From The Washington Monthly, an introduction to A Different Kind of College Ranking; America's Best Community Colleges: Why they're better than some of the "best" four-year universities; Built to Teach: What your alma mater could learn from Cascadia Community College; Inside the Higher Ed Lobby: Welcome to One Dupont Circle, where good education-reform ideas go to die; and this year's national university and liberal arts college and community college rankings. Thousands of students are wasting their own and taxpayers' money on "Mickey Mouse" higher education courses.

He Didn’t Worship the Market: When Colorado Christian University notified Andrew Paquin, an assistant professor of global studies, that his contract would not be renewed, he knew that not being sufficiently guided by Christ wasn’t the problem. But it might have been that he wasn’t sufficiently capitalist. Why study war? Victor Davis Hanson on how military history teaches us about honor, sacrifice, and the inevitability of conflict. Guantanamo in Germany: In the name of the war on terror, our colleagues are being persecuted - for the crime of sociology. Higher education doesn't secularize students: An interview with Mark Regnerus, author of Forbidden Fruit: Sex & Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers. A review of The Battle Over School Prayer: How Engel v. Vitale Changed America by Bruce J. Dierenfield. A review of Tough Liberal: Albert Shanker and the Battles Over Schools, Unions, Race, and Democracy by Richard D. Kahlenberg.

From CT, a review of Benjamin Franklin's Printing Network: Disseminating Virtue in Early America by Ralph Frasca; a review of The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher by Debby Applegate; and a review of From Nature to Experience: The American Search for Cultural Authority by Roger Lundin. A review of The House the Rockefellers Built: A Tale of Money, Taste, and Power in Twentieth-Century America by Robert F. Dalzell and Lee Baldwin Dalzell (and more). A review of Young J. Edgar: Hoover, the Red Scare, and the Assault on Civil Liberties by Kenneth D. Ackerman. From TLS, Anthony Holden reviews Conrad Black's Richard Milhous Nixon: The invincible quest.

The Invisible Manuscript: Ralph Ellison died leaving four decades' worth of scribbled notes, thousands of typed pages and 80 computer disks filled with work on an ambitious second novel. For 14 years, a pair of literary detectives labored to fit the pieces together. Now they're ready to share with the world. The hound of hell: Mikhail Bulgakov's satirical fantasy A Dog's Heart was written in 1925 but - thanks to Soviet censorship - went unpublished until 1987. James Meek reflects on its prophetic vision of Stalinist hubris. A master of rough crossings: A review of The Several Lives of Joseph Conrad by John Stape and Joseph Conrad: A Life by Zdzislaw Najder. 

From Sibila, an interview with Jerome Sala, though slight of frame, the first " heavyweight champion of poetry". Science fiction writer William Gibson has a reputation for forecasting the future. From The Atlantic Monthly, an article on Great Moments in Literary Baseball (1987). Behold, The Washington Post's "Book World" presents a sampling of the current crop of top picture books. What creates a great artist like Gentileschi, Van Gogh or Manet? Talent or training? Artists are both born and taught. Backstage with Rene Pollesch: Theater with a biting view of society.

A review of Dandy in the Underworld: An Unauthorised Autobiography by Sebastian Horsley. A review of Painting Chinese: A Lifelong Teacher Gains the Wisdom of Youth by Herbert Kohl. A review of Get Smashed: The Story of the Men Who Made the Adverts That Changed Our Lives by Sam Delaney. A review of Lonely Avenue: The Unlikely Life and Times of Doc Pomus by Alex Halberstadt. A review of The Source: The Untold Story of Father Yod, YaHoWa 13 and the Source Family by Isis Aquarian.

From Asia Times, a look at how Tajikistan is mired in great power game. More on India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy by Ramachandra Guha. A review of Holy Warriors by Edna Fernandes. More on Indian Summer. From NPQ, an article on China: From democracy wall to the shopping mall, and back. From Foreign Affairs, an essay on ASEAN at 40: Mid-Life Rejuvenation?

From The Economist, something rather exciting is happening in Latin America: Adios to poverty, hola to consumption: Faster growth, low inflation, expanding credit and liberal trade are helping Latin America create a new middle class. Destitute no more: Chile, a country that pioneered reform, comes close to abolishing poverty. Scarcity in the midst of surplus: Thanks partly to ethanol from sugar cane, Brazil aims to be an energy superpower. But can it keep its own lights on? Ad busters drain Sao Paulo's colour: One Brazilian city has cleansed its streets of all advertising and billboards. Should we do the same or would an ad-free future leave us cold?

From Wired, when it comes to Americans' favorite tool for navigating the web, most White House contenders are still pretty clueless, a recent round of experiments on Google's AdWords program suggests. Drew Westen on what polls can and can't tell us in presidential politics. A Clinton-Giuliani race would be entertaining. Just remember to duck. A solid foundation for future biographers: A review of Obama by David Mendell. A strange brew of populism and environmentalism: An interview with Mike Huckabee. Here's the start of The Wingnuttiad, a tour of Greater Wingnuttia in heroic couplets, with abject apologies to Alexander Pope.

From Radical Middle, Post-partisan: The first uniquely American political ideology is being born. The first chapter from Does American Democracy Still Work? by Alan Wolfe. A review of The Supreme Court Opinions of Clarence Thomas: 1991-2006: A Conservative’s Perspective by Henry Mark Holzer. David Gordon reviews The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution by Kevin R.C. Gutzman. A review of Americanism: The Fourth Great Western Religion by David Gelernter. 

From Scientific American, an op-ed Rational Atheism: An open letter to Messrs. Dawkins, Dennett, Harris and Hitchens by Michael Shermer. A review of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. A review of Joseph's Bones: Understanding the Struggle Between God and Mankind in the Bible by Jerome Segal. A review of Is Belief in God Good, Bad or Irrelevant? A Professor and a Punk Rocker Discuss Science, Religion, Naturalism, and Christianity. The first chapter form After the Baby Boomers: How Twenty- and Thirty-Somethings Are Shaping the Future of American Religion by Robert Wuthnow. 

From Forward, is it still adultery if the spouse has Alzheimer’s? Is visiting a sex worker a lot more honest than pretending you're in to someone so you can lure them to bed? Does being born beautiful gift you a better life? Or does it just seem that way to us uglies? When we were hunter-gatherers a man’s height mattered, but can it really matter today? Yes, say the surveys: tall men attract women and are better paid. The Damaging Relationship: Why smart women make dumb mistakes about men and how it affects their lives.

Michael L. Wachter (Penn): Labor Unions: A Corporatist Institution in a Competitive World.  A review of A Treatise of Civil Power by Geoffrey Hill. The first chapter from Personal Roots of Representation by Barry C. Burden. From The Spectator, an article on John Locke’s message: Unintended market consequences. A review of The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (and more).  The one question you must never ask an economist: From divorce to drug dealing, they know all the answers but one. More and more on Tyler Cowen's Discover Your Inner Economist. A review of Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier by Robert A. Emmons.  

From Skeptic, an article on bioidentical hormones: Estrogen is good. No, it’s bad. No, it’s good. If humans and chimps are 99% alike genetically, how come we're so different? The 1% Solution: Gene-regulating regions separate humans from chimps. Female hyenas avoid incestuous mating by encouraging male relatives to look elsewhere for sex, new research shows. Philosophers wrestling with the big questions of life are no longer alone. Now scientists are struggling to define life as they manipulate it, look for it on other planets, and even create it in test tubes. The Undiscovered Country: The statistics of death show leaps in modern life expectancy but fail to answer the question: Why do we die? 

While it may appear that conflict is an inevitable part of interaction between groups, research actually suggests that fighting, hating and contempt between groups is not a necessary part of human nature. One man's epic quest: Gary Lynch has spent decades trying to understand how the brain processes new information so that we can recall it later. A review of Mind (Key Concepts in Philosophy Series) by Eric Matthews. Can computers recognize faces? In at least one way, the smartest machines can't match a baby. Research finds why we are unable to distinguish faces of other races (and sometimes our own). Mapping the Face: New research into how the face stores fat could lead to more effective anti-aging strategies, better facial reconstruction techniques, and may even help doctors assess heart-disease risks.

A review of The Plot Against Pepys by James Long and Ben Long. A review of Almost a Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence by John Ferling. Revolutionary Minds: Thomas Jefferson and James Madison participated in a small "revolution" against British weather-monitoring practices. A review of Land of Lincoln by Andrew Ferguson. A review of Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans by Jean Pfaelzer. A review of The Industrial Revolutionaries: The Creation of the Modern World, 1776-1914 by Gavin Weightman. 

A review of The First Total War: Napoleon's Europe and the Birth of Modern Warfare by David A Bell. From The Moscow Times, a review of King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led the World to War by Catrine Clay. A review of World War One: A Short History by Norman Stone. A review of Blood Passion: The Ludlow Massacre and Class War in the American West by Scott Martelle. Sacco & Vanzetti Today: History sheds no new light on their guilt or innocence. But it does make clear that their trial and execution was an unjust and intolerable act of barbarism, and more and more on Sacco & Vanzetti: The Men, the Murders, and the Judgment of Mankind by Bruce Watson. 

Was Lenin as bad as Stalin and Hitler? A review of Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe by Robert Gellately (and more). A review of Young Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore. Yes, a lot of people died, but ...: Stalin has undergone a number of transformations of his historical image in Russia. A review of Lenin's Private War: The Voyage of the Philosophy Steamer and the Exile of the Intelligentsia by Lesley Chamberlain. A review of The Himmler Brothers by Katrin Himmler.  A review of Hitler’s Beneficiaries: Plunder, Racial War, and the Nazi Welfare State by Gotz Aly.  A review of After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation by Giles MacDonogh. A review of Churchill's Cigar by Stephen McGinty.

David A. Lake (UCSD): Building Legitimate States After Civil Wars: Order, Authority, and International Trusteeship. A review of Aid Effectiveness in Africa: Developing Trust between Donors and Governments by Phyllis R. Pomerantz. Nothing much works in Somalia, but three things function with amazing smoothness: the commerce of khat, an impressive system of cellphone networks, and the business of international money transfers. A review of The Devil Came on Horseback: Bearing Witness to the Genocide in Darfur by Brian Steidle and Gretchen Steidle Wallace. A review of Modern Algeria: The Origins and Development of a Nation by John Ruedy. 

No middle way in the Middle East: A review of Summer Rain by Annette Levy Willard and The 33-Day War by Gilbert Achcar and Michel Warschawski. Salman Rushdie, Thomas Friedman, Nicholas Kristof and Mansour al-Nogaidan are among the well-intentioned people who have called for an Islamic Reformation. They should be careful what they wish for. From City Journal, a review of Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said’s Orientalism by Ibn Warraq; and Theodore Dalrymple on How Societies Commit Suicide: Scots and Italians surrender to Islam. The Warsaw pact: One is the president, the other is the prime minister. The Kaczynski twins run Poland with a single, seemingly xenophobic mind. Are the brothers turning the country into the laughing stock of Europe?  

From Trinidad & Tobago Express, an article on the politics of plural identities. Elisabeth Young-Bruehl on Reading Arendt in Caracas: A student movement influenced by Hannah Arendt is emerging in Venezuela. What do they think of the Bolivarian Revolution? Glamorous Argentine first lady Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner wants to become the country's next president. As wife of the current president, she has a lot in common with Hillary Clinton: Both rose to power in the provinces, both are attorneys and both are conscious of the power they possess.

From Foreign Affairs, John Edwards on Reengaging with the World. Rudy, the Anti-Statesman: Fred Kaplan on Giuliani's loopy foreign-policy essay. Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer's The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy is not even in bookstores, but already anxieties have surfaced about the backlash it is stirring. The introduction to Blind Oracles: Intellectuals and War from Kennan to Kissinger by Bruce Kuklick. A review of Twice as Good: Condoleezza Rice and Her Path to Power by Marcus Mabry.

The New Myth About Climate Change: Corrupt, tyrannical governments—not changes in the Earth’s climate—will be to blame for the coming resource wars. Water wars, myths and realities: To what degree are fears of geopolitical chaos over water scarcity justified? (and part 2). The new dirty energy: It's big, it's growing — and it's bad for the environment. Inside the other alternative-energy movement. Here's an article on biofuels—and all you need to know for a bar discussion. Sins of Omission: As the FAA seeks to expand air travel, is it giving concerns about aviation’s effects on climate change the attention they deserve? 

Richard Delgado (Pittsburgh): You Are Living in a Gold Rush. Surviving the markets: The new financial order is undergoing its harshest test. It will not be pretty, but it is necessary. A review of Pandemonium: How Globalization and Trade Are Putting the World at Risk by Andrew Nikiforuk. The introduction to The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom by Yochai Benkler. Given the tremendous run-up of debt in recent years, there's a good chance that today's credit crunch will turn out to be more than just a wisp of cloud in an otherwise blue sky. Debt again: The mortgage crisis has surprising roots that go back decades. Why we need to rethink how we buy our homes. You've heard about the home-loan bust, but do you know your derivatives from your tranches? Read Salon's easy guide to understanding the current market freakout (and a response: Andrew Leonard is "uncritically Heideggerian" and of "reiterating the strategic misunderstanding of the reformist left").

From Philosophy Now, an interview with Christopher Phillips, author of Socrates in Love; more on Richard Rorty; if there’s one thing you should be able to rely upon to know who you are it should be your own name, but perhaps not; three questions, and in each case the answer is philosophically interesting. The interest turns on the further question: “What is a person?”; and there is not only a right way to live, but also a right way to figure out what that is; and a book called Mixing It Up With The Simpsons has been sent to youth advisors in every diocese in England. 

A review of Ancient Greece: From the Mycenaean Palaces to the Age of Homer by Sigrid Deger-Jalkotzy and Irene S. Lemos. A review of Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece by Joan Breton Connelly. A review of Greek Colonisation: An Account of Greek Colonies and Other Settlements Overseas. The introduction to The State of Speech: Rhetoric and Political Thought in Ancient Rome by Joy Connolly.  A review of Excess and Restraint: Propertius, Horace, & Ovid's Ars Amatoria. A review of Roman Pompeii: Space and Society by Ray Laurence. A review of Feeling History. Lucan, Stoicism, and the Poetics of Passion by Francesca D'Alessandro Behr. A review of Seeing Seneca Whole: Perspectives on Philosophy, Poetry and Politics by K. Volk by G.D. Williams.

Professors on the Battlefield: Where the warfare is more than just academic. Academics from both sides of the Atlantic and beyond have protested against the arrest of Berlin sociologist Andrej H. The researcher has been in jail for two weeks on suspicion of membership in a terrorist group. Your Virtual Ph.D.: No more pencils, no more books: With PopSci's guide to the best continuing-ed programs on the Web, you can lose the paper and still gain a grade-A education. Have Ph.D., will travel: Academia is increasingly dependent on flexible, part-time faculty. Sound and the Fury: When Gallaudet University hired a hearing football coach who knew no sign language, it was a clash of cultures. Two years later, the once-moribund program is making plenty of noise. 

Miscellaneous: From TNR, a look at how copyright law could kill the fashion industry. Is there a scientific explanation for the human ability to use language? A review of The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language by Christine Kenneally.  From Wired's "The Luddite", a 21st-Century Elegy for a Paradise Lost. Funny Radio Personalities: Talk radio's funniest host detests liberals but loves the environment. As for the least-funny hosts, turn to the left. Is there room for humour in art? In this current climate, is it morally wrong for artists to be anything other than deadly serious? What happens if they just want to make us giggle.

From The Weekly Standard, Bam! A cover story on making sense of America's celebrity-chef culture. Since moving The Atlantic Monthly from Boston to Washington two years ago (after vowing not to), David Bradley has sought out — with an open checkbook — some of the Beltway's best and brightest. Facebook Grows Up: At 19, Mark Zuckerberg came up with a new way for college kids to connect—and started an online revolution. Now 23, he's trying to build out his business without losing its cool.  A review of F5: Devastation, Survival, and the Most Violent Tornado Outbreak of the 20th Century by Mark Levine.

Who Killed the Love Story? An article on the lost art of making a great romantic movie. Far from romantic: A review of Robert Schumann: Life and Death of a Musician by John Worthen (and more). Sole survivors: Sandals are shaking off their nerdy image and desert boots are having another fashion moment. A review of Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster by Dana Thomas. Ian Fleming Publications' decision to reanimate the late author's most famous creation, James Bond, in a novel by Sebastian Faulks to mark Fleming's centenary next year is the latest in a resurrection trade that has made literary estates some of the most powerful in the media. New free software puts the power of cybersleuthing in everybody’s hands. This might not be a good thing.