From Alternet, here are four myths governments and media use to scare us about “dictators”. Roger Cohen on “neocon” as the new L-word: Neocon has morphed into an all-purpose insult for anyone who still believes that American power is inextricable from global stability. The democracy world tour: Travelling the world, looking for films and funding for a ten-part BBC series, Nick Fraser finds that dreams of a democratic world are as strong as ever. A review of Democratic Capitalism and Its Discontents by Brian C. Anderson. Research suggests imposed democracies that fail seem to undermine subsequent attempts at democracy. From Logos, an essay on retribution against heads of state and prime ministers; and a review of Body of Secrets: How America's NSA and Britain’s GCHQ Eavesdrop on the World by James Bamford.

For Banned Books week, Time looks at 10 books considered too sexy, liberal or anti-religious by school systems across the U.S. Howl in an era that fears indecency: A station feared that by broadcasting “Howl” it could run afoul of the Federal Communications Commission’s interpretation of indecency and incur bankrupting fines (and more). Libel without borders: Any book bought online in England can ostensibly be subject to English libel law. As a result, publishers and booksellers are increasingly concerned about “libel tourism”. Bookmobiles' final chapter? A few libraries, drivers refuse to give up on relic of days gone by. Artificial Intelligence: Could the birth of literary software herald the rise of robotic authors? The rise of the literary blog: A new book offers a survey of the literary blogosphere, but is the litblog really just a source of endless amateur gossip? Writing with the big boys: n+1, Version 2.0: Paper Monument, a spinoff of the confrontational literary magazine, takes on the art world. Tyler Brule's tunnel vision: Canadian journalist's new publication, Monocle, has a European sensibility, private backers and a hefty cover price. Cabinet is eclectic. Cabinet is eccentric. Cabinet is... very hard to describe.

From Inside Higher Ed, who you calling heterodox? Political magazines and mainstream media outlets have recently unearthed a struggle for the very soul of economics. It’s playing out in scholarly journals and in the back corridors of economics departments as lone, embattled researchers resist the stifling free-market doctrine that dominates their field. Who shares wins: Economists are fond of wandering into other academic territories. An excerpt from The Economic Naturalist by Robert Frank. The Experimenter: At 28, Berkeley economist Raj Chetty aligns theories with real-world facts, leading him to surprising conclusions on taxes, investing, and welfare. The Democratic Economist: If a Democrat must be elected president, Obama adviser Austan Goolsbee is the type one would like to have at his or her elbow.

Researchers are investigating if the way you fight with your spouse can affect your health. Divorced from reality: The facts are that divorce is down, and today’s marriages are more stable than they have been in decades. Good spouses can make bad neighbors: A review of Marriage: the Good, the Bad, and the Greedy by Naomi Gerstel and Natalia Sarkisian. A review of Husbandry: Sex, Love, and Dirty Laundry: Inside the Minds of Married Men by Stephen Fried. Libertarianism vs. the family: Can civilization survive freedom? A review of Family Law and Personal Life by John Eekelaar. The preface to Sacrament to Contract: Marriage, Religion, and Law in the Western Tradition by John Witte Jr. Polygamy dos and don'ts: Utah and Arizona compile an amateur's guide to Mormon fundamentalism. Should people be free to be enslaved? An article on polygamy, prostitution, and the "consenting adults" argument.

A review of Winning the Right War: The Path to Security for America and the World by Philip Gordon; Containment: Rebuilding a Strategy against Global Terror by Ian Shapiro; and The Silence of the Rational Center: Why American Foreign Policy is Failing by Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke. A review of The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America by Susan Faludi (and more and more). A review of the “Message to the World on the Sixth Anniversary of 9/11” by Osama bin Laden. Al Qaeda offers one rationale for its actions to Western audiences, but another to Muslims, writes Raymond Ibrahim, editor of The Al Qaeda Reader. Why Osama hates microfinance: Has bin Laden become the first prophet in a new line of Islamic Marxists? Or is he just another would-be dictator searching for specious arguments? Al-Qaeda's forerunner: An interview with Yaroslav Trofimov, author of The Siege of Mecca. A review of The Islamist by Ed Husain.

From The Politic, an interview with Paul Kennedy on threats to the West. The Unbound West: Today, thunderous matters of cosmic import: why has the West dominated scientific and technological advance practically forever? A review of The Threat to Reason: How the Enlightenment Was Hijacked and How We Can Reclaim It by By Dan Hind. A review of Toward The Light: The Story of the Struggles for Liberty and Rights That Made the Modern West by AC Grayling. From Taki’s Top Drawer, an article on a new humanism in Europe. Revisiting the Danish cartoon crisis: An interview with newspaper editor Flemming Rose. Islam and Europe: The Netherlands is at the centre of European argument about secularism, multiculturalism and Islam. A review of The Last Days of Europe: Epitaph for an Old Continent by Walter Laqueur. We find it hard to come to terms with the suicide of an acquaintance; how do we come to terms with the suicide of a nation?

From Dissent, Robin Blackburn on how to tax the rich—and live happily ever after. We can't rely on the kindness of billionaires: Don't let a few generous donors take the government off the hook. Is Harvard a charity? Most donations go to institutions that serve the rich; they shouldn't be fully tax-deductible. A review of Servants of Wealth: The Right's Assault on Economic Justice by John Ehrenberg. Separate is never equal: Economic forces alone can explain why social segregation leads to inequalities in wealth and achievement. Low-paid, liberal, nonprofit Yuppies unite! A review of The Trap: Selling Out to Stay Afloat in Winner-Take-All America by Daniel Brook. The awkward truth is that most of us are two minds: As consumers and investors we want the great deals. As citizens we don't like many of the social consequences that flow from them. More on Supercapitalism by Robert B. Reich.

From Philament, Phoebe Poon (Sydney): Morality and Legality in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather Trilogy. A review of Bogie: A Celebration of the Life and Films of Humphrey Bogart by Richard Schickel. From Atlantis, Leighton Grist (Winchester): Masculinity, Violence, Resistance: A New Psychoanalytic Reading of Raging Bull; Isabel Santaularia (Lleida): "The Great Good Place" No More? Integrating and Dismantling Oppositional Discourse in Some Recent Examples of Serial Killer Fiction; and Celestino Deleyto (Zaragoza): 1999, A Closet Odyssey: Sexual Discourses in Eyes Wide Shut. From Fast Capitalism, Irmi Karl (Brighton): Class Observations: Intimate Technologies and the Poetics of Reality TV. From Applied Semiotics, Turkay Bulut and Aysun Yurdaisk (Cag): Visual Semiotics and Interpretation in the Television Commercial; and Paul Privateer (ASU): Circuits, Simulations and Viruses: A Case Study of Media Brandscapes.

From What Next, the prophet misarmed: An essay on Trotsky, ecology and sustainability; and a review of Marx’s Das Kapital by Francis Wheen and Ramparts of Resistance: Why Workers Lost Their Power and How to Get It Back by Sheila Cohen. Still seeing Red: Passions continue to flare over U.S. communists and their loyalty to Stalin, even though most of the players are dead. An interview with Greg Grandin, author of Empire’s Workshop, on Che Guevara’s legacy. From Logos, an ex-Maoist looks at an ex-Trotskyite: On Irving Howe's Leon Trotsky; and an Arab view of the neocons and the oil lobby. More on The Israel Lobby. From Commentary, Joshua Muravchik on the past, present, and future of neoconservatism. Jonah Goldberg on the unspeakable American culture: Journalism's elite don't dare speak of the patriotism that holds this country together. David Neiwert on the Right’s base behavior. What passes for “conservatism” these days is a theater of scapegoating that fuels not just the anti-immigrant right but also the anti-gay, anti-black, anti-Muslim, anti-liberal rhetoric.

Gila Stopler (Ramat Gan): Gender Construction and the Limits of Liberal Equality. From Gender & Language, a review of Gender and the Language of Religion. A review of Women on the Civil War Battlefield by Richard Hall and They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the American Civil War by DeAnne Blanton and Lauren M. Cook. The Women's History Boom: Transforming a profession from the inside. A review of Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (and more and more and more). Buying into oppression: If women continue to read magazines that promote misogyny what hope have we of challenging the lads' mags? Fembots have long been known for promoting retrograde sexist ideals: Will the ad and entertainment industries' latest round of robotic women be any different? Are feminists and prudes rebelling against slut chic? An interview with Jessica Valenti, author of Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters.