From Frontline, a review of Masks of Empire. Is imperial liquidation possible for America? Chalmers Johnson on the Evil Empire. From National Journal, is the American era over? The sun hasn't set on the American era, but a surprising number of foreign affairs experts see the United States in a fading light; and Jonathan Rauch on how President Bush is resolute about the war, but he's delusional about how long America is willing to wait for that outcome.

From Harper's, an interview with Marc Lynch on Iraq, the surge, and Al Qaeda. There is no insurgency in Iraq: The United States has been trying to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis. Iraq expert Stephen Biddle says that is the wrong strategy. There is no insurgency, he says. Instead, we need to focus on ending the civil war. A review of Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq. If Iraq has taught us anything, it is that facts are slippery little creatures, even when published in The New York Times. From Foreign Service Journal, many in the Foreign Service may hope that things will get back to "normal" once the Iraq War is over. Don't count on it.

What do Dick Cheney and Jimmy Carter have in common? Redeeming Cheney: How can Vice President Dick Cheney salvage his historical legacy? From Slate, the Icing is Iglesias: His firing is reason alone for Congress to impeach Gonzales. When special interests talk, politicians listen and the rest of us suffer. But why do politicians listen? "Special-interest" legislation is popular. Was Henry Kissinger right when he said, “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac”? Dems are bringing sexy back. Thomas Schaller on why single women a sleeping giant for Democratic Party.

Could an independent Bloomberg-Hagel presidential ticket have a chance? Would such a pairing pull more from Democrats or Republicans? Charlie Cook investigates. Rudy Giuliani has the potential to split the social and economic conservatives who have constituted the Republican Party's base since Ronald Reagan united them a quarter-century ago. The Sane Fringe Candidate: Meet John Cox, Republican candidate for president. John Dickerson on the stupid GOP effort to silence Ron Paul. From McSweeney's, here are the pros and cons of the top 20 Republican presidential candidates. The Fraudulent Fraud Squad: An article on the incredible, disappearing American Center for Voting Rights.

From First Monday, an essay on election bloggers and the methods for determining political influence. Battle of the Blogosphere: Which blogs deliver politics as unusual? Cavanaugh vs. Gillespie debate. The Internet has turned campaign news more and more into one-liners, weird exchanges, jaw-dropping flubs and other arresting moments. And from The Politico, an article on Politics 2.0: The rise of the netizen

From TLS, how to estimate the weight of a bullock, and other Classics conundrums: A review of Of Farming & Classics: A memoir by David Grene. A review of Food in medieval England: Diet and Nutrition. An excerpt from Moveable Feasts: The History, Science, and Lore of Food by Gregory McNamee.

From Christianity Today, famine again? A look at why some places suffer food shortages decade after decade. From New Statesman, a review of Our Farm: a year in the life of a smallholding by Rosie Boycott. From The American Prospect, Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a book about the virtues of homegrown and local food, is a tasty and nourishing read (and more and more and more).

From Jewcy, ever since the publication of Michael Pollan’s landmark book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, “compassionate carnivores” are increasingly thick on the ground, startling vegetarians by defending meat-eating in the language of empathy and environmentalism, ethics and compassion. From Politixxx, if Wolfowitz were a deli sandwich: Indigestion, yes, but it's the kind of sandwich that starving peoples would die for. From Nextbook, Junk Shop: Joshua M. Bernstein navigates the salty world of crappy kosher snacks: "Are Oreos and Fritos so entrenched in American culture that the market demands kosher knock-offs? Why replicate crap?"

The strategic advantage of being able to drink milk: Lactose intolerance is normal. So what happened? From Science, an article on The Secret History of the Potato. From Salon, what happened to plain old vanilla? Coldstone Creamery and other "mix-in" ice cream chains that lard their cones with cakes and candies make me long for a simple soft-serve swirl.

From Reason, true to his tongue:  A review of The Gospel of Food by Barry Glassner. Out of the garden with just the right touch: A review of Vegetable Harvest by Patricia Wells. (Raw) Food for Thought: A look at how uncooked diets are going mainstream. From Grist, an interview with underground foodie hero Sandor Katz.  Joanne Harris has a serious attitude towards food in The Lollipop Shoes, making this book a mouth-watering experience.  A review of American Food Writing: An Anthology with Classic Recipes (and more). A review of Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: The Romantic, Impractical, Often Eccentric, Ultimately Brilliant Making of a Food Revolution by Thomas McNamee.

Reflections of a bad boy chef: An interview with Marco Pierre White, author of The Devil In The Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness, and the Making of a Great Chef. Hocus-Pocus, and a Beaker of Truffles: In many restaurants across the country, the truffle flavor advertised on the menu comes not from the actual product but from a laboratory-made ingredient. The fatness formula: An article on a food technology with bittersweet effects. And from The Tyee, a review of Apartment Therapy: The Eight Step Home Cure; Home Therapy; and The Itty Bitty Kitchen

From Time, he has fallen out of love with politics. But friends, moneymen and an army of green activists are begging Al Gore to run; and an excerpt from The Assault on Reason. From Seed, can the power of the moving image save the environment? From New Scientist, a series of articles on climate change: A guide for the perplexed. From Mute, a series of articles on climate change: It's not easy being green. An interview with renowned climate scientist James Hansen.

Until global warming, the hidden cost of the growth-is-good myth was only clear to party-pooper ecologists. A look at how city-dwellers are far more likely to be green than their rural counterparts. An excerpt from Mike Davis's Planet of Slums (and a review). An impoverished ghetto will be impossible for a comfortable world to tolerate, says the author of The Bottom Billion (and a review).

From FT, big cities get a bad rap — they’re more congested, they create more pollution, and they have more crime, but a study shows bigger is better. In the slums of Rio, special forces soldiers fight a dangerous daily battle against armed drug gangs. The Numbers Guy goes in search of the world’s most livable cities.

From The Nation, the Third World was never imagined as a place but rather a project, one that was ultimately doomed by globalization—it awaits a resurrection. A review of Poor Story: An Insider Uncovers How Globalisation and Good Intentions Have Failed the World's Poor. A review of Bound Together: How Traders, Preachers, Adventurers, and Warriors Shaped Globalization.

From Contemporary Politics, an essay on globalization and the new world order; and an article on Stefan Collini's Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain, Harold Pinter and Bob Dylan (and more on Dylan and the ageing of the West). Saving globalization from itself: There are concrete ways to counter the fears of change and increasing inequality that are fueling the current backlash against trade liberation pdf. An essay on globalized corporations and the erosion of state power.

From The Globalist, an article on the IMF’s role in fostering global prosperity. Whoever succeeds Paul Wolfowitz faces a delicate balancing act. He must restore the morale of the bank’s staff while retaining the confidence of its American donors. From Financial Times, Henry Paulson on why the key test of accurate financial reporting is trust; and are the big three — Standard & Poor's, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings — up to the job, particularly in the huge, fast-growing and complex market for "structured finance"?

From The Economist, speaking in tongues: Dragging America down the rocky road to a set of global accounting rules; and on the alchemists of finance: Global investment banks are taking ever more risk, and are devising ever more sophisticated ways of spreading it. Is that reassuring or worrying? And Daniel Gross and Daniel Altman debate Connected: 24 Hours in the Global Economy

From First Things, Richard John Neuhaus reviews A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion, by Catherine L. Albanese; a review of From Nature to Experience: The American Search for Cultural Authority, by Roger Lundin; a review of Mapping Paradise: A History of Heaven on Earth by Alessandro Scafi; a review of Is Nature Enough? Truth and Meaning in the Age of Science by John F. Haught; and a review of A World Beyond Politics? A Defense of the Nation-State by Pierre Manent. A review of Sacred Causes: Religion and Politics from the European Dictators to al Qaeda.

From Crisis, who are the Neoconservatives? An interview with Michael Novak; and a review of Can a Catholic Be a Democrat? How the Party I Loved Became the Enemy of My Religion by David Carlin; and an interview with Dinesh D’Souza on Islam, America, and the Left’s responsibility for 9/11.

From Boston Review, Nicholas Schmidle the Islamist challenge to secular Bangladesh; in search of the Common Good: Lew Daly on the Catholic roots of American liberalism; and Cathy Tumber on the proper place for religion in politics. A case for a libertarian Christianity: A review of The Choice Principle: The Biblical Case for Legal Toleration, by Andy G. Olree. Michelle Goldberg on The Rise of Christian Nationalism: The erosions in state/church separation and legitimization of religious supremacism would have been unthinkable even six years ago. Chris Hedges on why the Christian Right's fear of pleasure is our greatest threat to Choice. Gary Bauer on the study "Why Religion Matters Even More: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability". Worse than Hell: Christopher Hitchens on the religious mind. A review of Religion and Security: The New Nexus in International Relations.

From AEI, George Priest on The Capitalist Foundations of America. A review of Savage Kingdom: The True Story of Jamestown, 1607, and the Settlement of America. The cradle of many things, but representative democracy, as we understand it today, isn't one of them. As we commemorate Jamestown's 400th anniversary, let's do so accurately. An article on reading and rereading The Mind of the South in no place Southern.

A review of Very Strange Bedfellows: The Short and Unhappy Marriage of Richard Nixon & Spiro Agnew. A review of Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power by Robert Dallek. An excerpt from Michael Bechloss' Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989. Ian Kershaw's Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions That Changed the World, 1940-1941 analyzes ten decisions that shaped the outcome of World War II. And a review of Fleeing Hitler: France 1940 by Hanna Diamond