A review of Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear by Dan Gardner and Panicology by Simon Briscoe and Hugh Aldersey-Williams. How do you make a terrorist talk? An interview with Jack Cloonan on how to break a terrorist. Bernard-Henri LÚvy on what George W. Bush has that Nicolas Sarkozy does not. Foreign Policy surveys more than 3,400 active and retired officers at the highest levels of command about the state of the U.S. military. Some doctors suggest that the modern definition of death is wrong — and that the mistake is costing lives. More on Susan Jacoby's The Age of American Unreason. A review of God's Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre by Richard Grant. Philip Jenkins on home-grown terrorism: Current political conditions are conducive to violent domestic extremism. An article on how a tiny West African country became the world's first narco state. A review of Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization by Nicholson Baker. A review of The Founding Act of Modern Ethical Life: Hegel's Critique of Kant's Moral and Political Philosophy by Ido Geiger. More on Paul Krugman's The Conscience of a Liberal. From The Spectator, Martin Rowson just doesn’t buy the ideology that comes with God — even a personal appearance by the Almighty wouldn’t do the trick.

From Al-Ahram, Europe, with its history of conflict, has embraced unity while the Arab world, despite its cultural homogeneity, remains divided — why? In light of recent scandals, we will now require arrest records and stool samples from all autobiographers — and can someone fact-check the Gospels? A review of Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey: A Biography by Alberto Manguel. A review of Propitious Esculent: The Potato in World History by John Reader. An interview with Karli Cerankowski, member of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network. From American Heritage, an article on the miserable life, death and immortality of Hank Williams. A review of Guilty Robots, Happy Dogs: The Question of Alien Minds by David McFarland. From The Observer, meet Brian, Master of the Omniverse. From Cafe Babel, a special issue on European arts and the city. An affair of states: Managing government isn't sexy, but it can get results. A review of This Is Civilisation by Matthew Collings. A review of The Magical Chorus: A History of Russian Culture from Tolstoy to Solzhenitsyn by Solomon Volkov. It is one of the most seismic changes the world has ever seen; across the globe there is an unstoppable march to the cities, powered by new economic realities — but what kind of lives are we creating? An article on celebrating the semicolon in a most unlikely location.

From Open Democracy, Tom Nairn on globalisation and nationalism: the new deal. From Good, a series of articles on Skid Row. From New Scientist, an article on the "male" military surgeon who wasn't. From Nerve, more on the history of single life: Love and money. We think we see people as individuals, but gender is like a contact lens permanently affixed to the eye. Here are 99 problems with the Bush administration: A look at the biggest losers under our current president. What happened when abstinence advocates invaded a hearing on the Hill about comprehensive sex ed. Obamanomics: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are such economic twins, it's hard to tell them apart; why his approach has the edge. A review of Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David R. Montgomery. Malte Faber (Heidelberg): How to be an Ecological Economist. Book lovers ask, what’s Seattle’s secret? From Wired, a look at how drugs and body modifications may create a second Enlightenment. In the Name of Dov: An American Apparel model's defense of the controversial CEO. It’s time for journal essays to replace books as the dominant mode of scholarly communication, writes Lindsay Waters. A review of The Purpose of the Past: Reflections on the Uses of History by Gordon Wood. The history of literary fakers stretches far, far back; here are some of the past few decades’ most notorious examples.

From Reset, a special issue on secularism, including Alessandro Ferrara on three meanings of secularism. From The Boston Globe, an article on uncommon knowledge: Surprising insights from the social sciences. Nat Hentoff wants Obama to Read This Book! Why we fall for fakes: Has "reality" fare spawned the phony memoir? From The Washington Monthly, a special issue: "No torture, no exceptions". From The Guardian, here's a list of the world's 50 most powerful blogs. The introduction to Putting Liberalism in Its Place by Paul Kahn. Flying off the shelves: An article on the pleasures and perils of chasing book thieves. In academia, where the use of prescription drugs to boost mental performance seems to be on the rise, some begin to worry about a pop-pills-or-perish future. From Commentary, William F. Buckley on Goldwater, the John Birch Society, and Me; and John Podhoretz on the election, the GOP—and Iraq. Masculinity, sexuality and dependency: Civisiling femininity is good for men. What do the results so far tell us about Clinton and Obama as general election candidates? Jeff Greenfield investigates. How do you get a terrorist to talk? The torture debate doesn’t answer the question of what works. An excerpt from Dreams of Peace and Freedom: Utopian Moments in the Twentieth Century by Jay Winter. A review of Knut Hamnsun's Hunger and Growth of the Soil.

A review of The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict by Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes (and more and more and an excerpt and an interview). The "A" word: Is there one political story the press shouldn’t report? A review of Philip Davis’s Bernard Malamud: A Writer’s Life. Who are the true barbarians? Ancient people lived less violently than modern advanced societies and left a lighter footprint on the earth. The accuracy rate of “conventional wisdom” in this presidential election has plummeted to new lows — here’s a look at which “widely held beliefs” have succumbed to reality. From The New York Times Magazine, a special issue on Money. From Lacan.com, Slavoj Zizek on Violence, or Ecology as a New Opium for the Masses (and part 2). A self-described "centrist" is minding Barack Obama's economic policy store — will this centrist prove a pitchman for plutocrats, or should the wealthy start to worry? The joy of boredom: Don't check that e-mail; don't answer that phone; just sit there — you might be surprised by what happens. More and more on The Sexual Paradox: Men, Women and the Real Gender Gap by Susan Pinker. A review of Everyman News: The Changing American Front Page by Michele Weldon. Orc Holocaust: An article on the reprehensible moral universe of Gary Gygax's Dungeons & Dragons.

From Cato Unbound, George Kateb on Patriotism: What's it good for? From Boston Review, Jonathan Zittrain on protecting the Internet without wrecking it: How to meet the security threat (with responses); and the best of all games: John Rawls puts philosophy to the service of baseball. Prince Valiant: Britain's Prince Harry should've stayed in Afghanistan. Inside Wall Street's Black Hole: For years, investors have relied on a complex formula to manage risk, but what happens if the Black-Scholes model is wrong—and we're in bigger trouble than ever? Group living in the nation’s capital is nothing new, and the presence of a blogger house reflects the increasing number of online pundits in the capital. From TNR, Michael Crowley on the long history of the McCain-Obama grudge; and how should liberals who admire McCain wrestle with his current positions? Bookforum talks with Jerome Charyn, author of Johnny One-Eye: A Tale of the American Revolution. From Dissent, monsters and double standards: On Samantha Power's resignation; and an article on the school for wives: On the Spitzer apology. How do you go off the record? Why Samantha Power couldn't take back her monstrous gaffe (and more). Writing books about a fast-moving presidential campaign can be risky. From TED, Craig Venter is on the verge of creating synthetic life, and Alan Kay on a powerful idea about teaching ideas.

From Slate, an article on Big Business's Big Term: Victories for the Chamber of Commerce at the Supreme Court. By Doug Kendall. From The New York Observer, goodbye Mad Dog, hello Daddy-O: David Carey is Conde Nast’s new business paradigm. A review of Twilight War: The Folly of U.S. Space Dominance by Mike Moore. Stagflation is back — and it's even worse than you feared. Here's the latest research: Your brain on Krispy Kremes. Could a coffee maker be worth $11,000? How the Clover is changing the way we think about coffee. Alan Dershowitz on worshippers of death. Zealots of our time: More on Jacob Heilbrunn's They Knew They Were Right. More on The Craftsman by Richard Sennett. An interview with David Rieff, author of Swimming in a Sea of Death. A look at 7 insane conspiracies that actually happened. From The Symptom, Alain Badiou on Philosophy as Biography and Some Remarks Concerning Marcel Duchamp. Slaves in the Attic: An excerpt from Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. An unsanitised history of washing: To modern Westerners life without showers is unimaginable, but mankind somehow survived before the advent of soap and deodorants. From BBC Magazine, a look at the whitest place in England; and children are growing up too fast, but was childhood ever innocent?

From Esquire, Thomas P.M. Barnett on Admiral William "Fox" Fallon, the man between war and peace. How to swim against the current: People are wriggling free of the fetters of corporate culture. How to misread Robbe-Grillet: Jonathan Meades on the supreme novelist of France's trente glorieuses. From nthposition, here is the urban legend: the miscreant shooter misinterprets The Catcher in the Rye; and more on Modernism by Peter Gay. Rise of the super-mayor: How mayors of American cities are coping with suburban growth. A review of Richard M. Cook’s Alfred Kazin: A Biography. A review of Superheroes!: Capes and Crusaders in Comics and Films by Roz Kaveney. How far they have travelled: A Turkish-based movement, which sounds more reasonable than most of its rivals, is vying to be recognised as the world's leading Muslim network. Feel safer now? Most anti-terrorist spending is wasteful, claims a new study. More on Blood and Rage: A Cultural History of Terrorism by Michael Burleigh. The lowdown on God's showdown: Many evangelical Christians tremble with excitement at the thought that they are the "last generation" and "Jesus is due to return soon". From Smithsonian, from bebop to hip-hop, nobody alive has done more for American music than Quincy Jones. A review of Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration With Zionism, 1917-1948 by Hillel Cohen.

The real problem with Power: In an ideal world, politicians and their advisers would be able to talk openly about their real thoughts and admit to doubts, but it would also be politically impossible. A review of The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West and the fight against AIDS by Helen Epstein. A review of The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash by Charles R. Morris. Boys’ Club 2.0: The media is obsessed with boy geek geniuses, but where are the women? From Wired, an article on the myth of the "transparent society". A look at the the extent to which some people will sacrifice personal gain to benefit the wider public. A review of Ida: A Sword Among Lions by Paula J. Giddings. From The Economist, a special section on technology, including an article on the battle for Wikipedia's soul. Take a Dipso like You: Kingsley Amis’s advice on all matters alcoholic may not be helpful, but it is always lively. An excerpt from In Honor of Fadime: Murder and Shame by Unni Wikan. From TLS, historian of the future: An intellectual, a realist and an optimist, E. H. Carr respected power over all illusions of liberal morality; and dominant on page and stage: but is Shakespeare, the greatest writer in the English language, primarily a poet or a dramatist? Move over Galileo, it's Science 2.0: A look at how the Internet is changing the scientific method.

A new issue of Words Without Borders is out. The introduction to Code Red: An Economist Explains How to Revive the Healthcare System without Destroying It by David Dranove. A review of Liz Kotz’s Words to Be Looked At: Language in 1960s Art. The introduction to Success through Failure: The Paradox of Design by Henry Petroski. The introduction to The Spaces of the Modern City: Imaginaries, Politics, and Everyday Life. More on Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku. Form TAP, Ezra Klein on why health insurance doesn't work. A review of Bonnie Bremser’s Troia: Mexican Memoirs. A review of Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said’s Orientalism by Ibn Warraq and Reading Orientalism: Said and the Unsaid by Daniel Martin Varisco. A review of Bananas: How the United Fruit Company Shaped the World by Peter Chapman (and more). A review of American-Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA: When FDR Put the Nation to Work by Nick Taylor. Here's something you probably didn't need confirmed by Paris Hilton: amateur porn is hot. Mack the Quack: Jonathan Cohn on the disaster that is McCain's health policy. From Utne, an article on the politics of poop. The Red and Blue Plate Special: For pols, Harper's finds good eatin' on donors' dimes. From The New Yorker, Janet Malcolm on the wicked joy of the “Gossip Girl” novels.