From TNR, Alan Wolfe reviews The Essential Russell Kirk: Selected Essays, ed. by George A. Panichas (and responses at National Review). From National Review, Brink Lindsey bids Farewell to Culture Wars: Advice to conservatives from a "well-wishing outsider" (and a reply by Ramesh Ponnuru and a response). Protesting Too Much? At what point could the time spent on cultural activism be better spent on some type of pragmatic movement? From American Heritage, an interview with Ray Raphael, author of Founding Myths: Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past. The Golden Age as Catastrophe: An excerpt from The Culture of Calamity Disaster and the Making of Modern America by Kevin Rozario. The Amateur Future of Space Travel: How NASA turned to America’s basement brainstormers, workbench concocters and garage tinkerers to revive the space program (and a video).

From Commentary, an exchange on Jews, IQ and history. A review of Inquisition: The Reign of Fear by Toby Green. From Christianity Today, a review of Wayward Christian Soldiers: Freeing the Gospel from Political Captivity by Charles Marsh; and have you prayed for bin Laden today? Brother Andrew urges Christians not to black list radical Muslims. From New English Review, Hugh Fitzgerald on understanding the resurgence of Islam; Rebecca Bynum on secular illusions; Adam Katz on Incarnations of Evangelicism: Avatars of a New Modernity. The iPhone release as a "religious' event": Is it God machine or tech tempter? If only Apple's sense of embracing the future was heeded within the walls of the church. Fringe Festival: Christian Reconstructionists hope to move out of the margins and take dominion in America – and they have some powerful friends.

From Vision, a series of articles on Messiahs! Rulers and the role of religion (in 8 parts). Can America survive Evolutionary Humanism? John Lloyd reviews Comrades: A World History of Communism by Robert Service; Communists and British Society 1920-1991: People of a Special Mould by Kevin Morgan, Gideon Cohen and Andrew Flinn; and Seven Years that Changed the World: Perestroika in Perspective by Archie Brown. From Anarkismo.net, Anarchism vs. Maoism: A response to Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party (U.S.) Bob Avakian. Anarchy for the USA: A conversation with Josh Wolf, jailed blogger.

From Campus Progress, a conservative “expert” tells you how to enjoy your single years: A review of Now and Not Yet: Making Sense of Single Life in the Twenty-First Century by Jennifer Marshall. You've heard of working vacations. Now comes "the working date." Many single people are so busy with careers that they don't have time for a social life. So they're increasingly blending work and romance. Look Who’s Googling: New acquaintances and secret admirers may already know all about you. Computers are like women because only a fool pretends to comprehend their immense mystery and complexity. One day they’re happy (as far as one knows) helpmeets, the next they’re making disquieting noises, sending you inscrutable error messages or simply packing it in. The New Trophy Wife: Alpha women are highly sought-after partners, but men may be more intimidated than they admit. Pure sex, pure love and the misery of misandry: Are men inferior to women? Wake up. Feminism is more than just capitalism with tits: Enough of the numbers game. The issue is not how many women are in power, but how many fight for collective rights.


From The Chronicle, new universities for Muslims, many supported by groups in the Middle East, are spreading through the sub-Saharan region; the story of Sudan's International University of Africa, once known for its militant Islamist approach, illustrates the controversial, complicated role of Islamic higher education on the continent; and the International Peace University South Africa grew out of two religious colleges, but its mission is to prepare students for success in the secular world. Professor John Tulloch was fascinated by the sociology of insecurity. Then he sat down on a train next to a suicide bomber. He tells Peter Kingston how it changed his life. Steps towards better development: A new research centre devoted to making science and technology work for the world's poor has been set up at the University of Sussex.

From Britannica, a look at why math geeks (especially immigrant geeks) rule. Would like to meet: The popular new site Nature Network could see scientists exchanging ideas, posting data... and even finding love online; the ethics of journalism don't work for science: The media and science often clash over published research. Should I study journalism? Should I attend journalism school? Those are questions many college students are asking these days, and the answers, according to various reports, are increasingly being answered with a resounding “yes”.

Wretched excess: Why do donors continue to donate vast sums of money to colleges and universities that truly do not need it? Authoritative Online Editions: While cherishing the material culture of books, an English professor nonetheless sees some distinct advantages to online sources. News Ages Quickly: Scientific publishing moves into the 21st century at last. Are American scientists an endangered species? Marc Zimmer offers a new way of looking at a crisis facing American colleges and universities.

Evolution in Your Brain: Gerald Edelman says only the fittest neurons survive. This century may be the first, in all the twenty-four centuries we have been pondering consciousness, in which we actually find out some true facts about it. Big dreams are once again on the minds of psychologists as part of a larger trend toward studying dreams as meaningful representations of our concerns and emotions.

From n+1, Bruce Robbins remembers Richard Rorty. Beyond Demonic Memes: David Sloan Wilson on why Richard Dawkins is wrong about religion. DNA passed down through generations of mothers could help answer big questions about the human journey across continents, thanks to a massive new database created by the The Genographic Project. From Salon, does the econo-blogosphere matter? Andrew Leonard wants to know. Virtual Worlds as Social-Science Labs: How one professor uses online games as petri dishes of human behavior. The Roots of Punishment: A finding from a theoretical model of cooperative activity reveals that making an enterprise optional also makes it more sustainable.


From The New Yorker, This Old House: David Sedaris on living in a world of antiques. Understanding the Heart of Men: Is German auteur and art-house idol Werner Herzog going Hollywood? A review of The House That George Built: With a Little Help from Irving, Cole, and a Crew of About Fifty by Wilfrid Sheed. From Sign and Sight, Slovenian saga of beauty and cruelty: With his trilogy "Die Zugereisten," Lojze Kovacic bequethed a novel of the century to Slovenia. So, You Want To Be a Star? Leo Lerman's gossipy journals offer lessons on fame. Sleuth at Work: The strange case of Nancy Drew's self-confidence.

From Slate, Gunter Grass, Reconsidered What does Peeling the Onion reveal? Muse or Ruse? Our culture romanticizes the myth of artistic inspiration, perhaps because we'd like to think that some people have artistic gifts, and that great literature or beautiful music is more a question of luck than hard work. The Creative Self: Do you long to express yourself? Tips on how to start and maintain a creative life. Hypergraphia, a river of words: Is hypergraphia—the compulsive need to write—a gift or a curse? Were these the Two Gentlemen of Madrid? A new film suggests Shakespeare and Cervantes met in Spain and gave each other literary help. Trying times in Toontown: Facing the same pressures as newspapers and reporters, editorial cartoonists, usually ink-and-paper traditionalists, are dipping their brushes into the world of animated online punditry. A look at how political cartoonists are trying to come up with new forms suitable to the Internet age as newspapers drop them from their staff. 

The Fantasy World of Ryan McGinley: Does photography's hot young thing deserve all the hype? Facial awareness: In the young republic of the 17th-century Netherlands, painters - and the surging new middle classes - reinvented the art of portraiture. A Python Grip on Handel: As a musical genre, oratorios — large-scale settings of biblical texts for chorus, soloists and orchestra — are hardly known for their comedy.  When the saints go marchin' out: What Hurricane Katrina has done to the musicians from Preservation Hall. Local food is not necessarily virtuous: A review of Moveable Feasts: The Incredible Journeys of the Things We Eat by Sarah Murray. Do certain physiological traits make some wine critics better than others? Mike Steinberger examines the physiology of the oenophile (and part 2 and part 3). The wine industry's accelerating shift away from cork has dire economic and environmental consequences. To say nothing of lost romance.

A review of Off the Record: The Press, the Government, and the War Over Anonymous Sources by Norman Pearlstine. Through a glass darkly: Fifty years after his death, Malcolm Lowry remains an unsurpassed chronicler of humanity's lower depths. Blithe Spirit: A review of Being Shelley: The Poet’s Search for Himself by Ann Wroe. Alexander Nehemas on how the search for beauty will affect our moral character remains always unpredictable. Olympian ideals fall short when it comes to culture: Art struggles to match the intensity of sporting events. But what it does is illuminate the human condition in much more subtle and varied ways. Grand designs: The world’s great corporate headquarters are a history of architecture’s biggest ideas, written in stone, metal and glass. But the corporate HQ is today an endangered architectural typology.


From The Toronto Star, a review of Canadians: A Portrait of a Country and Its People by Roy MacGregor. "Canadian": It may be just one word, but it houses a multitude of ideas. On our nation’s birthday, we decode the ones that define our collective identity; Canadianism, A-Z(ed): To be a citizen of this country means to belong to a secular religion with its own rituals, apostates and articles of faith and they need to pay: Call for reparations in Canada being met with silence and refusal. From National Post, is Canada governable? Andrew Coyne investigates. From The Ottawa Citizen, a great tossed salad of humanity: Is multiculturalism working? That depends on what kind of multiculturalism you mean.

From Enter Stage Right, a series of articles on the Tory tradition in Canada from the 1980s to today (in 6 parts). From The Globe and Mail, a review of Intent for a Nation by Michael Byers; Canada's Young Activists: A Generation Stands Up for Change; and Great Questions of Canada. A review of Holding the Bully's Coat Canada and the U.S. Empire by Linda McQuaig. Live in Ajax? You must like NASCAR, hockey and family trips to the U.S. No? Researchers claim they can pin down your tastes, values and buying habits according to your postal code. Why is T.O. the capital of Facebook? Toronto claims more members of the popular social networking site than any other city in the world and it's not just because we're geeks. 

From The Washington Post, a president besieged and isolated, yet at ease: Bush, grasping for answers and fixated on Iraq, remains resolute (and more). From Political Affairs, Ball and Cheney: How the Vice President is dragging down the administration. Washington's Zelig: Vic Gold, a longtime confidant of the Bush and Cheney families, describes the dangerous influence of the vice president. John Dean on The Misunderestimated Mr. Cheney: The Vice President's record of willfully violating the law, and wrongly claiming authority to do so. From the new magazine Taki's Top Drawer, an article on Bush & Cheney: It’s Time to Resign. Will President Bush pardon I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby? Everyone is wondering. But it is the wrong question. The right question is: Will he pardon anyone else?

From NYRB, can we know her? Michael Tomasky reviews A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton by Carl Bernstein and Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton by Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr. McCain Drain: Here's how his struggling campaign could recover. An interview with Rudy Giuliani on his case to be Reagan's heir. Welcome back, 1912: An article on Bloomberg, Schwarzenegger and the dream of larger-than-life politics. A Political Force With Many Philosophies: A survey of independents, who could be key in 2008, finds attitudes from partisan to apathetic.

Undercover, under fire: Ken Silverstein on why the Washington press corps is too busy cozying up to the people it covers to get at the truth. A new report by the Center for American Progress and the Free Press has the right up-in-arms. Its message: right-wingers' dominance of talkradio is a classic market failure. Glenn Greenwald interviews Helen Thomas. Jay Rosen on how printing press progressives at Mother Jones try to debunk the political Web.


From National Journal, In Praise Of Imperfect Democracy: America's system of government labors under colossal inefficiencies. But what it never does, even at its worst, is express naked contempt for the opinions of its citizens. Patriotism's Secret History: Our most cherished national symbols—from the Pledge of Allegiance to "America the Beautiful" to Lady Liberty's poetry—are rooted in liberal ideals. Government by the worst, kakistocracy, is that wrong track this country is on. Mass political withdrawal: People have felt less and less interested in politics as government retreated from the quality and quantity of basic services it had provided them.

From TAP, The Most Activist Court: How progressives should think about and respond to the assaults of the Roberts Court; and Scalia and Thomas, originalist sinners: How Thursday's ruling on school integration gives the lie to the two justices' supposedly devout "originalism". Under John Roberts, Court Re-Rights Itself: This term at the Supreme Court was a nearly unmitigated disaster for progressives. Can neuroscience save the Democrats? More and more of The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation.

Drew Westen on The Rise and Fall of Immigration Reform: Speaking the right language about people who don't speak our language. From American, an article on how Mexican immigration will solve itself. What are we going to do if an American state speaks Spanish as their primary language? It's a question worth thinking about ahead of time. American by Choice: We must all learn what it means to be an American. How immigrants improve the curve: In the clash of civilizations, newcomers may deserve to come out on top. The Founding Immigrants: Anti-immigrant sentiment is older than America itself. Use Social Security to Seal the Border: The Social Security database, combined with laws already on the books, provides a way to catch unauthorized workers almost as soon as they are hired. 

From The Nation, the superrich are buying up all the beautiful places in America, Barbara Ehrenreich writes, squeezing out the middle class and the poor. What's left for you and me? On MLS.ca, a million bucks ain't what it was: The new benchmark of envy is $10 million in a market gone mad. In Defense of the Sellout: A review of The Trap: Selling Out to Stay Afloat in Winner-Take-All America by Daniel Brook. 

From Business Week, The Europeans Do It Right: A whole continent shutting down for a month. The only way we can really shut down and enjoy time off is with our colleagues' help. Determining Who’s Gotten Satisfaction: In the case of the $54 million pants, just what did “satisfaction guaranteed” really mean? Michael Moore's newest film Sicko is less partisan, less outrageous—but more real—than anything he's done before. Lenin, Brecht and Michael Moore: Moore's new movie Sicko has opened across America. It's a given that the right hates him. But why do some allies fear he might do more harm than good? Death-wish granny: A lifelong member of the Hemlock Society, an 87-year-old grandmother is frail, housebound, nearly blind — and ready to die. Why won't anyone let her?


A new issue of Economic Sociology is out, including Karin Knorr Cetina (Chicago): Economic Sociology and the Sociology of Finance: Four Distinctions, Two Developments, One Field?; Brooke Harrington (Brown): Capital and Community: Findings from the American Investment Craze of the 1990s; an interview with Viviana Zelizer, author of The Purchase of Intimacy; and a review of Trust: Reason, Routine, Reflexivity by Guido Möllering. Yes, money talks – but sometimes nobody’s listening: Chris Dillow argues that there’s more to incentives than simple selfishness.

A review of "The Origins of Europe With the Greek Discovery of the World" by Klaus Held. A review of Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece by Joan Breton Connelly. A review of Historiography at the End of the Republic: Provincial Perspectives on Roman Rule by Liv Mariah Yarrow. A review of Christianity and the Transformation of the Book: Origen, Eusebius, and the Library of Caesarea by Anthony Grafton and Megan Williams. A review of Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity by Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King (and more). A review of God's Judgments, Interpreting History and the Christian Faith by Steven J. Keillor. 

From Discover, a look at 20 things you didn’t know about Galileo. We are meant to be here: An interview with Paul Davies, author of Cosmic Jackpot: Why Our Universe Is Just Right for Life. Universe mostly forgets its past during cosmic rebirth: A new study suggests that with each big bang, the universe mostly forgets its past and starts anew. From Psychology Today, 10 Non-PC Truths About Human Nature: Why most suicide bombers are Muslim, beautiful people have more daughters, humans are naturally polygamous, sexual harassment isn't sexist, and blonds are more attractive; and a more organic take on human nature is emerging. It sees behavior as a product of distinct personality traits that we all have to a greater or lesser degree. In this new view, we're all just a little bit crazy.

A review of Bart Giamatti: A Profile by Robert P. Moncreiff. How did the eight so-called "Ivy League" schools – Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell and Dartmouth – go from being training grounds for Christian missionaries and ministers and respected citadels of higher education to what they are now – propaganda factories for every leftist, perverted, radical, tyrannical, failed ideology known to mankind?  A review of Stephen L. Carter's latest venture into academia, race — and murder, New England White

From Writ, the Supreme Court's split over public school integration: Who really betrayed Brown's legacy? The Battle Over Brown: How conservatives appropriated Brown v. Board of Education; and How To Keep Brown Alive: Use income level, instead of race, to integrate the schools. Can a law change a society? Last week’s Supreme Court decision declared that public schools can’t take explicit account of race to achieve integration, but will a colorblindness mandate succeed? Benjamin Wittes on how Anthony Kennedy punts on the question of school diversity.


From NYRB, Joyce Carol Oates reviews The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall; Remainder by Tom McCarthy; Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald; and The Vintage Book of Amnesia: An Anthology; a review of A Tranquil Star: Unpublished Stories by Primo Levi; a review of Greed; Women as Lovers; Wonderful, Wonderful Times; The Piano Teacher; and Lust by Elfriede Jelinek; and a review of The Savage Detectives; Distant Star; Last Evenings on Earth; and 2666 by Roberto Bolaño. A review of The Temptation of the Impossible: Victor Hugo and Les Miserables by Mario Vargas Llosa.

As his autobiography makes clear, Mahatma Gandhi was too concerned with sex, diet and politics to be the otherworldly saint many took him to be. Pankaj Mishra on a classic of the confessional genre. Sex and the Saudi:  A story of love, lust and shopping in the lives of four privileged young women is nothing new... but set in the conservative Islamic bastion of Riyadh it becomes a recipe for sensation and scandal. Sally Williams meets the taboo-breaking author Rajaa Alsanea. Prize-winning author Rajiv Chandrasekaran finds that four long-haul flights in a row leave him less than coherent, reflects on his wedding and a rabbi with a palm computer and finds a like mind on Iraq's bloody problems. 

From CRB, a review essay on Larry McMurtry and the American West: A novelist who chronicles strong lives, despite himself. Writers Like Me: For most black authors, the writing life rarely unfolds the way it does for so many white writers you could name. The worst novel of the year: A review of The Average American Male: A Novel by Chad Kultgen. Return trip: The 50th anniversary of On the Road sees increased interest in Jack Kerouac and his Beat Generation classic. 

The news that Antioch College would close in 2008 brings the question: Would the Antioch Review, an independent literary magazine founded in 1941, be shut down too? Where do the books go when a college closes? An interview with Andre Schiffrin, author of A Political Education, on his life and the world of publishing. A review of The Iron Whim: A Fragmented History of Typewriting by Darren Wershler-Henry. The greatest letters ever written: When the Swiss lawyer Albin Schram died in 2005, he left behind an extraordinary collection of letters by some of Western civilisation's greatest minds. They will soon go under the hammer - but here are the highlights of the collection.

A review of The House That George Built: With a Little Help from Irving, Cole, and a Crew of About Fifty by Wilfrid Sheed. A review of Faking It: The Quest for Authenticity in Popular Music by Hugh Barker and Yuval Taylor. From Rolling Stone, an article on The Record Industry's Decline: Record sales are tanking, and there's no hope in sight: How it all went wrong (and What Next?). For anyone who cares about music and its current chaotic state, the summer of 1997 was the beginning of the end of the music business as we knew it. So, Steve Jobs, what’s next? The iPhone, after all, is already two days old.


From the International Peace Academy, a series of papers on Coping with Crisis, including essays on Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Central Asia and the Caucasus, Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean. A review of The Bottom Billion: Why the poorest countries are failing and what can be done about it by Paul Collier (and more). Weapon of choice for children, rebels and soldiers: A review of AK47: the Story of the People's Gun by Michael Hodges (and more). A review of How to Kill: The Definitive History of the Assassin by Kris Hollington. When Africa ignores the youth, its warlords celebrate. Some justice, at last: The first war criminals are convicted in Sierra Leone.

From The Ghanaian Chronicle, an article on capitalism and the developing world. Africa's Green Revolution on Shaky Ground: A new African aid project may be in danger of becoming yet another boon for Big Agra. In a world on the move, Cape Verde strains to cope. Poor little brother: Why Lesotho is still unstable. Can drag queens and hired guns save Darfur? Sarah Stillman investigates.

From Ode, a review of On Islamism by Fouad Laroui. The Muslim faithless: Ridiculing and questioning Islam, Muhammad, the Qur'an and religion in general is an ancient tradition in Muslim countries. Can one agree on a principle that can serve as the basis for the establishment of genuine peace and harmony in the world? Ishtiaq Ahmed on reason, sympathy and human relations. The many sides of Allah: From NPQ, an interview with Amartya Sen on Turkey and the clash between religion and secularism.

From The New Yorker, an article on The Taliban’s Opium War: The difficulties and dangers of the eradication program. A review of Reading Legitimation Crisis in Tehran by Danny Postel. A key Iranian minister calls "temporary marriages" a pragmatic way to deal with young people’s sexual needs and to prevent prostitution, but a wide range of critics lambasts them as little more than ways to give religious sanction to practices that degrade women. A review of The Prince: the Secret Story of the World's Most Intriguing Royal, Prince Bandar bin Sultan by William Simpson. A review of The Truth About Syria by Barry Rubin. Immanuel Wallerstein on winners and losers in Palestine. A review of Walled: Israeli Society at an Impasse by Sylvain Cypel.

An op-ed on why the Iraq war won't engulf the Mideast. A review of The Mess They Made: The Middle East after Iraq by Gwynne Dyer. Dennis Ross on Tony Blair's daunting challenge as Middle East envoy. Were the US and UK governments complicit in framing an innocent man for the Lockerbie bombing? The truth has yet to be told.


Wrapped in the Star-Spangled Toga: Recently, it has seemed that ancient Rome is everywhere — especially in comparisons to modern America. A review of Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America by Cullen Murphy; The Idea That is America: Keeping Faith with Our Values in a Dangerous World by Anne-Marie Slaughter; and Americanism: The Fourth Great Western Religion by David Gelernter (and more). 

Georgian America: Geoffrey Wheatcroft on why George III would have felt right at home in George W. Bush's Washington. Loyal to a Fault: In 1776, one out of five Americans most certainly did not hold those truths to be self-evident. A review of Almost a Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence by John Ferling. A review of Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr by Nancy Isenberg. A review of The Fabric of America: How Our Borders and Boundaries Shaped the Country and Forged Our National Identity by Andro Linklater. A review of Passion and Principle: John and Jessie Frémont, the Couple Whose Power, Politics, and Love Shaped Nineteenth-Century America by Sally Denton. A review of Harriet Tubman: Imagining a Life by Beverly Lowry. A review of The Road to Disunion: Volume II: Secessionists Triumphant, 1854-1861 by William W. Freehling. A review of Land of Lincoln: Adventures in Abe’s America by Andrew Ferguson. The Real Deal: Amity Shlaes on reconsidering our reverence for FDR. A review of Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions that Changed the World, 1940-1941 by Ian Kershaw (and more).

Why Winston Wouldn't Stand For W: George W. Bush always wanted to be like a wartime British prime minister. He is. But it's not the one he had in mind. The Darksider: Hendrik Hertzberg on Cheney’s hubris. There's a lot of talk — and wishful thinking — about removing Dick Cheney from office. But Cheney isn't the real problem, says Sanford Levinson. The vice presidency itself, enshrined in the Constitution, is the problem. The country would be better off without it. Bush's Loyal Mess: How the Bush years have showed us the dark side of a grand virtue. If President Bush is a fascist, then the fact is that the beloved first black president, B.J. Clinton, is a Hitler incarnate.

From HNN, Freedom! Liberty! A look at how presidents exploit words. The Stars and Stripes, the Liberty Bell, the Fourth of July: all come under fire from the tough myth-buster The Fourth of July by Peter de Bolla. A review of The Culture of Calamity: Disaster and the Making of Modern America by Kevin Rozario. From Renew America, Alan Keyes on The Crisis of the Republic and more on electoral politics, elections, media and money, the moral basis for the war on terror, the key to American statesmanship, and sovereignty and submission (with more to come); and Fred Hutchison on a brief history of the five kinds of conservatism from 800 B.C. - 1300 A.D.; from Dante to Shakespeare, 800 B.C. - 1300 A.D.; from the King James Bible to Samuel Johnson, 1600 - 1750; and on the bad seeds sowed from Bacon to Kant, 1600-1800 A.D. (with more to come).


Louis J. Sirico Jr. (Villanova): Original Intent in the First Congress. Michael Cahill (Brooklyn): Retributive Justice in the Real World. A new study shows how often juries get it wrong. A review of Forgiveness, Mercy, and Clemency; a review of The Migration of Constitutional Ideas; a review of Law in Times of Crisis: Emergency Powers in Theory and Practice by Oren Gross and Fionnuala Ní Aoláin; and a review of Judge and Jury: American Tort Law on Trial by Eric Helland and Alexander Tabarrok.

From Salon, an interview with Simon Blackburn, author of Plato's Republic: A Biography. A look at how Bertrand Russell's interpretation of Rousseau in The History of Western Philosophy is both unfair and inaccurate and misrepresents Rousseau's historical legacy. From Harvard Magazine, an anti-utopian, old-school scholar of international relations, Stanley Hoffmann grasps “the foreignness of foreigners”; a review of Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction by Thomas K. McCraw; and Debtor Nation: The rising risks of the American Dream, on a borrowed dime. Are the wrong people voting? Louis Menand reviews The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Politics by Bryan Caplan.

From Zeek, an essay on free will and the last gasp of the unenlightened mind; and a look inside the German brain: An English neurosurgeon abroad. Master of creation? Nobel prize-winning scientist Gerald Edelman says he has discovered how human souls are made. It is an epic story of struggle and triumph in the womb - and it could end the worldwide rift over human-embryo experiments. A review of Everything Conceivable: How Assisted Reproduction is Changing Men, Women and the World by Liza Mundy. Why can't you buy a kidney to save your life? A growing legal movement to recognize a new fundamental right — medical self-defense — could bring jarring social changes. A Challenge to Gene Theory, a Tougher Look at Biotech: The $73.5 billion global biotech business may soon have to grapple with a discovery that calls into question the scientific principles on which it was founded. 

From Commentary, Leon Kass on Science, Religion, and the Human Future, with responses by Steven Pinker and others. Richard Dawkins reviews The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism by Michael J. Behe. The Final Days: A growing community of amateur scholars believe that the world as we know it will come to an end in 2012, as prophesied by the ancient Maya. Is the New Age apocalypse coming round at last? The new age of ignorance: We take our young children to science museums, then as they get older we stop. In spite of threats like global warming and avian flu, most adults have very little understanding of how the world works. So, 50 years on from CP Snow's famous "Two Cultures" essay, is the old divide between arts and sciences deeper than ever? And a celebrity panel answers some basic scientific questions.

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