A new issue of the Caucasian Review of International Affairs is out. An interview with Nigar Hasan-Zadeh on books on Azerbaijan. A review of A Little War That Shook the World: Georgia, Russia, and the Future of the West by Ronald Asmus. Panic in Georgia after a mock news broadcast (and more). Chronicles of a Soviet Capitalist: Twenty years later, Georgian writer Irakli Iosebashvili recalls the pursuit of money in the years immediately after the Iron Curtain came down (and part 2). Post-Soviet integration: Sergei Markedonov assesses the performance of the Commonwealth of Independent States (and part 2). Christopher Marsh and Nikolas K. Gvosdev on the persistence of Eurasia. An article on the evolution of Russia, as seen from McDonald’s. From FP, an artile on Dagestan, Russia's most overlooked hot spot. A fairy tale of the Soviet monolith: Ex-Soviets confuse the memory of their innocent youth for their nation's utopian vision. Perestroika Lost: Mikhail Gobachev on how Russia must regain the freedoms lost over the last 25 years to “shock therapy” and the iron grip of Russian leaders who opted for a more radical version of reform. The Russian Navy revitalized: Moscow will use sea power in its quest for greater world influence. From LRB, Keith Gessen reviews The Quality of Freedom: Khodorkovsky, Putin and the Yukos Affair by Richard Sakwa. Maxim Trudolyubov on Russia's new media paradox. Who is Russia's top intellectual? Throughout Russian and Soviet history, the intellectual has played a central and hugely influential role in society — today, that has changed. From THES, a review of Zhivago's Children: The Last Russian Intelligentsia by Vladislav Zubok (and more). A review of Stalin in Russian Satire, 1917-1991 by Karen L. Ryan. An interview with Ian Christie on books on Russian cinema.

From FT, lessons from the collapse of Bear Stearns: Never again will bankers be able to argue that what is good for Citigroup is good for America, or what is good for RBS is good for the UK; and the truth about speculators — they are doing God’s work: Speculation is to financial markets what claptrap is to the political system, absolutely crucial. What if?: The book gives way to the download, and solitary reading transforms into virtual conversations. Benjamin Kunkel remembers Giovanni Arrighi. Girls Just Want to Have Fun: An article on polyandry in Malaysia. Can't Wait 'Til Tax Day: It's a heretical thought, but would people pay more taxes if they could designate where a portion of their money went? Life returns to an eerie Chernobyl: In the radioactive realm at ground zero of history's worst nuclear disaster, nature reclaims its territory — and a few defiant old folks are calling it home again (and part 2). Library of Congress curator Mark Dimunation is on a worldwide mission to find exact copies of the books that belonged to Thomas Jefferson. Reconstructing a Lost Library: George Wythe’s "legacie" to President Thomas Jefferson. From JASSS, reviews of books on networks and complexity. Not tonight, honey: An excerpt from Sexy Orchids Make Lousy Lovers & Other Unusual Relationships by Marty Crump. Hampton Stevens on the short and brutal life of a Nascar engine. Smart debt, dumb debt: Because we never face up to how much we need government to do, there is a pathetic quality to our discussion of big deficits. It's not our debt that's unsustainable, it's our politics. Luc Foisneau on the French philosophers eclipsed by rationalism. Algebra in Wonderland: The other-worldly events in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland can be interpreted as satire on 19th-century advances in mathematics (and more).

From Human Life Review, an essay on Abortion: Conscience, Crisis, and the Church. The right to hate Angie Jackson's choice: An abortion-rights pioneer (who was excommunicated by the Catholic Church) says this isn't what she fought for (and more). Former Bryan Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson’s abrupt change from pro-choice activist to pro-life spokesperson turned her into a talk show sensation — but is her story true? Hitler as a "pro-life" poster child: Activists in Poland equate terminating a pregnancy with Nazism. "Abortion changes you": A dishonest antiabortion campaign premieres in New York City's subway. The film Maafa 21, which anti-abortion activists are screening to black audiences across the country, tries to link reproductive rights to eugenics — but it’s wrong. Controversial Georgia billboard campaign links abortion to race, says black children "endangered". From Slate, William Saletan and on the selective crusade against black women's abortions and on the pro-life case for pregnancy termination. Beyond Privacy: Reproductive rights advocates are fighting state-level abortion restrictions with creative litigation — and winning. The trouble with protesting the Tim Tebow ad: all most people see is pro-choicers trying to shut up a brave mother and her son. Why do male pro-lifers speak their minds while pro-choice guys stay silent? A review of Dispatches From the Abortion Wars by Carole Joffe. By Representative Bart Stupak's logic, the government is "subsidizing abortion" by building roads, developing medicine and providing childcare. Why Stupak is wrong: The Senate bill doesn't fund abortions — here's why he thinks it does. A brain scanning technology called MEG is being used to track the function of unborn babies' brains as they grow inside the womb until after they've been born.

Stefan Huster (RUB): Cognitive Limits and the Beginning of Life: An Objection against the Identity Argument. From Forward, Devra Ferst on how Curious George fought the Nazis; and Tuli Kupferberg is Yiddish-speaking 60’s rebel, an unrepentant anarcho-pacifist at 86. Rule of Law, Misrule of Men: Elaine Scarry on why we must prosecute Bush administration officials. Horse power: A review of Russia Against Napoleon: The Battle for Europe, 1807 to 1814 by Dominic Lieven (and more). Nicole Rudick reviews Baba Yaga Laid an Egg by Dubravka Ugresic. Jonathan Rauch on the decline of a parent: Millions of middle-aged Americans are silently struggling to cope with a crisis that needs to be plucked from the realm of the personal and brought into full public view. Literary history is littered with old friends like Anna Ford and Martin Amis feuding by letter. With their afternoon tea, brogue accents, and fields of diddle-dee, just who do the Falklands Islanders think they are? Fantastic Man has been hugely influential on the men’s magazine market — can its new sister The Gentlewoman have a similar effect? An interview with Nancy Abelmann, author of The Intimate University: Korean American Students and the Problems of Segregation. A review of The Cultural Capital of Asian American Studies: Autonomy and Representation in the University by Mark Chiang (and more). The History of the Honey Trap: Five lessons for would-be James Bonds and Bond girls — and the men and women who would resist them. The Venus Project is a future design for humanity and the Planet Earth that rests on the foundations of compassion, freedom, unbridled technological innovation, education and the transition from a monetary-based economy and into a resource-based one.

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From The Space Review, Jeff Foust on the exoplanet explosion. Looking for life in the shadows: The search for a second Earth gets serious. The first chapter from How to Find a Habitable Planet by James Kasting. At a Cambridge alien conference, scientists warn of an invisible Earth and hostile ETs. What if the aliens decide they don’t like us? Hello ET, we come in peace: The advantages of advertising our existence to the universe outweigh the risks. Do you speak alien? Stephen Battersby on exolanguage. What aliens really look like: Portrait gallerys of the most common Alien sightings around the world. Extraterrestial Ethics: What obligations do we owe to the various life forms we send there, or those we might discover? According to Michael Mautner, Research Professor of Chemistry at Virginia Commonwealth University, seeding the universe with life is not just an option, it’s our moral obligation. What aliens look like: Will they be super-smart predators, glass-veined acid-dwellers or giant microbial blobs? A look at why extra-terrestrials are likely to possess human foibles such as greed, violence and a tendency to exploit others' resources. From the National Catholic Reporter, the Truth is out there; extraterrestrials, probably not (and a response). Aliens can't hear us: Fainter broadcasting signals and digital switchover mean Earth will soon be undetectable to extraterrestrials. As SETI approaches its 50th anniversary, three books tackle the question of why we have not yet found evidence of alien intelligence. The man who'll welcome aliens: Jon Ronson meets Paul Davies, the scientist with an awesome responsibility. A review of The Eerie Silence: Are We Alone In The Universe? by Paul Davies (and more).