Janaki Bakhlea (Columbia University): Music as the Sound of the Secular. What is music for? A review of The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature by Daniel J. Levitin. From Maisonneuve, why are literary readings so excruciatingly bad? P.D. Smith on Faust, the Physicists and the Atomic Bomb. The Indian Diaspora: The new face of success has a caramel-brown hue to it — introducing the worldwide rise of Bollystan. From The L Magazine, an essay on The White Negro: Appropriation, guilt and Hollywood’s new minstrels. Nicole Rudick reviews Nobody’s Home by Dubravka Ugresic. From Democracy, Theda Skocpol and Suzanne Mettler on higher-education access for all; Joseph Nye, Jr. on picking a president; Michael Lind on a new physical and financial infrastructure; Robert Shapiro on the next globalization; Eric Lane on America 101; and a review of The Freedom Agenda: Why America Must Spread Democracy (Just Not the Way George Bush Did) by James Traub. A review of Larry Diamond's The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World. A review of The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism by Andrew J. Bacevich and America and the World: Conversations on the Future of American Foreign Policy by Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft (and more and more).