multidisciplinary affair — turns out the relationship between "play" and real life isn't so clear-cut.