The Failure of History: Twenty years ago, a wall came down all over Europe — George Watson recalls the idea that fell. A review of The Red Flag: A History of Communism by David Priestland (and more and more and more and more). Daniel Bensaid on the powers of communism. An interview with Tariq Ali on The Idea of Communism. A review of Engels: A Revolutionary Life by John Green and Marx’s General: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels by Tristram Hunt (and more and more). From Links, an article on Rosa Luxemburg and Marxist politics. Paul Kellogg (Trent): Leninism: It's Not What You Think. A review of Conspirator: Lenin in Exile by Helen Rappaport. A review of Stalin's Nemesis: The Exile and Murder of Leon Trotsky by Bertrand Patenaude (and more and more and more and more) and Trotsky: A Biography by Robert Service (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). A review of The Marxism of Leon Trotsky by Kunal Chattopadhyay and Western Marxism and the Soviet Union by Marcel van der Linden. Peter Thomas on the revolutionary ideas of Antonio Gramsci (and more). What is Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism?: Only then, can one understand what Maoism is all about. An interview with Stephen Lucas on Soviet law. An interview with Robert Service on books on Totalitarian Russia. Maurice Isserman takes measure of the unlamented socialist paradise, twenty years after its demise (and more on the Velvet Philosophical Revolution). Now that Marxism is dead, so it is said, we can read Marx afresh — yet to do so, previous interpretations of Marx need to be corrected. Why did Communism end when it did? Archie Brown discusses the contributions of historians to the understanding of Communism and why it failed.

Emma Short and Isabella McMurray (Bedfordshire): Mobile Phone Harassment: An Exploration of Students’ Perceptions of Intrusive Texting Behavior. From Z Magazine, Laurence H. Shoup on finance capitalists, the CFR, and the Obama administration; Laura Kiesel on the environmental colonialism of Fiji Water and the Vatukoula Dump; and an interview with Helena Norberg-Hodge, director of the International Society for Ecology and Culture. From Cabinet, an interview with Angie Hobbs on the philosophical history of friendship. The pieces of the puzzle are falling into place: Marci Hamilton on Catholic officials, a global web of childhood sexual abuse, and the judgment of history. A look at 6 insane coincidences you won't believe actually happened. Ten years after Elian Gonzalez sparked an international crisis between the US and Cuba, Ed Vulliamy returns to Little Havana to chart the incredible story of a family tug of war that changed the course of history. From NYRB, Tony Judt on identity and "edge people". American Communion: Johnny Cash thought his recording career was over — then he met legendary producer Rick Rubin. Searching for Saddam: Why social network analysis hasn't led us to Osama Bin Laden. From Antiquity, a review of books on roads archaeology. The Bird, the Wave, and the Shaka: Tom Vanderbilt on reading the informal language of road signals. A review of Reinventing the Automobile: Personal Urban Mobility for the 21st Century by William J. Mitchell, Christopher E. Borroni-Bird, and Lawrence D. Burns and Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt (and review by Geoff Nicholson at Bookforum). From Grist, an interview with James Inhofe, Senate’s top skeptic, explains his climate-hoax theory.

From CNN, a special report on Broken Government. From Time, Richard Stengel on fixing our broken government in Washington; and Peter Beinart on why Washington is tied up in knots. From Newsweek, the system’s not to blame, says Jon Meacham — we are. America the Ungovernable? Nonsense, says Charles Krauthammer. The system isn't broken: Partisanship is par for the course. We confront our crisis in a market-driven culture that's suspicious of public sector solutions — and more, of the very idea of the public. A review of I Do Solemnly Swear: The Moral Obligations of Legal Officials by Stephen Sheppard. Mathematicians have made progress in transforming the lazy bureaucrat into a collection of formulas, theorems and proofs. How much should a government employee make? Scott Brown is the latest to mount an attack on "lavish" federal wages — yet another version of the conservative attack on government. A look at how public servants became our masters. Research suggests power corrupts, but it corrupts only those who think they deserve it. Is it corrupt to be grateful? A campaign finance case shows that rationing political activity flies in the face of the Founders' design. Beyond campaign finance: There are ways to ease the two-party stranglehold on our political system, but they require taking a broader approach. How long have politicians wanted to "change the culture of Washington"? What will make people trust government again? Washington’s deficit of trust: Democrats need to counter the narrative of government incompetence. What happens when one party does not see a political upside in solving problems and has the power to keep those problems from being solved? The Nihilist Right: Andrew Sargus Klein on what happens when elected officials stop governing.

The inaugural issue on Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture is out. New Orleans Bounce: What do sissy rappers, sandwiches and Home Depot have in common? From The Humanist, Clayton Whitt on what we talk about when we talk about torture; an interview with Gore Vidal; an interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History (and more); an “eco” systems approach: Reproductive rights go green; a look at how Star Trek can make you an atheist; and an article on naked pumpkins, sex offenders, and terrorists. From The Nation, an interview with Martha Nussbaum, author of From Disgust to Humanity: Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law. Sarah Manguso on writing about not writing, the honest failure, shame, and the sharp self-awareness that comes after failing to write about anything other than failing to write. Statistical time travel helps to answer what-ifs: Researchers devise systems to explore how Supreme Court justices and baseball players compare with their predecessors (and more). From Freedom Daily, Wendy McElroy on the political philosophy of Oscar Wilde. The Kookiest Inventions: Ever had a weird idea for a product? Check out what passes muster with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A look at why the American service sector is all about servitude. From Vanity Fair, a look at the unlikely life and sudden death of The Exile, Russia’s angriest newspaper. Bruce Ackerman on how to keep future John Yoos under control. From WSJ, Eric Felten writes in praise of inefficiency. An interview with Stephen Wolfram: "I'm an information pack rat". Skateboards now hang in galleries, but are they wheelie art?

From Axess, a special issue on architecture for our time, including Theodore Dalrymple on the Inhumane Le Corbusier: He belongs more to criminal history than to architectural history; and in contrast to an antiquated modernism that clings to large-scale construction, classic town plans have been created that take into account local conditions and traditions. A look at how Daniel Libeskind's new prefab house crosses style with speed. The field of architecture is structured in such a way that it keeps the status quo — white, economically privileged men — firmly in place. From NYRB, a review of Alvar Aalto: Architecture, Modernity, and Geopolitics by Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen; and Martin Filler on House Life in a Koolhaas. An article on Christopher Alexander, an achitectural theorist who has inspired smart-growth advocates, counterculture DIY-ers, and computer programmers. Ian Volner reviews Why Architecture Matters by Paul Goldberger (and more and more). From The New Yorker, Paul Goldberger on Jeanne Gang and architecture’s anti-divas. The case of an avant-garde architect, who defied then assisted the Nazi machine, makes hard and fast judgments difficult. A review of Unpacking My Library: Architects and their Books. An interview with Jeremy Till on books about architecture. Whatever it is, I'm against it: Ian Volner on "Ten Days for Oppositional Architecture". The BBC's Great White Elephant: A look at how new media buildings rapidly become old media. An interview with Tony Candido, architect, painter. A look at hallucinatory architecture of the future. Haiti as architectural wake-up call: A major disaster — and a few success stories — show architecture is the problem and the solution for earthquake-prone cities. What does architecture mean now — like, right now?