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?