From Scientific American, a cover story on Science 2.0: Is open access science the future? An excerpt from A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion by Catherine L. Albanese. Does language shape what we perceive or are our perceptions pure sensory impressions?  An excerpt from Shut Up, I'm Talking: And Other Diplomacy Lessons I Learned in the Israeli Government by Gregory Levey. How Republicans quietly hijacked the Justice Department to swing elections: An excerpt from Loser Take All. An excerpt from Pierre Manent's Democracy without Nations? The Fate of Self-Government in Europe (and part 2). Yona Zeldis McDonough reviews Louise Erdrich’s The Plague of Doves. The hazards of telling the truth: A review of History Lesson: A Race Odyssey by Mary Lefkowitz. Looking at the US often encourages proto-paranoia suppositions and scenarios — and no wonder, reading some of recent books on the American way. The coming hunger: Was Malthus right? Are we getting too numerous to feed ourselves? Technology may have changed the way we obtain music, but as Nick Hornby's High Fidelity reminds us, it can never alter our love affair with the medium. What drove so many Libyans to volunteer as suicide bombers for the war in Iraq? A visit to their hometown—the dead-end city of Darnah.

From CRB, Harvey Mansfield reviews Leo Strauss and the Politics of Exile: the Making of a Political Philosopher by Eugene R. Sheppard and Leo Strauss: An Intellectual Biography by Daniel Tanguay; Ramesh Ponnuru reviews The Big Con by Jonathan Chait; a review of The Two Faces of Liberalism: How the Hoover-Roosevelt Debate Shapes the 21st Century; a review of Marriage and Caste in America: Separate and Unequal Families in a Post-Marital Age by Kay S. Hymowitz and The Future of Marriage by David Blankenhorn; and a review of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution by Kevin R.C. Gutzman. Patrick McGrath reviews Aleksandar Hemon's The Lazarus Project. From Wired, a series of articles on memory and brainpower. Is this green enough? How much are we willing to spend to save the planet? An interview with Daniel Gilbert, Professor Happiness. A review of Posthumous Keats by Stanley Plumly. A review of books on visual politics, and a review of books on Wall Street. New research from a Harvard scholar suggests that Africa's economic woes may have their roots in the slave trade. A review of Folk Psychological Narratives: The Sociocultural Basis of Understanding Reasons by Daniel D. Hutto. For two-thirds of its history, Homo sapiens lived exclusively in Africa — only now are the details of that period becoming clear.

From TED, Yochai Benkler on open-source economics. Rules vs. principles: James Surowiecki on regulatory overhauls. Shankar Vedantam on what Obama might learn from Emily Dickinson. George W. Bush as he now appears in a history book: An excerpt from The American President by Kathryn Moore. Is religion a threat to rationality and science? Daniel Dennett and Robert Winston debate. What are the psychological "rules" of bartering, and why things cost $19.95? Ghosts from a small island: At its very heart, Manhattan never really changes. From The Nation, a review of books on the Second Amendment; and Leaving Cheyenne Mountain: Post-cold war America is looking a lot like the former Soviet Union. Lorraine Adams reviews James Meeks' We Are Now Beginning Our Descent. The first chapter from Cop in the Hood: My Year Policing Baltimore's Eastern District by Peter Moskos (and a blog). From Discover, the thrill-seeker's travel guide: 5 difficult journeys to excite even the bravest science buff; and here are 20 things you didn’t know about recycling. A look at how social networking could kill Web search as we know it. David Gordon reviews Morality and Political Violence by CAJ Coady. The dirty truth about plastic: BPA and other plastics may be as harmful as they are plentiful. The GOP on the verge of imploding: A look at how radicalism has forced the GOP to retreat.