From Kritika & Kontext, a special issue on Richard Rorty, including Richard Rorty on democracy and philosophy; "We anti-foundationalists": A response by Béla Egyed; and a rejoinder by Rorty; Richard Rorty can be placed alongside Hume, Montaigne, and Wittgenstein in a tradition of dissident philosophy: All wanted to put an end to the traditional philosophical discussion, but have become, in one way or another, part of the occidental philosophical establishment; and in a fundamentally non-philosophical age, Richard Rorty offered a fast and easy solution to a fundamental philosophical question: His critique of universalism constituted a liberation but left no alternative to moral ethnocentrism

From Edge, Freeman Dyson on Heretical Thoughts About Science and Society. Is the mind physical? Can we explain all human conscious experience in terms of physical events? An interview with David Papineau. From The Global Spiral, Eugen Zelenak (CUR): A Problem for the Kantian-style Critique of the Traditional Metaphysics; Stephen G. Post (Case Western): It’s Good to be Good: How Benevolent Emotions and Actions Contribute to Health; John D. Caputo (Villanova): Richard Rorty (1931-2007): In Memoriam; a review of God and Contemporary Science by Philip Clayton; and a review of Genes, Genesis and God: Values and Their Origins in Nature and Human History by Holmes Rolston.

Life From the Oldest Ice? Team claims to have resurrected microbes from 8-million-year-old Antarctic samples. New research suggests that ancient marine arthropods called trilobites exhibited more within-species morphological variation early in their history than later on. From Skeptic, Frans de Waal responds to a recent New Yorker article on bonobos. Language of the Apes: A review of The First Word by Christine Kenneally. New fossils illustrate "Bushiness" of human evolution: Fossils support the separate evolution of Homo habilis and Homo erectus, point to a gorillalike social structure for the latter. Is the Out of Africa theory out? An examination of over 5,000 teeth from early human ancestors shows that many of the first Europeans probably came from Asia.

From n+1, an article on the receding public shoreline: what's happening over at Jones Beach. The energetic spirit of New York City: A review of Through the Children's Gate: A Home in New York by Adam Gopnik and Mere Anarchy by Woody Allen. A review of The Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy and the American Voice by Greil Marcus. Opening doors to other cultures: An interview with Uma Krishnaswami, an author of Indian origin writing for children in the US. A review of The Book of Love: In Search of the Kamasutra by James McConnachie. A review of Elif Shafak's The Bastard of Istanbul and Maureen Freely's Enlightenment, two novels that bravely address the identity crisis of modern Turkey

We need critics with cojones: For poetry to thrive, we need journalists and academics prepared to argue for absolute not relative value. James Wood, a senior editor at The New Republic, where he has been the literary critic for the past 12 years, is leaving to become a staff writer at The New Yorker. Giving the mainstream "moments of littleness": Small magazines inhabit a tradition of cultivating and nurturing big ideas until they're ready for a larger arena. Lingua fracta: With our common cultural vocabulary splintering or disappearing, it's not so easy to only connect. The greatest stories ever told: Reading to your kids can be rewarding for parent and child alike but, with adult literacy becoming a greater problem, it can also be an important educational tool. Pop Culture in 17 Syllables: In our brave new world of news bytes, instant messaging and dwindling attention spans, the haiku is making a comeback. One of the week's best invented words: Beautox, n.: "a condition that a girl or woman suffers from after bad, especially prolonged exposure to her boyfriend". 

From Cracked, here are the 5 stages of a successful relationship (in a romantic comedy). Going Out With a Bang: A look at why we're hardwired for explosion movies. Joey is to Friends as Blake is to Milton. Discuss: A review of Not Remotely Controlled: Notes on Television by Lee Siegel. From New York, The Near-Fame Experience: Bravo shows like Project Runway and Top Chef are supposed to elevate the reality genre by putting a spotlight on those who actually deserve it. But the programs’ alumni say that meritocratic ideal is just another televised illusion; and The Resurrection of Don Imus: The shock jock rises, with a little help from Lenny Bruce. Ads We Hate: Slate readers nominate the worst of the worst.

From FT, a review of More Than a Game: The Story of Cricket’s Early Years by John Major; Test Match Special: 50 Not Out: The Official History of a National Sporting Treasure; Fatty Batter: How Cricket Saved My Life (Then Ruined It) by Michael Simkins; and Shane Warne: Portrait of a Flawed Genius by Simon Wilde. A review of Men in White: A Book of Cricket by Mukul Kesavan. A review of The Baseball Economist: The Real Game Exposed by J.C. Bradbury. At the Homeless World Cup, one game can change a life. Amid the frenzy over David Beckham's arrival, a different kind of soccer game unfolds.

From Monthly Review, the revolt against U.S. hegemony in Latin America in the opening years of the twenty-first century constitutes nothing less than a new historical moment. A review of Hugo Chávez: The Definitive Biography of Venezuela's Controversial President by Cristina Marcano and Alberto Barrera Tyszka. A review of The Americano: Fighting With Castro for Cuba's Freedom by Aran Shetterly. Myths and Realities of the Arms Race: Despite appearances, Venezuela is far behind Washington's two main allies in Latin America, Colombia and Chile, in the purchase of weapons.

You may not have noticed it, but Africa is booming. Yet just when the world’s poorest continent is finally starting to see real economic growth, the resource curse threatens to snatch it all away.  The downward slide of the fishing industry in Kenya represents an interesting study of economic behaviour, with key actors caught in a classical "tragedy of the commons". The Child Soldiers of Staten Island: While Hollywood swoons over teen guerrillas, the real lost boys are hidden in plain sight. How often do we hear that hackneyed expression, "A picture is worth a thousand words"? For once this cliché has been rejuvenated following the harrowing and powerful drawings made by children in refugee camps, who escaped from the atrocities being committed in Sudan.

Surge of Suicide Bombers: The Iraq war has turned into a veritable "martyr" factory, unlike any seen in previous conflicts; and Profiles in Killing: In spite of the stereotypes, there is no typical suicide bomber. A look at those who believed they would find paradise by sending others to their deaths. Though there was little warmth shared between Gordon Brown and President Bush last week, it seemed the two men were on the same page on issues like Iraq and fighting terrorists. Or were they? A report finds high-ranking Army and Air Force personnel violated long-standing military regulations when they participated in a promotional video for an evangelical Christian organization while in uniform and on active duty. 

George Bush, Hegelian: David Greenberg on the president's quest for a sense of "history". An Unimpeachably Bad Idea: Trying to impeach Bush would be a dumb move for Democrats.  A look at how to resign in public like a coward. An interview with Danielle Crittenden, author of The President’s Secret IMs. Hillary Control: The women of “Hillaryland” have constructed a carefully managed, always on-message, leakproof campaign. But is this a good thing? A review of Bill Clinton: Mastering the Presidency by Nigel Hamilton. Rudy and the Religious Nuts: Why he gets a free pass. The Other Man From Hope: Mike Huckabee, the likable longshot in the Republican presidential race.

Army of One: Andrew J. Bacevich on the Overhyping of David Petraeus. Will the United States remain the “indispensable nation” in global affairs under these new conditions? Brent Scowcroft investigates. Pundits and politicians have admitted to being wrong about Iraq. Shouldn't the American public do the same? From National Journal, if Guantanamo Bay closed today, what would we do with the suspected terrorists we capture tomorrow? A review of The Sutras of Abu Ghraib: Notes From a Conscientious Objector in Iraq by Aidan Delgado. Why do they hate us? Strange answers lie in al-Qaida's writings. Fear, Frenzy, and FISA: How the Bush administration has kept Congress locked in a September 12 state of panic.  

From TNR, liberals love Barry Goldwater? That's not right. From Dissent, Johann Hari reviews What’s Left? How Liberals Lost Their Way by Nick Cohen (and a response by Cohen and a reply). A review of The Threat to Reason: How the Enlightenment Was Hijacked and How We Can Reclaim It by Dan Hind.  The Road to Rightville: The essays in the anthology Why I Turned Right offer a tantalizing clue as to how conservative pundit-intellectuals manage to connect so unfailingly with a mass audience.  A review of Comrades: A World History of Communism by Robert Service. From Cato Unbound, Peter T. Leeson on Anarchy Unbound, or: Why Self-Governance Works Better than You Think.

From Christianity Today, an interview with Bob Roberts, author of Transformation: How Glocal Churches Transform Lives and the World and Glocalization: How Followers of Christ Engage the New Flat Earth; and a review of He Came Down From Heaven: The Preexistence of Christ and the Christian Faith by Douglas McCready and The Preexistent Son: Recovering the Christologies of Matthew, Mark, and Luke by Simon J. Gathercole Eerdmans. From Policy Review, what the Beatitudes teach: Jesus’s community of goodwill. Who speaks for America's evangelicals? The answer is not as clear-cut as in years past. Sex, drugs and rich white folk: A review of Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion by Jeffrey J Kripal.

A review of Once Upon a Quinceanera: Coming of Age in the USA by Julia Alvarez. A review of Fifteen Candles: 15 Tales of Taffeta, Hairspray, Drunk Uncles, and Other Quinceanera Stories. A review of Girls Gone Mild: Young Women Reclaim Self-Respect and Find It's Not Bad to Be Good by Wendy Shalit (and more). Say Cheese(cake): How pinup girls of the day reflect the changing ideals of womanhood. A review of The Great Big Glorious Book for Girls by Rosemary Davidson and Sarah Vine.

Jacob T. Levy (McGill): Federalism, Liberalism, and the Separation of Loyalties; and Federalism and the Old and New Liberalisms. Brian Leiter (Texas): Explaining Theoretical Disagreement. Matthew J. Festa (South Texas): Applying a Usable Past: The Use of History in Law. The Puzzle of Policy Diffusion: The first chapter from Bounded Rationality and Policy Diffusion by Kurt Weyland. A review of Out of This World: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Creation by Peter Hallaward. A review of Weakening Philosophy: Essays in Honour of Gianni Vattimo. A review of Goodness and Justice: A Consequentialist Moral Theory by Joseph Mendola. The introduction to Buying Freedom: The Ethics and Economics of Slave Redemption, ed. Kwame Anthony Appiah and Martin Bunzl. A review of John Gray's Black Mass: Apocalyptic religion and the death of utopia.

A review of Amerigo: The Man Who Gave His Name to America by Felipe Fernández-Armesto. A review of The Pirate Queen: Elizabeth I, her Pirate Adventurers and the Dawn of Empire by Susan Ronald. A review of Monarchy and Religion: The Transformation of Royal Culture in Eighteenth-Century Europe. A review of Master and Servant: Love and Labour in the English Industrial Age by Carolyn Steedman. A review of World War One: A Short History by Norman Stone. A review of Femme Fatale: Love, Lies, and the Unknown Life of Mata Hari by Pat Shipman (and more).  A review of Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War by Chris Bellamy. A review of Ten Decisions that Changed the World, 1940-1941 by Ian Kershaw (and more and more). From Dissent, History as Moral Obligation: An interview with Saul Friedlander, author of The Years of Extermination. A review of The Last Thousand Days of the British Empire by Peter Clarke (and more). A review of Religion and Society in Twentieth-Century Britain by C. G. Brown.

Baby’s First Diet Pill: What if we could change a child’s calorie-regulation mechanism at birth? According to a new study, popular infant educational DVDs like Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby may actually slow language development rather than enhance it. Psychology's Child: Can being a kid of a shrink mess you up? The lives of children of mental health professionals can have its moments. The Young and Anxious: We all want our children to do well, but parents of high achievers should ask themselves: "Is my kid sacrificing mental health in pursuit of that A+?" You've Got to Have Genes: A new study says that how we choose our friends is strongly influenced by genetic factors. Don't read books: Read Page 99 of Tearing Down the Gates: Confronting the Class Divide in American Education. The introduction to Charter Schools: Hope or Hype? by Jack Buckley and Mark Schneider. Your Own Personal Blackboard Jungle: Fresh from the frontlines, New York Teaching Fellows tell.

From Smithsonian, Hemingway's Cuba, Cuba's Hemingway: His last personal secretary returns to Havana and discovers that the novelist's mythic presence looms larger than ever; and Before the Revolution: Socialites and celebrities flocked to Cuba in the 1950s. Fifty years ago Jack Kerouac's dazzling novel On the Road became the blueprint for the Beat generation and shaped America's youth culture for decades. It influenced scores of artists, musicians and film-makers, but how does it resonate with young people today? Discovered: Kerouac "cuts": The original, 120-ft typewritten roll of the beat generation literary classic is being republished, complete with material too hot to handle in 1957. Ray Bradbury, Norman Lloyd and Norman Corwin: Aging with grace, these 3 men of letters snap fingers in the face of time. For her devoted fan base, Doris Lessing is unquestionably the greatest living writer never to win a Nobel Prize (and a review of The Cleft).

From The Age, a review of Primo Levi's A Tranquil Star, a review of Gunter Grass' Peeling the Onion; and exactly what constitutes Jewishness has been much debated, but most people would be surprised at the Semitic self-identification of a group of more than 80 New Zealand Maori (a Polynesian race). Raul Hilberg, the "dean of Holocaust studies," is dead. Terry Eagleton finds that politics is glossed over in AN Wilson's fictional take on Hitler and the Wagners, Winnie and Wolf. A review of From Asgard to Valhalla: The Remarkable History of the Norse Myths by Heather O'Donoghue.

A review of Shoot the Widow: Adventures of a Biographer in Search of her Subject by Meryle Secrest. A review of Walking Broad: Looking for the Heart of Brotherly Love by Bruce Buschel. A review of American Tornado: The Terrifying True Story of the 1974 Outbreak- And The People Whose Lives Were Torn Apart by Mark Levine. A review of The Blue Death: Disease, Disaster and the Water We Drink by Robert D. Morris. The lion's sneeze: Stefano Zuffi's The Cat in Art looks at how depicting the feline has engrossed artists for millennia. Poetry in the plumage: A review of Crow Country: A Meditation on Birds, Landscape and Nature by Mark Cocker (and more). A review of Chasing Kangaroos: A Continent, a Scientist, and a Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Creature by Tim Flannery. A review of The Most Important Fish in the Sea by H. Bruce Franklin. 

Best Feet Forward: A single soccer match achieves what five years of combat and negotiations could not: an apparent end to Ivory Coast's civil war. The man who brought the warring sides together was not a politician or a gun-toting strongman, but Didier Drogba, the star striker for Ivory Coast. The unlikely activist: When former US marine Brian Steidlehe returned from a peacekeeping mission to Sudan, he found he couldn't stay quiet about the horrors he had witnessed. The introduction to Civilizing Women: British Crusades in Colonial Sudan by Janice Boddy. A dream betrayed: A review of Through the Darkness: A Life in Zimbabwe by Judith Garfield Todd. Why a tree makes it hard to write about Africa: Trying to write about Africa is a little like negotiating its wild roads: Cliches materialize suddenly and constantly.

On an ancient sea, Europe dreams and schemes: A Mediterranean Union where all are rich, none are immigrants. Looks great. Won’t happen. A review of The Unity of the European Constitution. From Time, an interview with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband. Much has changed since John Stuart Mill's time, and his views on freedom are no longer valid. The introduction to The Origin of the Welfare State in England and Germany, 1850–1914: Social Policies Compared by  E. P. Hennock. The introduction to The Great Naval Game: Britain and Germany in the Age of Empire by Jan Ruger. Josef Joffe on how German Chancellor Angela Merkel may be the most influential European leader today. Nobody even bothers to call Angela Merkel: The government in Berlin is learning a painful lesson this summer. It stands alone in its multilateralist policies and few seem to care what the Germans think.

From Forward, a look at how the rapid rise of Israel’s Orthodox schools sparks fear of Army, work force shortage, and more on Israel’s Hidden Crisis: Why should a growing level of piety be considered a national "challenge"? A review of The Resurgence of Anti-Semitism: Jews, Israel, and Liberal Opinion by Bernard Harrison. A review of Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation by Eyal Weizman. The Checkered History of American Weapons Deals: The United States has upset its European allies with plans for a massive arms deal with several governments in the Middle East. Washington has been down this road before. A review of Iran Oil: The New Middle East Challenge to America by Roger Howard and Crude Interventions: The United States, Oil and the New World (Dis)order by Garry Leech. Prospects of Armageddon: The logic that defends past nuclear atrocities is now used to support a strike against Iran. 

From Newsweek, an article on the Global Warming Deniers: A Well Funded Machine. From Mother Jones, Mad Scientists vs. Global Warming: James K. Galbraith on understanding climate economics; and can technology fix global warming? Scientists are starting to pitch some pretty far-out ideas. Green Fakers: A look at why eco-hypocrisy matters. The ethics of flying to serve the greater good: In the wake of Live Earth, is an airplane better than an SUV? Walking does more than driving to cause global warming, a leading environmentalist has calculated. Food That Travels Well: Why imported produce may be better for the earth than local. From Orion, Planet Protectors: The campaign for global security needs you. Our Intangible Riches: An interview with World Bank economist Kirk Hamilton on the planet's real wealth. A review of Lights Out: The Electricity Crisis, The Global Economy and What It Means to You by Jason Makansi. 

If the world makes it through the current market turmoil all right, we can thank the globalization of finance — and the hedge funds that enable it. Brad DeLong on Fear of Finance. From The Economist, in praise of usury: Ignore credit snobs. It is no sin to profit from lending to the poor. The Loan Comes Due: Only two months ago, it seemed as if almost any company could borrow money at low interest rates. Now loans seem to be drying up everywhere (and a graphic on Housing Busts and Hedge Fund Meltdowns). What’s a Fed Chairman to Do? Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke must walk the fine line between creating a bubble and risking a slowdown. Brookings scholars and budget experts describe ways to reduce the deficit by cutting spending and raising revenues. From TNR, a look at why the corporate-tax loophole must be closed. 

An interview with Carol Fishman Cohen, co-author of Back on the Career Track: A Guide for Stay-At-Home Moms Who Want to Return to Work. A review of Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success by Sylvia Ann Hewlett. A review of The Fortune Hunters: Dazzling Women and the Men They Married by Charlotte Hays. 'Til Tech Do Us Part: Joint bank account? Check. Merging the MP3 collection? Hold on a minute. Couples are struggling with just how much to combine the digital aspects of their lives. Why spouses are bickering over shared email accounts and his-and-hers blogs. Boys' birthrate advantage is slipping: Most expectant parents figure their chances of having a baby boy vs. a baby girl are 50-50, but that's actually not the case. Now you can track your kids by GPS: Tim Dowling believes firmly in exposing children to as much risk as they can handle, even when it is more risk than he can handle. 

A review of Why Beauty is Truth: A History of Symmetry by Ian Stewart. A review of A Natural History of Time by Pascal Richet. A review of Endless Universe: Beyond the Big Bang by Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok. A review of Space as a Strategic Asset by Joan Johnson-Freese; and can’t all space nerds get along? If an asteroid impact destroys most of life on Earth, it won't be for lack of effort by Rusty Schweickart. An excerpt from Rocketeers: How a Visionary Band of Business Leaders, Engineers and Pilots Is Boldly Privatizing Space by Michael Belfiore. Malicious, vindictive and mean-spirited. These are words that might surface in divorce court. But they have been lobbed in the course of a different estrangement: the standoff between the Bush administration and the nation's scientific community.

From Physics Today, Science and the Islamic world: Internal causes led to the decline of Islam's scientific greatness long before the era of mercantile imperialism. To contribute once again, Muslims must be introspective and ask what went wrong. A review of Galileo Antichrist: A Biography by Michael White. A review of Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson. A review of Suffer and Survive: The Extreme Life of JS Haldane by Martin Goodman. So what if he was afraid of bananas? A review of Max Perutz and the Secret of Life by Georgina Ferry (and more). A review of Six Feet Over: Adventures in the Afterlife by Mary Roach. 

Nose goes, gender bends: Knocking out pheromone sensor makes female mice act male. Supply, Demand, and Kidney Transplants: A bad incentive structure creates a dire shortage. A review of The Case Against Perfection by Michael J. Sandel. Cold-blooded morality: Does morality or ethics rise more from recently developed social conventions (human invention, in other words) or from brain-based cognitive systems that first developed in our evolutionary ancestors? Whenever scandals break, the rest of us shake our heads and ask, "What were they thinking?" Hot and cold emotions make us poor judges. How to weigh brains and restrict people: A review of IQ: the Brilliant Idea that Failed by Stephen Murdoch. Testing Testers, Finding Flaws: Researchers have proved adept at exposing gaps in logic that can result from expert biases and mistakes.

William A. Hilyerd (Louisville): Hi Superman, I'm a Lawyer: A Guide to Attorneys (& Other Legal Professionals) Portrayed in American Comic Books: 1910-2007. Forget the theory, enjoy the strips: Douglas Wolk's Reading Comics isn't afraid to take comics seriously. Shakespeare in Dogpatch: Of sonnets and comic strips. Why cover art matters: How else are readers supposed to judge books before they've read them - except by how they look? Has any other literary genre captured the drama of bookishness better than bookish thrillers? Publishing never had a golden age: So, today's book industry is focused on profit margins and it's tough for authors to get themselves in print. What's new? The Highs and the Lows of Rankings on Amazon: Some authors compulsively check their sales rank on while others try to game the system. 

From Sign and Sight, Modernism enters the museum: As Berlin's famed housing settlements from the Weimar Republic compete to become Unesco world heritage sites, Dankwart Guratzsch visits the exhibition at the Bauhaus Archiv to assess their credentials. The art of modesty: The question of what constitutes "provincial art" seems pretty remote in times of globalism, overlapping art fairs and the online availability of images. A touch of Gothic: A review of God's Architect: Pugin and the Building of Romantic Britain by Rosemary Hill. The paintings of Htein Lin, a former Burmese dissident who has given up politics for art, serve as something of an antidote to the regime's propaganda. The things we leave behind, one man's all-consuming art: Chris Jordan's pictures quantify the things we consume. Life beyond the lens: New novels frame two of photography's most compelling legends, Edward Curtis and Edward Steichen. 

From Smithsonian, Broadway, Inc.: With shows like "Legally Blonde" and "Wicked," the era of the name-brand musical is in full swing. Terry Teachout on Shakespeare the Relevant: Actors and directors keep reminding us that the Bard's works never grow old. A review of A Short Introduction to the Ancient Greek Theater by Graham Ley. A review of Troy: From Homer's Iliad to Hollywood Epic. Art of darkness: Joseph Conrad’s "engine of demonism" has influenced a century of cinema. A review of Oscar Micheaux. The Great and Only: The Life of America’s First Black Filmmaker by Patrick McGilligan.  A review of Bambi vs Godzilla: On the Nature, Purpose, and Practice of the Movie Business by David Mamet (and more and more). A lot of White Russians, three German nihilists, one Vietnam vet and The Dude: Just why is The Big Lebowski such a celebrated cult film? The following is a list of most quotable films.