From National Journal, pick a number and set a deadline—it's President Bush's way of managing everything from space shots to gasoline consumption; and if history is any guide, the next president will attempt to follow through on the vast majority of pledges made on the campaign trail. From TED, Helen Fisher talks about the brain in love. As Spain takes one great step forward for animal rights and liberty, activists elsewhere are persecuted. A review of For the Love of Animals: The Rise of the Animal Protection Movement by Kathryn Shevelow. A review of Political Hypocrisy: The Mask of Power, from Hobbes to Orwell and Beyond by David Runciman. John McCain styles himself as a Teddy Roosevelt Republican, but he's taken exactly the wrong lessons from TR. Turning panic into opportunity: How to tell when markets may have hit bottom. A review of Glamour: A History by Stephen Gundle. From Carson to McKibben, Mowat to Monbiot, the environmental movement can be traced in the rich history of its books. Polar bears could face extinction — so why not pack a few off to Antarctica, where the sea ice will never run out? A review of Carole Travis-Henikoff's Dinner With a Cannibal: The Complete History of Mankind's Oldest Taboo. Its economy may be booming, but Nigeria is convulsed by a personality clash between its old president and his successor.

From Disputatio, a special issue on normativity and rationality. From Modern Age, to turn to Christopher Lasch’s oeuvre today is to be struck forcefully by its refreshing independence. An excerpt from American Pests: The Losing War on Insects from Colonial Times to DDT by James E. McWilliams. One blueprint for Obama: A review of Enhancing Government by Erwin Chemerinsky. An excerpt from Collections of Nothing by William Davies King (and more). From The Washington Monthly, how black Baltimore drug dealers are using white supremacist legal theories to confound the Feds; and Kevin Drum reviews Grand New Party by Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam (and an excerpt). From The New York Sun, here are 63 signs of recession: "23. A-Rod and Madonna re-heat last night's Kung Pao Chicken before early evening Kabbalah class". A review of Free Speech and Human Dignity by Steven J. Heyman. The forgotten tradition of the antiwar right: W. James Antle reviews Ain’t My America by Bill Kauffman. Forget Wii Fit and Perfect Pushup suction cups; to get in shape, go back to the original fitness guru Charles Atlas, "the world's most perfectly developed man". A review of Cars for Comrades: The Life of the Soviet Automobile by Lewis H. Siegelbaum. Island savages: How Britons became the angry men of Europe—and how to calm them down.

From Conversations with History, an interview with Philip Bobbitt on a new interpretation of terrorism; an interview with Bart Ehrman on how the Bible explains the problem of human suffering; and an interview with Annabel Patterson on the power of words and the power over words. From National Journal, a look at the abortion and gay rights positions of McCain and Obama. From ARPA, why the American alliance should not be the holy grail of Australian foreign policy.  From The Smart Set, we're in a period of biography overkill, with the James family its latest victims. Slate introduces "Open Book", a literary video collaboration with NYU. From The Times, here's a list of the 50 outstanding literary translations from the last 50 years. A review of Blood Matters: A Journey Along the Genetic Frontier by Masha Gessen. An excerpt from Spiral Jetta: A Road Trip through the Land Art of the American West by Erin Hogan (and an interview). The oddly powerless "global power elite": More on Superclass by David Rothkopf. More and more on ID: The Quest for Identity in the 21st Century by Susan Greenfield. Research suggests first Europeans shunned Neanderthal sex. John McCain's approach to terrorism is almost as old as he is, a true relic of the Cold War. From universal empire to the world state: An excerpt from Unjust Justice by Chantal Delsol.