From Salon, a harrowing account from a man the CIA handed over to Jordan — smuggled from prison on tiny paper — exposes US complicity in torture. The word "liberal" scares Democrats, but to bring the change the U.S. needs, we need to embrace liberalism's proud history. Click Here for Torture: Two unnaturally sexy activists are trying to raise awareness of the horrors of Guantanamo Bay by inviting visitors to experience it for themselves—inside the virtual world of Second Life. An excerpt from The Solitary Vice: Against Reading by Mikita Brottman (and an interview). From TNR, Damon Linker reviews of Wayward Christian Soldiers: Freeing the Gospel from Political Captivity by Charles Marsh. The Eligible-Bachelor Paradox: How economics and game theory explain the shortage of available, appealing men. Paul Gottfried reconsiders Richard Hofstadter's Anti-Intellectualism in American Life. Clive Crook on the end of the American Exception: Economically speaking, America could soon be more European than Europe. From LA Weekly, an article on New York and L.A. theater, separated by common values. From the new issue of Literary Review, a review of The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography Of V S Naipaul by Patrick French (and more and more). Voting behaviour seemingly confounds rational choice theory, but voting can be perfectly rational.

From Vanity Fair, this fall, after eight years and almost half a billion dollars, world-famous architect Renzo Piano will complete the greenest museum ever built; and architect William McDonough wants to usher in a new Industrial Revolution — no sacrifices necessary, just smart design. John Rennie, Michael Shermer and Steve Mirsky all watched Ben Stein's new antievolution movie, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed"; here's what they had to say about its design flaws. A silver lining in the Blue Battle: Hillary's destructive coup attempt is a good thing for the Democratic Party. Calling Al Gore: If the Democratic Party nomination is still unresolved by the end of May, it will need a power broker to fill the leadership void. A review of Symmetry: A Journey into the Patterns of Nature by Marcus du Sautoy. Why do so many feel a connection — be it kinship or competition — with utter strangers just because they share a name? Cannibals in McCain's Midst: The candidate's biggest challenge is keeping his combative aides in check. From PopMatters, an article on 1977: The Year Decency Died (and part 2). An Atheist in the Pulpit: Public identity and private belief are never more at odds than when a preacher loses his faith. From Intelligent Life, an article on the economics of high-end prostitutes. The Satire Recession: How political satire got so flabby. More on Worlds at War by Anthony Pagden.

The brain as mindless obsession: An excerpt from Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry Is Medicating a Nation by Charles Barber. The end of the critic? There was a time when they were our arbiters of culture; those days are gone. A review of Bondage of the Mind: How Old Testament Fundamentalism Shackles the Mind and Enslaves the Spirit by RD Gold. Might the worst be over for Africa? David Warsh investigates. A look at why Ayn Rand, Alan Greenspan's early mentor, would have been proud. For all their invincibility at chess and prowess in calculus, robots using neural networks have performed miserably in duplicating the behaviour of higher organisms such as mammals. A review of A Conservative History of the American Left by Daniel J. Flynn. A review of Bastard Tongues: A Trailblazing Linguist Finds Clues to Our Common Humanity in the World's Lowliest Languages by Derek Bickerton (and more). Inner-city muse: With his fourth novel set on America’s mean streets, Richard Price lays claim to the title of urban laureate. From The Smart Set, class struggles, identity, democratization, and postmodernism — they're all tied up in the shopping bag; and gold-beater skin, English raincoat, French letter: There were many historic names for the condom, and just as many origin myths. A review of Media Madness: The Corruption of Our Political Culture by James Bowman.

From the latest issue of Bookforum, J. Hoberman reviews Mark Evanier’s Kirby: King of Comics (and more); Chris Ware reviews David Kunzle’s Father of the Comic Strip: Rodolphe Topffer and Rodolphe Topffer: The Complete Comic Strips; and Comics Relief: Rocketship in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, is a destination for anyone serious about comics. Popular culture and the American way have never been comfortable bedfellows — even cartoons were accused of corrupting the nation's youth. More and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more on The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America by David Hajdu (and an excerpt, and more from Louis Menand, and more from Vanity Fair). From TAP, an article on Dr. King as forgotten radical. The Importance of Seeing Ernst: Who was Lubitsch? The greatest director of wit, sex and sophistication laughs insouciantly from a distant world. The emerging moral psychology: Experimental results are beginning to shed light on the psychological foundations of our moral beliefs. A look at why humans bother with emotions. Suitors can tell a young person’s attitude to sexual relationships by the look on their face, according to new research. A review of The Hitler Salute: On the Meaning of a Gesture by Tilman Allert. A review of Safire's Political Dictionary (and more).

From The American Interest, John Mueller on on Terrorphobia and our false sense of insecurity. A review of Richard Rorty's New Pragmatism: Neither Liberal Nor Free by Edward Grippe. From Kritika & Kontext, an essay on Nietzsche's anti - democratic liberalism. Foreign Policy takes a look at the world’s worst religious leaders. From Sign and Sight, Tilman Nagel looks at the beginnings of Islam and the rise of Mohammed from prophet to power-conscious religious politician. Why the surge doesn’t matter: The US is still far closer to having created another failed state than a functioning democracy. A review of Betrayal: How Black Intellectuals Have Abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Rights Era by Houston A. Baker, Jr. Is America a center-right nation? Paul Waldman investigates. Olympic regret: Why China is the only world government scared of Bjork. From TLS, Raymond Tallis on the neuroscience delusion: Neuroaesthetics is wrong about our experience of literature – and it is wrong about humanity; an eighteenth-century memoir with a timeless refrain: all men are bastards; and a review of books on wife-beating in Ancient Rome. Paul Theroux claims new biography reveals the true monster in V S Naipaul. Behind door no. 1, a fatal flaw (and more on The Monty Hall Problem). An article on Hillary Clinton and the action bias, or the desire to do something rather than nothing.

Caroline Gerschlager (Brussells): Foolishness and Identity: Amartya Sen and Adam Smith. From nthposition, "Isn't God a shit?": What is the difference between reading and misreading or translating and mistranslating? From The Smart Set, an article on handwashing, food, and existentialism. Global warming demands more than do-gooder actions — it demands "geoengineering", like blocking the sun's rays with stratospheric dirt. From The Guardian, an interview with Salman Rushdie. From Popular Mechanics, can America find true happiness in a microcar? He pioneered the cult of youth and turned himself into a brand — no wonder Oscar Wilde is still seen as "one of us". A review of The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations by Brian Fagan. A review of Servants of the Supernatural: The Night Side of the Victorian Mind by Antonio Melechi. More and more on A Brief History of Anxiety (Yours and Mine) by Patricia Pearson. Stanley Fish blogs about French theory in America. Niall Ferguson reviews The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order by Parag Khanna (and more and more and more).  From Cafe Babel, a special issue on architecture in Europe. PR-savvy powerhouse or the media world's own Britney Spears? Read what it took semi-credible, self-made maelstrom Julia Allison to bumrush New York's media elite.

Nick Bostrom and Anders Sandberg (Oxford): The Wisdom of Nature: An Evolutionary Heuristic for Human Enhancement; Nick Bostrom and Toby Ord (Oxford): The Reversal Test: Eliminating Status Quo Bias in Applied Ethics; and an essay on The Future of Humanity. Here's a list of the world’s biggest construction projects. In Web world of 24/7 stress, writers blog till they drop: Professional bloggers toil under physical and emotional stress created by the Internet's around the clock demands. An article on sex and the music factor: Do tunes really turn you on? Glenn Greenwald introduces his new book, Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics. Is it wrong to make intelligent animal slaves? Ronald Bailey investigates. Pornography can be a harmless pleasure or a source of bitter resentment — how do you prevent the XXX explosion from undermining your relationship? Research suggests that college-age men confuse friendly non-verbal cues with cues for sexual interest. Eric Banks reviews Dennis Balk’s Colin De Land, American Fine Arts. Obama-ism without Obama: His campaign shows how a democracy-minded reform movement and community organizing have transformed the Democratic Party. Philosophy is being embraced by a new generation of college students as they try to make sense of a world full of moral dilemmas.

From The New Yorker, everyone wants to close Guantanamo, but what will happen to the detainees? Jeffrey Toobin wants to know; a review of Liberty of Conscience: In Defense of America’s Tradition of Religious Equality by Royall Tyler and Martha Nussbaum's Head to Heart: American Christianities; and an article on the effort behind George Clooney’s effortless charm. From New York, a special issue on The New York Canon: 1968-2008. A review of The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB's: A Secret History of Jewish Punk by Steven Lee Beeber. From Dissent, David Bensman on how neo-liberalism is leading the US to the brink of economic collapse; Avishai Margalit on why sectarianism is utterly incompatible with social democracy; the Turin Book Fair Controversy: Mitchell Cohen and Andrew Arato debate Israel and the Left; and Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow reviews Travels with Herodotus by Ryszard Kapuscinski (and more from Bookforum). From Think Tank, an interview with Tom Wolfe on the Derriere Guard; an interview with Daniel Gross, author of Pop! Why Bubbles are Great for the Economy; and an interview with Elon Musk on the frontier of technology. From TED, Stephen Hawking asks some big questions about our universe. Bryan Walsh reviews Jiang Rong’s Wolf Totem. Here's a list of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize winners (which include Junot Diaz for fiction).

Is Briana Waters a terrorist? In an alarming case, U.S. attorneys exploited post-9/11 counterterrorism laws to pursue and prosecute an environmental activist. A review of Reclaiming Conservatism: How a Great American Political Movement Got Lost—And How It Can Find Its Way Back by Mickey Edwards. John McWhorter reviews Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card—and Lose by Larry Elder. A review of The Sexual Paradox: Troubled Boys, Gifted Girls, and the Real Difference Between the Sexes by Susan Pinker (and more). Guess who's back? Old flames still smolder, especially when they're early love affairs, which leave a particularly vivid mark in our minds. An interview with Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. I'm With Stupid: An article on the perennially embattled free speech zone over our chests. Chris Mooney reviews Doubt is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health by David Michaels. A look at what it will really take to stop global warming. A review of Conquest: How Societies Overwhelm Others by David Day. From The Root, a look at Tyler Perry's conservative tent revival; and an article on Tyler Perry, Rev. Wright and the end of the chitlin circuit. Terror U: What's behind the boom in homeland-security and emergency-management majors?

From the Journal of World-Systems Research, David Scott (Brunel): The 21st Century as Whose Century?; and a review of The World System and the Earth System: Global Socioenvironmental Change and Sustainability Since the Neolithic. The introduction (and Problems 1 and 2) to Digital Dice: Computational Solutions to Practical Probability Problems by Paul J. Nahin. The introduction to One Day That Shook the Communist World: The 1956 Hungarian Uprising and Its Legacy by Paul Lendvai. MBAs in Madrid: An article on the rise of the European B-School. From the latest issue of Foucault Studies, Timothy O'Leary (Hong Kong): Foucault, Experience, Literature; an interview with Colin Gordon on The Foucault Effect in the English-speaking world; a review of On the Use and Abuse of Foucault for Politics by Brent Pickett; a review of Foucault, Freedom and Sovereignty by Sergei Prozorov; a review of Foucault on Freedom by Johanna Oksala; and a review of The Modern Self in the Labyrinth: Politics and the Entrapment Imagination by Eyal Chowers. A review of The Economic Naturalist by Robert H Frank; The Logic of Life by Tim Harford; and The Dismal Science by Stephen A Marglin. Whether denouncing France's art establishment, shocking 19th century sensibilities or challenging Napoleon III, Gustave Courbet never held back.