From The Chronicle of Higher Education, Ghost Writers: Let us now praise anonymous journal-article reviewers, for they toil in a valuable, unappreciated literary genre. Tom Bower, the controversial biographer, takes a ringside seat for the trial of his latest subject, Lord Black. Outside the courtroom, he absorbs the culture of Chicago and takes a gamble on a break to Vegas.

The Bancroft maxim of "Never sell Grandpa's paper" is facing its toughest test. Despite their tentative no to News Corp.'s overture for Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones, family members — grown apart and lacking a clear leader — have been working nonstop behind the scenes to establish a consensus. From Foreign Policy, an interview with Devin Leonard of Fortune on Murdoch as a media pioneer seizing the future while others are fleeing. Rupert Murdoch won't rescue the Wall Street Journal. His influence on other outlets may be lucrative, but it doesn't always yield high quality.

One of the great mysteries about the mainstream press in the last six years is its seeming inability to use one particular word: "liar". The Numbers Guy on tallying Bill O’Reilly’s name-calling. Conservative blog Red State declares war on GOP perverts, louts, criminals. From TNR, when did the netroots come into being? Jonathan Chait, Ezra Klein, Rick Perlstein, Matt Stoller & Chris Bowers debate. From Wired, controlled chaos: An interview with Markos Moulitsas Zúniga. Fighting from the left: Netroots bloggers in the US don't just want to admire the right's propaganda machine, they want to beat it. In Egypt, blogging can get you arrested—or worse. YouTube, MySpace and other websites are banned on DoD computers.

How to Be a Star in a YouTube World: What it takes to stand out when anyone can be an entertainer. The Electronic Frontier Foundation jumped into a legal battle involving efforts by self-described psychic Uri Geller to censor video clips of him posted on YouTube. Instead of trying to keep bullies from taking over, too many Web sites become their unwitting enablers.

From Technology Review, the first epoch of Web design is over; from now on, Web pages will be as attractive as print—but more interactive. The BBC's desperate attempt to lead the new media revolution has been fraught with controversy, delays and huge costs. And from Business Week, who's behind The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs? The question riveting Silicon Valley as much as the satirical blog itself may be answered this week


The Ghost of George Kennan: A review of Containment: Rebuilding a Strategy Against Global Terror by Ian Shapiro and The End of Alliances by Rajan Menon. Scott McLemme reviews Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America by Cullen Murphy. (and more and more). A review of After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire by John Darwin (and more).

Jihad deja vu: A bloody 19th century revolt against the British looks terribly familiar. As a teenager Ed Husain was intoxicated with jihadism, and his highly acclaimed new book blames British Muslims for failing to tackle extremism, and a review of The Islamist. Daniel L. Byman on the rise of low-tech terrorism. No satisfactory resolution of the debate over the treatment of suspected terrorists is likely until a new administration takes over. A review of Military Justice in Vietnam: The Rule of Law in an American War. Navy veteran David Miller said that when he checked into the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City, he didn’t realize he would get a hard sell for Christian fundamentalism along with treatment for his kidney stones.

From Financial Times, women have long been able to borrow from the male wardrobe, and now old-fashioned femininity is slowly creeping into men’s wear collections. How the media skew gender research: Studies that appear to support traditional roles for women get picked up and popularized, while more nuanced research just can't seem to generate buzz. How the media perpetuate women's fears of being a bad mother: Contrary to what the media report, putting your child in day care will not make them grow up to be a criminal or Columbine-like killer.

From n+1, Replaceable You: Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous is adamantly against turning love into mysticism, or self-abnegation (and part 2). Feeling stressed? No sex leads to less sex, research shows. Too Much Information: Rebecca Traister on how blogs have ruined her dating life, and Nerve's new wiki lets you share your favorite pickup lines with a fine community of skeeves. Objectophilia, fetishism and neo-sexuality: Some people love their laptops more than anything else in the world. Others are sexually aroused by musical instruments or buildings. Experts are trying to understand a bizarre sexual obsession known as objectophilia. Virtual rape is traumatic, but is it a crime? And pushing sex offenders to the edges of society may sound like a good way to keep kids safe. But what if residency restriction laws have the opposite effect?


From Political Affairs, previous art theory/history has taken certain routes to understand art that always accidentally-on-purpose bypasses the most crucial element that can make sense of it. This is the role of the Aesthetic State Apparatus (ASA). The iMac as Bauhaus's progeny: What can an arts movement that shaped the machine-age 20th century offer to the high-tech 21st? Ideas that could prove just as vital in our own time. An interview with mad professor Natalie Jeremijenko, darling of the art crowd and geek set. Back From the Dead: An artist dies, the work's on life support. Should the living make it get up and walk? When Irish eyes are smiling: An article on the flourishing market for art from Ireland.

A great Czech novelist expounds his philosophy of the novel in The Curtain: an essay in seven parts, but it comes laden with strange prejudices. What matters to me: Novelist Mark McNay on memories, influences and the perfect Sunday. Self Taut: For the long-disparaged art of short fiction, a widening appreciation of the form. From NPQ, an interview with Nadine Gordimer: "It seems materialism has conquered all".

Battle of the book reviews: A war of words breaks out between print and Internet writers as newspapers cut back coverage. Here are the best business books of all time from a panel of CEOs and experts.  Witty, breezy Mergers and Acquisitions loses it in last act: Dana Vachon is this season's publishing It boy (and more). Prescribed Reading: What future doctors (and patients) can learn from Tolstoy, Philip Roth — and The Secret.

Nathan Englander is worried. Not about anything in particular. He just worries. ''Everything's so overwhelming to me,'' says the author of The Ministry of Special Cases. Love's dual destiny seems like pot luck: Michiko Kakutani reviews The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver (and more). Carlin Romano reviews The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon (and more and a profile and an excerpt). An interview with Jim Crace, author of The Pesthouse (and a review).

A review of Thick as Thieves: A Brother, A Sister - A True Story of Two Turbulent Lives by Steve Geng. And when John Preston discovered his aunt had helped unearth Anglo-Saxon gold at Sutton Hoo, he decided to dig further. He uncovered a story of intrigue and heartbreak that provided perfect material for his new novel (an a review of The Dig)


A majority of people around the world favour strengthening the United Nations to increase its role in peacekeeping, fighting terror and in stopping nuclear proliferation, a new survey has found, and an interview with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Who will win in the 21st century? In the IMD's World Competitiveness Yearbook, the US came in first once again. But other nations are closing the gap. Farmers in Kenya, Burkina Faso and Senegal used to be able to make ends meet. Today they have trouble selling their goods because of subsidized exports from industrial nations that are sold in Africa at dumping prices. But will the West ever change? A review of Poisoned Wells: The Dirty Politics of African Oil by Nicholas Shaxson. An interview with John Ghazvinian, author of Untapped: The Scramble for Africa's Oil.

From Foreign Policy, a look at the fast-growing faiths that are upending the old world order.  An ability to absorb conflict: A review of India after Gandhi by Ramachandra Guha. Martha Nussbaum on The Clash Within: The frictions that erode democracies are not between civilizations, but within ourselves. The experience of India is instructive, and deeply worrisome. Is freedom failing? Peter Beinart investigates. An ominous arrest in Iran: The unjust detention of an Iranian-American academic shows Ahmadinejad to be his US antagonists' doppelganger.

Shlomo Ben-Ami on America’s suicidal statecraft. What price slaughter? In New York and Jalalabad, human life is valued differently — by the US government. Interventionism's Last Hold-Out: Kanan Makiya, the Iraqi exile who convinced many liberal interventionists to support the war, now stands alone in saying invasion was the right decision.

Form Truthout, Dean Baker on the economic costs of the Iraq War. Blowing Off the War: Paul Waldman on how conservatives know virtually nothing about Iraq or the Walter Reed scandal if they get their news from right-wing media. But they do know that Democrats are to blame.  While Republicans try to figure out how to end their war, Democrats should begin thinking about how to secure some peace. That means pursuing Mid-East diplomacy themselves. Branding the Democrats: Staring down the president on the firing of U.S. attorneys sends a message of Democratic toughness. And an interview with anti-war Republican Rep. Wayne Gilchrest on Iraq, the Bush administration, and the "dissolving" GOP

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