From World History Connected, a special issue on Big History, including Fred Spier (Amsterdam): Big History: The Emergence of an Interdisciplinary Science?; Walter Alvarez (UC-Berkeley): A Geologial Perspective on Big History; Cynthia Stokes Brown (Dominican): What Is a Civilization, Anyway?; a short history of Big History: a review essay; and an interview with John McNeill, author of Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World. Donald Worster (Kentucky): Historians and Nature. Changing History: An article on four new ways to write the story of the world. Livia Szelpal (CEU): Transnational History: An American Perspective. A review of Cosmopolitan Islanders: British Historians and the European Continent by Richard J. Evans. Writing off the UK's last palaeographer: John Crace on why the study of ancient writings matters — and why history will be lost without it. A review of Consuming History: Historians and Heritage in Contemporary Popular Culture by Jerome de Groot. The Classics Rock: Eleven reasons Plutarch and Herodotus still matter. From CRB, a review of books on Herodotus. A review of The Way of Herodotus: Travels with the Man who Invented History by Justin Marozzi. Jacob Soll reviews Thucydides: The Reinvention of History by Donald Kagan (and more). A review of History Man: The Life of R.G. Collingwood by Fred Inglis (and more). A review of The History of Rhetoric and the Rhetoric of History by Nancy S. Struever. Working in the history lab: From slavery to Napoleon, many phenomena can't be studied in the lab, but we can still do experiments, say Jared Diamond and James Robinson. Big Tobacco and the historians: Jon Wiener on a tale of seduction and intimidation (and a response).

Rodger Morrison (Troy): Empathy from Avatars: Propositions for Improving Trust Development in Pseudo-Social Relationships with Avatars. From Fast Capitalism, a special issue on the narrative, visual and auditory power of biography. Two new studies — one sociological, another using brain scans — document and help explain our lack of empathy for perceived outsiders. Mind Hacks on an aesthetics of urban legends. An interview with Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, author of Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History. Unintended acceleration: Toyota's real problem is that it has become an American car company, learning from our home-grown automakers how to work the system in Washington (and a look at GM’s exploding pickup problem). Don't Cry for CNN: Thirty years ago, CNN, now in decline, was as revolutionary as Google; it had a pretty good run (and more). The worst movies ever made: Birdemic, The Room, and what makes a horrible film great. How Barbie Got Her Geek On: Computer engineers hijack vote on career for doll; little girls wanted anchorwoman. More and more and more and more on Contested Will Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro. A team has developed a computer algorithm to recognize beauty. The Other Moon Landings: The Soviets lost the moon race but won a dram of glory with the first robotic craft to roam another world. Will the Supreme Court overturn health care reform? Fair play: It is not so much that cheats don’t prosper, but that prosperity does not cheat. An interview with George Prochnik, author of In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise. Paper Cuts: Why phone books are on the chopping block for greens, pols and pissed-off citizens.

From n+1, Carla Blumenkranz on American publishing (and more). Ghostwriters are the invisible force behind the publishing's biggest sensations; Jonathan Campbell reveals the secrets of his shadowy profession. How ghostwriting went from scandal-in-waiting to acceptable political reality. The Free-Appropriation Writer: Copying passages from another author used to be an unforgivable sin — but remix culture is coming to literature. In order for electronic books to live up to their billing, the system in which nonfiction writers get permission to use copyrighted material in new work has to be fixed. From The Futurist, the dawn of the postliterate age: Information technology, cybernetics, and artificial intelligence may render written language “functionally obsolete” by 2050; and Nicholas Carr on the rapid evolution of “text” and a less-literate future. An article on eye-tracking tablets and the promise of Text 2.0. Dennis Baron on the iPad: What is a Gutenberg moment, anyway? From NBCC, adventures in e-reading: An interview with Scott Lindenbaum, co-editor of Electric Literature; a panel; and more by Laurie Gold. Godfather of the E-Reader: Look past Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos to the forgotten Bob Brown and his 1930s reading machine. Don’t rear the e-reader: Books are evolving, not dying. More on The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future by Robert Darnton. What will the bookstore look like in 10 years? In 1999, one writer came up with a vision that is close to our print-on-demand fantasies. Edited out: The sickliest part of the books business is the shops that sell them. Linda Holmes, emphatically and forever, declines to care how books smell. Psychology of the bookplate: Alex Beam on why book owners mark their literary territory with personalized art.

From European Journal of Social Sciences, Mohammad Salim Al-Rawashdah (Balqa): The Political and Financial Implications of Globalization on Islamic Banking; A.M. Sultana, Jayum A. Jawan, and Ibrahim Hashim (UPSI): Influence of Purdah (Veil) on Education and Employment of Women in Rural Communities; and Mohammad Nayef Alsarayreh, Omar A.A. Jawabreh, and Mahmoud S. Helalat (Al-Balqa): The Influence of Terrorism on the International Tourism Activities. A university exhibit and a new book look at David Foster Wallace's life and work; Scott McLemee visits the relics. Zach Baron reviews Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky (and more and more and more and more). Citizens unite in a web-savvy galaxy: A review of Communication Power by Manuel Castells. How do you go about updating a city that’s over 5,000 years old and is estimated to contain one-third of the entire world’s ancient monuments within its walls? That’s the question currently vexing the administrators of Luxor, in Upper Egypt. Desensitized by everything from Facebook to reality TV, people are sharing way too much personal information with their colleagues. Jo-Ann Mort on office-less work: What's a socialist to do? In just two years, Usain Bolt has demolished the 100-meter dash world records with times that are superhuman, literally thirty years ahead of what they historically should be — so what if the greatest athlete alive decided to actually get serious? More and more on The Politics of Happiness by Derek Bok. What the top US companies pay in taxes: How can it be that you pay more to the IRS than General Electric? Comics, that great corrupter and retarding influence on youth, evoke fear in librarians — fear of the adults, that is, not the children (and more).

From TNR, what does Palinspeak mean? Linguist John McWhorter investigates. Polarizing and profane, Andrew Breitbart is fast becoming the most powerful right-wing force on the Web. Glenn Beck gets progressively more paranoid: Fox News’ lunatic fringe, now even loonier. Right Mind: Meet Keith Ablow, Beck’s shrink. Glenn Beck Inc.: In his empire there's the ideology — and then there's the money machine. Partisan Historians: An article on the academics behind the progressivism-as-fascism meme. Identity politics leans Right: In the fight over curriculum, conservatives in Texas have more in common with liberals than they think. Mark Engler on (over)counting the Tea Partiers. Can the Mad Hatters of the Religious Right get an invitation to the Tea Party? Tea partiers don't really hate government spending — they just want in. Tea partiers, eat your hearts out: A group of liberals got together and proved that they, too, can have a tax rebellion, but theirs is a little bit different — they want to pay more taxes. Ryan Grim and Arthur Delaney go inside the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party. Ruth Marcus on how President Obama is making nobody happy. A look at why liberals have grown to love Joe Biden. Going after Joe Lieberman: How the Left’s war against one of America’s most famous politicians may have contributed to its undoing. Losing It: Jonathan Chait on political defeat and the Republican mind. A new documentary revisits Thomas Frank's Kansas, but forgets about what's the matter with it (and more). Thomas Frank on conservatives and the cult of victimhood. Are Americans too broken by corporate power to resist? Elite donors are pissed at Democrats — and that's a bad thing? An interview with with Irene Taviss Thomson, author of Culture Wars and Enduring American Dilemmas.