From TLS, a review of The New Atheists by Tina Beattie; God's Undertaker by John C. Lennox; The Beginning of All Things by Hans Kung; and From Physicist to Priest: An autobiography by John Polkinghorne. A review of God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? by John Lennox. A review of The Power of Faith: Mother Nature's Gift by Jay D. Glass. A review of Allies for Armageddon: The Rise of Christian Zionism by Victoria Clark. A review of Michelle Goldberg's Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism. An article on Damon Linker's weak attack on atheism (and Linker's response). More on Christopher Hitchens' God is Not Great. Speeches like Mitt Romney’s confirm the impossibility for an atheist to be elected to national office in this country. Secular Europe’s merits: Mitt Romney’s speech and the emergence of the anti-Darwin Baptist minister Mike Huckabee suggest how estranged the American zeitgeist is from the European. A review of Divided by Faith: Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe by Benjamin J. Kaplan. A review of The Evangelical Conversion Narrative: Spiritual Autobiography in Early Modern England by D. Bruce Hindmarsh. From TLS, the gospel according to Henry VIII: The selectivity, conservatism and startlingly personal nature of a bible designed by Henry VIII. A review of Church History of Germany since the Reformation by Johannes Wallmann.

Rupert Murdoch didn’t officially buy Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of The Wall Street Journal until Thursday but his influence was already apparent. Triumph of the family man: Rupert Murdoch's second son James has now been put in charge of running News Corp's European and Asian operations, cementing his status as likely successor to his father — not bad for a publicity-shy, home-loving type. Too young to write for Page One? Jack Shafer on a journalism school professor's lame complaint. A review of Turning Back the Clock: Hot Wars and Media Populism by Umberto Eco. Foer’s foggy New Republic retraction doesn’t please everyone. Crunks 2007: The year in media errors and corrections. Revenge of the "citizen journalist": If anyone can practice "journalism" on a blog, what's the point? Time magazine's former editor Walter Isaacson asks: Would Benjamin Franklin by a blogger? From Mute, ironic distance is ambiguous; it grounds both critique and detached resignation to the status quo —what becomes of it in the viral world of web 2.0? Cass Sunstein on Want to see yourself in the extreme? Log on. No linkup for you! In the world of online community, one authoritative man can dictate your social life. Where are your friends in cyberspace? Closer than you might think, says Internet researcher Jon Kleinberg. Is there a numerical cap on how many friends we can have?

From Taki's Top Drawer, Robert Spence on Allah the Unbound. The Bertrand Russell of Islam: A review of Defending The West: A Critique of Edward Said’s Orientalism by Ibn Warraq (and more). Culture and civilisation: An article on the massive assault on Judeo-Christian values. A look at how "Muslim!" is quickly becoming one of the worse insults to call someone. Veiled politics: More than women's heads are hidden in the French controversy over the hijab, writes Joan Wallach Scott. Preachers to the converted: The persuasive powers of reformed jihadists are being used to “re-educate” terrorists in Indonesia and the Middle East. Do we know enough about terrorism? We know too little about the causes and consequences of terrorism and what we do know is not listened to. A review of Towards Sustainable Security: Alternatives to the War on Terror. From Democracy, Anne-Marie Slaughter reviews World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism by Norman Podhoretz; and whatever happened to the “War on Terror”? Andrei Cherny wants to know; and a look at how the history of the Vietnam War teaches that to preserve American strength and prestige, we must begin withdrawing from Iraq now. A review of Iraq and the Lessons of Vietnam. Can a lull in Iraq be turned into a real peace? Must Afghanistan and Iraq be wars without end? No, as recent successes show, but “winning” will take many years, and cannot be achieved by force alone.

From Smithsonian, sleeping with cannibals: A reporter gets up close and personal with New Guinea natives who say they still eat their fellow tribesmen; and Christians in Ethiopia have long claimed to have the ark of the covenant. A look at how Dubai built it and the world did come. Love at your fingertips: Texting changes the rules of courtship in the Philippines. Most eligible world leaders: Now that French President Nicolas Sarkozy is single again, Foreign Policy takes a look at a few of the other world leaders whose affections may be up for grabs.  From Discover, here are 20 things you didn't know about gold and snow. A review of A History of the Snowman: From the Ice Age to the Flea Market by Bob Eckstein.  Shankar Vedantam on the Christmastime self-esteem paradox. An interview with Gary Taubes, author of Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control and Disease. A review of Sticks and Stones: The Philosophy of Insults by Joel Feinberg. All the Rage: Why everyone is so angry and why we must calm down. Michael Shermer reviews The Secret.  A review of Who Moved My Secret? The Ancient Wisdom That Tells You It's Okay to Be Greedy by Jim Gerard. An interview with Wynton Marsalis: "A [rap star] from Something Housing Project is going to tell me what it is to be black?"  Ring master: High flying, visual acrobatics, visceral shocks – Russia’s greatest director used the tricks of the circus to captivate the crowds. After decades of searching, scientists have found no trace of extraterrestrial intelligence; now, some of them hope to make contact by broadcasting messages to the stars — are we prepared for an answer?

Jules Lobel (Pittsburgh): Conflicts Between the Commander in Chief and Congress: Concurrent Power Over the Conduct of War. From Democracy, President Bush has added more power to the imperial presidency than previously imagined — it's time to recalibrate the checks and balances between Congress and the president; and a look at why FDR's bottom-up brand of civic defense should inspire progressive plans for homeland security today. How people respond to the US government's attempts to censor some war-related images comes down to whether or not they are supporters of President Bush, a new study suggests. How did a former Bush official win an $800 million Department of Defense contract for his healthcare firm? That's what government watchdogs want to know. Blackwater's Bu$ine$$: Undeterred by scandal, Blackwater's global business is booming and continues to pursue its political agenda from deep inside the Mitt Romney campaign.

From Radar, an interview with Alex Ross, author of The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century. A review of Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology by Julian Dodd. The pressures on musical child geniuses are enormous, and the first casualty is a normal childhood — but sometimes the talented teenagers decide to call the tune. Under the Underground Nerdcore Movement: Meet Baddd Spellah, kickass nerdcore music producer. In defense of audiophiles: The iPod hasn't made great sound obsolete. The record shop's dead, long live the record shop: Amid the high street gloom, there's some evidence that independent record shops are reviving. From Cracked, an article on the 9 most unnecessary greatest hits albums of all time. Learning from the Dead: Scholars gather at the University of Massachusetts to discuss their work on the Grateful Dead. A review of Eye Mind: The Saga of Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators, the Pioneers of Psychedelic Sound by Paul Drummond. After the Polka: Disco polo is the music that Poles love to hate. The roots of Portuguese fado in militant, working-class Lisbon were airbrushed by a fascist regime.

Stefan Berger (Manchester): History and National Identity: Why They Should Remain Divorced. Alexander Somek (Iowa): Postconstitutional Treaty. Thomas Diez (Birmingham): Expanding Europe: The Ethics of EU-Turkey Relations. The relationship between Turkey and the European Union needs a fresh debate based on reason, evidence, and understanding not fear and prejudice; a group of leading European intellectuals and analysts introduces this initiative and invites responses. The Albanian majority in Kosovo will no longer be bound by the UN-brokered truce — and the fallout could be disastrous. A Balkan fable: Slovenia tries its hand at writing a happy ending for the former Yugoslavia. Time to go down to the cellar: Europe cannot continue to ignore Ukraine's buried history. From European Law Books, a review of The Hidden Handshake: National Identity and Europe in the Post-Communist World by Ales Debeljak; a review of The Unity of the European Constitution; a review of National Parliaments and European Democracy: A Bottom-up Approach to European Constitutionalism; a review of Families and the European Union: Law, Politics, and Pluralism by Clare McGlynn. From Cafe Babel, a series of articles on how Lisbon, in an apparent European periphery, is the center of polemic, trends and European rendezvous; and the Portuguese and current president of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso could be re-elected after his mandate expires in June 2009.

Richard York and Brett Clark (Oregon): Gender and Mathematical Ability: The Toll of Biological Determinism. Sex, math and scientific achievement: Why do men dominate the fields of science, engineering and mathematics? The introduction to Gender, Class, and Freedom in Modern Political Theory by Nancy J. Hirschmann. A review of Feminism Confronts Homo Economicus: Gender, Law, and Society by Martha Albertson Fineman and Terence Dougherty. Domestic surveillance: To properly interpret the Mommy Wars, it helps to know who's drawing up the battle plans. Parenting in the age of mechanical reproduction: A review of Babies by Design by Ronald Green. International adoption is a one-way dialogue: When adoptive parents try to keep the lid on controversy, we do ourselves—and our kids—no favors. The Graying of the City: A look at how young families are fleeing New York. From Foreign Policy, a list of the world’s worst places to be a kid. The middle one's always difficult, the eldest is a bossy boots and the youngest is a tearaway — but are the family cliches true? Finally, scientists have the answer. Research suggests humans appear hardwired to learn by "over-imitation". A review of Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture by Jon Savage.

From Law and Politics Book Review, a review of The Judicial Branch of Federal Government: People, Process, and Politics.  From Writ, an article on the current Supreme Court term, and the pivotal role of "swing" Justice Anthony Kennedy. Repealing the 20th century: While everyone focuses on its abortion decisions, the Roberts Court is merrily revoking a century of legislation protecting citizens, consumers, workers, and minorities against business. More on My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir by Clarence Thomas and Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas by Kevin Merida and Michael A. Fletcher. Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales wins the American Bar Association's Lawyer of the Year award.

A review of A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today by David A. Andelman. A review of The Voices of the Dead: Stalin's Great Terror in the 1930s by Hiroaki Kuromiya. More and more on The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia by Orlando Figes. A review of Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War by Chris Bellamy (and more). A review of The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 by Rick Atkinson. A review of FDR's 12 Apostles: The Spies Who Paved the Way for the Invasion of North Africa by Hal Vaughn. The introduction to The Myth of the Eastern Front: The Nazi-Soviet War in American Popular Culture by Ronald Smelser and Edward J. Davies. Coupon queues, nude reviews and the post-war experience: A review of Austerity Britain: 1945-51 by Kristin Anderson and David Kynaston. A review of For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union and the Cold War by Melvyn P. Leffler. A review of Communism and the Emergence of Democracy by Harald Wydra. An interview with Nicholas Wapshott, author of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher: A Political Marriage.