A new issue of Economic Sociology is out. David M. Levy (CSPC) and Sandra J. Peart (Jepson): Economists, Crises and Cartoons. From the latest issue of Regulation, Richard B. McKenzie writes In Defense of Monopoly: Market power fosters creative destruction; and Richard A. Epstein on Takings Law Made Hard: A novel property rights challenge is a constitutional morass. America's Nastiest CEO: Think business journalists are too timid? Look what happens when you go after a struggling firm. An excerpt from The Devil’s Casino: Friendship, Betrayal, and the High Stakes Games Played Inside Lehman Brothers by Vicky Ward. Seth Hettena reviews The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis (and more and more and more and more and more). A look at 5 economic collapses more ridiculous than this one. Will the Senate keep subsidizing Wall Street to the tune of billions of dollars a year? James Surowiecki on private equity’s egregious tax loophole. From The New Yorker, Larissa MacFarquhar on how Paul Krugman found politics. A review of The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby (and more and more). The fable of market meritocracy: Markets don't reward smart people — they reward value. How far would you go for 5 cents? Charging a nickel for every bag at the grocery store has created "a behavioral economist's dream". The first chapter form The Calculus of Selfishness by Karl Sigmund. Financial crises always spark interest in marginal critics of the system; one that’s attracted interest on the left is Ellen Brown, who’s got a book and a website called Web of Debt (and part 2). The success of the stimulus bill is noteworthy as another is weighed. Richard Posner on the real danger of debt: The United States is deep in the red — and doesn't have the political tools to get out.

From the inaugural issue of The Evolutionary Review, Brian Boyd on the origins of comics. From New Scientist, beyond torture: A special section on the future of interrogation. It seems that what our present day plight calls for is not so much a Robber Baron revival as a new golden age of muckraking. Louis Hartz was wrong: While we did not inherit a European feudalism, we have made an American one. Was structuralism, the big idea of Claude Levi-Strauss, more cult than science? Apostolos Doxiadis, Alecos Papadatos and Annie Di Donna — the team behind the bestselling graphic novel Logicomix — investigate. Underwear as Outerwear: Women have been flaunting their underwear for so long now we raise nary an eyebrow at the sighting of a g-string; but men were displaying their undies long before women even raised their hemlines. It’s tempting, in surveying the history of podiatry, to focus only on the grandeur. The Age of Concrete: Tall structures like Dubai’s Burj Khalifa provide remarkable insights about the aspirations of the societies that created them. Responsibility for the illegal brutality inflicted on CIA and Guantanamo detainees cannot be limited to Yoo and Bybee; the essential lesson must be that torture and cruel treatment are not policy options — even when a lawyer is willing to write an opinion blessing illegality. From Moment, an article on the true story of Jews and Freemasons. If you can’t move your face, can you still act with it? How plastic surgery has caused acting to be more stilted, stylized, and masklike. Leon Wieseltier is in search of the sublime in Washington, D.C. Is the pope his brother's keeper? Benedict XVI reeling from fallout of a growing priest abuse scandal in Germany that involves his brother.

From The New Yorker, Timothy Geithner’s financial plan is working — and making him very unpopular. Is Geithner a courageous public servant doing the right thing, or have his years as a player in global finance made him loath to change an industry that needs fundamental reform? From The New York Times Magazine, Rahm Emmanuel was chosen as White House chief of staff because he could make things happen — what happened? (and more and more at The Washington Post and more at The New Yorker and more at The New Republic). Mark Schmitt on the case against the case against Rahm. Rahm Emanuel can thank the president for the attention he's getting. Unready for his close-up? Rahm Emanuel does not — repeat: does not — control the media. From Democracy, a special section on "The Liberal Moment: What Happened?", with contributions by Michael Sandel, Danielle Allen, William Galston, Martha Nussbaum and more. When Democrats take power, paranoia blooms: Ignorant, frightened people are notoriously easy to fool — enter Glenn Beck (the new Abbie Hoffman) and a host of other fast-talkers. No, we’re not a broken people: How to overcome an acute sense of defeatism. Kim R. Holmes (Heritage): Beware Our Rousseauian Imaginer in Chief. David Brooks on how Barack Obama never has been what political partisans make him out to be. Hate Sells: Matt Pressman on why liberal magazines are suffering under Obama. Beyond pale, male and stale: Why legacy progressive media must reinvent themselves to remain relevant. A review of The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History With the President by Taylor Branch. More and more and more and more and more and more on Ken Gormley's The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr.

Eric Lawrence, John Sides, and Henry Farrell (GWU): Self-Segregation or Deliberation? Blog Readership, Participation, and Polarization in American Politics. A snake had just slithered into a sauropod's nesting ground, looking for dinner, but a sudden landslide enveloped and killed all involved, as stunning fossils show. Lawyers, Terror & Torture: Liz Cheney's witch hunt against lawyers who represented Guantanamo detainees is a new low. The rock star professor: Who is Farish Noor, this man who gives attention-grabbing quotes on controversial subjects and writes books that make politicians sit up and take notice? Greek Mess, Global Mess: The blame game over Greece's crisis misses the bigger problem — what is happening is a world-wide game of chicken. Ulysses S. Grant deserves his spot on the $50 bill and among our greatest presidents. Dirty tricks of the egg and sperm race: You might think the battle of the sexes is over once mating occurs — but it's just shifted to a new, microscopic arena. An ongoing battle between Rupert Murdoch, Silvio Berlusconi and Muammar al-Gaddafi involves adult television programming, an ultraviolent war film, and lots of money and bitterness flying around. From GQ, Hello, America: An interview with Rielle Hunter. Too much practice: William H. Willimon has second thoughts on a theological movement. The Liveliest Mind in New York: Tony Judt’s dazzling, cantankerous brain is one of New York’s great treasures — now, two years into a devastating battle with ALS, it is all he has left (and his latest at NYRB: Girls! Girls! Girls!). The Penguin story is a great publishing story but its latest campaign is less a celebration of a world-changing event and more a part of the ongoing battle for market share among the major publishers.

And check out Paper Trail, Bookforum's new blog on publishing, literature, and our favorite authors.

From Antiquity, a review essay on human origins, a not so modest affair. Studies of hominid fossils, like 4.4-million-year-old "Ardi," are changing ideas about human origins. An independent team has found that Darwinius masillae, hyped last year as the eighth wonder of the world, is not our ancestor. A look at how DNA evidence tells "global story" of human history. From Scientific American, a panel of scientists challenges what it is to be distinctly human and retraces the evolutionary steps that bipedal apes made to attain human traits; research suggests early humans used brain power, innovation and teamwork to dominate the planet; and what can past climate change reveal about human adaptation? An interview with Rick Potts, the Smithsonian anthropologist who turned heads in scientific circles when he proposed that climate change was the driving force in human evolution. Human culture, an evolutionary force: Biologists are finding evidence that culture has been interacting with genes to shape human evolution. Move Over Darwin: Rachel Armstrong on systems evolution and bio feminism. Eric Michael Johnson (UBC): Deconstructing Social Darwinism. Cachet of the Cutthroat: Social Darwinism isn't only morally wrong; it doesn't even perform the function it claims to perform — fostering real competition. From RSA Journal, Franz de Waal on how bad biology killed the economy: An unnatural culture of greed and fear has brought the global economy to its knees — we need to start playing to our pro-social strengths (and Edward Dolnick reviews The Age of Empathy by Frans de Waal; and more and more); and David Sloan Wilson on policymaking the Darwinist way: We need to shed our prehistoric policymaking practices and turn to evolution for guidance.