From Jonathan Steele's Defeat: Why They Lost Iraq, a looks at how Britain went to war unbriefed, unprepared and with no idea of the fallout that would ensue (and two more excerpts). The essential critic: James Wood sees literary criticism as a means of revealing truth in novels... and exposing phoneys. The Fifth Columnist: A look at how Bill Kristol landed that Times gig. An interview with Allen Raymond, author of How to Rig An Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative (and a review). The UN has had its own university for more than 30 years, a little-known endeavor with no regular teaching operations. But now the new rector wants to turn it into a serious academic institution. From The Space Review, an interview with Steven Weinberg; an article on the dark side of space disaster theories; and is space exploration worth the cost? David Levy, author of Love and Sex with Robots, explains why technological advances guarantee future bots will be more than just sex dolls.  "Won't somebody please think of the children?": Calm down, it’s just pornography. Form TAP, an article on the convention delegate process explained. Jeff Greenfield on the unexpected ins and outs of the primary calendar. Jack Shafer writes in praise of horse-race coverage: If campaigns are contests, then why not obsess on who's winning? The Sistine Chapel was created 500 years ago by Michelangelo... or was it?

From Harper's, while John Yoo cites Clausewitz, he seems to have another German thinker in mind: Carl Schmitt. From TLS, a review of Science and Islam by Muzaffar Iqbalp; and a review of Tariq Ramadan's The Messenger: The meanings of the life of Muhammad. Who is Grady Harp? Amazon's top reviewers and the fate of the literary amateur. An excerpt from The Culture of Vengeance and the Fate of American Justice by Terry Kenneth Aladjem; and an excerpt from The Decline of the Death Penalty and the Discovery of Innocence. A review of Heidegger's Contributions to Philosophy: Life and the Last God by Jason Powell. A review of The Second Person Standpoint: Morality, Respect, and Accountability by Stephen Darwall. A review of Ronald Dworkin. From The Economist, in a week of financial uncertainty a look behind the headlines to a world that is unexpectedly prosperous and peaceful. From Foreign Policy, an interview with Martin Feldstein on the “R” word. David Warsh on Paul Krugman the partisan. Just what is a think tank? From Time, an article on why we love. Should we allow performance enhancing drugs in sports? One argument in favor. Research suggests sports machismo may be cue to male teen violence. The penultimate step towards the creation of artificial life has just been announced. Are urban vermin the most disease-ridden animals?