The fights that do not want to end

From NYRB, Garry Wills reviews Lincoln on Race and Slavery; Julian Barnes reviews books by John Updike; Colm Toibin reviews of Alice in Jamesland: The Story of Alice Howe Gibbens James by Susan E. Gunter and House of Wits: An Intimate Portrait of the James Family by Paul Fisher (and more on Henry James at Bookforum); the crisis and how to deal with it: Here are excerpts from a symposium on the economic crisis; and a review essay on America's prisons: Is there hope? Warning: If you suffer from climate anxiety, read on at your own risk. The policies that the photographs of torture depict have already done terrible damage to America’s cause — President Obama is right not to release more of the pictures. The fights that do not want to end: Civil wars tend to last 20 times as long as international wars — why? Civil wars never end, they just move to Canada. How did "American Idol", a somewhat goofy, family-style talent show on Fox, become a bellwether of America's changing attitudes toward sexuality? "White Negroes" and "black hipsters": Blipsters just the latest chapter in half-century history of cultural swapping and stealing. No extra charge: Troy Patterson on the dubious art of infomercials. Do we take more risks when we feel safe? Fifty years after we began using the three-point seatbelt, there's a new answer.