A review of Creating Language Crimes: How Law Enforcement Uses (and Misuses) Language by Roger W. Shuy. One of the week's best invented words: "Insockurity". More reading than in 1970s: People in the UK seem to have been reading more over the past quarter of a century, a study suggests. A review of On Royalty: A Very Polite Inquiry Into Some Strangely Related Families by Jeremy Paxman. An interview with Tina Brown, the queen bee on both sides of the Atlantic and another kind of royalty.

A review of Shakespeare the Thinker by A. D. Nuttall and Shakespeare Revealed: A Biography by René Weis. The evanescent Romantic: A review of Being Shelley: the Poet's Search for Himself by Ann Wroe. Too shy to gossip, too plain to join in: A review of Death and the Maidens: Fanny Wollstonecraft and the Shelley Circle by Janet Todd. A review of Jane Austen and the Enlightenment by Peter Knox-Shaw.

John Irving reviews Peeling the Onion by Gunter Grass. From Sign and Sight, the Sheikha's Book Club: Ulla Lenze is the first German writer to be invited to the literary salon of Sheikha Shamma in the United Arab Emirates, to answer question about her book. David Frum on a tour of France's historic gas stations. The Piperno Case: Is a popular Italian novel a daring comedy of manners—or a way for readers to indulge in stereotypes guilt-free? The Resurrection of Garibaldi: How the capital is commemorating the revolutionary father of modern Italy.

Form Smithsonian, Ancient Rome's Forgotten Paradise: Stabiae's seaside villas will soon be resurrected in one of the largest archaeological projects in Europe since World War II; and Rome Reborn: Archaeologists unveil a 3-D model of the great city circa A.D. 400. The 300 years after Alexander were typified by scandal-ridden dynastic upheaval – and some very peculiar names: A review of The Hellenistic Age: A Short History by Peter Green.


A review of Global Environmental Governance by James Gustave Speth and Peter M. Haas. The Howard Government has warned of economic disaster if carbon emissions are cut too drastically. But in Sweden, the opposite has occurred. Bold policies have turned a city into an eco-powerhouse. Aral Sea's return revives withered villages: Dam begins to diminish ecological disaster of Soviet-era irrigation. Six Reasons You May Need a New Atlas Soon: Few new states have come into being since the fall of the Soviet Union. Creating "escape routes" for wildlife: Biological corridors, such as one planned from Panama to Mexico, would let species migrate to safer climates as global warming heats up their old habitats. The Americas have the Mississippi and the Amazon, Africa has the Nile and Asia has the Ganges and the Mekong, among others. So why wouldn’t Australia have a large river system – or an inland sea? 

From YUP, an excerpt from As If Silent and Absent: Bonds of Enslavement in the Islamic Middle East by Ehud R. Toledano. A little less purity goes a long way: The Egyptian government finally bans female circumcision. The New Orientalism: Recent best-selling books are distorting the West's view of the Muslim Middle East. Ahmadinejobless: Iran’s radical president is sinking fast, and he knows it. Now, there’s only one man who can keep Mahmoud Ahmadinejad out of the unemployment line: George W. Bush. A review of The Mess They Made: The Middle East after Iraq by Gwynne Dyer. The Way Out: A roundtable discussion of our options for exiting Iraq, with Flynt Leverett, Suzanne Nossel, Charles A. Kupchan, Lawrence J. Korb and Peter W. Galbraith. 

John Allen Paulos on alternative voting methods: Assigning first, second, third choices to candidates could create more accurate results. The mainstreaming of Web video in campaigns is giving candidates and political consultants new avenues to evade disclosure requirement and launch increasingly bitter attacks against rivals. The Facebook Primary: Barack Obama may be the most popular dude in the Facebook universe, but that won't stop the other guys from trying. Cass R. Sunstein on what the iPhone and the Obama campaign have in common. Justin Raimondo on Ron Paul as the conscience of conservatism. Real 9/11 heroes speak out against Rudy: New York City firefighters are out to set the record straight on Rudy Giuliani's 9/11 legacy.

From The New York Observer, Hamptons Secede! Hedgy hedge-fund colony in new iteration, America’s Monaco, as reverse migration kicks in. A review of Conquering Gotham: A Gilded Age Epic: The Construction of Penn Station and Its Tunnels by Jill Jonnes. New York City is the celebrated center for many vital aspects of American culture: publishing, finance, and the arts. It rarely has been credited, however, as a cutting-edge leader in political ideologies. The Numbers Guy on New York City’s gender gap.


From Human Rights and Human Welfare, a roundtable on Outsourcing the War. A review of The Pentagon: A History. A review of Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner. We don’t really need to plunge into the arcana of imperial Rome to appreciate what America’s doing wrong. But it’s fun watching Cullen Murphy try (and more). An excerpt from Does American Democracy Still Work? by Alan Wolfe. Should we dispense with the Electoral College? Sanford Levinson, Daniel Lowenstein and John McGinnis debate. 

An interview with Bruce Barry, author of Speechless: The Erosion of Free Expression in the American Workplace. The folly of the Fairness Doctrine: Liberals better think twice before welcoming government controls on speech. In a post-9/11 world, where security demands are high, personal privacy does not have to be sacrificed, says computer scientist Latanya Sweeney, who discusses a few ways to save it.  The Power Broker: An interview with Anthony Kennedy. Bad Heir Day: How Sandra Day O'Connor became the least powerful jurist in America. On the wrong side of 5 to 4, liberals talk tactics: One way to win back the Supreme Court: Sweeten the message and market it. Hardly Working: How Alberto Gonzales' incompetence became a defense for his wrongdoing.

For the fourth time in 20 years, the U.S. Sentencing Commission has asked lawmakers to reform mandatory cocaine sentencing policy. Might this be the year Congress listens? Drug abuse causes hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses and untold personal heartache. How to limit the damage? Start by ditching the "brain disease" model that’s popular with scientists and focus on treating addicts as people with the power to reshape their own lives. Doctor Evil, a study of caregiver as lifetaker: Bad medical professionals are a staple of both history and fiction. Physician, Heal Thyself: Doctors are not immune to religious mania. An expert helps explore the link between healing and killing. Bin Laden's Army: A one-time jihadi looks at why so many radical Islamic groups include doctors and engineers—and how their involvement threatens the religion itself.


From The Global Spiral, Mark D. Wood (VCU): Transdisciplinarity and the Development of an Integrated Model of Personhood, Health, and Wellness; Kathryn Johnson, Adam Cohen, Mariam Cohen, Barry Leshowitz (ASU): Ways of Knowing: The Scientific Study of Religiosity as Relationality; James M. Landry (LMU): Science Education for All: Moving from a Specialization Approach to a Holistic Approach; Martin Zwick (PSU): Systems Metaphysics: A Bridge from Science to Religion' a review of Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society by David Sloan Wilson; and an article on knowing the future.

From Modern Age, Richard Sherlock (Utah State): The Secret of Straussianism; an essay on Orwell and Catholicism; and a review of The Philosophy of Michael Oakeshott by Terry Nardin; In Defence of Modernity: Vision and Philosophy in Michael Oakeshott by Efraim Podoksik; Michael Oakeshott: An Introduction by Paul Franco; The Limits of Political Theory: Oakeshott’s Philosophy of Civil Association by Kenneth B. McIntyre; and The Intellectual Legacy of Michael Oakeshott.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education, Onward, Objectivism: Loyal scholars and organizations strive to perpetuate the philosophy of Ayn Rand in academe; a Rand-inspired foundation has money to give to humanities departments, but some won't touch it; and "Train Your Mind to Change the World": A new institution, born out of the individualistic philosophy of Ayn Rand, has gone its own way; and in rural India, an Ambitious Academic Vision: A mining mogul with big ideas is determined to build an elite, American-style university for 100,000 students in Orissa. Farmers, who own the land he wants to develop, plan to resist.

Revenge of the Frosh-Seeking Robots: The smartest college kids are rushing to major in economics. Microsoft is trying to lure them back to computer science. Colleges lost their way in the 1960s, contends Victor Davis Hanson, a classics professor. Students now get a "therapeutic curriculum" instead of learning hard facts and inductive inquiry. The result: we can’t answer the questions of our time. Too much self-esteem can be bad for your child: American schools stress self-esteem as the stepping stone to academic achievement. But students from Asian cultures, which place little stock in self-esteem, seem to do better than their American counterparts in school.


From Technology Review, Web 0.1 Before the Internet, there was videotex. Web 1.0 is likened to the simple ability to read content over the Internet, 2.0 offers read-write powers, and Web 3.0 will expand this to include read-write-execute. What does execute mean? Virtual dreams, real politics: The net embodies the information society long imagined by knowledge elites in east and west, so why is utopia no closer? A review of Infotopia by Cass Sunstein. The Net was supposed to dissolve anachronistic national borders and cultural boundaries. But the real territorialization of the Internet - the redrawing of its internal contours and the withdrawal of its libertarian foundations - is more pernicious, all-pervasive, quotidian, and surreptitiously gradual.

From Wired, Assignment Zero: Can crowds create fiction, architecture and photography?; and article on Creative Crowdwriting: The Open Book; a look at why Open-Source Journalism is a lot tougher than you think; and an interview with Andrea Grover is a curator of crowdsourced art and the founding director of the "Aurora Picture Show". From PressThink, an interview with James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds, on what crowds can and cannot do. Play peak oil before you live it: Collaborative intelligence wiz Jane McGonigal designs alternate reality games to solve the world's biggest problems. Enviros love her — but so does the military. A review of Second Lives: A Journey through Virtual Worlds by Tim Guest. Online, Second Life avatars are prosing and poetizing.

Covering almost 7.5m pages in more than 250 languages, Wikipedia is by far the biggest encyclopaedia ever written. But is it a vast online fount of human knowledge or an extreme example of "digital Maoism", as some critics claim? Tim Adams meets Jimmy Wales, the man behind the phenomenon, to get to the facts. All the News That’s Fit to Print Out: How did the world’s biggest online encyclopedia turn into a leading source of daily journalism? An interview with Kevin Rose, founder of Digg. A review of The Cult of the Amateur by Andrew Keen (more and more and more).

Old Friends on Facebook: The college students' favorite website begins to conquer social networking's final frontier: grownups. Etiquette pitfalls in the social web of wannabe friends: Schoolchildren, trendy teenagers, yuppies, celebrities all are having to say yes or no to an age-old plea: can I be in your gang?  YouTube this! Will the all-seeing eye of the Internet help keep us all in line? Ask Bin Laden or the Mafia if they're worried about being embarrassed. Porn 2.0, and Its Victims: A look at how "private" sex tapes flood user-fed sites like YouPorn. Watch and Learn: Two sites aim to teach you everything you want to know how to do, one video at a time. 


The Copenhagen syndrome: How far does your radius of empathy extend? Are you prepared to include "others" in pursuit of a more inclusive "we"? The impact of immigration and poverty on everyday life make these questions a matter of personal as well as intellectual and governmental concern. Ban Ki-moon on why we should welcome the dawn of the migration age: The negative aspects of the era of mobility too often overshadow its potential power: to bring millions out of poverty. From The Economist, the eight commandments: In 2000 the world set itself goals to cut poverty, disease and illiteracy. It will take more than aid to meet them; taking stock: The world is winning its fight against poverty, mostly; and mid-way through, the UN's drive against poverty remains half crusade and half charade. A review of The Bottom Billion by Paul Collier. 

From Ovi, an article on Dante's vision of a united Europe. The EU has reached an agreement and sidestepped catastrophe — but only just. An op-ed on Europe’s non-European Europeans. Islamophobes rejoice! EU countries are becoming more Christian: A review of In God’s Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe’s Religious Crisis by Philip Jenkins. Sometimes voluntarily, sometimes through gritted teeth and sometimes without even knowing, countries around the world are importing the EU's rules. It is a trend that has sparked concerns among foreign business leaders and that irritates US policymakers. Europe and Queen were two pretty awful soft metal bands from the Eighties, but fortunately, neither has anything to do with this anthropomorphic map of Europe as a queen.

From Dissent, Mitchell Cohen on Bush's Murphy's Law (and other presidential evolutions). Sean Wilentz on Mr. Cheney’s Minority Report: Part of Iran-contra’s legacy has now become a legacy of the Bush-Cheney administration. Bush's handling of the Libby case, and the way the nation as a whole has dealt with the Iraq war, reek of cognitive dissonance. Pardon me, Mr. President, I swear, I'm innocent: The power to forgive is used and abused by political leaders the world over.

From Newsweek, across the divide: How Barack Obama is shaking up old assumptions about what it means to be black and white in America. Star Trek extra, fascist, horseshoer, dark priest and the other presidential candidates: More than 100 other Americans most people have never ever heard of have thrown their hats into the ring. Hearts over minds, he tells Democrats: Brain researcher Drew Westen says the party needs to connect with voters' emotions to win. From the web to the White House: Since the 1960s, television has been the dominant medium in US presidential election campaigns. But YouTube has changed all that. Will the new medium aid democracy, or is it just a passing fad? The Right to Spend: Has the age of campaign-finance reform come to an end? Jeffrey Rosen wants to know.


From TAP, Global Safeguards for a Global Economy The FDA's failure to keep us safe from tainted goods produced abroad is a reminder that it's time to better regulate the global economy. James K. Galbraith on how liberal thinkers Benjamin Barber and Bill McKibben offer impassioned critiques of modern capitalism—and solutions that are the policy equivalents of bake sales. The grousers, the ignorant, the selfish: Peter Wilby argues that fairness must rule over choice. The Long-Term Value Moment: Corporate America is realizing that there is more to life than quarterly earnings. Now is the time for progressives to help businesses figure out what taking the long view actually means. From Business Week, many savvy companies are starting to realize that a good name can be their most important asset—and actually boost the stock price.

From National Journal, Hot Opportunities: American industries are bracing themselves for global warming's effects and anticipated federal controls that could pressure companies to draft "greener" business plans. Cooler Elites: Can the ruling classes save the world from global warming? Doug Henwood wants to know. A review of Under a Green Sky: Global Warming, the Mass Extinction of the Past, and What They Can Tell Us About Our Future by Peter D. Ward. A map shows a nation with equivalent greenhouse-gas emissions from energy for each state in the US, while another shows a nation with equivalent GDP for each state in the US.

With global warming leading the news, environmental activists have become bold and demanding. John Dingell's own caucus is shifting to their view. And a former adversary—a nerd from green-conscious West Hollywood—is threatening to undermine his empire. Democratic primary voters want a clean break with the Bush administration's focus on subsidizing dirty energy. The party's two front-runners for president might want to listen up. Drivers grumble about high gasoline prices all over the world. But with oil prices at record highs, many countries are saying goodbye to gas subsidies, making a trip to the filling station more expensive than ever.

From Financial Times, the world is facing an oil supply "crunch" within five years that will force up prices to record levels and increase the west's dependence on oil cartel OPEC, the International Energy Agency warns and Gideon Rachman on how the world has two energy crises but no real answers. Medicine After Oil: The good news about peak oil: it may be the key to fixing our health care system.

From Dissent, an article on Universal Health Insurance 2007: Can we learn from the past? Over Stated: Why the "laboratories of democracy" can't achieve universal health care. Health Research and the Remaking of Common Sense: An excerpt from Inclusion: The Politics of Difference in Medical Research by Steven Epstein. A side-by-side comparison of the presidential candidates' prescriptions for a healthier future.


From TNR, Alan Wolfe on how the arguments of Russell Kirk's defenders are as shallow as his ideas. Transcending philosophy: An article on remembering Richard Rorty. Only Pinter remains: Terry Eagleton on how British literature's long and rich tradition of politically engaged writers has come to an end. A review of You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train by Howard Zinn. Katie Roiphe's morning after: With raves for Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Portraits of Married Life in London Literary Circles 1910-1939, her book dissecting modernist marriages and a hot new journalism job at NYU, has feminism's enfant terrible finally grown up? 

A review of Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity by William J. Baumol, Robert E. Litan and Carl J. Schramm. A review of Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction by Thomas McCraw. An interview with Brian Anderson, author of Democratic Capitalism and its Discontents. Dictatorships and Growth Standards: From an economic point of view, dictatorships have been outperforming democracies for many years. What should we make of that fact? A review of The Myth of the Rational Voter by Bryan Caplan. A review of Pop: Why Bubbles Are Great for the Economy by Daniel Gross and Surviving Large Losses: Financial Crises, the Middle Class, and the Development of Capital Markets by Philip Hoffman, Gilles Postel-Vinay and Jean-Laurent Rosenthal. A review of More Sex Is Safer Sex: The Unconventional Wisdom of Economics by Steven Landesburg. Tim Harford on how economic lessons can be learnt from illicit trades, but collecting the data is a tough call.

From Business Week, the Professor is a Headhunter: As companies compete fiercely for top talent on campus, they're forging closer relationships with influential faculty members—and they're not shy about spreading around the cash. A look at how employers are increasingly looking to psychometric testing to choose the best graduates to recruit. A Reunion at the "MIT of India": What's the most sought-after degree in Silicon Valley? Here's a hint: It isn't from Stanford. A look at how the elite military school Talpiot feeds Israel's tech firms.

A review of New England White (and more and more), and an interview with Stephen L Carter: The law professor, bestselling novelist, defender of faith and scout leader breaks liberal ranks when he explores race in America. The Boy on the Bus: Growing up in 1970s Florida,  Joel Achenbach was a small cog in America's grand integration project. We thought it worked. Did it? Breaking Ranks: A college can't be reduced to a number in a magazine.


From Eurozine, Suprealist art, suprealist life: Suprealism is a "movement" pioneered by Leonard Lapin that combines suprematism and realism; it mirrors the "suprealist world", where art is packaged for consumer culture, and Suprealist manifesto: "Suprealism brings popular kitsch into the art gallery and high culture to the masses; it introduces into art the naivety of the producer of kitsch while retaining the elitism of the professional artist". From CNQ, Alex Good on Adventures in the Reviewing Trade: A Cultural Primer. The Man in the Middle: On John Lahr, critic and profiler.

Cartoonist who equalled Cervantes: Sarah Boxer marvels at the world of George Herriman, the creator of the ludicrously imaginative comic strip Krazy Kat  From Editor & Publisher, editorial cartoonists discuss the future of their profession, while cartoonists have varying degrees of enthusiasm for blogging.

In light of a recent story exposing journalists' donations to political candidates, media outlets should consider letting reporters reveal more about themselves to their readers via the Internet. A review of Tabloid Prodigy: Dishing the Dirt, Getting the Gossip, and Selling my Soul in the Cutthroat World of Hollywood Reporting by Marlise Elizabeth Kast. Green is the New Yellow: Jack Shafer on the excesses of "green" journalism. An interview with John Burnett, author of Uncivilized Beasts and Shameless Hellions: Travels with an NPR Correspondent (and part 2).

Connoisseurs of peeve-ology, here comes the book you'll love to hate: She Literally Exploded: The Daily Telegraph Infuriating Phrasebook, a collection of despised English usages. At last, hide-bound traditionalists open a small window on the world: A change from perhaps the least fashionable part of publishing. A steady stream of Penguin Classics has been arriving that seem genuinely multicultural - or, to put it less politically correctly, open-minded. Carlin Romano on spoils of success: Full-time writing life.

Flying to Arcadia: Novelist Barbara Kingsolver is the latest writer to chronicle her decision to live off the land. Adam Nicolson met her to discuss food, family and fantasies of escaping the city (and more and more and more on Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: Our Year of Seasonal Eating). A review of Planet Chicken: The Shameful Story of the Bird on Your Plate by Hattie Ellis and Jungle Capitalists: A Story of Globalisation, Greed and Revolution by Peter Chapman.


From NYRB, a look at how Russian journalists have suffered crippling attacks in recent years, as Vladimir Putin pursues his policy of strengthening the "vertical" dimension of his administration's "power pyramid". Putin Strikes Again: Murdering journalists is simply the most visible manifestation of the constant campaign against the press. A review of A Russian Diary: A Journalist's Final Account of Life, Corruption, and Death in Putin's Russia by Anna Politkovskaya (and more and more). A review of Death of a Dissident: The Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGB by Alex Goldfarb and Marina Litvinenko (and more). 

A review of The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In by Hugh Kennedy.  Theodore Dalrymple on the case for mistrusting Muslims: The latest terror plots are confronting tolerant Britons with uncomfortable choices. For Muslim extremists, religion matters more than socio-economic status. Aiming to present a less threatening face of Islam on the global stage, the Aga Khan, one of the world’s wealthiest Muslim investors, preaches the ethical use of wealth. The Iran Crisis and Possible Scenarios: The Sunni states—especially Saudi Arabia—are alarmed by a now dynamic Iran and any move toward the acquisition of nuclear weapons will probably provoke an equal gesture by Riyadh. When Dictators Dictate: Why do Arab thugs always get away with murder? A review of Saddam on Trial: Understanding and Debating the Iraqi High Tribunal by Michael P. Scharf and Gregory S. McNeal. 

From TAP, a benchmark or a giveaway? Why Iraqi oil workers oppose the much-vaunted oil law; an interview with Faleh Abood Umara, general secretary of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, and Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, president of the Electrical Workers Union of Iraq; and a photo essay documenting unionized Iraqi workers and their fight to prevent the privatization of their nation's oil industry. An excerpt from A Poisonous Affair: America, Iraq, and the Gassing of Halabja by Joost R. Hiltermann (and an interview). A review of The Mess They Made: The Middle East After Iraq by Gwynne Dyer. An interview with Dennis Ross on Palestine, Tony Blair’s new mission, and the failure of American statecraft, and a review of Statecraft: And How to Restore America’s Standing in the World

Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank use only 12 percent of the land allocated to them, but one-third of the territory they do use lies outside their official jurisdictions, according to a new report released today by Peace Now. Hollow Land: The apparently random patchwork of settlement in the occupied West Bank in fact reveals a deliberate plan of colonisation and control. Shlomo Avineri on how post-Zionism doesn't exist. Her Jewish State: Israel is growing steadily more prosperous — and less secure. Where is its political center, and what is its future? If there is an answer, it may lie with Tzipi Livni: daughter of Zionist militants, ex-spy, foreign minister and rising political star.

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