From Dissent, is socialism liberal? An article on politics in France; and can the populist left last? Benjamin Ross on Democratic populism. Michael Lind reviews Freedom's Power: The True Force of Liberalism (and a response by Paul Starr). An excerpt from Gordon Brown's Courage: eight portraits on Robert Kennedy.

Christopher Hitchens reviews Comrades: Communism: A World History by Robert Service. Max Blumenthal on The Contrarian Delusion: How Hitchens poisons everything.

From TNR, Alan Wolfe reviews The Civil Sphere by Jeffrey C. Alexander (and part 2, part 3, and part 4; cached copies). A review of The Happiness Myth: Why What We Think Is Right Is Wrong: A History of What Really Makes Us Happy. Psychologists refer to it as the “glow of goodwill.” Why shouldn’t taking small steps that may produce such a glow be part of the role of government? Peter Singer wants to know. Gregg Easterbrook on how Virginia Tech exposes our impoverished language for evil.

Do we need the death penalty? Yes, and no. He was a retired F.B.I. and C.I.A. agent volunteering on cold-case investigations in the Colorado Rockies. How did Charlie Hess persuade a man who may be one of the most prolific serial killers in American history to admit to his crimes? A look at the world's worst shooting rampages. Don't Shoot: Why video games really are linked to violence. A review of Violation: Justice, Race and Serial Murder in the Deep South by David Rose. The South Under Siege, Yet Again: What’s it like for a town to be “discovered” after 250 years?

The roughly 80-million strong generation born between 1946 and 1964 could turn out to be a lot more like their parents than anyone expected, in no arena more so than in their choices of where, and how, they live. More on Teenage: The Creation of Youth, 1875-1945. A review of When We Were Bad: Is it only in Jewish families that adult children struggle to break from their parents?

From Ovi, Men Are from Earth, Women Are from Planet Impossible: An article on the growing cohort of European "Bridget Joneses". Play hard to get, single guys: That's the advice of pickup artists, and experiments in academia appear to bear it out. Facials, manicures, emotional outbursts: Is Metrosexual Man more of a woman than you? Robert Douglas-Fairhurst reviews Impotence: a Cultural History by Angus McLaren.

Paying for Kidneys: The idea of paying donors for their kidneys has long been taboo. It's time to take it seriously. Medical mystery tour: Michael Ruse reviews Survival of the Sickest: A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease. Benjamin Wittes on why the Supreme Court's shift on abortion is not what you think.

An interview with Frank Furedi on environmentalism, conspiracy theories and the "network of McCarthyites" slurring his name.

In praise of growing your own: A review of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It is a fact widely accepted by biologists but little known by the population at large. By the end of the century, half of all species on Earth may be extinct. Who will survive the world's dwindling biodiversity, and why? From Grist, what can The Little Prince teach us about sustainable living and treating the earth well? Carbon-neutral is hip, but is it green? The rush to go on a carbon diet, even if by proxy, is in overdrive. And an article on saving the planet, one square of toilet paper at a time.

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