Best Feet Forward: A single soccer match achieves what five years of combat and negotiations could not: an apparent end to Ivory Coast's civil war. The man who brought the warring sides together was not a politician or a gun-toting strongman, but Didier Drogba, the star striker for Ivory Coast. The unlikely activist: When former US marine Brian Steidlehe returned from a peacekeeping mission to Sudan, he found he couldn't stay quiet about the horrors he had witnessed. The introduction to Civilizing Women: British Crusades in Colonial Sudan by Janice Boddy. A dream betrayed: A review of Through the Darkness: A Life in Zimbabwe by Judith Garfield Todd. Why a tree makes it hard to write about Africa: Trying to write about Africa is a little like negotiating its wild roads: Cliches materialize suddenly and constantly.

On an ancient sea, Europe dreams and schemes: A Mediterranean Union where all are rich, none are immigrants. Looks great. Won’t happen. A review of The Unity of the European Constitution. From Time, an interview with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband. Much has changed since John Stuart Mill's time, and his views on freedom are no longer valid. The introduction to The Origin of the Welfare State in England and Germany, 1850–1914: Social Policies Compared by  E. P. Hennock. The introduction to The Great Naval Game: Britain and Germany in the Age of Empire by Jan Ruger. Josef Joffe on how German Chancellor Angela Merkel may be the most influential European leader today. Nobody even bothers to call Angela Merkel: The government in Berlin is learning a painful lesson this summer. It stands alone in its multilateralist policies and few seem to care what the Germans think.

From Forward, a look at how the rapid rise of Israel’s Orthodox schools sparks fear of Army, work force shortage, and more on Israel’s Hidden Crisis: Why should a growing level of piety be considered a national "challenge"? A review of The Resurgence of Anti-Semitism: Jews, Israel, and Liberal Opinion by Bernard Harrison. A review of Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation by Eyal Weizman. The Checkered History of American Weapons Deals: The United States has upset its European allies with plans for a massive arms deal with several governments in the Middle East. Washington has been down this road before. A review of Iran Oil: The New Middle East Challenge to America by Roger Howard and Crude Interventions: The United States, Oil and the New World (Dis)order by Garry Leech. Prospects of Armageddon: The logic that defends past nuclear atrocities is now used to support a strike against Iran.