Craig Calhoun (SSRC): From Common Humanity to Humanitarian Obligation: Suffering Strangers, Progress, and Emergencies. Rick Barrack on a sign of humanitarian relief that anyone can understand. An interview with Cassie Knight on books on aid work. Crushed aid: Why is fragmentation a problem for international aid? Forget aid: People in the poorest countries like Haiti need new cities with different rules — and developed countries should be the ones that build them. An interview with Ha-Joon Chang, author of Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective. From Fourth World Journal, a review of The Subsistence Perspective: Beyond the Globalised Economy by Maria Mies and Veronica Bennholdt-Thomsen. Saving the World 2.0: How do you address global hunger, epidemics, and poverty? According to Bill Gates, it takes R&D, software, and plenty of money. An interview with Stuart Rutherford on books on the global poor and their money. Is it time to revisit the Millennium Development Goals? From Developments, Paul Collier on four "critical priorities" vulnerable countries face; and a look at why we can't ignore fragile states — and how they can be rebuilt. From MR, an article on rethinking Jeffrey Sachs and the "Big Five": New proposals for the end of poverty. An interview with Peter Singer, author of The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty. No natural resources? Lucky you: Countries with more human than natural resources tend to be more democratic and entrepreneurial. Lester Brown on how to feed 8 billion people. Micheal O’Flynn (Limerick): Food Crises and the Ghost of Malthus. David and Marcia Pimentel on the real perils of human population growth. An interview with Nicholas Kristof on why he's hopeful about where the world's headed.

From Mute, dusting off the tedium and ash deposited by Hollywood's recent spate of catastrophe movies, Evan Calder Williams takes aim at their world-affirming pessimism and calls for some real apocalypse; and the future isn’t what it used to be: M. Beatrice Fazi dismisses conceptions of the future as linear effect of the present, instead embracing models of "atemporality" and untimeliness. Why programs fail: When one program after another fails again and again, and when the failures are not random but somehow always benefit the owning class, we have to ask, “How come?” From Minding the Campus, a look at how corrupted language moved from campus to the real world; and it is no wonder that many free-market think tank scholars must feel like they are trying to push boulder up a mountain; they are — the professors got there first and designed the obstacle course terrain. A review of A Sadly Troubled History: The Meanings of Suicide in the Modern Age by John C. Weaver. Jonathan Lee Riches seems determined to drag every star athlete, dead monarch and inanimate object into court — that’s if the zombies don’t get him first. Using examples from vacations to colonoscopies, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics Daniel Kahneman reveals how our "experiencing selves" and our "remembering selves" perceive happiness differently; this new insight has profound implications for economics, public policy and our own self-awareness. Can you really predict the success of a marriage in 15 minutes?: An excerpt from Laurie Abraham's The Husbands and Wives Club (and more and more). Seemingly odd couple make a proper pair: At first glance, Miss Manners and her daughter, Jacobina, an improv instructor, come across as opposites — gentle reader, you be the judge.

An interview with Charlotte Higgins on the value of classics. A review of Out of Athens: The New Ancient Greeks by Page duBois. A review of The War That Killed Achilles: The True Story of Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War by Caroline Alexander (and more and more). A review of New Heroes in Antiquity: From Achilles to Antinoos by Christopher Jones. Sex in the service of Aphrodite: Did prostitution really exist in the temples of antiquity? A review of Marcus Aurelius: A Life by Frank McLynn and A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William Irvine. A review of Popular Culture in Ancient Rome by Jerry Toner. A review of Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations by Martin Goodman. A review of Conceiving the Empire: China and Rome Compared. For all our sweeping ideas about Western greatness, so many familiar parts of our days find their origin in Oriental innovation. A review of How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower by Adrian Goldsworthy. Peter Heather on globalization and the Fall of the Roman Empire. Rome lives, and her empires live within her, because they are dead, and therefore beyond the hand of time, all revenge and revision, at peace with history. A review of Empires and Barbarians: The Fall of Rome and the Birth of Modern Europe by Peter Heather. A review of The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages by Chris Wickham (and more). A review of Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire by Judith Herrin. A review of The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire by Edward Luttwak. A review of Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades by Jonathan Phillips. Michael Toscano on the Saturnine Age and the modern genius. A review of Reinventing History: The Enlightenment Origins of Ancient History.

From The Intercollegiate Review, a look at the 50 best and 50 worst books of the 20th century. From THES, a review of Michelangelo: The Artist, the Man, and His Times by William Wallace; and a review of Michelangelo's Finger: An Exploration of Everyday Transcendence by Raymond Tallis. Art of the steal: Joshuah Bearman is on the trail of world’s most ingenious thief. The unreal art of realistic dialogue: Credible conversation in fiction is a long way from the chaos of ums and ahs that you'll see if you look at transcripts of the real thing. Can animals be gay? Jon Mooallem on the science of same-sex pairings in the wild. A review of Slow Death By Rubber Duck: How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects Our Health by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie. From abuse to usufruct: Environmentalism has introduced ideas of intergenerational equality, while economics has begun to quantify "externalities", the social effects of activities that are overlooked in market prices. Smart people, dumb decisions: Chances are you're unaware of the limits to your abilities, unappreciative of the challenges that lie ahead, and uninformed of all that can go wrong — don't worry, you're not alone. Author, publisher and literary trendsetter: Dave Eggers is all those, and he's fast becoming the conscience of liberal America too. Here's a few reasons why Dave Eggers is a great American. On the secular, foodie side of things, in a town where the "entice 'em, fleece 'em and eject 'em" philosophy is rampant, McDonald's still trumps. With a client list that reads like a roster of Fortune 500 firms, a little-known company with an odd name, the Talx Corporation, has come to dominate a thriving industry: helping employers process — and fight — unemployment claims (and more on the people who screw you out of unemployment).

From The Chronicle, the art of living mindfully: Nothing is ever certain, says the psychologist Ellen Langer — we should make the most of that. Would you be happier if you spent more time discussing the state of the world and the meaning of life — and less time talking about the weather? Are we look­ing for mean­ing in all the wrong places? A review of The Age of Absurdity: Why Modern Life Makes it Hard to be Happy by Michael Foley. An interview with Anthony Seldon on books on how to be happy. The rap on happiness: The fashion is to bemoan happiness books and positive psychology as the work of morons. Harness the power of happiness: Richard Layard and colleagues offer a way to reverse the decline in our sense of wellbeing. An interview with Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project. Hedonic Indicators: Bhutan takes the next step in democratizing happiness. Endless economic growth hasn’t made us happier, so why do governments still tie well-being to wealth? Presenting a new, made-in-Canada benchmark for progress. We know it can’t buy us love — but can money buy happiness? Happiness Is: Making more money than the next guy. David Brooks on the Sandra Bullock trade: Research suggests the gap between success and happiness boils down to personal bonds. A review of Seven Pleasures: Essays on Ordinary Happiness by Willard Spiegelman. Nicholas Kristof on our basic human pleasures: Food, sex and giving. Research suggests the evolution of fairness was driven by culture, not genes. From Greater Good, empathy's not a uniquely human trait — apes and other animals feel it as well, suggesting that empathy is truly an essential part of who we are; and new research shows how cooperation prevails across the animal kingdom; what can humans learn from other species?