From World Socialist Web Site, Ann Talbot on the ghost of Thomas Hobbes; and David North on Marxism, History and Socialist Consciousness, which "defends the foundations of scientific socialism against pseudo-Marxist conceptions influenced by the Frankfurt School and contemporary neo-utopianism". Richard Levins on how to visit a socialist country. From Boston Review, a review of The Year That Changed the World by Michael Meyer, The Romanian Revolution of December 1989 by Peter Siani-Davies, and Romania and the European Union: How the Weak Vanquished the Strong by Tom Gallagher. A review of The Red Flag: A History of Communism by David Priestland, The Rise and Fall of Communism by Archie Brown, and Zhivago’s Children: The Last Intelligentsia by Vladislav Zubok. An obituary for the Third Way: Magnus Ryner on the financial crisis and social democracy in Europe. A review of The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism by David Harvey (and more and more). “History is made up of those events that couldn’t have been predicted before they happened”: An interview with David Graeber. Political activist Mickey Z versus apolitical quietist Tom Bradley. A review of Get Opinionated: A Progressive’s Guide to Finding Your Voice by Amanda Marcotte (and more and more). Those beliefs look good on you: When it comes to attracting disengaged young people to political movements, let's face it — appearances matter. From the Department of State's eJournal USA, a special issue on nonviolent paths to social change. Peter Gelderloos on how nonviolence protects the State. After years as a star of the atheist Left, Tariq Ali has spent two decades crafting historical novels about Islam (and more). A review of The Lacanian Left: Psychoanalysis, Theory, Politics by Yannis Stavrakakis.

From McSweeney's, in September 1901, Leon Czolgosz ruined almost any chance you have of high-fiving the leader of the free world; and Socrates and Glaucon on the Home Shopping Network. The Genius of QVC: How the shopping network became one of the most effective retailing machines ever invented. A review of books on silence. Southern Sudan wonders how to brand itself; how do you name a nation? An interview with Philip Carr-Gomm, author of A Brief History of Nakedness. Scott Indrisek reviews Union Atlantic by Adam Haslett. The origins of the Red State–Blue State divide: A review of The War between the State and the Family: How Government Divides and Impoverishes by Patricia Morgan. If you want to find stable two-parent families, bypass Palin country and go to Pelosi territory: Naomi Cahn and June Carbone on their book Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture (and more). It has long been said that travel "broadens the mind"; now new evidence proves that jumping on a plane will not only make you smarter, but more open-minded and creative. A review of The Titanic  Awards: Celebrating the Worst of Travel by Doug Lansky. A look at 7 people who won the lottery and did something really stupid. A review of Lunatic Express: Discovering the World Via Its Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains and Planes by Carl Hoffman. Is Amanda Knox being railroaded by the Italian judicial system and a prosecutor who might soon be on his way to jail himself? From Smithsonian, a look at the ten most disturbing scientific discoveries. From Mother Jones, how Glenn Beck and other right-wing talkers turned paranoia into a pitch for Goldline, the gold dealer one congressman says is conspiring to "cheat consumers".

From Educational Researcher, a special issue on new perspectives on school safety and violence prevention; Robert M. Hauser (Wisconsin): Causes and Consequences of Cognitive Functioning Across the Life Course; and when history and race collide: Cinthia Salinas on examining American history in the classroom. Game theory: A New York City school explores the educational power of playing — and designing — games. More and more and more and more on The Death and Life of the Great American School System by Diane Ravitch. A review of Beauty and Education by Joe Winston Routledge. A review of Making the Grade: The Economic Evolution of American School Districts by William A. Fischel. Ron Mobed of Cengage Learning argues that digital tools and content turbocharge traditional education. The International Baccalaureate’s popularity is growing not least because it has an exam system that is recognised around the world. Psychologist Carol Dweck says students' mindsets, not their smarts, are key to their success. Too black for school: How race skews school discipline in Texas. From Education Review, a review of From a Nation at Risk to No Child Left Behind: National Education Goals and the Creation of Federal Education Policy by Maris Vinovskis; and a review of No Child Left Behind: Past, Present, and Future by William Hayes. Poor neighborhoods around the world embrace a surprising idea: incredibly low-priced private schools. From The New American, is homeschooling compatible with socialism and vice-versa? Apparently not. Learn this, America: Here is the Final Report of the Commission to Crush the Strains of Weakness, Socialism, and Unpatriotic Thought in our Schools.

A new issue of Greater Good is out. Michele Moses (Colorado): Moral and Instrumental Rationales for Affirmative Action in Five National Contexts. From The New Yorker, an article on Duke Ellington’s music and race in America (and more). An interview with Natalie Zemon Davis, an award-winning historian who made her name highlighting history's forgotten. An excerpt from Should You Judge This Book by Its Cover?: 100 Fresh Takes on Familiar Sayings and Quotations by Julian Baggini. The introduction to The Zodiac of Paris: How an Improbable Controversy over an Ancient Egyptian Artifact Provoked a Modern Debate between Religion and Science by Jed Buchwald and Diane Greco Josefowicz. Joshua Cohen reviews The Abyss of Human Illusion by Gilbert Sorrentino. From HRHW, a roundtable on the downfall of human rights. The New Frugality is in part what frugality has always been: the search for a good deal — but it has also become a trend, thrift-chic for appearance’s sake. The American dream is simple: work hard and move up — as the country emerges from recession, the reality looks ever more complicated. The world's always thronged with monsters and marvels, but have we been looking for them in the wrong places? A review of A Hunter’s Confession by David Carpenter. The introduction to Stalking the Black Swan: Research and Decision Making in a World of Extreme Volatility by Kenneth A. Posner. The secret life of your home: Bill Bryson took a trip around his own house to find out why we live the way we do (and more). Maps and propaganda: The hundred or so maps on view at the British Library reveal the perennial human obsession with finding one's place in the world. The introduction to Chasing Stars: The Myth of Talent and the Portability of Performance by Boris Groysberg.

A review of A Kingdom Strange: The Brief and Tragic History of the Lost Colony of Roanoke by James Horn. Hobson Woodward on his book A Brave Vessel: The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown and Inspired Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The charge is murder: The Boston Massacre wasn’t what you might think; a historian argues for a new interpretation of an iconic American event. A review of Betsy Ross and the Making of America by Marla R. Miller (and more). How Haiti saved America: Two centuries ago, a glittering Caribbean Island helped finance the Revolution. Founding Amateurs: Even before 1776, Jefferson, Washington and the other framers were pretty experienced politicians. A review of Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Archenemy Betrayed the American Revolution — and What It Means for Americans Today by Thomas DiLorenzo. Sean Wilentz reviews Tocqueville's Discovery of America by Leo Damrosch (and more and more and more and more and more and more). David Wallace-Wells on the trouble with Tocqueville. T. J. Jackson Lears reviews Awaiting the Heavenly Country: The Civil War and America’s Culture of Death by Mark Schantz and This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War by Drew Gilpin Faust. A review of Craig Warren's Scars to Prove It: The Civil War Soldier and American Fiction. While practicing law in Springfield, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln defended a man in a highly unusual case and later recounted the mystery as a short story. Tony Perrottet on the modern questioning of Lincoln's sexuality. A review of U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth by Joan Waugh. A review of The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn By Nathaniel Philbrick (and more and more and more and more and more).

Jean-Loup Amselle (EHESS): To Count or Not to Count: The Debate on Ethnic and Diversity Statistics in France Today. France, slavery and colonization: French intellectual Louis-Georges Tin talks frankly about topics that are often left unsaid in his country. Bloc Identitaire: A lowdown on France’s new far-right. Swimsuit Issue: “Burqinis” notwithstanding, France isn’t being Islamized (and more on Talibans a la francaise). From FT, a review of Why the Dreyfus Affair Matters by Louis Begley (and more and more and more), For the Soul of France: Culture Wars in the Age of Dreyfus by Frederick Brown (and more and more and more and more), and Les artistes et l’affaire Dreyfus, 1898-1908 by Bertrand Tillier. How the Dreyfus Affair explains Sarkozy's burqa ban: Militant secularism has a long, troubled history in France, from paranoia over nun's wimples to the Dreyfusard anti-Jesuit campaigns. Christopher Hitchens on how French attempts to outlaw the burqa strike a blow for the rights of women (and more and more from Foreign Policy). How French women caught the British drinking disease. Eight hundred years ago, crusaders slaughtered twenty thousand people in Languedoc, France; today, fascination with the massacre has turned the region into a tourist trap. Lauren Elkin reviews Gilded Youth: Three Lives in France’s Belle Epoque by Kate Cambor. From LRB, a review of Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910 by Jeffrey Jackson (and more and more and more). Aaron Lake Smith visits the tiny town of Tarnac, home to France’s most famous alleged enemies of the state. Vive le Tarnac Nine: The French tradition of brainy sabotage lives on. A review of One Hundred Great French Books: From the Middle Ages to the Present by Lance Donaldson-Evans.

From National Review, Christopher Wolfe on the cultural preconditions of American liberty. Farewell, Facebook: Why one super-connected internet enthusiast decided it was time to pull the plug. A review of The Anatomy of Fashion: Dressing the Body from the Renaissance to Today by Susan J. Vincent. Stop using the labels "good thing" and "bad thing," advises Srikumar Rao in his new book, Happiness at Work. "The desert of Arabia is America's last frontier”: The story of the cowboy oilmen who branded the Gulf and the Bedouin who followed in their footsteps. From The New York Review of Magazines, they say all publicity is good publicity — if so, these magazine photo spreads are as good as it gets; and what if Vogue and Vice had restaurants? It has become conventional wisdom in social psychology that people's names help determine their choice of spouse, hometown and occupation — but a pair of new studies is challenging this notion (and more). Valuing $0: Measuring creative gifts, from worthless to priceless. An excerpt from The Beauty Bias: The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law by Deborah L. Rhode. The introduction to Prudes, Perverts, and Tyrants: Plato's Gorgias and the Politics of Shame by Christina H. Tarnopolsky. A look at the world's most bizarre man-made disasters. The man behind Abercrombie & Fitch: Mike Jeffries turned a moribund company into a multibillion-dollar brand by selling youth, sex and casual superiority — not bad for a 61-year-old in flip-flops. Daniel Nester reviews A Common Pornography by Kevin Sampsell. Brevity has offered a forum wherein Patrick Madden, past Brevity author, founder/keeper of the extraordinary Quotidiana website, and author of the essay collection Quotidiana, can admit his various nonfiction transgressions.

From Disputatio, Andrei A. Buckareff (Marist) and Jing Zhu (Sun Yat-Sen): The Primacy of the Mental in the Explanation of Human Action. From New Scientist, a special section on picking our brains: Nine neural frontiers. An interview with David Carmel on books on consciousness. Scientists say free will probably doesn't exist, but urge: "Don't stop believing!" A review of Terry McDermott's 101 Theory Drive: A Neuroscientist's Quest for Memory. A review of My Brain Made Me Do It: The Rise of Neuroscience and the Threat to Moral Responsibility by Eliezer J. Sternberg (and more). Satoshi Kanazawa on the Savanna Principle: What the human brain can and cannot comprehend, and why. The Brain versus the Web: A review of Wired for Thought by Jeffrey M. Stibel. Is consciousness emergent? Gary Stillwell on a test to prove it. Designing Minds: How should we explain the origins of novel behaviors? Charlie Rose does a series of interviews on the brain. An interview with Martin Samuels on brain and aging, and why old people know more than young people. If I may be so BOLD: How charisma can make you hand over your brain. From Discover, an article on the art and science of slicing up a human brain; a look at your brain in real time; and why athletes are geniuses: Brains of top-notch athletes seem to function better than those of regular folks. What do we mean by mind? An excerpt from Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self by Marilynne Robinson. Are we zeroing in on the hard problem of explaining consciousness? From The University of Virginia Magazine, researchers explore how we remember, what we remember and why we forget. A review of Cognitive Systems and the Extended Mind by Robert D. Rupert (and more).

From THES, a review of Theories of Social Capital: Researchers Behaving Badly by Ben Fine; and a review of Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives by Catherine Lutz and Anne Lutz Fernandez. Can documentaries really change the world? From Flavorwire, Paul Hiebert on the devolution from hipster to hippie in 6 steps. America’s non-compliance: Gareth Peirce presents the case against extradition. From virginity to tactical nuclear weapons to exit polls, here are twelve things the world should toss out. Je Banach reviews The Melting Season by Jami Attenberg. For comfort, mom's voice works as well as a hug. Net-Worth Obsession: We all wonder how much money others have — Joey Kincer and other net-worth trackers are letting us in on the secret. While the role of technology in the political struggle in Iran and elsewhere should not be overstated, it should not be underestimated either. From Meanjin, an interview with Eddin Khoo on the tradition of wayang kulit, Malaysian shadow puppetry; and the first principle of a wax model is not just verisimilitude, but to be lifelike, though wax reproduction is a form obsessed by death. Gateway to Hell: Is one of Berlin's most prized antiquities — the Pergamon Altar — actually Satan's throne on Earth? Urbanisation and the need for sustainable development: Since the creation of the railways, the desirable lifestyle has been in constant motion, always expanding and demanding that everything — goods and people — move and be moved; it may only have been a phase in human history. The historian Michael Bellesiles is making a comeback; Scott McLemee remembers why he had to leave in the first place.

Betsy Jane Clary (Charleston): Smith and Living Wages: Arguments in Support of a Mandated Living Wage. A review of Nice Work If You Can Get It: Life and Labor in Precarious Times by Andrew Ross. Work History: Why America needs — but probably won't get — a 2010 version of the Depression-era public jobs programs. Who’s the Boss: The UAW’s stock holdings in the Big Three carmakers have caused some members to wonder whose side it’s on. Which side are they on? Stephen Schwartz on American labor unions and how they got that way. A review of Catching Out: The Secret World of Day Laborers by Dick Reavis. A review of The Union of Their Dreams: Power, Hope, and Struggle in Cesar Chavez’s Farm Worker Movement by Miriam Pawel. A review of Solidarity for Sale: How Corruption Destroyed the Labor Movement and Undermined America’s Promise by Robert Fitch. Why can't labor get a little more help from its friends? By delaying labor reform, Obama has followed in the footsteps of earlier Democratic leaders who failed their union allies. Obama is on the brink of bringing significant reforms for workers to government contractors. Why is Obama having such a difficult time undoing Bush-era damage to the Department of Labor? Labor's New Sheriff: Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis has hired a crew of smart and savvy deputies to enforce the nation's labor laws. Andy Stern's departure is another sign of the labor movement's decline (or not). The fight over who will succeed Andy Stern as president of SEIU is missing one thing — a plan to reverse labor's recent failures. From Dissent, Melvyn Dubofsky on the legacy of Andy Stern. An interview with Mary Kay Henry, the new president of the SEIU. Is organized labor a special interest group?