From The Huffington Post, a special section on The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis by Jeremy Rifkin (and more and more and more and more and more). The Phantom Menace: Republicans push voter ID bill to stamp out nonexistent threat. Psychologists have used an inventive combination of techniques to show that the left half of the brain has more self-esteem than the right half. A finishing school for Marxist ideologues?: Far-fetched as it may sound, it will soon be a reality in New Delhi. Open contempt for generally accepted norms: An interview with Slava Mogutin. The assassination of Hamas functionary Mahmoud al-Mabhouh is widely believed to have been the work of the Mossad — but why would Israel's legendary intelligence service allow the identity of its agents to be compromised? (and more and more and more) Joan Didion once called New York “a city only for the very young” — so why is Clay Risen moving to the city now, at age 33? DNA’s dirty little secret: A forensic tool renowned for exonerating the innocent may actually be putting them in prison. Was Andy Warhol actually a great philosopher — or Norman Rockwell's aesthetic heir? Scott McLemee goes Pop. The War Criminal Next Door: Virginia resident Mohamed Ali Samantar oversaw a reign of terror in Somalia — will the Supreme Court grant him immunity? Attack of the light drizzle!: Robert David Sullivan on how weather was taken over by the hype machine. A panel on Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security — From World War II to the War on Terrorism by Julian E. Zelizer. The Great Divider: A review of The Cambridge Companion to Jonathan Edwards. A review of Counter-revolution of the Word: The Conservative Attack on Modern Poetry, 1945-1960 by Alan Filreis.

The inaugural issue of AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom is now out. From The Chronicle, James Alan Fox on tenure and the workplace avenger; do the faculty shootings in Alabama say something about academic culture? (and more); and many observers are asking what role the stresses of academic life played in the Huntsville tragedy. From Academe, a review of Professing to Learn: Creating Tenured Lives and Careers in the American Research University by Anna Neumann; a review of The Last Professors: The Corporate University and the Fate of the Humanities by Frank Donoghue; a review of Off-Track Profs: Nontenured Teachers in Higher Education by John Cross and Edie Goldenberg; a review of How Professors Think: Inside the Curious World of Academic Judgment by Michele Lamont; a review of Save the World on Your Own Time by Stanley Fish; and a review of Closed Minds? Politics and Ideology in American Universities by Bruce Smith, Jeremy Mayer, and A. Lee Fritschler. A look at why academe's left-of-center bias isn't so hard to explain. Thomas Benton on the big lie about the "life of the mind". 2 people, 1 job, 36 years: Husband-and-wife historians at Earlham have spent more than three decades sharing a job. A review of A Taste for Language: Literacy, Class, and English Studies by James Ray Watkins. Confessions of an Accidental Literary Scholar: Writers live on one side of the tracks, lit scholars live on the other — one crazed grad student dared to walk the rails. Manners, cigars and egos: Trevor Butterworth on when academics write for the masses. On academic writing: What does it mean to make something sound “Yale Post-Graduate like,” and why do people fetishize it so much? From WSJ, why the fetish about footnotes?: In the world of academe, Web clicking would be too easy.

A new issue of Electronic Green Journal is out. A review of Natural Experiments of History, ed. Jared Diamond and James A. Robinson. More on The Environment and World History. A review of James Lovelock: In Search of Gaia by John Gribbin and Mary Gribbin, The Balance of Nature: Ecology’s Enduring Myth by John Kricher, and The Medea Hypothesis: Is Life on Earth Ultimately Self-Destructive? by Peter Ward. A review of Seasick: Ocean Change and the Extinction of Life on Earth by Alanna Mitchell. Network Theory: Carl Zimmer on a key to unraveling how nature works. In praise of mundane nature: The unsung nature in alleyways and backyards plays an important — and undervalued — role in urban lives. You think fall foliage viewing is just about finding a tree and staring at it? Wrong. In The Life & Love of Trees, vivid photography from around the world coupled with author Lewis Blackwell’s lucid prose explores the virtues of our leafy companions (and a slideshow). The Super Trees: They can grow to be the tallest trees on Earth, they can produce lumber, support jobs, safeguard clear waters, and provide refuge for countless forest species — if we let them. What does it take to save a species? Sometimes, high-voltage power wires. A review of Hope for Animals and their World: How Endangered Species are Being Rescued from the Brink by Jane Goodall (and more). Could re-wilding avert the 6th Great Extinction? A review of Rewilding the World: Dispatches from the Conservation Revolution by Caroline Fraser (and more). Brian Sholis reviews Paradise Found: Nature in America at the Time of Discovery by Steve Nicholls and A Reenchanted World: The Quest for a New Kinship with Nature by James Willaim Gibson.

From FT, a review of On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears by Stephen T Asma (and more and more), Prehistoric Monsters: The Real and Imagined Creatures of the Past that We Love to Fear by Allen A Debus, and The Natural History of Unicorns by Chris Lavers. An all-Christian prison?: Bill Berkowitz on a proposed prison for Christians in Wakita, Oklahoma. An interview with Amira Bennison on books on science and Islam. From A Contracorriente, Robert McKee Irwin and Monica Szurmuk (UC-Davis): Cultural Studies and the Field of "Spanish" in the US Academy; and Gene H. Bell-Villada (Williams): Vargas Llosa, Von Hayek, Libertarian Dogmas High and Low, and My Prophetic Spoofs Thereof; the Lion King vs. Evo Morales? A review of Circuits of Culture: Media, Politics, and Indigenous Identity in the Andes by Jeff D. Himpele; and a review of The Black Madonna in Latin America  and Europe: Tradition and Transformation by Malgorzata Oleszkiewicz-Peralba. A map astutely expands the very somatic aspect of healthcare to the "body politic" of the US, presenting an aspect of healthcare reform — the Public Option — as a necessary medicine for the patient — America itself. Margaret Eby on the Cartography of Crime: In a noir novel, the cityscape is as crucial as the crime spree; the following books render their city's cartography through the cadences of detective fiction. Mothers in Combat Boots: Mary Eberstadt on reassessing a military policy. Among the plethora of ethnic insults that traffic in food — Germans as “krauts,” say, or Irish people as “potato eaters” — “pepsi” deserves special mention. Sick of business as usual, Rep. Alan Grayson is trying something new: saying pretty much whatever he feels like. An article on The Berg, the biggest artificial mountain in the world.

Acclaimed authors Mary Gaitskill, Hari Kunzru, and Ed Park appear in a reading presented by Bookforum @ Housing Works' Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10012, this Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 7:00 PM.

From The Barnes Review, an alternate view of world history and global end times doctrines from an Indo-Aryan perspective; an excerpt from March of the Titans: A History of the White Race by Arthur Kemp; an essay on Arminius, the Liberator of Europe; and if you are Swiss, you have something to celebrate. From The American Conservative, Peter Hitchens on how the British National Party isn’t conservative, it’s Klan (and more). A look at how Abraham Lincoln destroyed George Washington’s America. Wilson R. Huhn (Akron): Cross Burning as Hate Speech Under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. A look at how Long Beach State professor Kevin MacDonald is helping mainstream a new white supremacist political party. Jared Taylor on the silent catastrophe: The declining quality of the American work force; and on the dangers of diversity: What actually happens when races mix (and part 2 and part 3). Memo from Middle America: From conservative radio shock jock to “Defensor de la Raza”, here's the Ben Seed story. A photo of the righty stuntman James O'Keefe at a white-nationalist confab illustrates a career marked by racial resentment. A look at how white racial resentment drives the Right (and more). Parul Sehgal reviews Searching for Whitopia by Rich Benjamin (and more and more). Now you too can find your Aryan dreamgirl (or boy): April Gaede, the mother of the adorable white pride singing act Prussian Blue, is now launching her very own Aryans-only dating service. "Geek Dad" Jonathan Liu on how to raise racist kids. It Takes a Village to Raise a Racist: Researches have found that kids don't necessarily get their prejudice from their parents — it is the community that fosters tolerance or prejudice.

From The New Yorker, Louis Menand on the crazy world of contemporary psychiatry. Charity Case: Whether they like it or not, China has been very good for Tibetans (and more). Missile Silo Confessions: An article on living on the edge of Armageddon. We're not doing as well as we might like to think: A review of Bad Ideas?: An Arresting History of Our Inventions by Robert Winston. What do gombo, hidden cameras and advertorials have in common? Each is a part of mainstream journalism somewhere in the world. Mind Power: Harvard professor Ellen Langer’s research transformed psychology — now she wants it to transform you. McStrategy: George Friedman built Stratfor, a private, subscription-based CIA — but is his intel any good? What language experts don't care about: The deeper you go, the more you come to understand that language rules — well, they aren’t exactly the rules of physics. Climate change legislation looks dead — can the EPA handle the job? The Pleasure of Flinching: In the viral video realm, amateur Iraq war footage ranks just behind pornography, celebrities’ drunken exploits, and shark attacks. The ultimate hipster irony: The logic of gentrification is almost absurdly self-defeating. From Esquire, a look at why the torture fight keeps going around in circles. A look at research on the science of Hollywood blockbusters. Texas is in the process of declaring itself a judicial ethics-free zone. An interview with Marko Rakar on books on how to win elections. Yo, Ho, Ho, and a Digital Scrum: History shows that intellectual property is more complex than either its creators or copiers care to admit.

Dan Chitoiu (Cuza): The Founding Ideas of the Modern Cultural Horizon and the Meanings of Reason. A review of The Theological Origins of Modernity by Michael Allen Gillespie. Joseph D. Lewandowski (UCM): Enlightenment and Constraints. Amy Crawford on the use of Utopia in the Enlightenment Era. John Gray reviews In Defence of the Enlightenment by Tzvetan Todorov (and more and more and more; and Todorov and AC Grayling discuss the legacy of the great 18th-century republic of letters). The first chapter from A Revolution of the Mind: Radical Enlightenment and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Democracy by Jonathan Israel. An interview with Stephen Eric Bronner, author of Reclaiming the Enlightenment (and part 2). The Cult of Reason: Fjordman on the dark side of the Enlightenment. A review of The Anti-Enlightenment Tradition by Zeev Sternhell (and more). A review of The Modern Philosophical Revolution: The Luminosity of Existence by David Walsh. A review of Modernism and the Culture of Efficiency: Ideology and Fiction by Evelyn Cobley. A review of Accident Prone: A History of Technology, Psychology, and Misfits of the Machine Age by John Burnham. A review of The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World by Iain McGilchrist (and more and more and more and more). A review of Rethinking the Western Understanding of the Self by Ulrich Steinvorth. Something fundamental is changing in the hive mind: What goes inside the collective mind of people inside other cultures. Marc Hauser on the possibility of impossible cultures. The big theories underwriting society are crashing all around us. Chris Hedges on the Zero Point of Systemic Collapse: We stand on the cusp of one of humanity’s most dangerous moments.

From Alternatives, Hans Agne (Stockholm): European Union Conditionality: Coercion or Voluntary Adaptation? There is one thing that could revive the EU, give it much enhanced global respectability, and make it an “interesting” place: Turkey’s admission as a full member. From The Economist, a Mediterranean maelstrom: Turkey’s fading hopes of joining the European Union would be hugely boosted by a Cyprus settlement; and history helps to explain why the Cyprus problem is so hard to solve. How the West lost Turkey: Is the West's increasingly loveless marriage with Turkey finally headed toward acrimonious divorce? Triumph of the Turks: Turkey is the surprising beneficiary of US misadventures in the Middle East (and more and more). When Islamist foreign policies hurt Muslims: Turkey's government and leader bash the West for transgressions while absolving anti-Western regimes of their sins. There's a term that has frequently been attached to Ankara's newfound diplomatic activism, one that Turkish policymakers are not fond of: "neo-Ottomanism". A little respect, please: There's a new Turkey, and Israel, the U.S. and Europe should get used to it. From The Tablet, Israel and Turkey are drifting apart, thanks to internal pressures on Ankara that are unlikely to change. What would happen if Israel and Turkey broke diplomatic relations altogether? A review of The Donme: Jewish Converts, Muslim Revolutionaries, and Secular Turks by Marc David Baer. A review of Rebel Land: Among Turkey's Forgotten Peoples by Christopher de Bellaigue. Turkey and its generals: The latest episodes in various alleged conspiracies against the government. Despite frenzied stories of coup plots, the Turkish army is becoming less likely to intervene in politics.

From Tehran Bureau, Danny Postel on the specter haunting Iran — the specter of democracy. From The Smart Set, Jesse Smith on the national branding project better known as USPS stamps; and the post office is dying — the sooner the better. Going Postal: Georg Jensen on the imminent death of the United States Postal Service. For 400 years the delivery of letters has been integral to British life; as Royal Mail confronts an uncertain future, Susan Whyman charts the Post Office’s development and discovers, through the correspondence of ordinary people, just how much letter writing meant to them. Lisa Richmond on the dark side of online journals: Commercial publishers dominate online scholarly journal production. From New Geography, Steven Dale on the compelling case for the cable car. A day spent in Hell: Ethan Persoff gets motivated at Bush's first public appearance as motivational speaker. From TLS, a review essay on Arthur, Merlin and love magic; and a review of books on knitting. While international attention has been focused on earthquake-ravaged Haiti, a quiet, prolonged catastrophe is playing out in Mongolia. Wired profiles King of Cheez Ben Huh: The Internet’s meme maestro turns junk into gold. In the event of an emergency, please remain seated: It's time for a little more anarchy and a little less acquiescence. From Religion Dispatches, an article on Christopher Hitchens: Religious in spite of himself? From The Hindu, Sudha Umashanker on the fight for dignity in death. Teri Reynolds writes from an Oakland Emergency Department, testifying to the stark inequalities between public and private, insured and unprotected, that Democrat proposals will enshrine. What accounts for this urban legend that (fill in the blank) river and the Nile are the only two rivers that flow north?

Acclaimed authors Mary Gaitskill, Hari Kunzru, and Ed Park appear in a reading presented by Bookforum @ Housing Works' Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10012, this Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 7:00 PM.

The first chapter from U.S. Presidents for Dummies by Marcus Stadelmann. A review of Presidents and Political Thought by David Siemers. From The Weekly Standard, an article on George Washington: The man, the myth, the legend. A review of The Political Philosophy of George Washington by Jeffry Morrison. The first chapter from Inventing the Job of President: Leadership Style from George Washington to Andrew Jackson by Fred Greenstein. A review of Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush by John Yoo (and more and more). A review of The Presidential Pardon Power by Jeffrey Crouch. The first chapter from Presidential Party Building: Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush by Daniel Galvin. A review of In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect by Ronald Kessler. A review of Dream House: The White House as an American Home by Ulysses Grant Dietz and Sam Watters and The President’s House: A History by William Seale (and more). A pony in the West Wing: A history of presidential pets. All presidents are above average: In biographies for children, presidents are great even before they become president. Authors for President: Daniel Denvir on the curious history of political memoirs. From Nerve, a look at the top 43 sexiest U.S. presidents. An article onthe top 10 forgettable presidents. Presidents' Day, a patriotic holiday for most, is just an excuse for some wingnuts to ask God to kill Barack Obama. The study of decaying presidential popularity finds Barack Obama's large point decline in his first year fits into the pattern of all recent chief executives. The Unrealized Prince: Frank DeFilippo on Barack Obama, Niccolo Machiavelli, and how the latter can help the former's presidency.