From The Washington Post Magazine, a cover story on the peace drug: Post-traumatic stress disorder had destroyed Donna Kilgore's life. Then experimental therapy with MDMA, a psychedelic drug better known as ecstasy, showed her a way out. Was it a fluke — or the future? Smartest drug story of the year: Rolling Stone on the war on drugs. The dark lure of "pain compliance": Nothing in the curious history of Tasers suggested just how powerful an appeal the weapons would hold for police officers; and alarmed by recent incidents? Wait'll you see what the company is planning for 2008. No money, no justice: A review of Defending the Damned: Inside Chicago’s Cook County Public Defender’s Office by Kevin Davis. Trouble with authority: The extreme power expert witnesses wield in courtrooms is only now coming under the microscope. An article on Foxy Knoxy and the case of the honorary missing white woman: The cable-news murder case you don't have to feel guilty about following.

From Asia Times, Henry C K Liu on the pathology of debt (in 5 parts). Debt Be Not Proud: The subprime mess is just the beginning of the credit crunch. Something is rotten in the state of New York: Gotham's problems will soon be felt in the rest of the country. The gathering storm: As more and more knowledgeable observers forecast a possible recession next year, leaders in both parties may need to consider new regulatory measures to handle the mortgage crisis. Personal finance gets political: Self-help finance guru Suze Orman has had an epiphany — lending institutions could use some regulation.  A review of Jim Cramer's Stay Mad for Life. A review of The Second Bounce of the Ball: Turning Risk Into Opportunity by Ronald Cohen. Buy cloudy, sell sunny: Forget about buying low and selling high — if you are worried about the recent volatility in the stock market, perhaps you should let the weather be your guide.

Andrew F. March (Yale): Reading Tariq Ramadan: Political Liberalism, Islam, and "Overlapping Consensus". Asef Bayat, author of Making Islam Democratic: Social Movements and the Post-Islamist Turn, on democracy and the Muslim citizenry. Our priorities in the West are wrong: Secularism is what we should be spreading across the globe. Edward Skidelsky reviews A Secular Age by Charles Taylor and Secularism confronts Islam by Olivier Roy (and more). Losing the war of ideas: We can win if we restore the sense of purpose that makes freedom a moral imperative—not a problem. From Frontline, a review of books on diplomacy. From History Today (reg. req.), cloaks, daggers and dynamite: A century ago international anarchists were causing public outrage and panic with their terror tactics, paralleling al-Qaeda today. A review of Buda’s Wagon: A Brief History of the Car Bomb by Mike Davis. A review of Blood and Belief: The PKK and the Kurdish Fight for Independence by Aliza Marcus. From Details, going AWOL: Thousands of soldiers have deserted the Army since the beginning of the Iraq war — so why is an overstretched military doing the bare minimum to bring them back? Trapped in the Green Zone: Hundreds of Iraqi families have sought refuge in Baghdad's Green Zone in recent years. Now the authorities want them out — but beyond the barricades, death awaits. A review of Reporting Iraq: An Oral History of the War by the Journalists Who Covered It.

From The New York Times Magazine, a special issue on Ideas 2007. A review of Do Ants Have Arseholes?: And 101 Other Bloody Ridiculous Questions by Jon Butler and Bruno Vincent. A review of The Book of Vice: Very Naughty Things (and How to Do Them) by Peter Sagal.  Shirt Happens: How's this for a fashion statement? Radar slips into something less comfortable. Why has the world gone pink mad? It's the colour of hypocrisy, gingivitis and all things girly. A review of Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs by Ken Jennings. A review of Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling by Bret Hart. An interview with Frank Miniter, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Hunting. To yoga or not to yoga: It's an easy question, unless you're an over-booked, obsessive neurotic who really needs her yoga to be just right. Scents and sensitivity: Subliminal smells can have powerful effects. A review of The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History by Katherine Ashenburg (and more and more and more). A review of Next to Godliness: Confronting Dirt and Despair in Progressive Era New York City by Daniel Eli Burnstein.  Dirty little secrets: Why dry-cleaners are becoming wet. Driven by a wave of cheap labor, the spa industry has expanded dramatically, transforming what were once luxuries into social imperatives for a growing number of women — but what kind of work is this?  A review of Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day by Joel Osteen.

From National Journal, a cover story on Super Donors: A small influential group of lobbyists, with their spouses, donate as much as $200,000 from their personal bank accounts per election cycle. The Web users’ campaign: Matt Bai on why candidates no longer control their candidacies. As old and new media merge, the result is that they're no longer driving the horse race: As evidenced by the ascent of Mike Huckabee, in a new media world the crowd is beginning to drive the political debate. Eric Alterman on what's really wrong with the MSM. High noon in Iowa: The first dramatic stage in the race to the White House takes place in the sparsely populated prairies of the rural Midwest. Four writers from key primary states to contribute occasional dispatches about the race. Return of the neuropundits!: Should presidential candidates have their brains scanned? The Audacity of Oprah: The combined power of Oprah & Obama could reinvigorate our embattled political landscape. Forget Hillary and Barack — the real characters vying for the Oval Office in next year's US presidential election are the wackos, the zealots, the eternally optimistic and the latest round of former Hollywood stars. Pseudopopulist conservatives have destroyed reason: A look at how conservatives manipulate people into voting against their best interests.

From H-Net, a review of Thomas Paine and the Promise of America by Harvey J. Kaye; and a review of A Well-Regulated Militia: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America by Saul Cornell. Margaret Fuller hasn't gotten her due as a primary figure among American Transcendentalists — some recent books are correcting that, writes Carlin Romano. A review of Lincoln's Constitution by Daniel A. Farber. A review of The Devil's Gentleman: Privilege, Poison, and the Trial That Ushered In the Twentieth Century by Harold Schechter. A review of Savage Peace: Hope and Fear in America, 1919 by Ann Hagedorn. A review of From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Struggle for Economic Justice by Thomas F. Jackson. After Captain America: A review of Ronald Reagan: A Graphic Biography by Andrew Helfer; Laika by Nick Abadzis; J. Edgar Hoover: A Graphic Biography by Rick Geary; Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History, ed. Paul Buhle; Macedonia by Heather Roberson and Harvey Pekar; and Notes for a War Story by Gipi First.

From The New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell reviews What Is Intelligence? by James Flynn. Dissecting the IQ debate: A response to William Saletan's series on race and IQ. Interventions at every age from infancy to college can reduce racial gaps in I.Q., sometimes by substantial amounts in surprisingly little time. Are race-based discrepancies in mean intelligence brute biological facts, impervious to social or technological efforts to alleviate them? A study suggests ethnic discrimination not only based on prejudice. An interview with Stephen Steinberg, author of Race Relations: A Critique. A review of Race Relations in the Natural State by Grif Stockle. Noose: The true history of a resurgent symbol of hate. Between T.I. and the Isis Papers: There's been a national wave of violence by whites against blacks since the Jena 6. march. A white backlash against civil-rights gains for minorities is gaining force — the chief engine: the increasingly extreme-right bent of the conservative movement.

A new issue of Finance & Development is out, including an essay on global governance: Why the 20th-century model needs a makeover; a look at how the multilateral system that has underpinned world trade for over 50 years is facing serious challenges; a review of The Persistence of Poverty: Why the Economics of the Well-Off Can't Help the Poor by Charles Karelis; and will financial crises of the future resemble the contagious crises of the 1990s or the country-specific crises of the 1890s? Anders Aslund on the truth about sovereign wealth funds: Worried about oil-rich foreigners taking over your economy? You shouldn’t be — in reality, it is citizens of unaccountable, paternalistic regimes who stand to lose most when rulers play games with their national wealth. From Monthly Review, a look at why neoliberal globalization is not the problem: What has happened to Marx's critical anti-capitalist project? From Asia Times, a look at how central bankers could save the world. Something wonderful is happening: people are living longer, healthier lives. So why don't we hear more about it? Have you heard the good news? Iran isn't a threat, the stem cell debate is over, and the AIDS epidemic is slowing — what's next?

The introduction to Democracy, America, and the Age of Globalization by Jay R. Mandle. The big grapple: It seems that more of the world has begun to resemble professional wrestling, writes Gary Silverman as he reflects on the modern political life of the US. A review of The Squandering of America: How the Failure of Our Politics Undermines Our Prosperity by Robert Kuttner. Paul Krugman's The Conscience of a Liberal be hoping to discredit the very label conservative, so that it could be used as a cudgel the way liberal had been used by the Limbaughs of the world the past few decades. Melancholy liberalism: A review of Democratic Capitalism and Its Discontents by Brian C. Anderson. A review of Day of Reckoning: How Hubris, Ideology, and Greed Are Tearing America Apart by Patrick J. Buchanan. Patriots vs. patriots: New scandals fuel the old war between The New Republic and National Review. An interview with John Podhoretz, the newly anointed editor of Commentary. From Tradition, Family and Property, here's a personal account of the 2007 School of the Americas protest in Columbus, Georgia.

From Cafe Babel, a series of articles on Facebook & co: Empire of the Network. Nifty ways to leave your lover: As her son tells 300 Facebook friends that he has broken up with his girlfriend, Mrs M is glad her teenage dating took place in the pre-internet years. From The Moscow Times, putting faces to names: Odnoklassniki, a social networking site similar to Facebook, has gained 6 million members in less than two years. From The Economist, a special report on technology: Virtual worlds are being put to serious real-world uses—and are starting to encounter some real-world problems. Better together: The internet, supposedly a new realm, is most useful when coupled to the real world. A look at how the Internet is killing, saving, re-killing, and re-saving journalism. A librarian's worst nightmare: Yahoo! Answers, where 120 million users can be wrong. A review of Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules by Mike Moran.