Why are there so many natural disasters during presidential election years? A review of William Maxwell's Early Novels and Stories. From The New York Times Magazine, teaching boys and girls separately: The idea is gaining traction in American public schools, in response to the different education crises girls and boys have been reported to experience; and how do you prove you’re a Jew? From The New Yorker, are our brains wired for math? Jim Holt investigates; Hendrik Hertzberg and Ryan Lizza on how the probable nominees look at foreign policy; an article on Michelle Obama and the politics of candor; and Calvin Trillin on race, memory, and a killing in the suburbs. Even the most sober scientific reports regarding the state of the oceans make alarming reading. A review of A Portrait of the Brain by Adam Zeman. Welcome to the Quagmire: The next president may be stuck with more problems in Iraq than Bush ever faced. From City Journal, Ibn Warraq reviews Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan, by Caroline Fourest. From The Wall Street Journal, an article on the point of tipping. Robert Putnam on the rebirth of American civic life. A review of The Roads to Modernity: The British, French and American Enlightenments by Gertrude Himmelfarb. A review of Riding Toward Everywhere by William T. Vollmann.

Why can't the New Statesman hang on to readers or editors? The magazine's difficulties are symptomatic of broader problems within the British left. A review of Reagan’s Disciple: George W. Bush’s Troubled Quest for a Presidential Legacy by Lou and Carl M. Cannon (and more). An interview with Bernard-Henri Levy on Jews and the recognition of the Armenian genocide. Americans like the idea (though not always the reality) of risk more than comfortable Europeans do; to Russians, both lots seem hyper-cautious wimps. From Skeptic, a look at why consciousness is nothing but a word. Slide show: Are you ready for PowerPoint Karaoke? Women vs. Women: Women's foolishness is usually harmless, but it can be so embarrassing. Must a president be eloquent to be successful? Michael Kazin investigates. Money that lasts forever: Why are we so scared of annuities? The 2008 Veepstakes: Who should round out the Democratic ticket? More on The Bush Tragedy by Jacob Weisberg. Here are the collected controversies of William F. Buckley. William Skidelsky on how book reviewing may seem in reasonable health, but the authority of critics is being undermined by a raucous blogging culture and an increasingly commercial publishing industry. A review of Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy by Eric G. Wilson (and more from Bookforum).

From National Journal, the primary race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is turning the Democratic Party into a younger, more affluent and more liberal institution. William F. Buckley, RIP: Why we should be (mostly) glad that he outlived his brand of conservatism (and more). A review of The Endless City by Paul Crutzen. Sexology 101: Pondering pornography, Annie Sprinkle and the meaning of life. The Unspeakable R Word: Why nobody in Washington wants to say recession. White men unburdened: The political shift on race and immigration has spilled into the BBC. A look at how Obama inspires comparisons to famous figures. If you feel like you're seeing man words everywhere, you're not alone. British foreign secretary David Miliband’s approach to policy may be too intellectual. For all his lofty talk of national unity, Obama may actually put back the arrival of a post-racial America. Marking the 400th anniversary of the birth of John Milton, Peter Ackroyd examines his legacy with a new biography, and in his poetry (and more and more on Milton: Poet, Pamphleteer and Patriot by Anna Beer). A review of Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel by Michio Kaku. A review of Pat Barker's Life Class. Odds are the next U.S. president will be left-handed.