From Prospect, there are worrying signs that the International Criminal Court's approach to justice may be jeopardising peace in Africa. Index on Censorship: Slavery 2007 is a salutary reminder of the presence of slavery. A review of The Door of No return: The History of Cape Coast Castle and the Atlantic Slave Trade.

From National Geographic, the Niger Delta holds some of the world's richest oil deposits, yet Nigerians living there are poorer than ever, violence is rampant, and the land and water are fouled. What went wrong?; as Mumbai booms, the poor of its notorious Dharavi slum find themselves living in some of India's hottest real estate; how one supercharged province in China cranks out lightbulbs, buttons, and bra rings, as well as instant cities for the factory workers; and fences may make good neighbors, but the barriers dividing the U.S. and Mexico are proving much more complicated.

From Vanity Fair, an excerpt from Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America. Give me back my legions! Cullen Murphy on Rome's most humiliating defeat — and a lesson for America. From The Potomac, must we become the darkness? Don Thompson reminds us of Cicero's rules of law, and the very foundation of civilization so recently corrupted by Bush; Barry Frye on America's Cult of Simplification; and if one of us were to read "Stupidity Street" to President Bush today, he would first of all apply it to other nations and not to the US.

Why Bush hasn't been impeached: Congress, the media and most of the American people have yet to turn decisively against Bush because to do so would be to turn against some part of themselves. Britain is losing Blair, but America is stuck with Bush, and that's because the British system is much better at getting rid of a discredited chief executive.

From Government Executive, an article on how government's personnel issues are more complicated than they look. From Governing, the disability dilemma: Police officers and firefighters injured in the line of duty receive generous benefits. Can localities afford to keep paying for them? Protect government watchdogs from politics: Washington's in-house inspectors general often fall victim to the officials they investigate. Daniel Gross on the silly effort to stop senators and bureaucrats from trading on their inside knowledge. How can politics recapture the ability to inspire us? Hard action and clear choices? Polling the populace: Citizen surveys are an increasingly popular tool for soliciting feedback on policies, programs and priorities.

From Public Opinion Pros, an excerpt from Questions & Answers in Attitude Surveys: Experiments on Question Form, Wording, and Context, by Howard Schuman and Stanley Presser; the public's lack of confidence in the press appears to be related to a superficial dissatisfaction with current political events, not a deep disaffection; and is the internet a boon for or a bane to democracy? Changes in the internet’s audience indicate that, contrary to the dark murmurings of some, this new technology may be a welcome development. And a political device goes corporate: Political veterans increasingly are taking their mastery of sophisticated new campaign techniques into the corporate world, though not all techniques will translate smoothly


From Kritikos, Senayon Olaoluwa (Ibadan): The Author Never Dies: Roland Barthes and the Postcolonial Project; and Travis English (Stony Brook): Hans Haacke, or the Museum as Degenerate Utopia.

From The Futurist, an article on the intersection of economics and the arts. The art journalist Lindsay Pollock’s The Girl With the Gallery reconstructs the life of a groundbreaking and largely overlooked woman who served as the midwife for the emergence of the modern art market in America. Bruce Cole, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, stands up for American exceptionalism in the arts. A review of Best American Magazine Writing 2006, ed. by Graydon Carter. A review of Granta 97: Best of Young American Novelists (and more).

Was Huck Faulknerian? A review of Jon Clinch’s Finn, a novel about Huck Finn’s father, and decides that it owes a heavy debt to a literary figure apart from Mark Twain. Author at work: When it first strikes you that your book isn't going to be the next Huck Finn, don't wallow in despair. Take a long walk. From The University Bookman, an essay on how small presses rescue classic genre writers from oblivion. Fiction critic Lionel Shriver explains why, for a novelist, reviewing is a dangerous game.

From Sign and Sight, escapology and the endgame: Peter Kümmel reports from this year's Theatertreffen in Berlin, the yearly rendezvous for the ten best plays on the German-language stage. A review of All That Glittered: The Golden Age of Drama on Broadway, 1919-1959 by Ethan Mordden. A review of The Shakespeare Riots: Revenge, Drama, and Death in Nineteenth Century America.

To be or not to be a philosopher did not concern Shakespeare, so far as we know. And we know very little: A review of Shakespeare The Thinker. Academic spitball fights can be tedious and polemical. But the May 31 New York Review of Books brings a refreshingly brief and engaging exchange on, would you believe, William Shakespeare's attitude toward political power (and the exchange between Richard Strier and Stephen Greenblatt). The introduction to Inventing English: A Portable History of the Language.

From Powells.com, a review of The Poems of Georg Trakl by Margitt Lehbert. Absent Friends: That is Not Sad; This is Not Funny: Adam Golaski resurrects the poetry of Paul Hannigan in all its acerbic and ominous brilliance. The unpublished poetry of Bonnie Parker, America's most notorious woman gangster, has emerged in the prison notebook she kept. John Ash's latest collection, The Parthian Stations, suggests that time in Istanbul has transformed the poet's work, writes William Wootten. An exchange of identity crises: A review of The Opposite House by Helen Oyeyemi.

Writing While Arab: The Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI), with a membership of 215 poets, fiction writers, playwrights, bloggers, filmmakers and others, holds its conference in Dearborn, Mich. The biggest little country in the world: In Search of Kazakhstan explores the vast land where the Soviets dumped their dissidents and tested nuclear bombs. Khaled Hosseini, the author of The Kite Runner, returns with a story about Afghan women in A Thousand Splendid Suns (and more and more and more and more). And a review of The Sleeping Buddha: the story of Afghanistan through the Eyes of One Family by Hamida Ghafour


From Liberty, two reviews of Brian Doherty's Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement (and a reply by Doherty). From Socialist Standard, the US anarcho-capitalist Libertarians are wrong to think that capitalism could exist without a state or that its competitive struggle for profits does not lead to wars. A review of Capitalism. A Very Short Introduction; Socialism: A Very Short Introduction; and Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction. A review of Gabriel Kolko’s After Socialism: Reconstructing Critical Social Thought.

From Quadrant, an essay on The True Genesis of Amnesty International; a review of The Triumph of the Airheads and the Retreat from Commonsense, by Shelley Gare; more on Stefan Collini’s Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain; and more on Michael Burleigh's Sacred Causes: Religion and Politics from the European Dictators to Al Qaeda. From Free Inquiry, what time is it: Lights out for belief, or the dawn of a new age of faith? Perhaps neither; Sam Harris on the myth of secular moral chaos; and should we respect religion? Barbara Smoker wants to know. Atheists versus Theists Humans need a "likely tale" to hold on to, to give the chaotic mass of their experiential content some coherence.

From Reason, James Dobson, Drama Queen: Big plans from the small-tent Republican; Spiritual Highs and Legal Blows: The power and peril of religious exemptions from drug prohibition; and Looking for God in All the Wrong Places: How can you have a religion without a church? Hanging baptists: Whence this theocratic oligopoly battling the "secular-humanist homofeminists"?

Al Gore's revenge is to have been right: right about the Internet and global warming, and right about Iraq. A review of The Assault on Reason (and more and more). From Frontline, a look at the politics behind the US government's failure to act on the biggest environmental problem of our time. What Stern got wrong: The Stern review on the economics of climate change completely fails to acknowledge the imminent decline in global oil production. Change the rules, change the future: New energy rules could unleash an economic boom and help quash climate change.

From Scientific American, drafty buildings, inefficient appliances and mountains of waste will all need to be transformed to control global warming. The Zero-Energy Solution: How a system installed in your own backyard may one day power your house and your car. A look at why working less is better for the globe. Practise what you preach: An article on the uneven advice of green-living guides. A new issue of Geotimes, is out, including an article on The Plague: Could it happen again? And bad bugs: Drug-resistant microbes are evolving into a public health problem too widespread to ignore


From Re-Public, a special issue on Time and Governance, including an essay on democracy in the age of neoliberal speed; an article on Kant, civil war and the folds of meaning; more on the re-engineering of time; an essay on working time flexibility as a socially questionable but politically favoured policy choice; reflections upon the relationship between space, time and governance; an article on real-time and the politics of presence; and what lies behind the notion of progress?; an interview with Bruno Latour on the end of progressivism, the limits of representation, and the irrelevance of parliaments; Richard Dawkins on time; an essay on temporality and Giorgio Agamben’s The Coming Community; and more.

From Open Letters Monthly, can a writer be objective about poverty? John Cotter thinks William T. Vollmann’s striking approach in Poor People is both beautiful and frustratingly distant. From Business Week, an interview with Robert Frank, author of The Economic Naturalist: In Search of Explanations for Everyday Enigmas. The Art of Letting Go: Mark Skousen lauds a Chinese philosopher who drove away a third of the students in a class at Columbia Business School.

Too much of a good thing? Researchers are eager to accept funding from philanthropists. Some universities are better than others: In the competitive world of higher education, the market has spoken. From the latest Phyllis Schlafly Report, a look at what colleges teach — and don't teach. The people's scientist: Kathy Sykes made a microscope from a saucepan on telly and says academics must learn to listen.

Scientists have discovered element 118, the newest block on the periodic table. But  why do scientists work so hard to create new elements that last for such a short time? The man behind the magnitude scale: A review of Richter’s Scale: Measure of an Earthquake, Measure of a Man (and more). Steve Donoghue gently debunks the anthropocentric conceits of Pulitzer Prize-winner Douglas Hofstadter’s newest book, I Am a Strange Loop.

From Natural History, the Cosmic Perspective: Neil deGrasse Tyson explains how embracing cosmic realities can give us a more enlightened view of human life; a review of The Invisible Sex: Uncovering the True Roles of Women in Prehistory; and Faces of the Human Past: Science and art combine to create a new portrait gallery of our hominid heritage. Obituary: Mary Douglas. Anthropology's "Other": A review of The Anthropology of Christianity, ed. by Fenella Cannell and Christian Moderns: Freedom and Fetish in the Mission Encounter by Webb Keane.

And from The University Bookman, a review of Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense by N. T. Wright; a review of Politics and Economics. An Essay on the Genesis of Economic Development by Rocco Pezzimenti; a review of Cattolicesimo, protestantesimo e capitalismo by Paolo Zanotto; a review of Law and Revolution, II: The Impact of the Protestant Reformation on the Western Legal Tradition by Harold J. Berman; and a review of The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization by Bryan Ward-Perkins and The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians by Peter Heather

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