From The New Yorker, Atul Gawande on why expensive health care can be harmful; why don’t company directors do a better job? James Surowiecki investigates; two speeches: Jeffrey Toobin on Obama vs. Cheney. It’s not about Bill: The advent of a new Democratic administration, with his wife in the top cabinet slot, has opened a new chapter in the eventful life of the nation’s 42nd president. Reihan Salam on how Obama could blow it. Fatwa Overload: Why Middle East sheikhs are running amok. A review of The Conservative Turn: Lionel Trilling, Whittaker Chambers, and the Lessons of Anti-Communism by Michael Kimmage. Why Leonard Bernstein’s politics can’t explain his best music: A review of Leonard Bernstein: The Political Life of an American Musician by Barry Seldes. A review of The Diplomats' World: The Cultural History of Diplomacy, 1815-1914. A review of The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World by Michelle Goldberg (and more). To cook or not to cook: In our quest to unchain ourselves from the stove, are we cheating ourselves out of a useful and creative skill? A review of You Are Here: A Portable History of the Universe by Christopher Potter and Why Us? How Science Rediscovered the Mystery of Ourselves by James Le Fanu (and more).

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