A new issue of Open Letters Monthly is out. From TLS, fifty years after the publication of Ian Watt's seminal work, The Rise of the Novel, a look back to the review of this "penetrating study of the intellectual and social conditions which produced a new literary form". From The Believer, an interview with Pankaj Mishra, author of An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World and Temptations of the West: How to be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond. The ability to see and not to see: A review of A Writer's People: Ways of Looking and Feeling by V S Naipaul (and an interview). From Sign and Sight, the impertinent muse: Ina Hartwig meets Ann Cotten, the Austrian star of Germany's poetry jet set. William Gibson's Spook Country is threatening to completely overhaul the way literary criticism is conducted.

From PopMatters, a review of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler and Dear Jane Austen: A Heroine's Guide to Life and Love by Patrice Hannon. Austen Appeal: A look at why young women can’t get enough of Jane. The perfect age for reading: Are there some books you can only enjoy when you're young? A review of Why We Read What We Read: A Delightfully Opinionated Journey Through Bestselling Books by Lisa Adams and John Heath. Not a license to print money: A review of The Business of Books: Booksellers and the English Book Trade by James Raven. The great book giveaway: Why are published authors giving their books away for free online? An article on the ethics of handling and manhandling a book. A Publisher by Any Other Name: Quick, name you favorite book. Now, quick, name who published it. Gotcha, didn't I? 

From Reason, To Destroy You is No Loss: An article on the endurance of Cambodian pop culture. Mixing Music and Politics in Africa: Senegalese singer and songwriter Nuru Kane is carrying his sound, and his message, to the West. An interview with Thomas Wheelock, author of Land of the Flying Masks: Art & Culture in Burkina Faso. Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll in a Failing State: Lebanon's underground music scene sees its own demise in the fading promise of the "Cedar Revolution". The pen is mightier: For Iraqis, using violence to bring change is a tradition that goes back thousands of years. Yet exiled poet Nabeel Yasin believes culture can conquer all.  An article on the poetry of Guantanamo. A review of Poems From Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak. Shall I Compare Thee to an Evil Tyrant?

From National Journal, After Gonzales: At the top of the To Do list for the next attorney general will be seven challenges, including repairing a battered Justice Department, reducing political interference with the department's decisions, establishing credibility with the public, and patching up relations with Congress. From Slate, a serialization of Ronald Reagan: A Graphic Biography (and an interview with author Andrew Helfer). How Bush betrays Reagan: Bush idolizes the Great Communicator. But Reagan's successes came because he didn't follow his conservative ideology. George Bush, meet John Major. A review of Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush by Robert Draper (and three excerpts).

Andrew Gelman and Delia Baldessarri (Columbia): Partisans Without Constraint: Political Polarization and Trends in American Public Opinion. Andrew Gelman and Cexun Jeffrey Cai (Columbia): Should the Democrats Move to the Left on Economic Policy? From Financial Times, Barney Frank believes a new deal with business is the best way to achieve equality. Jonathan Chait on how economic crackpots devoured American politics. An article on how California conservatives are down, but they're far from out. A splash of primary colour: Republican Joel Neuberg has run for president in every election since 1992 yet remains largely unknown to California’s voters. A review of Living Blue in the Red States. John Judis on why 2008 will be a great election for Democrats in the Senate. A review of The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers, and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics by Matt Bai. 

Christine B. Williams and Girish J. “Jeff” Gulati (Bentley): Social Networks as Viral Campaigns: Facebook and the 2006 Midterm Elections. Richard Hansen on Law and Dis-Order: The imploding system for choosing the next president. From The New York Observer, a look at why conservatives love Rudy. Rudy and Barack are all wrong about how they can win in '08. Whose 9/11 Is It? Is the Clinton campaign trying to supplant Rudy Giuliani on the Sept. 11 pedestal? What Hillary Hides: The former first lady may offer more of the same: a penchant for secrecy and good-and-evil politics. Hillary's Prayer: For 15 years, Hillary Clinton has been part of a secretive religious group that seeks to bring Jesus back to Capitol Hill. Is she triangulating—or living her faith. Inquisition 2008:  Presidential candidates are getting barraged by the media on questions about their prayers, their sins, and their beliefs on religious doctrine. A look at how Fred Thompson channels L. Ron Hubbard.

From Salon, Bush knew Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction: Two former CIA officers say the president squelched top-secret intelligence, and a briefing by George Tenet, months before invading Iraq. From Foreign Affairs, did the Bush administration disregard military expertise before the Iraq war? Should military leaders have done more to protest in response? If Rumsfeld really wants people to read his book, here are just a few questions that he should answer. Challenging the Generals: America's junior officers are fighting the war on the ground in Iraq, and the experience is making a number of them lose faith in their superiors. The private soldiers who die for America: A review of Blackwater: the Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army by Jeremy Scahill. A review of House To House: An Epic of Urban Warfare by David Bellavia. Shankar Vedantam on the insurgency's psychological component.

From New Left Review, Regis Debray on Socialism, a Life-Cycle: The ecosystem of socialism, seen through the material forms in which its principles were transmitted — books, newspapers, manifestos — and the parties, movements, schools and men who were its bearers; Robert Wade on A New Global Financial Architecture? As the world economy shows growing signs of vulnerability, what mechanisms exist for averting repeats of the Asian or Mexican crises?; and a review of Capitalism Unleashed: Finance, Globalization, and Welfare by Andrew Glyn. A review of Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life by Robert B. Reich. From The Economist, rocky terrain ahead: How much will the credit crunch hurt the world economy? William Greider on Waiting for The Big One: Nobody knows if the current financial crisis could become the type of economic unraveling that makes history.

A review of Hopscotch and handbags: The Essential Guide to Being a Girl by Lucy Mangan (and more). A review of Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. A man who gets angry at work may well be admired for it but a woman who shows anger in the workplace is liable to be seen as "out of control" and incompetent, according to a new study. Stripper poles as new feminism? Some argue that the frat-house toy allows young women, sober or not, to flaunt their liberation. "Hi, Slut!" The first chapter from Girls Gone Mild: Young Women Reclaim Self-Respect and Find It's Not Bad to Be Good by Wendy Shalit. A review of Split Decisions: How and Why to Take a Break from Feminism by Janet Halley.

From Humanitas, James J. Dillon (SUWG): The Tears of Priam: Reflections on Troy and Teaching Ancient Texts; Quentin Taylor (RSU): John of Salisbury, the Policraticus, and Political Thought; Michael P. Berman (Brock): Locke the Hermenaut and the Mechanics of Understanding; William F. Byrne ( St. John’s): Burke’s Higher Romanticism: Politics and the Sublime; Mark T. Mitchell (PHC): Michael Polanyi, Alasdair MacIntyre, and the Role of Tradition; and George Bragues (Guelph): Richard Rorty’s Postmodern Case for Liberal Democracy: A Critique. From The Wilson Quarterly, Theo Anderson on One Hundred Years of Pragmatism: William James grappled with the great question of modern times: How is it possible to believe? A century later, his answers are still fresher and more relevant than most. From Philosophy Bites, does the end justify the means? An interview with Brad Hooker on consequentialism; and an interview with Simon Blackburn on moral relativism. 

For the first time, researchers have published the DNA sequence from both sets of chromosomes in a single person. That person is none other than pioneering genome researcher J. Craig Venter. One man's DNA shows we're less alike than we thought. In the Genome Race, the Sequel Is Personal: A newly decoded genome makes clear that the variation in the genetic programming carried by an individual is much greater than expected. An article on biology and belief: Foundations of faith?  If not religion, What? Science can’t talk with faith, but philosophy can. Alan Contreras argues for a shift in who does the debating in our continuing national argument. A survey finds that the least religious of all medical specialties is psychiatry. A review of The Death of Sigmund Freud: Fascism, Psychoanalysis and the Rise of Fundamentalism by Mark Edmundson. 

The U.S. News Rankings Roll On: Academic leaders seek alternatives, and participation in the survey drops, but no one expects the magazine's college guide to fade away. The Academy as a Community Greenhouse: The “ivory tower” analogy is outdated, and comparing colleges to businesses is shortsighted. A review of God's Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America by Hanna Rosin.Mr. Rodgers Goes to Dartmouth: A cautionary tale about a businessman who ventured back into the Ivory Tower. From Ralph, taking cat-naps four or five times a day helps to keep you in the pink, and the ivy-covered halls of academe, with their windy faculty meetings and frequent seminars, have long provided an ideal venue for this practice; and a letter on boredom and academia. Literary boredom: Why is academic writing so boring? Academics love a dull read.