When politics turned pragmatic: A review of Reason of State, Propaganda, and the Thirty Years War: An Unknown Translation by Thomas Hobbes. The Philosopher of Our Times: A review of John Rawls's posthumously published Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy. In "How to Understand Politics: What the Humanities Can Say to Science," Harvey Mansfield shows with wit and verve how our seemingly apolitical science has blinded us to the quintessentially political quality of spiritedness, which, with a bow to Plato and Aristotle, he calls thumos.

A review of books by and an interview with Mary Midgley. Another think coming After decades in the analytical wilderness, philosophy is breaking out of its ivory tower to re-engage itself with real-life concerns. Human rights begin in small places, and close to home, said Mary Ann Glendon, president of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences.

From WSWS, a review of two Trotsky biographies by Geoffrey Swain and Ian Thatcher (and part 2). The Marx Memorial Library in central London, set up in 1933 in response to the Nazi book burnings in Germany, is at the centre of a row that pays testimony to the enduring ability of communists to indulge in internecine warfare. The Nazi Chronicles: Closed for decades, the world's largest Holocaust archive now reveals its secrets.The Jewish Writings by Hannah Arendt argues, persuasively, that understanding the political theorist’s Jewish identity is essential to understanding her entire body of work, and on how power cannot come of violence by Arendt. A review of The Lucifer Effect: How Good People Turn Evil by Philip Zimbardo.

A review of Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong. A review of The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science, and an interview with Natalie Angier. Creating a canon for science: Stop being so afraid, says Angier, and here are science facts you should already know.

From H-Net, a review of Sex Rights: The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 2002. Adultery shouldn't be boring: A review of Lust in Translation: The Rules of Infidelity from Tokyo to Tennessee by Pamela Druckerman (and more). A review of One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding.

Mother's Day is a lie: Its rituals are stale and its practices disgusting, but she goes through the motions anyway. Happy Non-Mother’s Day! A review of Nobody’s Mother: Life Without Kids. A review of By the Secret Ladder: A Mother's Initiation; Journey to the Darkside: Supermom Goes Home; Wiped! Life with a Pint-Size Dictator; Momzillas: A Novel; and Good Enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Book of Parenting.

A review of Everything Conceivable: How Assisted Reproduction is Changing Men, Women, and the World (and an interview with Liza Mundy). Genetic Testing + Abortion = ??? The right to choose, and the right to screen for sex, cancer genes or smarts. And from Newsweek, (Rethinking) Gender: How those who believe they were born with the wrong bodies are forcing us to re-examine what it means to be male and female


From Lew Rockwell, a look back at "Modern Historians Confront the American Revolution" by Murray N. Rothbard (and more). Jamestown vs. Plymouth and America's Founding Fictions: The truth of our history is that it produced winners and losers. Our founding is not a storybook Pilgrim fable. The 400th anniversary of Jamestown's founding has inspired a fresh look at America's founding rascals in Savage Kingdom.

A review of Washington's War: From Independence to Iraq by Michael Rose. A review of The Original Knickerbocker: The Life of Washington Irving. A story of a woman for president—in 1872? A review of Savage Peace: Hope and Fear in America 1919.

For the love of Lenin: A review of Young Stalin (and more and more and more). Victor Sebestyen reviews Comrades: Communism, a World History by Robert Service and more by Michael Burleigh, and more. A review of The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 by Saul Friedländer.

From The Moscow Times, a review of Spy Wars: Moles, Mysteries and Deadly Games by Tennet H. Bagley. A review of American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate, and Beyond by E. Howard Hunt. A review of Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Vincent Bugliosi. Who really did kill Kennedy? A review of Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years by David Talbot.

A review of Robert Dallek's Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power (and more and more). A review of Strictly Right: William F. Buckley Jr. and the American Conservative Movement by Linda Bridges and John R. Coyne Jr. A review of Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America by Matthew Avery Sutton. Spellbound: Ten thousand followers of Santeria live in Central Florida, and there's not a curse to be found among them.

With a history steeped in racism, the Mormon church is now targeting the African American community for new members. Will it take a miracle? Christianity Without Salvation: An article on the legacy of the "Social Gospel"—100 years later. When it comes to religion in the public sphere, Richard John Neuhaus knows best. President of the Evangelical Theological Society Francis J. Beckwith resigns because he has joined the Roman Catholic Church.

Daniel C. Dennett reviews God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens (and two excerpts), and more by Michael Kinsley, and more and more and more and more and more and more and more. How dare you call me a fundamentalist: An interview with Richard Dawkins on the right to criticise "faith-heads". A review of Against All Gods, by AC Grayling and Letter to a Christian Nation, by Sam Harris. Andrew Sullivan on how Republicans reap the religious whirlwind. And is America on the road to fascism? Naomi Wolf and Alan Wolfe debate (and part 2)


From The Moscow Times, Vasily Grossman's Life and Fate is a sweeping panorama of World War II that mercilessly juxtaposes Stalinism and Nazism. A review of Christopher's Ghosts by Charles McCarry: CIA agent Paul Christopher confronts his Nazi-era past to learn the fate of his parents. Life's pain, joys infuse Red-baiting '50s: A review of Fellow Travelers by Thomas Mallon.

In the face of crushing totalitarianism, the artist Josef Koudelka served as our single most important witness to the flickering human spirit in Eastern Europe. Writing in the Dark: Israeli novelist David Grossman reflects on what literature can accomplish in a time of permanent political emergency and personal loss.

Darkness visible: Inside view of slippery slope that can lead to terrorism: A review of The Sirens of Baghdad by Yasmina Khadra. A review of The Unknown Terrorist by Richard Flanagan (and more). Author Edmund White has written a controversial drama about the Oklahoma bomber in Terre Haute. From the ashes of 9/11, Don DeLillo assembles a shattering portrait of a tragedy's aftermath in Falling Man, and more by Jonathan Yardley, and more and more and more and more and more and more. Rebuilding Ground Zero: After an eternity of politicking, the real construction begins.

In Cathleen Schine’s fable of urban loneliness, The New Yorker, dogs play the fairy godmothers. Bright lights, big city: Barb Carey ponders contrasting views of the busy streets. Beyond the horizon Ordinary women find adventure by leaving home in Tourist Season, a collection of short stories. Young women of few words: There are signs that the short story may be on the cusp of a renaissance. It's officially spring, which means that publishers are sending us reams of chick-lit novels. A review of Writing in an Age of Silence by Sara Paretsky: A call for social activism from a premier mystery novelist.

Cristina García’s novel A Handbook to Luck is about estrangement — geographic, cultural and political. Do not be deceived. Stormy Weather by Paulette Jiles is not a love story, unless it is a love story about dust storms and despair, oil-well speculation and horse racing. A couple of human organisms adapt to love as an endangered species in The Sea Lady by Margaret Drabble Harcourt.

An interview with Natasha Trethewey, Native daughter: The 41-year-old poet talks about growing up mixed-race in Mississippi, her mother’s murder and whether it’s better to remember or to forget. And the silence and the lambs: Josephine Dickinson became profoundly deaf when she was 6. Now she is a poet


From the International Peace Academy, a series of papers on Coping with Crisis, including essays on (1) Global Political Violence: Explaining the Post-Cold War Decline; (2) Peacemaking and Mediation: Dynamics of a Changing Field; (3) New Challenges for Peacekeeping: Protection, Peacebuilding and the "War on Terror"; (4) Ending Wars and Building Peace; and (5) Small Arms and Light Weapons: Towards a Global Public Policy pdf.

Mass murder most foul: A review of Not On Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond; The Devil Come on Horseback: Bearing Witness to the Genocide in Darfur; Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide; The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones; and Darfur: The Ambiguous Genocide. Our compassion knows some bounds: A new study answers the question: how can we continue to ignore the mass suffering in Darfur?

From Soundings, has the future a left? Zygmunt Bauman proposes two defining principles for the left, and argues that these principles will always need to be battled for; Andy Pearmain argues that it is time to face the fact that the Labour Party is in its death throes, and that euthanasia is now called for; and an article on progressive politics after Blair. An article on Tony Blair and the tragedy of the great persuader. Here are five Americans who changed Tony Blair.

From The Observer, a series of articles on Gordon Brown. From Open Democracy, what will Gordon Brown do now? From New Statesman, as Blair departs, Brown will launch a plan to transform Labour's style through constitutional change and "empathy"; and the success or failure of Brown's prime ministership will lie across the Atlantic. So how will America react to him?

Ride ’Em, Cowboy. Well, Not Exactly: George Bush on a horse sends one signal. Nicolas Sarkozy on a horse sends another. A French Neoconservative? Nicolas Sarkozy is France’s first anti-anti-American leader. 4 myths about America-bashing in Europe: Yankee phobia may not be as toxic or universal as some pundits, mainly on the American left, claim.

This perfect storm will finally destroy the neocon project: Americans are sick of the unrepentant arrogance of this elite. But the realisation has come at a very heavy cost. See you in September, whatever that means: Everybody wants to measure “progress” in Iraq. But that measure defies definition. Fraying Nation, Divided Opinions: Highlights from a recent ABC News poll surveying Iraqi attitudes across cities, provinces, faiths and ethnic groups. War has displaced millions in Iraq, creating the largest refugee problem in the Middle East since 1948. As they flee their country, are they taking the war with them?

Laughter is not the Arab way: Aside from inheriting money, the best way to get rich in the Arab world is to find yourself an emir: A review of An Invitation to Laughter: A Lebanese Anthropologist in the Arab World. And war without limits: New scholarship on the origins of total war, from the French Revolution to World War II, helps explain the war on terror

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