From New Left Review, Peter Gowan argues that the origins of the global financial crisis lie in the dynamics of the New Wall Street System that has emerged since the 1980s; Francis Mulhern on the idea of culture in Raymond Williams’s classic work, and discrepant readings of it, fifty years on; a former MEP discusses the actual workings of the Europarliament, and the realities of "European construction" in the realm of culture; Peter Campbell writes on the aesthetics, ethics and technology of war photography; and Fredric Jameson reviews Christoph Henning's Philosophie nach Marx. View from Behind: Mainstream culture used to consider a big butt "lowly" and "vulgar", so why is it now the standard of beauty? Here are accounts of some of the lives lost this year whose effect during their time here will outlast the pulp of newspapers are printed on. Irrational Economic Man: If human beings are naturally risk-averse, then what the heck happened on Wall Street? For consumers, interactive entertainment is an opportunity — for critics, it’s a challenge. Common Cause: Abbas Mmilani on real help for Iranian democrats. How Bush Broke the Government: To gain a true sense of Bush's legacy, TAP surveys the systematic and politically motivated ways he undermined the federal government. A review of The Theology of Money by Philip Goodchild.

From History and Policy, John Tosh (Roehampton): Why History Matters; Ludmilla Jordanova (King's): How History Matters Now; and John Arnold (Birkbeck): Why History Matters - and Why Medieval History Also Matters. Government leaders fret about ongoing conflicts and economic crisis, but few admit that a climbing population exacerbates any problems. A review of The End of Ethics in a Technological Society by Lawrence E. Schmidt and Scott Marratto. Who said students today were apathetic? They have simply found new ways to protest, and new targets. The first chapter from Heroes and Cowards: The Social Face of War by Dora L. Costa and Matthew E. Kahn. A review of Screening Sex by Linda Williams. Discounts on democracy in Europe: Who should determine how one self-determines? The Nature-Nurture Debate, Redux: Genetic research finally makes its way into the thinking of sociologists. Johann Hari reviews American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau. Who Would Jesus Smack Down? Seattle minister Mark Driscoll is out to transform American evangelicalism with his macho conception of Christ and neo-Calvinist belief in the total depravity of man. An interview with Ronald Aronson, author of Living Without God: New Directions for Atheists, Agnostics, Secularists, and the Undecided.

From New York, a special "All New" issue: Of the many weird things happening right now, not all are bad; and a few ideas to make our basketball-loving, Internet-using, furtively smoking new POTUS feel more comfortable. From The New Yorker, a review of Killing for Coal: America's Deadliest Labor War by Thomas G. Andrews; hack attack: Liberal blogs get sabotaged; and baby food: If breast is best, why are women bottling their milk? Obama’s worst Pakistan nightmare: The biggest fear is not jihadists taking control of the border regions; it’s what happens if the country’s nuclear arsenal falls into the wrong hands. From RAND Review, a special issue on Twelve Suggestions for the New U.S. President. Are Israel and Hamas committing war crimes in Gaza? Anthony Dworkin wants to know. Matthew Yglesias on how the US should be involved in Gaza. From Wired, here are 12 elegant examples of evolution. Of Monkeys and Utopia: The state of nature is not a state of pacifism. A review of Only a Promise of Happiness: The Place of Beauty in a World of Art by Alexander Nehamas. What your loneliness is telling you: New science says being lonely speeds aging; old philosophy says the holiday blues are a signal to examine and change your life. Help Wanted: Leader of the Free World — can Obama fill the bill or have we all moved on?

From World Affairs, Christopher Hitchens writes to Mr. President Barack Obama; left behind: Russell Jacoby on the exploits of BHL; and H. R. McMaster on The Human Element: when gadgetry becomes strategy. In the coming era of consumer genetics, your DNA will have much to tell you about the biological bases of your health, your physique and even your personality — but will this knowledge really amount to self-knowledge? From Guernica, for Brazilian-born artist and modern-day trickster Vik Muniz, subverting his own images is all part of the game; and the daughter of a Nazi soldier recalls the spark and fizzle of her tenth New Year’s Eve. The Legend of Master Legend: With his trusty sidekick, the Ace, he fights to vanquish crime and defend the helpless, if he doesn't get evicted first — behind the mask of the Real Life Superheroes. From THES, youth is never wasted on the young: A misspent adulthood is a much greater waste than ill-spent adolescence; and more things in heaven and earth, Horatio: Employers have discovered that a mind sharpened by the study of philosophy is ideal for today's workplace. An interview with Sebastian Horsley, author of Dandy in the Underworld. From Vox, an article on the lender of last resort of the 21st century. How the ongoing transitions in journalism may affect the First Amendment's "marketplace of ideas". A review of The Letters of Allen Ginsberg.