Anthony Grafton reviews Higher Education? by Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus and Crisis on Campus by Mark Taylor. Is going to an elite college worth the cost? The sluggish economy and rising costs of college have only intensified questions about whether expensive, prestigious colleges make any difference. Michael Konczal on the 21st-century retreat from public higher education. The academy as a commodity: What if the market has already devalued the knowledge on which the entire operation of accountability is based? From Arcade, Gregory Jusdanis on the oppression of peer review. Academics have long been criticised for being out of touch with the real world; many make great efforts to dispel ivory tower attitudes, but others believe such habits will never disappear. An interview with Phillip Brown, Hugh Lauder, and David Ashton, authors of The Global Auction: The Broken Promises of Education, Jobs and Incomes. The disposable academic: Why doing a PhD is often a waste of time. Can Tolstoy save your marriage? Cultural classics offer vital lessons about how to live, but our universities don't teach them that way. An interview with Martha Nussbaum on the value of the humanities (and more). Victor Davis Hanson writes in defense of the liberal arts: The therapeutic Left and the utilitarian Right both do disservice to the humanities. We're all conservatives now: Academics from the left and right blame each other for the state of higher education, but they're in agreement more than they realize.

A new issue of Surveillance and Society is out. Bite Me: Jesse Bering on an evolutionary case for cannibalism. The beginning is half the battle: John McPhee writes about the importance of the "lead". Virtual world order: What can be done about the theft of a magical sword that doesn’t actually exist? Law professor Greg Lastowka explains. From The New York Observer, a special section on The Power 150. Who are the anarchists behind the Rome embassy bombs? Not all smurfs and sunshine: A look at the brooding moral universe of writer Chris Jones. A review of Atlas of Remote Islands by Judith Schalansky (and more) and Infinite City by Rebecca Solnit. Grown-Up Startups: Why old people make better entrepreneurs than young ones. The murder of bully Ken Rex McElroy is unsolved, and residents want it that way. How much does age matter when you're looking for a mate? Dan Ariely on how "free" can get us to make foolish decisions. Is there a more Christmas-y sound on God’s earth than the “whumpf” of ghost-written, stocking-stuffing celeb autobiographies landing on the “New Arrivals” table at Barnes & Noble? In an increasingly interconnected world, the actions of the few can rapidly spiral into a global crisis — policymakers must learn from recent events to control the risk latent in our interdependence. A review of When Empire Meets Nationalism by Didier Chaudet, Florent Parmentier and Benoit Pelopidas.

The 9 biggest conservative lies about taxes and public spending: Here are the things the corporate media won't tell you about the tax-cut rhetoric in Washington. Little Ayn Rand laboratories: How Republican governors are balancing state budgets at the expense of everyone but the rich. Republicans are poised to declare war on welfare state. Tea Partiers see a global conspiracy in local planning efforts. Texas Textbook Massacre: Ultraconservatives approve radical changes to state education curriculum. Sarah Posner on the religious “right” to denounce homosexuality. How Billy Graham brought us the Tea Party — ad lo, there were Pentecostals in Southern California. A review of City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era by Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner. More on Daniel K. Williams’s God’s Own Party. How Democrats gave up on religious voters. The best thing that ever happened to the right: Just two years ago, conservatism seemed destined for history's dustbin — then Barack Obama was sworn in. Here are 5 insane Barack Obama comic books you won't believe are real. Is President Obama still a Marxist if he cuts taxes? (and a response) The philosopher president: Alan Brinkley reviews Reading Obama by James T. Kloppenberg. Why is Obama leaving the grass roots on the sidelines? From NYRB, Michael Tomasky on Obama’s second act; and where do we go from here? If progressives want to rebound, they’ll have to fight.

The inaugural issue of Media Fields Journal is out. Josh Chafetz (Cornell): The Unconstitutionality of the Filibuster. Ezra Klein interviews Sen. Jeff Merkley: "This isn't a question of filibuster or no filibuster". From Discover, meet the woman without fear. A look at how powerful predictive models fueled by smarter data sets are the tools that will allow us to know sooner and adapt more quickly to the problems that define our complex age. Bundle up, it’s global warming: Why is it so cold and snowy in Europe and the Eastern United States? Global warming is affecting the snow cover in Siberia. From Newsweek, a special issue on interviews. The Great Islamophobic Crusade: Max Blumental goes inside the bizarre cabal of secretive donors, demagogic bloggers, pseudo-scholars, European neo-fascists, violent Israeli settlers, and Republican presidential hopefuls behind the crusade. The battle for Brazil's slums: Second phase underway of unprecedented effort to maintain order in Rio's most violent regions. In pursuit of the perfect brainstorm: Corporate America wants help coming up with fresh ideas — can a new breed of consultant teach companies how to think? Christian Caryl on why WikiLeaks changes everything. There's nothing that quite says "Christmas" like schadenfreude. The “superstar effect” drives up pay for athletes, entertainers and Wall Street executives, concentrating wealth with only a few Americans and limiting others’ chances of moving up.

From Scholar & Feminist Online, a special issue on Polyphonic Feminisms. Kevin Duong (MTSU): The Other (’s) Skepticism: Levinasian Reflections on Maternal Ethics and Feminist Politics. Aspasia Tsaoussi (Aristotelian): Using the Master's Tools: How the Law Reshapes Gender Boundaries in the Public-Private Sphere. Alexandra Glynn (NDSU): Gender and Language Bias in English: Phonemes. From Canadian Dimension, a special issue on the New Feminism. From TED, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg on why we have too few women leaders. Waking up from the Pill: Fifty years ago, birth-control pills gave women control of their bodies, while making it easy to forget their basic biology — until in some cases, it’s too late. The double life of women: The invisible turns of the reproductive cycle shape the everyday behavior of women and men — a woman's cycle influences not just her preference in a partner, but her personality as well. Molly Castelloe Fong on the last taboo: Menstruation and body literacy. From Christianity Today, a review of What Women Tell Me: Finding Freedom from the Secrets We Keep by Anita Lustrea. Alisa Harris on why it’s suddenly OK for Christian women to be feminists. Does gender matter for academic promotion? Evidence from a randomised natural experiment. The idea of a woman with the potential to kill causes deep unease.