From Global Media Journal, a review of The Al-Jazeera Phenomenon; a review of Al-Jazeera: The Story of the Network That is Rattling Governments and Redefining Modern Journalism; a review of Media Under Pressure: Al-Jazeera Toeing the Red Lines by Olivia Qusaibaty; a review of Losing Arab Hearts and Minds by Steve Tatham; a review of War Media and Propaganda; a review of Comparing Media from Around the World by Robert McKenzie; a review of The Troubles of Journalism: A Critical Look at What’s Right and Wrong With the Press by William Hachten; and a review of Viewer Discretion Advised: Taking Control of Mass Media Influences by Jeffrey McCall. A review of Confessions of an American Media Man: What They Don't Tell You At Journalism School by Tom Plate. Censored! The top 10 big stories the US news media missed in the past year.

John von Heyking (Lethbridge): Mysticism in Contemporary Islamic Political Thought: Orhan Pamuk and Abdolkarim Soroush. Theodore Dalrymple on Islam, the Marxism of our time. From The American Conservative, James Pinkerton on The Once & Future Christendom: What J.R.R. Tolkien tells us about surviving the clash of civilizations. An interview with Robert Spencer, author of Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn't. Charles Taylor on how "block thinking" about multiculturalism and the threat of Islam is leading us towards a clash of civilisations. Why isn't the world more secular? And why are there still so many Christians? Sociologists have many answers. A review of A Secular Age by Charles Taylor and The Stillborn God by Mark Lilla (and more). How should secularists and atheists treat sacred texts? Carlin Romano wants to know.

From Globalization, Sherrow O. Pinder (CSU-Chico): Globalization and Beyond: The Future of Poor Nations. An article by Paul Volcker on how to fix the World Bank. Globalization was good then, not now: Wealthy nations grimace about competition, only after emerging economies follow their advice. Decoupling, the notion that the rest of the world can weather the effects of a slowing US economy, had all the attributes of a successful advertising campaign. Magnets for money: Financial centres are booming, despite predictions that new technology would spell their doom. But competition is getting keener. The introduction to Charging Ahead: The Growth and Regulation of Payment Card Markets around the World by Ronald J. Mann. A review of Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers and Counterfeiters Are Hijacking the Global Economy by Moises Naim. 

Barry Ames, David C. Barker, Chris Bonneau and Chris Carman (Pittsburgh): Hide the Republicans, the Christians, and the Women: A Response to "Politics and Professional Advancement Among College Faculty". From The Minnesota Review, Timothy Burke on the obligations of academic freedom; Racism Redux: David Horowitz Then and Now; an interview with Michael Berube; a review of Elaine Showalter's Faculty Towers: The Academic Novel and Its Discontents; a review of Universities in the Marketplace: The Commercialization of Higher Education by Derek Bok; Jacques Derrida's Eyes of the University: Right to Philosophy; Universities and Globalization: To Market, To Market by Ravinder Kaur Sidhu; Academic Capitalism and the New Economy by Sheila Slaughter and Gary Rhoades; and  University, Inc. by Jennifer Washburn.

Swedish artist Lars Vilks is taking no chances. After a cartoon he drew of the Prophet Muhammad was published, the cartoonist received death threats and has temporarily gone into hiding under police protection. Why won't comics deal with terrorism? September 11 has made comics writers reluctant to engage in any real way with global politics. But that doesn't make it an impossible issue. A look at how US comic icons gain an Indian flavor.  Once a rite of passage for all children, comics and comic strips have given way to more hi-tech forms of child entertainment. But our comics culture lives on— you just have to know where to look. From Flak, an interview with comic artist Benjamin Chandler. An interview with cartoonist Nicholas Gurewitch, author of The Perry Bible Fellowship. A review of the webcomic Penny and Aggie.

Julia Tanner (Durham): Can Animals Have Preference-Interests? From Human Ecology Review, Stefano B. Longo and Nicholas Malone (Oregon): Meat, Medicine, and Materialism: A Dialectical Analysis of Human Relationships to Nonhuman Animals and Nature; Marc Bekoff (Colorado): Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues; Jason C. Hribal on Animals, Agency, and Class: Writing the History of Animals from Below; and a review of The Beast in the Garden: A Modern Parable of Man and Nature by David Baron. From Fast Capitalism, Steve Best (UTEP): The Killing Fields of South Africa: Eco-Wars, Species Apartheid, and Total Liberation and Carl Boggs (National): Corporate Power, Ecological Crisis, and Animal Rights. Lawyer for the dog: Inside the booming field of animal law, in which animals have their own interests — and their own lawyers. A little bird told me: Is Alex the Parrot smart?

From TNR, How K Street evil genius Haley Barbour devoured Mississippi. An interview with Kim Long, author of The Almanac of Political Corruption, Scandals & Dirty Politics. Beyond DeLay: A look at the most corrupt members of Congress. Business Week goes Inside the Hidden World of Earmarks: How company spending on lobbyists can pay off. From Wiretap, political gold diggers abound. But what are PACs, what do they want and how do they affect us? A review of Mudslingers: The Top 25 Negative Political Campaigns of All Time by Kerwin Swint. Once again, bigfoot media are crafting bogus narratives that will distort the candidates and the entire presidential campaign. This is the quixotic dilemma of any attempt to “critically analyze” presidential politics: everyone already knows that the campaign is a glorified horserace, and everyone already knows that this horserace is a wee bit totally jury-rigged.

From the latest issue of Post-Autistic Economics Review, George Irvin (London): Growing inequality in the neo-liberal heartland; Peter Soderbaum (Malardalen): Science, ideology and development: Is there a "sustainability economics"?; John B. Davis (Amsterdam): Why is economics not yet a pluralistic science? Deirdre McCloskey reviews Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction by Thomas K. McCraw and John K. Galbraith's The New Industrial State. A review of A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World by Gregory Clark. One of the most important ideas of the late Nobel Laureate Friedrich Hayek was the concept of "spontaneous order". This can be a difficult concept to explain. James Livingston loves reading economists when they write like journalists.

From New York, how Edward Mapplethorpe got his name back: His long, tortured road through art, drugs, and brotherhood; an article on how to rebuild the Guggenheim: The museum’s next director, whoever he or she is, has to do one thing first: Dump Thomas Krens (and who should get the job?) Is there any common ground between a man with a skull tattooed on his face and a man who conceives of a skull worth $100 million? From City & Time, Luiz Manuel do Eirado Amorim and Claudia Loureiro (UFPE): The space of architecture and a new conservation agenda. Time for some Moore: An outdoor exhibition showcasing the works of Henry Moore is poised to restore his standing as a sculptor of world importance. Rent-A-Treasure: How to eliminate the black market in stolen antiquities. Rescued from the brink of extinction: A plant closure and the rising cost of resin almost killed off the world's most iconic lawn ornament.

From Behavior and Social Issues, Lyle K. Grant (Athabasca): Peak Oil as a Behavioral Problem. The Jane Fonda Effect: Is a 1979 thriller to blame for America’s overreliance on fossil fuels? From TNR, Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger on a Manifesto for a New Environmentalism. A review of Green is the New Black: How to Change the World with Style by Tasmin Blanchard. Small behaviors are important not only for the direct environmental impact they have, but because they often lead to more and more pro-environmental behaviors over time. Aren't there just too many people? Reducing consumption is imperative, but it's pointless to cut out meat and cars while having lots of children. Global Swarming: Is it time for Americans to start cutting our baby emissions? (and responses).