From Policy, after the wall, 20 years on: A look at Germany's unification history. An article on Germany's disappointing reunification: How the East was Lost. Sex and the city of Berlin: The sexual unification of Germany appears to have resulted in lots of talk, but not much action. Finance senator to fire starter: Joachim Guntner reviews Thilo Sarrazin's book on Germany's slow death by immigration, which has ignited a debate of almost unprecedented ferocity. From Prospect, Germany seems more inward-looking and nationalistic since the euro crisis, but this shift is both more subtle and not as recent as it appears. German identity, long dormant, reasserts itself: A more confident nation has asserted itself in foreign policy, despite economic troubles and some internal dissent. From Dissent, there is so much talk these days about Germany’s economic Sonderweg (“special path”) that it seems wise to gain some perspective about what is going on. From Der Spiegel, Germany's rebirth following the annihilation of World War II is nothing short of a miracle, but the country's reconstruction was not without controversy — now, a new wave of construction is underway coupled with a new desire to rebuild the old; an interview with architect Albert Speer: "Calamity of postwar construction came from rejecting history"; and an interview with architect Christoph Ingenhoven: "Modernism is an attitude, not a style".

Carl L. Bankston (Tulane): Social Justice: Cultural Origins of a Perspective and a Theory. From Parameters, a special section on the Afghanistan-Pakistan conundrum. From Asia Times, Pepe Escobar on life in Talibanistan. From Gelf, when baseball let its hair down: It may not have featured the best players of all time, but the 1970s marked, for author Dan Epstein, the pinnacle of the national pastime's funkiness; and an interview with Michael Weinreb, author of Bigger Than the Game: Bo, Boz, the Punky QB, and How the '80s Created the Modern Athlete. From Government Executive, fixing IT has been a Sisyphean task, and governmentwide policy matters — but agency-level management matters more, and individual managers matter most of all; and can a federal agency be transformed through "openness" and "transparency"? Fighting the good fight: Dan Demetriou on a theory of honor in the octagon. Aside from the occasional l’chaim around the Kiddush table or on Purim night, Jews don’t drink, especially not beer. From European Alternatives, an interview with Samir Amin on emerging from capitalism in crisis; an interview with Ulrich Beck on a cosmopolitan outlook; an interview with Seyla Benhabib on immigration and asylum; and an interview with Nancy Fraser on transnational power and public sphere. Peru’s Lovely Bones: The Ocucaje Desert holds some of the most important fossils in the world — and Roberto Cabrera is standing guard.

From Spontaneous Generations, a special issue on Scientific Instruments: Knowledge, Practice, and Culture. The scientific method: J. Craig Venter wants to create creatures — bacteria, algae or even plants — to carry out industrial tasks and displace fossil fuels. About 13.7 billion years ago, the Big Bang created a big mess of matter that eventually gave rise to life, the universe, and everything — now a new material may help scientists understand why. Stewart Brand interviews Martin Rees on life's future in the cosmos. Can evolution be as certain as 2+2? Murray Gell-Mann won a Nobel prize for physics and still is working on quantum mechanics, but at 80 he has returned to his first passion — linguistics. Making heroes of inventors: William Rosen on James Watt, the most useful man who ever lived. A review of Science and Spirituality: Making Room for Faith in the Age of Science by Michael Ruse (and more). In defense of difference: Scientists offer new insight into what to protect of the world's rapidly vanishing languages, cultures, and species. Changing one of nature's constants: If correct, new finding could upend physicists’ view of universe (and more and more). Are we living in a designer universe? The creators of the world were closer to men than to gods. A look at how string theory finally does something useful.  More and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more on Stephen Hawking’s The Grand Design.

From Index on Censorship, don’t stop the music: Read about the songs they tried to ban, the musicians stopped from playing live, and the singers who are put on trial. Dan Abrams to write book proving that women are better than men — yes, really. Despite the belief that happiness has remained constant in modern societies, recent research says otherwise, citing rising democracy and increased basic freedoms as the cause. A review of Integral Pluralism: Beyond Culture Wars by Fred Dallmayr. The Trickledown Revolution: Arundhati Roy on how the answer lies not in the excesses of capitalism or communism — it could well spring from our subaltern depths. Sweatpants in Paradise: The Believer profiles the exciting world of immersive retail. Catherine Marshall on how hedonists miss the point of travel. Human tongue sauteed in buttermilk, things we do to each other in hotel rooms, and a few words about Amelia Gray’s Museum of the Weird. An interview with Viktor Mayer-Schonberger on books on memory and the digital age. An interview with Laura Kipnis, author of How to Become a Scandal: Adventures in Bad Behavior. A review of Ah-Choo: The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold by Jennifer Ackerman. Sex to die for: Isabella Rossellini has been directing and acting in a strange and wonderful series called Green Porno. Did ancient coffee houses lay the groundwork for modern consumerism? A review of Toward a Rhetoric of Insult by Thomas Conley.

From NYRB, Paul Krugman and Robin Wells review Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy by Raghuram G. Rajan; Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance by Nouriel Roubini and Stephen Mihm (and more); and The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics: Lessons from Japan’s Great Recession by Richard C. Koo. From the Claremont Review of Books, bubbles, bubbles, toils and troubles: A review essay on the financial crisis; and Richard Vedder on explaining the Great Depression. From The National Interest, a review essay on the financial crisis. From ARPA, Tony Aspromourgos on the great financial crisis, the (brief?) revival of Keynesianism, and the question of public debt; and a review of Common Wealth: For a Free, Equal, Mutual and Sustainable Society by Martin Large and Aftershock: Reshaping the World Economy after the Crisis by Philippe Legrain. Let Them Eat Credit Raghuram Rajan on how inequality is at the root of the Great Recession (and more and more). David Warsh on big narrative accounts of the most dangerous episode in global finance since the Great Depression. Paradise Lost: Ian Bremmer and Nouriel Roubini on why fallen markets will never be the same (and a response). Not too big enough: How the “too-big-to-fail” banks got that way, and why the current banking reform won’t solve the problem. A review of Too Big to Save? How to Fix the U.S. Financial System by Robert Pozen.