Sebastian Edwards (UCLA): Crises and Growth: A Latin American Perspective. From Open Democracy, an article on the deepening of Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution and why most people don’t get it: The radical project led by Hugo Chávez can’t be understood through the distorting lens of its inveterate opponents. This is a politics for the future with emancipation, participation – and popular support - at its heart. In Ecuador, Bolivia, and Venezuela, leaders are seeking new sources of political legitimacy in which participation is at the heart. Gone, but not forgotten: Why Bolivians want the United States to extradite their exiled ex-president. Brazil's colonial dance with the resource curse: First there was a sugar rush. Then a gold rush. Both left unsightly scars on the history of Brazil. What will the ethanol rush bequeath?

A look at why land reform is so tricky: In South Africa, plenty of farms are for sale, but blacks still find it hard to buy. South Africa is booming. The economy is enjoying its biggest surge since the Second World War, and for once it is not just whites who are prospering. A review of Untapped: The Scramble for Africa's Oil. Joshua Kurlantzick on democracy's decline in Africa. Circumcision promotion divides AIDS activists: Should results of an African AIDS study be applied in the United States?

From Asia Times, an article on lessons from Kashmir and Xinjiang. A review of India, Pakistan and the Secret Jihad. Is Ahmedinejad’s star fading? Leading figures in Iran are openly criticizing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about his handling of the economy and the country's nuclear program. An interview with Laura Rozen of War and Piece on Iran.

Iraq in the Balance: Fouad Ajami on why we should make our peace with Iraq's history. Francis Fukuyama on beating an orderly retreat: It is no longer a question of if or when the U.S. leaves Iraq, but how. Plan B? Let’s Give Plan A Some Time First: This is not the time to be rehashing strategies developed six months ago under very different conditions, or to be planning for the collapse of a strategy that has just begun.

Robert D. Kaplan on Munich versus Vietnam: At the moment, the Vietnam analogy has the upper-hand. But don't count Munich out. The key similarity between Vietnam and Iraq how they profoundly eroded the American people's trust in their government and leaders. A review of At the Center of the Strom: My Years at the CIA by George Tenet. With all the gloating over the ex-CIA head's kiss-and-tell, let's not forget who else screwed up American intelligence.

From The Weekly Standard, an article on The Mystery of Michael Bloomberg: Why does a popular but mediocre mayor think he should run for president? The Shadow Candidates: John Fund on the art of not running for president. Marvin Kalb on Nine Ways to Elect a President: After 9/11, with America’s role in the world more uncertain than ever, would it not make more sense to provide the voters with regular, predictable, serious access to their next president?

From Radar, an article on Jesus Christ's Superstars: America's holiest congressmen. A look at how sex isn't the only thing for sale in Washington. And the politicians who waste your money have a remorse deficit: One man’s pork is another’s tax bill

From The New York Review of Books, a review of We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction by Joan Didion; Double-Cross in the Congo: A review of The Mission Song by John le Carré; a review of Collected Stories by Roald Dahl; and a review of The Collected Poems, 1956–1998 by Zbigniew Herbert.

From Identity Theory, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Ford talks with Robert Birnbaum about his latest (and last) Frank Bascombe novel, The Lay of the Land; Donald Hall, Poet Laureate of the United States, talks at length with Robert Birnbaum about baseball, his relationship with Robert Frost, the cultural importance of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl," writing about loss, and why song lyrics don't make good poems; and Elizabeth Benedict, author of The Practice of Deceit, talks with Robert Birnbaum about sex, middle-aged dilemmas, and careerist memoir writers.

From California Literary Review, a review of The Uses of Memory All Whom I Have Loved by Aharon Appelfeld, translated from the Hebrew by Aloma Halter; a review of The Road by Cormac McCarthy; an essay on Brontë in Brussels by Trilby Kent.

From n+1, Love and Boredom: A review of Cathleen Schine’s The New Yorkers; Is it odd to begin liking a poet on the basis of a pair of lines? Three Books by Lisa Robertson; and an article on The Haunting of Payless: Questions for a commercial semiotician.

From Mute magazine, the Situationists and the Creative Class are neck and neck in the competition for most mythologised ‘avant garde’. In riot-torn Copenhagen at the end of last month the two converged. While the conference Expect Anything Fear Nothing - Seminar on the Situationist Movement in Scandinavia was laying to rest delusions about the SI, partisans of the creative class seized on the riots as a victory for the new creative vanguardists. Stewart Home rattles some cage; and with political art now celebrated in galleries and museums all over the world what happens when practices tied to specific struggles and places are institutionalised? At the recent retrospective of textbook political artist, Loraine Leeson, Peter Suchin uncovers the remains of an earlier discussion intitiated by Art & Language to propose a radical reconsideration of Leeson’s art and the terms of the debate.

From Nextbook, as National Poetry Month winds to a close, guest editor Adam Kirsch offers up some favorite verse; with novels like Showboat and Giant Edna Ferber captured the hearts of Americans. How, asks Mollie Wilson, did she lose them?

From The Nation, Revolutionary Devotion: Communism, Catholicism and radical Modernism meet on the dissecting table of César Vallejo's poetry; and Stranger in the City: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears tells the story of an Ethiopian immigrant's unrequited love affair with the American Dream. Po-co meets sci-fi: A review of So Long Been Dreaming: Post-colonial science fiction and fantasy, by Nalo Hopkinson and Uppinder Mehan, eds. And Colette Labouff Atkinson talks with Mark Monmonier, author of From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow: How Maps Name, Claim, and Inflame.

 Kevin Anthony Stoda (GUST): A Federalist Peace Theory, 1946-1992. From Vive le Canada, an article on Charles Taylor and the Hegelian Eden Tree: Canadian Philosophy and Compradorism. From Ghana's The Statesman, Kwame Anthony Appiah is our postmodern Socrates. He asks what it means to be African and African-American, but his answers immediately raise issues that encompass us all. From Think Tank, is social science the God that failed? An interview with Seymour Martin Lipset and James Q. Wilson (1998). The introduction to The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies by Bryan Caplan.

From LRB, Judith Butler reviews Hannah Arendt: The Jewish Writings, and more from The Jerusalem Post. How odd of God: A review of Jews and Gentiles by Milton Himmelfarb. A review of David Mamet's The Wicked Son: Anti-Semitism, Self-Hatred, and the Jews. He mocks the cultural elite and defends George Bush - at 77, Tom Wolfe is as contrary as ever.

From, Slavoj Zizek on Blows Against the Empire? Stephen Moss runs into Slavoj Zizek: The philosopher's moan. A review of Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar...: Understanding Philosophy through Jokes. Michael Caine is God: An article on the planned adaptation of Norwegian novelist Jostein Gaarder's international bestseller Sophie's World. Swanning about: Tim Radford on how metaphors are dangerous, especially when you don't think about what they mean. The Truth in Progress: It would be a mistake to abandon the idea of progress because history does not follow a linear path to social harmony or because most progress—though certainly not all—has an embarrassingly Western origin.

A review of The Meaning of Life by Terry Eagleton. A review of E. O. Wilson's The Creation: A Meeting of Science and Religion and Owen Gingerich's God’s Universe. God in the Details: For a quarter-century Roy Abraham Varghese has been assembling God proofs. Along the way he won over the world's most influential atheist. The concept of heaven remains attractive, opines Matthew Engel. Hell is altogether less marketable these days. A review of Sacred Bull, Holy Cow: A Cultural Study of Civilization's Most Important Animal.

Yeti crabs and vampire squids:A review of The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss. Vets reject claims by a British animal welfare charity that giving dogs drugs to treat behavioural problems will create a population of "pill-popping pets".

From Cracked, here's A Beginner's Guide to Narcotics. A tiny molecule that promotes plant growth may hold the key to a family of new drugs for a whole range of illnesses in humans. Move over Wheaties, there's a new breakfast of champions: Cigars and coffee are the ideal combo. The duel life: Fencing's violent origins have evolved into a popular pastime.

From Radar, a photo tour of restricted spaces: Do Not Enter. Asymmetry and the next-gen umbrella: Designers finally reinvent the all-too-collapsible device. And the lightning bolt of embarrassment can leave you flushed, frozen and the memory can linger for years. But what makes it such a powerful emotion?

From New Politics, Michael Lowy (CNRS): Marx and Weber: Critics of Capitalism; Ashley Dawson (CUNY): The Return to Limits; David Friedman on the Democratic Party and the Future of American Politics; Michael Hirsch on Socialists, Democrats and Political Action: It's the movements that matter; and is the Bush Administration fascist? Matthew N. Lyons investigates. For its third annual essay contest, Vanity Fair asked readers to define the U.S.'s grasp on reality. Exploring a national disconnect between self-image and behavior, winner Kipling Buis channels an infuriated 19th-century immigrant: Frances Trollope, the famous novelist's mother.

From Vanity Fair, The Tax That Saved the Planet: Sure, we can keep trying to reduce carbon emissions through the Kyoto Protocol and other schemes. Or we can do the smart thing; as teams from two top universities chart consumption patterns, the map of the world bulges and shrinks. Famed biologist E. O. Wilson puts the findings into perspective; reporting on an emotional battle in a makeshift jungle courtroom, by William Langewiesche investigates how many hundreds of square miles of surrounding rain forest in Ecuador became a toxic-waste dump; the Bush administration has gutted decades of environmental protection, appointing energy-industry executives to uphold the very laws they'd worked against. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. busts the polluters' picnic; when scientists are united, and even corporate sponsors like ExxonMobil are backing off, how does a global-warming skeptic stay busy? As long as the media calls, Myron Ebell is happy to explain why CO2 is good. Michael Shnayerson catches him in full denial; and lampooning environmentalists as "wackos," Rush Limbaugh lulled millions of Americans into happy complacency. As the country wakes up to the climate crisis, James Wolcott asks: Who looks wacko now?

George Monbiot responds to Alexander Cockburn on global warming. Reading Green: Here are ten books to help understand and save the environment. No United Nations organization currently dominates the headlines as much — or is as controversial — as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Critics call the panel politically one-sided and its reports alarmist. Its defenders say the opposite is true.

The world goes to town: After this year the majority of people will live in cities. Human history will ever more emphatically become urban history. The pace of life for city dwellers is literally getting faster, a new British-led study suggests.

From Rediff, an interview with Amartya Sen: Hunger is quiet violence. The bank the world needs: The World Bank is in desperate trouble, but it is still the best institution to address international challenges such as climate change. A study finds law-breaking officials respect the laws of economics. After amassing a fortune in excess of $300 billion over the last decade, Norway has started pulling investments for what it claims are ethical failings of some US companies. The United Fruit Company reinvented the banana as a mass-market product and pioneered the modern multinational. It also overthrew governments and helped bring the world to the brink of nuclear war. John Kenneth Galbraith's The New Industrial State remains a relevant explanation of the modern economy. And a review of Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction

From Azure, Chaim Gans (Tel Aviv): Is There a Historical Right to the Land of Israel?; Michael Oren on The Second War of Independence: Fifty years later, the lessons of the Suez War are only now becoming clear; an essay on Circumcision as Rebellion: Why Judaism rejected the decrees of Nature, Fortune, and Rome; an article on The State of Freedom and the State of Emergency; and Robert Bork reviews The Judge in a Democracy by Aharon Barak. Palestinians’ hard choice: An interview with Sari Nusseibeh, a leading Palestinian intellectual and political figure.

Mad, bad or a joker? A review of The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the State of Iran. A review of Inside Hamas: the untold story of militants, martyrs and spies; Hamas: unwritten chapters; and Hamas: politics, charity and terrorism in the service of jihad. A review of Lipstick Jihad by Azadeh Moaveni and Warring Souls by Roxanne Varzi.

Kevin Drum reviews The Infernal Machine: A History of Terrorism by Matthew Carr and The Matador's Cape: America's Reckless Response to Terror by Stephen Holmes. Londonistan Calling: From the shoe-bomber to the July 2005 suicide attacks, terrorism has an unlikely new player: the British jihadist. Returning to the London streets of his youth, Christopher Hitchens finds a breeding ground for Islamic radicalism, in a country that may have to rethink its multicultural ideals (and an interview).

From New Statesman, a special issue on Tony Blair, 1997-2007: The Reckoning. What makes Tony Blair tick, and what he stands for, have eluded all his biographers. Will the prime minister, who rose without a trace, now leave none behind him? A purple patch on how politicians earn their keep by Max Weber.

Sex and foreign aid: The lessons learned from a high-level administration official's resignation in the D.C. Madam scandal. An Elite Escort Service: Washington is on edge as names of the clients of accused D.C. Madam Deborah Palfrey begin trickling out. But the women who worked for her might surprise you: college grads, white-collar professionals, even military personnel. He’s impeachable, you know: The power to impeach civil officers like Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is at bottom a tool granted Congress to defend the constitutional order; and Two Parties, One Law: Whatever happens to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the taint of politics will remain. That’s why the only real solution is to depoliticize the Justice Department.

The Economist begins a series on the main presidential contenders for 2008, starting with Rudy Giuliani. From USA Today, here are 5 reasons the GOP faces an uphill climb in '08. A review of The Thumpin': How Rahm Emanuel and the Democrats Learned to be Ruthless and Ended the Republican Revolution and Positively American: Winning Back the Middle-Class Majority One Family at a Time by Chuck Schumer. Bob Kerrey, Unbound: The former Senator has some questions about Rudy’s security credentials and likes Obama’s name. And on reforming disloyal Democrats: Ari Melber reports on how unions and Internet activists are joining forces to reform the Democratic Party from the ground up through "Work for Us"

A new issue of Janus Head is out, with an introduction: The Arts and Sciences of the Situated Body; Helena De Preester (Ghent): To Perform the Layered Body—A Short Exploration of the Body in Performance; Ingar Brinck ( Lund): Situated Cognition, Dynamic Systems, and Art: On Artistic Creativity and Aesthetic Experience; Gediminas Karoblis (NUST): Controlling Gaze, Chess Play and Seduction in Dance: Phenomenological Analysis of the Natural Attitude of the Body in Modern Ballroom Dance; a review of To Catch a Life Anew: 10 Swedish Women Poets; and a review of Analyzing Prose by Richard Lanham pdf. From H-Net, a review of books on Horatio Nelson and naval history. An interview with Hugh Brogan, author of Alexis de Tocqueville: A Life.

From American Heritage, an article on The Man Who Would Be King of Nicaragua, William Walker. Why the Civil War was fought, really: A review of What This Cruel War Was Over: Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War. A review of Lincoln Emancipated: The President And the Politics of Race. England's Arcadia: A review of The Perfect Summer: Dancing into Shadow in 1911. A review of Savage Peace: Hope and Fear in America, 1919. On the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti: An excerpt from A Power Governments Cannot Suppress by Howard Zinn. A review of Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power And Helped Save England (and more and more). A review of Sea of Thunder: Four Commanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign, 1941-1945. More and more and more and more on George Kennan: A Study of Character.

The democracy of fame? A review of Fame Junkies: The hidden truths behind America’s favorite addiction. David Weinberger, author of Everything Is Miscellaneous, interviews Cory Doctorow.

From Der Spiegel, a mysterious golden pot discovered in a Bavarian lake in 2001 has been the focus of interest for archaeologists, art dealers — and now the German and Swiss police. Its convoluted history involves Nazi cults, treasure hunters and modern-day profiteers. An interview with Carter Wiseman, author of Louis I. Kahn: Beyond Time and Style: A Life in Architecture. Where are the anti-Communist movies? David Boaz wants to know.

Singer/songwriter David Byrne and neuroscientist Daniel Levitin meet up to discuss music. A review of Dirty Little Secrets of the Record Business: Why So Much Music You Hear Sucks. From New York, Studio 54, Where Are You? On the 30th anniversary of its opening, big shots, doormen, and janitors from the iconic club explain why cultivating glamour can be hard work— and how they all eventually turned to less debauched forms of buzz-mongering.

From Time, a look at how drag queens took over bingo. Celebrating drunkenness through the ages: A review of The Joy of Drinking. And one new hangover cure claims it can reverse the damage in just half an hour

From TNR, a review of Inventing Human Rights: A History by Lynn Avery Hunt. A review of Another Cosmopolitanism: Hospitality, Sovereignty, and Democratic Iterations by Seyla Benhabib et al. Infantile liberalism: Russell Jacoby reviews Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole by Benjamin R. Barber. From Harvard Magazine, an article on The Global Empire of Niall Ferguson: Doing history on a sweeping scale.

From The Nation, as Congress considers reauthorizing No Child Left Behind, Linda Darling-Hammond leads a forum of experts who examine the law, its consequences and prospects for improvement. Free to choose, and learn: New research shows that parental choice raises standards—including for those who stay in public schools. NEST+m, an allegory: The quest to make the perfect public school, which cost one high-profile principal her job and made the Lower East Side the unlikely home to a bastion of privilege.

From The Economist, winning by degrees: Europe's universities are the reluctant and unlikely pioneers of public-sector competition. Six Degrees of Honorary Degrees: A look at how many degrees separate George W. Bush from some of the world's unsavory leaders. Eric Rauchway on schoolyard killers, presidential assassins, and the science of stopping them. On Philip Zimbardo's The Lucifer Effect: Think you’re above doing evil? Think again. Cal State Long beach  would seem to be the last place to find a tried and true anti-Semite and white supremacist lecturing, but it's where Kevin B. MacDonald, "Marx of the anti-Semites" has a teaching post. The Chutzpah Industry: Alan Dershowitz is at it again, campaigning to deny tenure to DePaul's Norman Finkelstein.

From Nextbook, "The Molecule's Defiance", a previously unpublished story by Primo Levi. Orhan Pamuk resumes German book tour after death threats. An interview with Colum McCann, author of Zoli, on the Romany people, the perils of writing novels tied to history, and more. A review of To the Castle and Back by Vaclav Havel. Should authors conform to type? Once they've found their niche, most authors are content to plough the same furrow. And why not? It worked for Austen.

From Slate, a review of In Darwin's Origin of Species: A Biography, by Janet Browne. An article on humans, bacteria and the extended genotype: An ambitious project that promises to extend humanity's view of itself. Scientists identify gene that boosts lifespan and quality of life. Diabetes undermines male fertility: Sugar and sperm don't mix. Human spoken language may have evolved from a currency of hand and arm gestures, not simply through improvements in the basic vocalisations made by primates. The evolution of language: Evidence that the first words were movements, not sounds. Russian speakers get the blues: The language you speak can affect how you see the world, a new study of colour perception indicates. Research suggests humans break down events into smaller units. And scientists find clues to the formation of Fibonacci spirals in nature

Here is the message Benedict XVI sent to Mary Ann Glendon, president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, on the occasion of the plenary session of the academy on "Charity and Justice in the Relations Among Peoples and Nations". The Vatican calls a verbal attack on the Pope by a comedian "terrorism" (and more). In his first Latin American visit, Pope Benedict XVI will find a less divided church facing stronger rivals.

A review of God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis. From Prospect, an interview with Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, on Dostoevsky, "personalism" and how the story of Christ reminds him of Russian ideals. The Real Secret of the Universe: Why we disdain feel-good spirituality but shouldn't. Why the Church is important: An excerpt from Letters to a Young Evangelical. A review of Rediscovering God in America by Newt Gingrich. The Crusaders : A look at how the Christian Taliban is running the Department of Defense.

A review of The Deserter’s Tale: The Story of an Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away from the War In Iraq by Joshua Key. Could civil war in Iraq spread? Historian Niall Ferguson weighs the evidence. From Asia Times, Pepe Escobar on what Muqtada wants; and a portrait of a jihadi leader, Hamid bin Abdallah al-Ali. An al Qaeda in Iraq militant believed to be involved in last year's kidnapping of journalist Jill Carroll has been killed. The bad guys keep on coming: The capture of 172 terrorist suspects in Saudi Arabia suggests that many more are at large. Waiting for al-Qaeda's next bomb: A group plotting to bomb Britain has been successfully prosecuted. But the danger of al-Qaeda is growing, and the intelligence services are struggling to cope. Al Qaeda finds its rock star: An article on Trent Reznor's audio valentine to Islamism.

John McWhorter on Hating Whitey Worldwide. Obama reaches out with tough love: Candidate says criticism of Black America reflects its private concerns. A review of The Devil & Dave Chappelle. A strategic view on class, race and women’s equality: An excerpt from The Nature, Role and Work of the Communist Party. Wimps, wussies and W: How Americans' infatuation with masculinity has perilous consequences.

From Reason, an optimist's view on Post-Kelo America: Reforms are making progress. Look Who's Taxing: Weary of tax cuts for the rich, state politicians are rethinking their aversion to tax-and-spend. Thomas Palley on The Flaws in Rubinomics: Economic policy centered on a balanced budget will destroy what's left of FDR's New Deal. The opposite of Wal-Mart: Publix is a thriving grocery chain provides a telling contrast with Wal-Mart. The rest of the world's major economies no longer depend on America's. Neither do America's own largest corporations. Has the term "public service" lost meaning for our private corporations?

Hedge funds and private equity operators are driving the wrong brand of capitalism, and pursuing ever-riskier deals that threaten the financial system. Fake free trade versus small farmers: An article on how agribusiness corporations get special privileges. John B. Judis on his battle with the telecom industry. Will the digital age bring equality? And a review of Inequality.Com: Power, poverty and the digital divide

From Transit, it is a mistake to think that religious and political radicalism among European Muslims is a mere import from the cultures and conflicts of the Middle East. It is above all a consequence of the globalization and Westernization of Islam, writes Olivier Roy. A military coup was avoided, but an early election looms. Turkey's problems are postponed, not solved. If Turks have to choose, democracy is more important than secularism.

From Open Democracy, the notion of jihad is one of the most contested in the modern Islamic and political lexicon. In a four-part essay, Patricia Crone makes it comprehensible. Mali and Mauritania are swathes of desert but oases of progress: Two dirt-poor Saharan states are doing better. and more on Mauritania, an unheralded experiment in Arab democracy. Malaysia Backpedals on Modernity: Growing assertiveness of Islamic court intrudes on the rights of non-Muslims threatening social harmony in the prosperous nation. Monks on the march in Thailand: A most un-Buddhist demand for worldly recognition.

From Japan Focus, an article on the unprecedented shift in Japan’s population: Numbers, age, and prospects. One Nation Under Cute: In Japan, the cuteness craze is more than just a national pastime, but why are millions of Japanese youths hiding from friends and family? A review of Breaking Open Japan: Commodore Perry, Lord Abe, and American Imperialism in 1853.

Authorities in China are desperate to make a positive impression on visitors, so cabbies with garlic breath are targeted in Beijing’s Olympic cleanup. China today holds a colossal $1 trillion in foreign currency. Now, China is taking part of this money from under the mattress—making enemies and friends around the world in the process. What’s on China’s shopping list? The Empire of Lies: The twenty-first century will not belong to China. From Time, a series of articles on The Best of Asia.

From Economic and Political Weekly, a series of articles on women in India; and is India too poor to be green? pdf. A caste of millions: India's 160m Dalits, or untouchables, have turned to the internet to combat their mistreatment at home. An excerpt from William Dalrymple's The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty: Delhi, 1857. Form India's Frontline, a review of Amartya Sen's Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny; and a review of Paul Gilroy's After Empire.

Form Transitions, a look back on Boris Yeltsin by a writer who knew him in his political salad days. Time to back the Other Russia: Andre Glucksmann asks Europe to think less opportunistically and act more decisively towards Russia. The rites of mourning and burial on display during Boris Yeltsin’s funeral relied heavily on symbols — some more czarist than Soviet. In the trenches of the New Cold War: The US, Russia and the new great game in Eurasia. From Economic Principals, the Un-Marshall Plan: The death of Boris Yeltsin called to mind an important truth: Policy never gets made in a vacuum. And from The Moscow Times, on coming to power in 1991, Boris Yeltsin broke with Soviet tradition and ushered in a new attitude toward culture

China’s Values Vacuum: Artists and intellectuals search for meaning in a society devoid of values. Want to know how culture develops, or where humour and the arts spring from? Ask a group of robots. Ian Stewart on what his book Why Beauty Is Truth: A History of Symmetry is really about.

Are book reviewers out of print? All across the country, newspapers are cutting book sections or running more reprints of reviews from wire services or larger papers. From The Scholar and Feminist Online, a special issue on Blogging Feminism: (Web)sites of Resistance. An article on GodTube, where the rightwing Christians surf. From Harper's, an article on "The Mormons" and Johann Gottfried Herder.

Form TCS, an article on The Real Solution to Poverty. From the inaugural issue of Crimes and Misdemeanours: Deviance and the Law in Historical Perspective, Heather Shore (Leeds Metropolitian): Undiscovered Country: Towards a History of the Criminal "Underworld" doc. From the Manhattan Institute's City Journal, an article on Broken Windows at 25: It has worked wonders on both coasts. Missing the Middle: Fifteen years after the riots, L.A. embodies the progress and problems of America's increasingly two-tier cities. Baby Boomers hoped to die before they got old. They lied. And now they’re dragging the whole country down.

From National Review, an interview with Angela McGlowan, author of Bamboozled: How Americans Are Being Exploited by the Lies of the Liberal Agenda. A review of The Man Who Would Not Shut Up: The Rise of Bill O'Reilly. From CJR, how conservative congressman from Indiana Mike Pence became journalism's best ally in the fight to protect anonymous sources. If you want to understand the wrenching dislocations in today's newsrooms, look to the advertisers whose purchasing decisions drive the business.

From Business Week, crazy like a Fox: Rupert Murdoch's bid for Dow Jones may seem foolishly pricey, but he's got his reasons. Inside Murdoch's surprise attack. The Threat to the Wall Street Journal: Rupert Murdoch’s audacious bid to grab Dow Jones underscores the larger issue of news consolidation and the shrinking number of major media voices, and more on Murdoch's trophy hunting by The Economist. And from TNR, Jonathan Chait on how the netroots are important, but they're still paranoid