From LRB, John Gray reviews The Conservative Party: From Thatcher to Cameron by Tim Bale and Back from the Brink: The Inside Story of the Tory Resurrection by Peter Snowdon; a review of Red Tory: How Left and Right Have Broken Britain and How We Can Fix It by Phillip Blond; John Lanchester on the Great British Economy Disaster; and a review essay on human rights in Great Britain. Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire, regrets the passing of the stiff upper lip, but Christopher Howse wonders if upper lips can't sometimes be too stiff. Why do British comedians not talk about black people, and when is a Hitler moustache funny? From FT, John Lloyd on a social vision for the world after socialism: Capitalism need not conform to Adam Smith’s rules of marketplace behaviour as interpreted by our financial masters of the universe. The sperm lottery: Labour is obsessed with redistribution and the Tories with inheritance tax — what is to be done? Blahspeak: Stefan Collini reviews Unleashing Aspiration: The Final Report of the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions; British Social Attitudes: The 26th Report; and An Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK: Report of the National Equality Panel. A review of Is God Still an Englishman?: How We Lost Our Faith (But Found New Soul) by Cole Moreton. A review of Olympic Cities: 2012 and the Remaking of London. Olympic host cities have a poor track record when it comes to urban regeneration, but the 2012 Games can be different — if we allow for a little DIY alongside the big developers. Hari Kunzru on London Underground: Like any large city, London is a place of subcultures, most of which don’t find a place in mainstream lives or in mainstream writing. A review of The English Marriage: Tales of Love, Money and Adultery by Maureen Waller.

Joseph W. Dellapenna (Villanova): Behind the Red Curtain: Environmental Concerns and the End of Communism. From The New York Observer, Leon Neyfakh on the Yaliens among us. From the Annals of Improbable Research, a look at a study on taking a shower in youth hostels and the risks and delights of heterogeneity. Have you read Heidegger's Sein und Zeit? Scott McLemee on a swearing rabbit, or puppy, or whatever it is. Switzerland has been gripped by the story of a senior consultant with light fingers in his genes; Laura Spinney reports from Lausanne. From Dissent, Marcellus Andrews on the political economy of the trapped: There is still hope for a different future, one in which a strong left-liberal party and movement help establish a place for itself by fighting for economic and social justice and slowly building its base. From Uncommon Knowledge, a look back at Christopher Hitchens and William F. Buckley Jr. on the Sixties (and part 2 and part 3 and part 4 and part 5). First Mother Teresa, then Henry Kissinger, now the pope — what is Christopher Hitchens’ problem? The Freeloaders: How a generation of file-sharers is ruining the future of entertainment. Jed Lipinski reviews Milk, Sulphate, and Alby Starvation by Martin Millar. The first chapter from Social Structures by John Levi Martin (and more). Can a resuscitated left-wing publication — a print publication! — thrive in the hostile economic conditions of 2010? The editors of The Baffler are betting it can. A world without planes: Philosopher, writer and recent writer-in-residence at Heathrow airport Alain de Botton imagines a world without aircraft. Theologian Hans Kung says the Catholic Church is in its in worst credibility crisis since Reformation. Rent-A-Front: A new group wages stealth astroturf battle against Wall Street reform.

The first chapter from Forbidden Fruit: Counterfactuals and International Relations by Richard Ned Lebow (and more). The first chapter from The Power of Legitimacy: Assessing the Role of Norms in Crisis Bargaining by Christopher Gelpi. The first chapter from How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace by Charles A. Kupchan. A review of Dominion from Sea to Sea: Pacific Ascendancy and American Power by Bruce Cumings. A panel on Superpower Illusions: How Myths and False Ideologies Led America Astray — and How to Return to Reality by Jack F. Matlock. America, the fragile empire: Here today, gone tomorrow — could the United States fall that fast? Forget those stories about Japan and Europe outpacing America. An excerpt from Shifting Superpowers: The New and Emerging Relationships Between the United States, China and India by Martin Sieff. A review of Cleo Paskal's Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic and Political Crises Will Redraw the World Map. From The National, for the world’s rising powers, co-operation holds more promise than renewed competition. Gillian Tett on the story of the Brics (and more and more). Obama's Tango: An article on restoring US leadership in Latin America. Henry Nau on Obama’s foreign policy: The swing away from Bush — how far to go? Michael Abramowitz and Lawrence Woocher on how genocide became a national security threat and what Barack Obama should do about it. The Obama Doctrine, Revisited: The administration's effort to transform American foreign policy has been much more successful abroad than it has been at home. The end of diplomacy: Once up a time, Americans achieved great things abroad — no longer (and a response). A short visual history of presidential BFFs, and why Obama needs his own global buddy.

Margaret A. Smith (KSC) and Joseph B. Berger (UMass): Women's Ways of Drinking: College Women, High-Risk Alcohol Use, and Negative Consequences. Lindsay Palmer (UC-Riverside): Gender as the Next Top Model of Global Consumer-Citizenship. From World History Connected, a special issue on women and world history. From Gender Forum, a special issue on eccentricity and gender. Christina Hoff Sommers on equal pay day reality check: The claim that American women as a group face systemic wage discrimination is groundless. Toril Moi on Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex (and more and more). Little Grrrls Lost: Angry, anti-capitalist punk girl bands power the economy. Revolution, Girl-Style — Shhh: Riot grrrl moves out of the streets and into the library. More on Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution in Music by Marisa Meltzer. Ready or not, Girl Comics is out. A review of Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggle of Incarcerated Women by Victoria Law. A review of Ariel Gore's Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness (and more). Sex and the single black woman: How the mass incarceration of black men hurts black women. Lisa Belkin on what her mother’s new life can teach us about the modern wife. Ursula Le Guin won the Hugo award with a thought experiment in sexual politics, The Left Hand of Darkness, but was she guilty of succumbing to sexism herself? A review of I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World by Eve Ensler. The case for open borders: Scott Locklin on foreign replacements for American women. The birth-control pill afforded us great freedom but also the anxiety that comes along with having so much control over procreation. A review of The Lolita Effect: The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What We Can Do About It by MG Durham.

Rusi Jaspal (London) and Adrian Coyle (

of Identity Threat . From Scientific American, an article on the neural advantage of speaking 2 languages. A look at how the transfer of brand names from one language market to another is inherently a tricky business. From On the Human, Terrence Deacon on rethinking the natural selection of human language. Is the world really poorer without Bo? The death of tribal languages is sometimes a good thing, revealing the itchy dynamism of human society. Could written language be rendered obsolete, and what should we demand in return? The puzzling paradox of sign language: It takes longer to sign words than to say them, so how is it possible to sign and speak at the same rate? A review of Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World’s Undeciphered Scripts by Andrew Robinson. They get to me: Psycholingist Jessica Love confesses her strong attraction to pronouns. The many voices of the web: New combinations of human and computer translation are making web pages available in foreign languages. Watch what you're saying! Linguist David Crystal on Twitter, texting and our native tongue. This thing we call language is fragile, it must not be taken for granted, and all of us need to pay careful attention to how we communicate, especially when it comes to the written word. From Triple Canopy, Joe Milutis on the primal violence and utopian trill of the rolled r, the most rrresilient of locutions. Present imperfect: Is the human brain ill adapted for language? Languages use different parts of brain, depending on grammar. The New Klingon: Without so much as a dictionary, Avatar fans are learning how to speak Na'vi. Languages are vanishing — so what? Maybe fewer languages would be better.

Chris Burgess (Tsuda): The "Illusion" of Homogeneous Japan and National Character. From Irrawaddy, Aung Zaw examines the undistinguished military career of Snr-Gen Than Shwe, Burma's absolute ruler; and advising Burma’s generals on how to run the country’s economy is a risky business. An interview with Dilip Hiro, author of Inside Central Asia. The Party's Over: Gordon G. Chang on China's endgame. The political trends behind Malaysia's recent "Allah" controversy could undermine the delicate sociocultural balance in one of the Muslim world's most developed nations. The mother of all dictatorships: To understand North Korea, look not to Confucius or the Soviet Union, but to fascist 1930s Japan. Kellie Schmitt on the 11 foreigners you meet in China. How not to run an empire: Ignoring human rights in favor of stability is backfiring not just in Kyrgyzstan, but all over Central Asia — big time. A review of “If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die”: How Genocide Was Stopped in East Timor by Geoffrey Robinson. A review of Where There Are Asians There Are Rice Cookers: How National Went Global via Hong Kong by Yoshiko Nakano. If there is one major country where history is a political instrument, it is China. Unsettling the slums: John Gravois reports from Phnom Penh, where a new prosperity is transforming what was once a city of squatters. Can Asians resolve global problems? Simon Chesterman and Kishore Mahbubani investigate. They’re not brainwashed, they’re just miserable: What North Koreans really want. New Silk Roads: Roads, railways and pipelines are redefining what we mean by Asia. Jonathan Taylor reviews Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory by Peter Hessler. A review of Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times by Barry Wain.

A new issue of Public Diplomacy is out. An interview with Denis Antoine, author of Effective Diplomacy. From University World News, a profile of Manuel Castells, theorist of power (and more and more). How the sleazy used-car salesmen at Goldman Sachs tricked investors into buying their busted clunkers. Do book editors deserve a cut of the profits? Publish or Perish: Can the iPad topple the Kindle, and save the book business? Dana Rohrabacher's War: In the '80s he took up arms with Afghanistan's mujahideen; now the California Republican is fighting against Obama's surge. A Space Oddity: How an Afghan pilot became a cosmonaut — and a fugitive. David Haglund reviews Everything Matters! by Ron Currie Jr. The Last Yugoslav: A review of Terror and Joy: The Films of Dusan Makavejev by Lorraine Mortimer. Are newspaper critics old hat amid the flood of online critics? Four and twenty: Here are excerpts from Marijuana Magazine’s special issues. The introduction to What's Eating You? People and Parasites by Eugene Kaplan. Channelling Ike: Richard Rayner on Stephen Ambrose’s imagined encounters with Eisenhower. Beauty and the Beast: Not everyone is drop-dead gorgeous, but everyone is intent on pointing that out. A review of The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture by Terry O’Reilly and Mike Tennant. The growing belief that the Internet has led to an increasingly fragmented and polarized media market may be contradicted by new research. Tweet Tweet Boom Boom: A growing community of young, sunny social-media entrepreneurs are inventing ways to amplify the urban experience with technology; in the process, they may be finally turning NY into a true tech town. The Imitation Economy: Innovation is overrated — it's time to appreciate the power of the copycat.

From The American Spectator, Quin Hillyer on the problem with Palin; R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. on conservatism and ideology; and Ben Stein on liberals then and now. From TAP, how conservative Christians get around health-care reform's individual mandate; and when we mock politicians who are outed as gay, who are we really shaming, and are we decrying homophobia — or fueling it? The Fox News Tribe: More than ever, conservatives are working to cast liberals as the other. From TNR, Barry Friedman and Jeffrey Rosen on the battle over the Court: How the right and the left learned to love judicial activism. A new wave of American populism could be good for the Jews. An interview with Charlotte Dennett, author of The People v. Bush: One Lawyer’s Campaign to Bring the President to Justice and the National Grassroots Movement She Encounters Along the Way (and more). Power struggle: Ryan Grim and Arthur Delaney go inside the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party. An interview with Arthur C. Brooks, author of The Battle: How the Fight Between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America’s Future. Thomas Frank on conservatives and the market for alienation: The GOP claims to speak for the working man. Free the Forbes 400: Dan Milbank on the Tea Party's elite populism. Judicial Drama: Why you don't need to pay attention to Supreme Court confirmation hearings. From National Review, Michael Knox Beran on the descent of Liberalism. Strategies that rely on insider influence can't deliver large-scale change — but mobilizations outside government can. A review of Beyond the Echo Chamber: Reshaping Politics through Networked Progressive Media by Jessica Clark and Tracy Van Slyke (and more). Meet your candidate: Idaho cartoon villain Harley D. Brown will save Congress.

From Obit, a review of Greg Critser’s Eternity Soup: Inside the Quest to End Aging; different ways to honor the dead: The age of someone’s demise affects the way we say goodbye; and mourning in the 21st century: What form says you’re sorry for their loss? A review of Dying to Know: Bringing Death to Life by Jane Tewson. A review of Surviving Death by Mark Johnston. What implications might technological advances have on our current definition of clinical death? An interview with Michael de Ridder, author of How Do We Want To Die? There’s a time, from when someone dies to when they magically pop up at the funeral or the cemetery or as a bag of ashes, that remains a black hole, invisible to the rest of the world, and everyone’s happy with the arrangement. An interview with David Eagleman: "We won't die — our consciousness will live forever on the internet". Alix Strauss on her book Death Becomes Them: Unearthing the Suicides of the Brilliant, the Famous and the Notorious. A review of No Good Deed: A Story of Medicine, Murder Accusations, and the Debate Over How We Die by Lewis Cohen. An excerpt from Last Words of the Executed by Robert K. Elder. Near-death experiences explained: Bright lights and angels seen at the brink of death are the products of too much carbon dioxide in the blood. A review of Life After Death: The Evidence by Dinesh D'Souza. A review of After Lives: A Guide to Heaven, Hell and Purgatory by John Casey. Robert Brockway on functional immortality in humans. In the last stage of life, even with the cheeriest outlook, it isn’t easy to keep thoughts of death at bay. Robert Brockway, author of Everything Is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, on isolating the human longevity gene (so we can abuse the crap out of it).

From Skeptic, William D. Stansfield on Punxsutawney Phil and animal weather predictions. An excerpt from Wild Moments: Adventures with Animals of the North. An interview with Philip Hoare, author of The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). This place is a zoo: The Rosaires love their animals like family. A review of The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies by Bert Holldobler and Edward O. Wilson. A review of To Sea and Back: The Heroic Life of the Atlantic Salmon by Richard Shelton. A review of Being With Animals: Why We Are Obsessed with the Furry, Scaly, Feathered Creatures Who Populate Our World by Barbara J. King. A review of Insectopedia by Hugh Raffles (and more). Stephen DeStefano explains his book Coyote at the Kitchen Door: Living with Wildlife in Suburbia. From The Humanist, humanism is under attack in the academy for its assumption of man’s superiority over animals; and the human finger points the way to what makes us truly human, says Raymond Tallis. Lawyers for animals?: Up for a vote in Switzerland. Smile: You're an animal on a Web cam. In dog-speak, "grrrr" can mean different things: Dogs have special growls for different occasions, and other dogs can tell the difference. More on Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz. Form NYRB, Tim Flannery reviews books on animals. Dead Dogs: Colin Dayan on breed bans, euthanasia, and preemptive justice. From Forward, an article on Jews and animals, a very modern story. A review of Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism by Melanie Joy. A review of Nasty, Brutish and Short: The Quirks & Quarks Guide to Animal Sex and Other Weird Behaviour by Pat Senson.