From Axess, politics is looking for new ways: A look at how it is think tanks, not politicians, that push the development of ideas and put forward exciting proposals and reports; a look at financiers want to direct research; an article on lobbying, democracy and the right to exert influence; and “Right-wing dominance is disturbing”: An interview with Per Wirten, publisher of Arena. From Kulturos Barai, an article on how, in the consumerist system, the individual who asserts him or herself through authentic freedom is regarded as a non-efficient citizen. An interview with Josh MacPhee and Favianna Rodriguez, editors of Reproduce and Revolt: A Graphic Toolbox for the 21st Century Activist. Fun with art: Jonathon Keats makes art that makes you think — how much is that worth? A review of The Kingmakers: How the Media Threatens Our Security and Our Democracy by Mike Gravel and David Eisenbach. Bruce Ackerman and Ian Ayres on fixing the system Obama broke. and Amanda Schaffer and Emily Bazelon examine the science behind claims about sex difference and the brain. The jokes on U.S.: American women are standing up to be counted. An article on gay pride and patriotism: The fight for the right to serve. The first chapter from The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945–1989 by Nicholas J. Cull.

From Diplomatic Courier, an article on what peace with Iran could look like. Inside China's illegal fight clubs: Meet the products of Mao's one-child policy, a generation of dangerously unstable bachelors looking to vent. Michael Walzer on US foreign policy after January 2009 (If Obama wins). From TAP, Michael Tomasky on the Party in Search of a Notion: The opportunity before the Democrats is far bigger than a few House and Senate seats if they can recognize — and seize — this unique historical moment. The two parties have starkly contrasting views of what it means to love your country — can they be reconciled? Peter Beinart wants to know. From Slate, David Greenberg on how the Republicans claimed the "patriotism" mantle in presidential politics. This July 4th James Livingston is asking: Is Bill Kristol a Bolshevik? From National Journal, the nation's roads and bridges are in pretty good shape — it's the national will that is suspect. Be Ye Therefore Perfect: An article on perfection as a moral standard. Eric Banks reviews Original Sin: A Cultural History by Alan Jacobs. From The Weekly Standard, a review of books on genetic engineering. From NDPR, a review of Human Nature: The Categorial Framework by P.M.S. Hacker; a review of Rational Animals: The Teleological Roots of Intentionality by Mark Okrent; and a review of Immortality Defended by John Leslie.

From ResetDOC, Jurgen Habermas on a “post-secular” society; and where is Benedict XVI's church going? Former Rep. Curt Weldon tests legal bounds in Middle East arms bazaar. From The Nation, as the planet is rocked by multiple shocks, here's a look at how disaster capitalists are reaping the benefits—leveraging the Iraq War, the push for arctic drilling and the global food crisis; and a review of books by Bill McKibben. From Foreign Policy, from Seoul to Tegucigalpa, countries around the world celebrate their independence with unique and vibrant style (and more). Who runs the world? The post-war global institutions have largely worked well, but rising countries and growing threats are challenging their pre-eminence. Does Osama bin Laden still matter? Peter Bergen wants to know. Holy Bookworms! Superheroes take to the page (and from Bookforum, Karin L. Kross reviews Douglas Wolk’s Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean; an essay on Rodolphe Topffer, inventor of the graphic novel; a look at the work of Jack Kirby; and article on Fletcher Hanks’s bleak comics vision). Charles Babbage's 1822 design for a mechanical "difference engine", the world's first computer, was never actually constructed — until now. A look at how the ’60s begin to fade as liberal professors retire. Education for profit: Why is everyone flaming the University of Phoenix?