From Great Britain, a look at the Top 10 most controversial ads. The great performer leaves the stage: A look at what Tony Blair did, and why he did it. Why do Brits dislike the departing prime minister? Geoffrey Wheatcroft investigates. Timothy Garton Ash on the lessons from Blair's three big mistakes. He made serious mistakes, and is one of the most controversial politicians of his generation, but also one of the most successful. His legacy to Great Britain will be immense. From Time, an interview with Gordon Brown.

Gaullist revolutionary Nicolas Sarkozy: Does France know the full implications of what it has voted for? (and more on his European plans). Anthony Giddens on how Sarkozy only has half the solution for France, but the French election could lead to a resurgence of Europe. Martin Wolf on why Sarkozy's triumph portends strife in Europe.

From Mother Jones, Putting Lipstick on a Dictator: Rogue states hire PR firms to change public perception and win audiences with American leaders. Whatever happened to old fashioned diplomacy? Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment looks at the future of Iranian-American relations, Iran's vulnerabilities, and whether we might one day see liberals ruling in Tehran. In a gruesome marriage of technology and medieval barbarity, an Internet video records the stoning death of a 17-year-old Kurdish girl. Welcome to the new Iraq.

Zugzwang, or, White to play and lose: Allen Quicke reports on a chess match being played in Baghdad between the forces of Good and Evil. From The Mises Institute, Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. on The War the Government Cannot Win. September will supposedly be the moment for a real, make-or-break verdict on Bush's surge and the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Don't bet on it. In Search of a Political Mission: Are the Democrats and Bushies playing good cop/bad cop with the Iraqis? America's Angriest General: Retired two-star Army Gen. John Batiste is lashing out at the Bush war in Iraq in ads targeting key Republicans up for re-election in 2008. His offensive may change the rules regarding civilian-military relations. From Stars & Stripes, a series of articles on training the Afghan military.

From Government Executive, a look at how intelligence agencies must decode a human capital crisis; the Army is developing the most expensive and complex weapons system in its history, but it's based on some very questionable concepts; but before accepting dire assessments of Army readiness, it's worth asking: Ready for what? House Democrats back down, but the military budget is as bloated as ever. The US Army has ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a superior officer. Phillip Carter on on how the Army can regulate soldiers' blogs and letters—but it shouldn't. An interview with Paul Rieckhoff, author of Chasing Ghosts: Failures and Facades in Iraq: A Soldier’s Perspective.

From National Journal, officials from the White House and the Justice Department worked together to keep Congress from uncovering presidential adviser Karl Rove's part in installing one of his own protégés, Timothy Griffin, as a U.S. attorney in Arkansas. And on Karl Rove's big election-fraud hoax: Republican manipulation of the polls long predates the U.S. attorneys plot, and the US voting system needs an overhaul

From TLS, Henry James's magic touch: The letters of the young James reveal a man still finding his style; the blithely subversive Aidan Higgins: Austere and often difficult, Higgins is a remarkable writer who has received less attention than he deserves; and Keats, Woolf and Van Gogh in the province: A literary guide to the jewels of Provence.

From Sign and Sight, here are the most talked about books of the 2007 spring season; and the press and Europe's public sphere: Swedish newspaperman Arne Ruth explains the importance of cross-border journalism in creating a European public space. Form the Caribbean Review of Books, a review of University of Hunger: Collected Poems and Selected Prose by Martin Carter; a review of Horizons: The Life and Times of Edric Connor, 1913-1968: An Autobiography; and Trinidad is nice, Trinidad is a paradise - but the country has not been very lavish to its poets: An article on Eric Roach, Laureate of nowhere.

From The Nation, a review of Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee; The Imaginary Jew: A review of The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon and The Ministry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander;  After Dark, Haruki Murakami's edgy new novel, describes how the lives of a group of strangers intersect over the course of one night; a review of Chance and Circumstance: Twenty Years With Cage and Cunningham by Carolyn Brown; and a review of Four Novels of the 1960s: The Man in the High Castle, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Do by Philip K. Dick.

From The New York Observer, in FSG’s posthumous collection of essays by Susan Sontag, an alert reader finds unattributed borrowings from Roland Barthes, Laura Miller: Regarding the Writings of Others. More and more on Falling Man by Don DeLillo. A review of What's Your Freakin' Problem? by N.B. Piccirilli, and a review of Running Toward Home by Betty Jane Hegerat.

From Smithsonian, Epic Hero: How a self-taught British genius rediscovered the Mesopotamian saga of Gilgamesh—after 2,500 years; and welcome to Rawda: Iraqi artists find freedom of expression at this Syrian café. An interview with Thalassa Ali, author of A Singular Hostage, A Beggar at the Gate, and Companions of Paradise. 798—and out? What's worse for artists, communism or capitalism? Home is where writers often retreat to focus on work, not receive visitors. Pushing aside the barbed wire, Elizabeth Kiem tracks down the author of The Ginger Man at his Irish estate. Lock your doors, Salinger. More and more on Ralph Ellison: A Biography. Reverent Entertainment presents: Machine translation or Faulkner?

From Cabinet, an article on A Minor History of Miniature Writing; and on The Language of the Bees: An interview with Hugh Raffles on Karl von Frisch and his "little comrades". Adam's Apple: Adam Moss is America's most celebrated editor. So why is New York magazine such a bore? Robert W. McChesney on the largely untold story of Monthly Review for its first 35 years, 1949-1984. Last exit to book land: An ex-book critic finds hope in the current campaigns to save newspaper book reviews and restore reading to the heart of American life. And the corporate pressure on the successful user-generator news aggregator Digg highlights the flaws in the legal architecture governing next-generation media outlets

From Monthly Review, István Mészáros on The Only Viable Economy. To do with the price of fish: How do mobile phones promote economic growth? A new paper provides a vivid example. From Cato Unbound, Daniel Klein on economics and the distinction between coercive and voluntary action. From American, does economic success require democracy? Sadly, no. In fact, the politically unfree countries are enjoying more economic growth than the politically free ones. Kevin Hassett tells why.

From The Economist, who's the real left-winger? The main Democratic candidates' economic policies are hard to pigeon-hole. John Edwards is meticulously laying the groundwork to become the candidate of organized labor, insisting prosperity can expand only if unionization expands. From TAP, why populists need to re-think trade: James K. Galbraith on why it's time for a reality-based approach; and why populists need to seize the moment: Jeff Faux on why it's time to rewrite the rules of the global economy on workers' behalf (and a debate). Locked in and locked out: When the world adopts a set of economic institutions it has an incentive to build on old mistakes, like a lack of labour and environmental standards. From traders with second thoughts: Poisoned pet-food ingredients are coming in from China.

Are the Communists out to kill our pets, or is the mood in America beginning to shift? Don't be fooled by Europe's mood. Globally, the left is reawakening: The political ructions of the past week can't hide a progressive resurgence - even in the belly of the capitalist beast. International socialism: The people's flag is palest pink—at the hustings, socialism can be a drag. A review of Comrades! A History of World Communism and Seven Years that Changed the World: Perestroika in Perspective. Michael Weiss reviews What's Left? by Nick Cohen. A review of Praised Be Our Lords: A Political Education by Régis Debray.

From New Humanist, Caspar Melville on anti-God squad "Rational Response Squad". From The Nation, a review of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins; God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens; Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam by Michel Onfray; and The Meaning of Life by Terry Eagleton. More on God is Not Great. Marvin Olasky on The Major Religious Alternatives.

Within its first 60 seconds, the new Rush album, Snakes & Arrows, throws down against the Christian right. Republicans retreat from their war history: How the GOP ditched decades of hard-headed foreign policy realism. How George Bush Salvaged His Dad’s Legacy: History is warming to George H.W. Bush by the day—just as it cools toward his son. A review of Ronald Reagan: Fate, Freedom, and the Making of History by John Patrick Diggins. The first chapter from The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater.

From American Heritage, a review of Michael Beschloss’s Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989. The royalty trap: Americans have a dangerous fondness for monarchy. An All American Suck-Ups: Don't believe the "hardy independence" nonsense. Americans eagerly pander to state and throne — and have throughout the country's history

A review of Plato: Political Philosophy by Malcolm Schofield. The first chapter form Sřren Kierkegaard: A Biography by Joakim Garff. Iran on jails Iranian-American Haleh Esfandiari, director of Middle East studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The fight for understanding: Charles Taylor's theory of secular and cross-faith engagement is what our society needs in order to build respect and end violence. It is bracing to see a major Straussian in action. Harvey Mansfield's delivery was so genial, so good-natured, that it required close attention to his prepared text to realize how radical he is. A review of The History Wars by Stuart Macintyre and Anna Clark.

Wellesley taps Yale biologist Kim Bottomly to be its next president. Nine prominent professors are leading an effort to rethink the culture of undergraduate teaching and learning at Harvard. Some colleges have longer wait lists than in previous years, offering a chance of openings if enough accepted applicants don't enroll. New graduation skills: As business schools start to teach more ethics and practical skills, enrolments are climbing again. Sex-Crazed Co-Eds! If Annsley Chapman reads one more article about college girls gone wild, she really will go wild. Carol Lloyd on college girls gone wild (and proud of it).

Fifty-three years after Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court will rule on two cases that will decide the future of school integration. L.A. students are hooking up with tutors in South Asia for help with their homework. Is this global economy cool, or what? New computer software that detects plagiarism in student essays could have long-lasting consequences for tutor-pupil relations.

From Smithsonian, species explosion: What happens when you mix evolution with climate change? In a whale-sized project, the world's scientists plan to compile everything they know about all of Earth's 1.8 million known species and put it all on one website (and more on the Encyclopedia of Life and a video with E. O. Wilson). From American Scientist, an interview with Desmond Morris, author of The Naked Woman: A Study of the Female Body. Two Millennia of Impotence Cures: An excerpt from Impotence: A Cultural History. Research finds oral sex can cause throat cancer.

From New Scientist, a quirky look at our quirky species: Humans are strange creatures that must be studied in strange ways, says psychologist Richard Wiseman. This Is Your Brain. This Is Your Brain on Neurotechnology: New brain research is leading to second thoughts on our morality. From The Scientist, hot paper in epigenetics: Twins diverge by Charles Q. Choi. Not Surprised You Speak Our Language: On the one hand, it's dos svidania, on the other sallam — globalization and jihad have language studies in an upheaval. Scientists examining documents dating back 3,500 years say they have found proof that the origins of modern medicine lie in ancient Egypt and not with Hippocrates and the Greeks. King Herod's secret is out: Archaeologists discover tomb of ancient King of Judea.

From Technology Review, Objects of Desire: Famous industrial designers talk about iconic pieces of technology. And 10 uses for audio cassettes: Sales of audio cassettes are dwindling, but what use is there for the estimated 500 million tapes gathering dust?