From n+1, an article on the receding public shoreline: what's happening over at Jones Beach. The energetic spirit of New York City: A review of Through the Children's Gate: A Home in New York by Adam Gopnik and Mere Anarchy by Woody Allen. A review of The Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy and the American Voice by Greil Marcus. Opening doors to other cultures: An interview with Uma Krishnaswami, an author of Indian origin writing for children in the US. A review of The Book of Love: In Search of the Kamasutra by James McConnachie. A review of Elif Shafak's The Bastard of Istanbul and Maureen Freely's Enlightenment, two novels that bravely address the identity crisis of modern Turkey

We need critics with cojones: For poetry to thrive, we need journalists and academics prepared to argue for absolute not relative value. James Wood, a senior editor at The New Republic, where he has been the literary critic for the past 12 years, is leaving to become a staff writer at The New Yorker. Giving the mainstream "moments of littleness": Small magazines inhabit a tradition of cultivating and nurturing big ideas until they're ready for a larger arena. Lingua fracta: With our common cultural vocabulary splintering or disappearing, it's not so easy to only connect. The greatest stories ever told: Reading to your kids can be rewarding for parent and child alike but, with adult literacy becoming a greater problem, it can also be an important educational tool. Pop Culture in 17 Syllables: In our brave new world of news bytes, instant messaging and dwindling attention spans, the haiku is making a comeback. One of the week's best invented words: Beautox, n.: "a condition that a girl or woman suffers from after bad, especially prolonged exposure to her boyfriend". 

From Cracked, here are the 5 stages of a successful relationship (in a romantic comedy). Going Out With a Bang: A look at why we're hardwired for explosion movies. Joey is to Friends as Blake is to Milton. Discuss: A review of Not Remotely Controlled: Notes on Television by Lee Siegel. From New York, The Near-Fame Experience: Bravo shows like Project Runway and Top Chef are supposed to elevate the reality genre by putting a spotlight on those who actually deserve it. But the programs’ alumni say that meritocratic ideal is just another televised illusion; and The Resurrection of Don Imus: The shock jock rises, with a little help from Lenny Bruce. Ads We Hate: Slate readers nominate the worst of the worst.

From FT, a review of More Than a Game: The Story of Cricket’s Early Years by John Major; Test Match Special: 50 Not Out: The Official History of a National Sporting Treasure; Fatty Batter: How Cricket Saved My Life (Then Ruined It) by Michael Simkins; and Shane Warne: Portrait of a Flawed Genius by Simon Wilde. A review of Men in White: A Book of Cricket by Mukul Kesavan. A review of The Baseball Economist: The Real Game Exposed by J.C. Bradbury. At the Homeless World Cup, one game can change a life. Amid the frenzy over David Beckham's arrival, a different kind of soccer game unfolds.

From Monthly Review, the revolt against U.S. hegemony in Latin America in the opening years of the twenty-first century constitutes nothing less than a new historical moment. A review of Hugo Chávez: The Definitive Biography of Venezuela's Controversial President by Cristina Marcano and Alberto Barrera Tyszka. A review of The Americano: Fighting With Castro for Cuba's Freedom by Aran Shetterly. Myths and Realities of the Arms Race: Despite appearances, Venezuela is far behind Washington's two main allies in Latin America, Colombia and Chile, in the purchase of weapons.

You may not have noticed it, but Africa is booming. Yet just when the world’s poorest continent is finally starting to see real economic growth, the resource curse threatens to snatch it all away.  The downward slide of the fishing industry in Kenya represents an interesting study of economic behaviour, with key actors caught in a classical "tragedy of the commons". The Child Soldiers of Staten Island: While Hollywood swoons over teen guerrillas, the real lost boys are hidden in plain sight. How often do we hear that hackneyed expression, "A picture is worth a thousand words"? For once this cliché has been rejuvenated following the harrowing and powerful drawings made by children in refugee camps, who escaped from the atrocities being committed in Sudan.

Surge of Suicide Bombers: The Iraq war has turned into a veritable "martyr" factory, unlike any seen in previous conflicts; and Profiles in Killing: In spite of the stereotypes, there is no typical suicide bomber. A look at those who believed they would find paradise by sending others to their deaths. Though there was little warmth shared between Gordon Brown and President Bush last week, it seemed the two men were on the same page on issues like Iraq and fighting terrorists. Or were they? A report finds high-ranking Army and Air Force personnel violated long-standing military regulations when they participated in a promotional video for an evangelical Christian organization while in uniform and on active duty. 

George Bush, Hegelian: David Greenberg on the president's quest for a sense of "history". An Unimpeachably Bad Idea: Trying to impeach Bush would be a dumb move for Democrats.  A look at how to resign in public like a coward. An interview with Danielle Crittenden, author of The President’s Secret IMs. Hillary Control: The women of “Hillaryland” have constructed a carefully managed, always on-message, leakproof campaign. But is this a good thing? A review of Bill Clinton: Mastering the Presidency by Nigel Hamilton. Rudy and the Religious Nuts: Why he gets a free pass. The Other Man From Hope: Mike Huckabee, the likable longshot in the Republican presidential race.

Army of One: Andrew J. Bacevich on the Overhyping of David Petraeus. Will the United States remain the “indispensable nation” in global affairs under these new conditions? Brent Scowcroft investigates. Pundits and politicians have admitted to being wrong about Iraq. Shouldn't the American public do the same? From National Journal, if Guantanamo Bay closed today, what would we do with the suspected terrorists we capture tomorrow? A review of The Sutras of Abu Ghraib: Notes From a Conscientious Objector in Iraq by Aidan Delgado. Why do they hate us? Strange answers lie in al-Qaida's writings. Fear, Frenzy, and FISA: How the Bush administration has kept Congress locked in a September 12 state of panic.  

From TNR, liberals love Barry Goldwater? That's not right. From Dissent, Johann Hari reviews What’s Left? How Liberals Lost Their Way by Nick Cohen (and a response by Cohen and a reply). A review of The Threat to Reason: How the Enlightenment Was Hijacked and How We Can Reclaim It by Dan Hind.  The Road to Rightville: The essays in the anthology Why I Turned Right offer a tantalizing clue as to how conservative pundit-intellectuals manage to connect so unfailingly with a mass audience.  A review of Comrades: A World History of Communism by Robert Service. From Cato Unbound, Peter T. Leeson on Anarchy Unbound, or: Why Self-Governance Works Better than You Think.

From Christianity Today, an interview with Bob Roberts, author of Transformation: How Glocal Churches Transform Lives and the World and Glocalization: How Followers of Christ Engage the New Flat Earth; and a review of He Came Down From Heaven: The Preexistence of Christ and the Christian Faith by Douglas McCready and The Preexistent Son: Recovering the Christologies of Matthew, Mark, and Luke by Simon J. Gathercole Eerdmans. From Policy Review, what the Beatitudes teach: Jesus’s community of goodwill. Who speaks for America's evangelicals? The answer is not as clear-cut as in years past. Sex, drugs and rich white folk: A review of Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion by Jeffrey J Kripal.

A review of Once Upon a Quinceanera: Coming of Age in the USA by Julia Alvarez. A review of Fifteen Candles: 15 Tales of Taffeta, Hairspray, Drunk Uncles, and Other Quinceanera Stories. A review of Girls Gone Mild: Young Women Reclaim Self-Respect and Find It's Not Bad to Be Good by Wendy Shalit (and more). Say Cheese(cake): How pinup girls of the day reflect the changing ideals of womanhood. A review of The Great Big Glorious Book for Girls by Rosemary Davidson and Sarah Vine.

Jacob T. Levy (McGill): Federalism, Liberalism, and the Separation of Loyalties; and Federalism and the Old and New Liberalisms. Brian Leiter (Texas): Explaining Theoretical Disagreement. Matthew J. Festa (South Texas): Applying a Usable Past: The Use of History in Law. The Puzzle of Policy Diffusion: The first chapter from Bounded Rationality and Policy Diffusion by Kurt Weyland. A review of Out of This World: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Creation by Peter Hallaward. A review of Weakening Philosophy: Essays in Honour of Gianni Vattimo. A review of Goodness and Justice: A Consequentialist Moral Theory by Joseph Mendola. The introduction to Buying Freedom: The Ethics and Economics of Slave Redemption, ed. Kwame Anthony Appiah and Martin Bunzl. A review of John Gray's Black Mass: Apocalyptic religion and the death of utopia.

A review of Amerigo: The Man Who Gave His Name to America by Felipe Fernández-Armesto. A review of The Pirate Queen: Elizabeth I, her Pirate Adventurers and the Dawn of Empire by Susan Ronald. A review of Monarchy and Religion: The Transformation of Royal Culture in Eighteenth-Century Europe. A review of Master and Servant: Love and Labour in the English Industrial Age by Carolyn Steedman. A review of World War One: A Short History by Norman Stone. A review of Femme Fatale: Love, Lies, and the Unknown Life of Mata Hari by Pat Shipman (and more).  A review of Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War by Chris Bellamy. A review of Ten Decisions that Changed the World, 1940-1941 by Ian Kershaw (and more and more). From Dissent, History as Moral Obligation: An interview with Saul Friedlander, author of The Years of Extermination. A review of The Last Thousand Days of the British Empire by Peter Clarke (and more). A review of Religion and Society in Twentieth-Century Britain by C. G. Brown.

Baby’s First Diet Pill: What if we could change a child’s calorie-regulation mechanism at birth? According to a new study, popular infant educational DVDs like Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby may actually slow language development rather than enhance it. Psychology's Child: Can being a kid of a shrink mess you up? The lives of children of mental health professionals can have its moments. The Young and Anxious: We all want our children to do well, but parents of high achievers should ask themselves: "Is my kid sacrificing mental health in pursuit of that A+?" You've Got to Have Genes: A new study says that how we choose our friends is strongly influenced by genetic factors. Don't read books: Read Page 99 of Tearing Down the Gates: Confronting the Class Divide in American Education. The introduction to Charter Schools: Hope or Hype? by Jack Buckley and Mark Schneider. Your Own Personal Blackboard Jungle: Fresh from the frontlines, New York Teaching Fellows tell.