From Open Democracy, Saskia Sassen on globalisation, the state and the democratic deficit. Does the UN still matter? Joseph S. Nye investigates. An article on the power of NGOs: They're big, but how big? A review of Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases by Paul A. Offit. Norman Borlaug on Continuing the Green Revolution: Agricultural biotech has greatly improved human life. But we've still got a long way to go. Gregg Easterbrook on Norman Borlaug, the Greatest Living American—ignored, while he only saved a billion people. William Easterly reviews The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS by Helen Epstein (and more and an interview).

A review of The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Falling Behind and What Can Be Done About It by Paul Collier (and more). Wrong Number: Is it cost effective to treat the world's poor?  Martin Wolf reviews How Rich Countries Got Rich...and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor by Erik S. Reinert and Bad Samaritans: Rich Nations, Poor Policies and the Threat to the Developing World by Ha-Joon Chang. Globalisation backlash in rich nations: A popular backlash against globalisation and the leaders of the world’s largest companies is sweeping all rich countries, an FT/Harris poll shows. 

From Dissent, Mosque and State: An interview with Seyla Benhabib on Turkey's recent election, the AK Party, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Turkey's election has produced a clear win for the ruling party. But the country remains in the grip of a crisis involving two competing definitions of its very identity. Linguistic follies: An article on the economic consequences of the rise of English. Masochism, madness and murky waters: A review of Surf Nation: In Search of the Fast Lefts and Hollow Rights of Britain and Ireland by Alex Wade. Don't think so much: France is the country that produced the Enlightenment, Descartes's one-liner, "I think, therefore I am," and the solemn pontifications of Jean-Paul Sartre and other celebrity philosophers. But in the government of President Nicolas Sarkozy, thinking has lost its cachet. Flirting and fornicating: In the country of romance, a website is making sex and adultery as easy as buying a croissant.

The girly tapes of the 2008 election make Hillary Rodham Clinton look like Margaret Thatcher, reminding all that America has never been more in need of grown-up women in high places. Too Much Information: While the absence of policy detail in the Republican presidential campaign is remarkable, Democrats go too far in the other direction. The Actor: Fred Thompson bills himself as a true southern conservative and a plain-ol’-folks regular guy. But is he just playing a part? Why the US Military Loves Ron Paul: The anti-war Texas Republican is pulling more campaign contributions from the military than John McCain. That says a lot about the mindset of the troops.


From CRB, Harry Jaffa on the American Founding as the best regime; a review of Nations, Markets, and War: Modern History and the American Civil War by Nicholas Onuf and Peter S. Onuf; and what should liberal democracies expect, and what do they have the right to demand, from their immigrants and from their citizens. Frank Furedi reviews Walter Laqueur’s The Last Days of Europe and Al Gore’s The Assault on Reason. What's the greatest challenge facing American conservatives today? Liberalism? That would be relatively easy to defeat. No, it's capitalism. The Myth of Bryan Caplan's Seriousness: Libertarians gather to hear the case against letting the ignorant, irrational masses decide the direction of society.

From Taki's Top Drawer, Confederates and Catholics, Unite! At the Christians United for Israel Summit, Joe Lieberman embraces the Christian nation, Jewish journalists get expelled, and attendees fret about the Iranian president's "12th Imam". The Paranoid Style: The far right has always been given to the paranoia of conspiracy theories. Here's a rundown on the two that xenophobes are currently obsessed with: the North American Union and the Plan de Aztlan. A review of Doomsday Men: The Real Dr Strangelove and the Dream of the Superweapon by P.D. Smith.

A review of Have a Nice Doomsday: Why Millions of Americans are Looking Forward to the End of the World by Nicholas Guyatt. A review of The World Without Us by Alan Weisman (and more). A review of The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization by Thomas Homer-Dixon (and more). A review of Urban Meltdown: Cities, Climate Change and Politics as Usual by Clive Doucet. From Dissent, why aren't U.S. cities burning? Michael B. Katz investigates; and it’s time to put an end to the arguments about the meaning of the Second Amendment and come to terms with the social and political realities of the twenty-first century. Guns kill; it’s what they’re meant to do. In the Heart of Freedom, in Chains: Elite hypocrisy, gangsta culture, and failure in black America.

A review of Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism by James Piereson. Was the Culture War ever as important to Republican victories as Democrats think? Mark A. Smith investigates. Fear and Loathing in Middle America: A review of Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War by Joe Bageant. The fruits of freedom: John Lloyd reviews Freedom’s Power: The True Force of Liberalism by Paul Starr and Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: The New Liberal Menace in America by Stephen Marshall. Are we making progress? For every progressive step forward in politics there is a regressive step back in some shape or form.


A new issue of Axess is out, including an editorial on postmodernism at the end of the road; and Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom on how contrarianism has a proud intellectual heritage, but in its postmodern flowering it merely became juvenile, complacently smashing up the entire interlocking crossword puzzle of human knowledge; Richard Wolin on how theoretical cultural movements from structuralism onwards generated a cynicism about reason and democracy which was once a hallmark of reactionary thought, but which became the stock-in-trade of the postmodern left; and today’s social scientists reject the positivist idea that it is possible to explain a shared reality. But relativist sociology renders its own discipline redundant. Christofer Edling argues for a return to positivism as the only serious way of coming to grips with the major issues of our times.

Joseph Raz (Oxford): Human Rights without Foundations. Randy Barnett reviews of Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (And How We the People Can Correct It) by Sanford Levinson. From TNR, Rawls Fatigue: Linda Hirshman on liberals' misplaced love of John Rawls. From Telos, an article on Carl Schmitt and Nuremberg. A review of Religions, Reasons and Gods: Essays in Cross-Cultural Philosophy of Religion by John Clayton.

Thomas Cusack (Berlin), Torben Iversen (Harvard) and David Soskice (Duke): Economic Interests and the Origins of Electoral Systems. Suzanne Berger (MIT): Historic Imbalances and Great Debates: Do the Economists See It Coming? Who wants to be a cultural billionaire? Economist Tyler Cowen aims to help us live richer lives, and maybe get our kids to do their chores (and more).

From Inside Higher Ed, better than expected, worse than it seems: Gary Orfield, Erica Frankenberg and Liliana M. Garces write that colleges and their students will suffer because of the Supreme Court’s desegregation decision; and Faith and Fairness: After legal victory in religious discrimination case, former Broward Community College instructor has more to prove. The Alice Ottley School closes and merges with a co-ed school as part of a societal shift away from girls-only institutions. As it becomes a reality, pupils and advocates of single-sex education feel that independence is not the only thing that the school is losing. From The New Yorker, Nicholas Lemann on the Supreme Court and integrated schools. Say What? A slur at Roger Williams University leads to a lesson in accountability. Bucks for Brains: Kid gives teacher an apple, teacher gives kid $50.


From NYRB, a review of At the Same Time: Essays & Speeches by Susan Sontag and The Road from Danzig: Timothy Garton Ash reviews books by Gunter Grass. An interview with JT LeRoy, the woman behind the most audacious literary hoax of all time. Form TNR, Andrew Delbanco reviews Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee, and a look at how Harry Potter explains the world. Before Harry, there was Little Nell: Mass hysteria over a fictional character's fate long predates today's media-industrial complex. A review of Reading Life: Books for the Ages by Sven Birkerts.

Why print is still king, amid the multimedia din: An issue with electronic data viewed on screens is that humans instinctively see it as unstable, "nervous" – because it is. It’s made up of some brilliant elements: celebrity-on-celebrity interviews, stunning candid photographs, thick, turnable pages. Even the advertisements are tasteful. So what’s preventing Interview from becoming the next Rolling Stone? The current issue of Rolling Stone, in celebration of the magazine's 40th anniversary, is devoted to the year 1967 — the music, the culture, the whole scene, man. At the back of the magazine, there is a list of the top 40 singles for that year. It makes for depressing reading. A review of All that glitters: Living on the Dark Side of Rock and Roll by Pearl Lowe. A review of Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time by Rob Sheffield.

A review of History of the Art of Antiquity by Johann Joachim Winckelmann. Essad Bey at Positano: Lev Nussimbaum spent the second half of his life as a refashioned Muslim prince—before meeting an early end in Italy. In Positano, Elizabeth Kiem visits an artist at rest. From Sign and Sight, Poison in the air: Why German artists should keep their hands off Hitler. Activism Illustrated: A review of Visions of Peace and Justice: San Francisco Bay Area: 1974-2007. Over 30 Years of Political Posters From the Archives of Inkworks Press. Art for Less: Local fund-raisers. New approaches to art fairs. With prices rising faster than ever, savvy collectors are shifting their strategies for nabbing deals. Where to find the next bargains.


From The Economist, a series of articles on Iran: An uncompromising Iran and an uncomprehending America may be stumbling to war. From Forward, the next American president to try a hand at fostering Arab democracy would do well to heed the lessons of the Bush administration’s many mistakes. Here are 10 preliminary thoughts on the lessons to be learned. The Fundamentalist Moderate: Religious scholar Javed Ahmad Ghamidi has become a popular figure in Pakistan for his strict reading of the Koran — which, he says, dictates against gender discrimination, terrorist jihad, and other favorites of modern Islamists.

A review of The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In by Hugh Kennedy and Armies of God: Islam and Empire on the Nile, 1869-99 - The First Jihad of the Modern Era by Dominic Green. The Islamic Optimist: A review of In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad, To Be a European Muslim, Western Muslims and the Future of Islam, and Islam, the West and the Challenges of Modernity by Tariq Ramadan; The Heirs of the Prophet Muhammad and the Roots of the Sunni-Shia Schism by Barnaby Rogerson. A review of Muslim Identity and Islam: Misinterpreted in The Contemporary World by M. G. Hussain. A review of In the Words of Our Enemies by Jed Babbin. 

The antiwar, anti-abortion, anti-drug-enforcement-administration, anti-Medicare candidacy of Dr. Ron Paul: The most radical congressman in America is a Republican from Texas. And he’s running for president. Paul the apostate: Is this would-be president brave or crazy? Would voters elect a president who believes in the Book of Mormon? What about one who venerates Muhammad, or Buddha? (and a graphic). Todd Gitlin on Nader's dead end: When the Democrats enlarged their tent to include leftist activists, Ralph Nader was left in the cold. MoveOn.org's issue-driven primary may not end up naming a winner, but it's shaping up to be more substantive, thoughtful and participatory than the actual presidential primary. What will the outcome of the 2008 election mean for the Supreme Court? Why one outcome could change the Court profoundly; the other, not at all.


From The American Conservative, How to Win in Iraq: Rapprochement with Iran and neutrality toward Iraq’s Shi’ites is the only way America might yet salvage victory. Form NYRB, Peter W. Galbraith on Iraq: The Way to Go. A look at how the National Intelligence Estimate reveals a faltering war on terrorism. Policing Terrorism: David Rieff on the case for the British way of fighting violent Islamists. Dumb Bomb: Tim Harford on why most terrorists are so incompetent. The other war, Iraq veterans bear witness: Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian reveal disturbing patterns of behavior by US troops in Iraq—brutal acts that often go unreported and almost always go unpunished. Their War: Less than 1 percent of the U.S. population serves in our military. In a time of war, what should that mean to the rest of us?

From City Journal, Judith Miller on the front line in the War on Terrorism: Cops in New York and Los Angeles offer America two models for preventing another 9/11; and Cop Killers in High Places: When newspapers and black leaders assault the police, small wonder that criminals follow suit. From Boston Review, why are so many Americans in prison? Glenn C. Loury on race and the transformation of criminal justice. Newark to New Orleans, the Myth of the Black Sniper: Forty years have passed since the Newark riots, but not much has changed when it comes to black suffering and white fear. A review of Governing Through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear by Jonathan Simon. A review of Running for Judge: The Rising Political, Financial, and Legal Stakes of Judicial Elections.

From History & Policy, an essay on historical myth-making in juvenile justice policy. Michael Dorf on the new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: Same as the old rules?  How accurate are juries? The Numbers Guy investigates. How can you distinguish a budding pedophile from a kid with real boundary problems? It can be difficult, but research is showing that when it comes to sex crimes, youths are not just little adults. So why does the law tend to treat them that way? Three for Thought: What you need to read about kids who kill. The widow of Dr Benjamin Spock – author of the Bible of parenting guides: Baby and Child Care – says he would be horrified by today’s avalanche of advice for mums and dads. Kids on the Plane? It doesn’t take much to upset the fragile social equilibrium of a crowded airplane at 37,000 feet.


 A review of The Rosetta Stone: And the Rebirth of Ancient Egypt by John Ray. A review of The Art of Forgetting: Disgrace and Oblivion in Roman Political Culture by Harriet I. Flower. Dieing as they lived: A review of Death in Ancient Rome by Catherine Edwards. A review of The Monk and the Book: Jerome and the Making of Christian Scholarship by Megan Hale Williams.  A review of Machiavelli: Philosopher of Power by Ross King. As often sunk as sinking in: A review of On the Wealth of Nations by P J O'Rourke (and more). A review of Henryk Grossman and the Recovery of Marxism by Rick Kuhn. 

From Telos, the Permanent State of Exception and the Dismantling of the Law: A review of Global War on Liberty by Jean-Claude Paye (and part 2 and part 3). A review of Consent in Law by Deryck Beyleveld and Roger Brownsword. How the ballot box left the brain behind: A review of The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies by Bryan Caplan. A review of Black Mass: Apocalyptic religion and the death of utopia by John Gray.

Here's a video of Jurgen Habermas on The Kantian Project of Cosmopolitan Law. Paul Weithman reviews Justice and the Social Contract: Essays on Rawlsian Political Philosophy by Samuel Freeman. Thinking Cheerfully: Putting an untroubled face on some extreme-seeming ideas was perhaps Richard Rorty’s defining philosophical coup. An interview with Ophelia Benson, co-author of Why Truth Matters.

From Spiked, when education becomes about turning young people into obedient, healthy-eating, environmentally aware conformist-citizens, then it is not really education at all: A review of The Corruption of the Curriculum. A Digital Education: The Internet puts you a few clicks away from the best college lectures in America. Can the US really be that stupid? Americans aren’t as ignorant as portrayed in the host of polls showing many of them failing tests of general knowledge and history. The first chapter form The Last Freedom: Religion from the Public School to the Public Square by Joseph P. Viteritti. A review of Parts Per Million: The Poisoning of Beverly Hills High School by Joy Horowitz.


Miscellaneous: An interview with Gabe Kaplan, author of Kotter's Back — E-mails from a Faded Celebrity to a Bewildered World. A picture and a thousand words: Stunts made her famous but Amelia Earhart knew the future was in selling seats, not feats. A review of Friendship & Betrayal: Ambition and the Limits of Loyalty by Graham Stewart. In Queuing for Beginners, Joe Moran shows that an alternative history of post-war Britain is engraved in the mundane rituals of our daily lives. The jobs you wish you had: An interview with Julia Pierson, Secret Service Agent. Badminton at night, on steroids: The new racquet sport Blackminton features black lights, body paint and intense speed. A Tangled Vine: Dealing with customer service representatives can turn any home into a disaster area. The Numbers Guy checks the numbers on countdown clocks, which offer a lot of drama but little information. A Northern New Jersey of the Mind: Geoffrey O'Brien on The Sopranos.

Face to faith: Sartre's nihilistic vision of life takes no account of our human and spiritual qualities, says David Bryant.  A review of How Life Imitates Chess: Making the Right Moves—From the Board to the Boardroom by Garry Kasparov. Attention everyone playing checkers at a park, in grade school, or on the massive rug at Cracker Barrel: You can take your pieces and go home. After five thousand years of gameplay, checkers has been solved. Like is a friendly word. As a verb, it gives off affectionate vibes. In other parts of speech, it's a mensch as well, emphasizing what things have in common, not what separates them. But there's another like in the air, a gossipy usage that has grammar purists - and many parents of teenagers - climbing the walls. The Great Spectrum Giveaway: This October might be the last chance for local community radio stations to receive high-power licenses from the FCC. From McSweeney's, Michael Ian Black on a Meditation on Salami

An Arizona library has forsaken the Dewey Decimal System, and is arranging books in a manner similar to the approach taken by Barnes & Noble. Charmed: Stephenie Meyer's vampire romance novels made a Mormon mom an international sensation. Cory Doctorow on the Progressive Apocalypse and Other Futurismic Delights. Hemingway's cuban connection: For the past half-century the US has tried to use economic sanctions to unseat Fidel Castro. Ewen MacAskill reports that a group of Americans who want to preserve Ernest Hemingway's home outside Havana hope to overturn that policy.  Best Sellers That Woof and Meow: What makes animal books, some of them woefully written, so appealing to so many?  "Not all 'young adult' novels are about teenagers": An interview with John Green, author of An Abundance of Katherines, on literature and pop culture.

From California Literary Review, friendship is the first step to peace: A review of picture books that highlight our getting along. Outside the Lines: Douglas Rushkoff turns open source Judaism into a comic book. The comma's fading popularity is metaphor for something larger: how we deal with the frantic, can't-wait-a-minute nature of modern life. Stop sign travesties! Self-proclaimed "grammar vandal" goes after public mistakes that grate. From smut to adult diapers, the young novelist's life: A writer's life can seem as glamorous as Paris Hilton's, but for most, the reality is far from it. Corey Redekop's Shelf Monkey addresses literary snobbery in much the same way as Edward Abbey's Monkey Wrench Gang, exposing the contradictions inherent in extremism. Railing against the tyranny of expertise: In life, Bernard Rudofsky fought a losing battle versus modernism. In death, he's being vindicated.


Miscellaneous: From the African Journal of Political Science and International Relations, J.R. Kehl (Rutgers): Emerging markets in Africa. Democratic revolution: The British dependency of Sark may pay a price for losing its feudal exceptionalism.  An interview with Sara Bongiorni, author of A Year Without “Made in China”. Broken China: Beijing can't clean up the environment, rein in stock speculation, or police its companies. Easter Island fights prosperity: Mayor Pedro Edmunds wants "his people" to be lovable. They're more interested in getting rich. Will lifting the ban on trade in tiger parts save the tiger? A look at both sides of the debate that raged during the recent international workshop on tiger conservation in Harbin, China. Birth of a Nation: Here is Radar's guide to starting your own country. Here's a list of the world’s Ten Best and Ten Worst flags. What does the Lal Masjid mosque siege tell us about the growth of extremism in Pakistan? Pervez Hoodbhoy investigates. 

Researchers explore Siberia's role in climate change. From Cafe Babel, sea, sex and sun? Now that the heat of summer has arrived, discover the hot topics covered by the Eurotik blog: sex toys, sleazy politics, and hot Commission publicity campaigns. A review of Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible by Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun. He showed up a year ago in Mannheim train station. But despite efforts to identify him, authorities still know almost nothing about the man who calls himself Karl. Except: He likes drawing pictures of cars and speaks only English.  The Uighur Sanction, or, The Squeaky Jesus Gets the Fig: A Muslim's fasting irritates him – if you've ever spent the month of Ramadan in a Muslim country, you know what he means. An Evangelical Christian's proselytizing irritates others. Dick Cheney irritates everyone.

Lane Kenworthy, Sondra Barringer, Daniel Duerr, and Garrett Andrew Schneider (Arizona): The Democrats and Working-Class Whites. A look at Republicans who question the war, nut not George Bush. FOIA at 40: Can it still help the public examine its government? An interview with with Lucy Dalglish, of The Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press, about the Bush administration's love of secrecy... and the media's lack of outrage. Another timetable for withdrawal: The quiet departure of Jim Gilmore from the presidential race is a reminder that many candidates will — sooner or later — be pursuing exit strategies of their own. Dr. Yes-Man: Dr. James Holsinger doesn't inspire confidence that, if confirmed as surgeon general, he would be independent enough to withstand Bush's political and ideological pressure.  Kenneth Rogoff on how Americans will eventually learn that deficits do matter

A review of The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington by Robert Novak (and more and an interview, and more from The New York Observer). From Think Tank, an interview with Robert Novak. The Vitter Effect: How does news of an outspoken Christian senator’s fall from grace play in the evangelical community? Media Culpa: Michael C. Moynihan on blaming the press for Iraq. Do Americans expect too much from this Congress? In November, voters dissatisfied with the Iraq war saw a savior in the Democrats. And then reality paid a visit. Michael Currie Schaffer on Joseph Wilson's selfless self-promotion. Bush the albatross: He's not running in '08, but history shows his bad ratings can swamp the GOP. Here's a general guideline to the candidates' positions on some of the top issues. Marital Discord: Bill Clinton was the ultimate free trader. But Hillary, tacking left, is sounding protectionist notes. Can Bill win this argument? 


Miscellaneous: The epic narcissism of Cindy Sheehan: Everyone is getting tired of the sanctimonious peace activist, who threatens to run against Nancy Pelosi and does a photo shoot on her son's grave. Concrete Policies Based on Concrete Values: The case for building our public policy on our professed beliefs. A response to Ezra Klein's "Overvaluing American Values. Stakes in kidneys: Trading organs for cash is illegal, so how can more be made available for transplant? Alfred, Bruce, and Percy — No Sissies: Names considered effeminate today were originally made famous by big, pugnacious men. So where did we go wrong? A review of Margaret Fuller: An American Romantic Life. Here are 17 reasons (or more) to stop charging people to ride the bus. A Battle Between the Bottle and the Faucet: Thirsty? How much money do you have on you?  Is the GOP political platform contrary to Catholic teaching? Glenn Greenwald wants to know. 

From Bitch, a review of You Never Call! You Never Write! A History of the Jewish Mother by Joyce Antler. From Business Week, a look at what drives the success of the "big brains" of the investing world—and what ordinary investors can learn from them. From Forbes, here are some Black Swan possibilities for the near and far future.  What Ever Happened to Gary Cooper? A few words about gender differences. A review of Hold Everything Dear: Dispatches on Survival and Resistance by John Berger. Arthur C. Brooks on the Left's "inequality" obsession. Generation Lloyd Dobler: Brian Doherty on the fight to avoid buying, selling, or processing in a wealthy modernity.  If you're 50-plus, female, have a penchant for hats and are keen to "grow old outrageously", the Red Hat Society might be the thing for you. The Ethanol Backlash: Daniel Gross on the environmentalists, economists, and poverty activists who are turning against corn fuel.

A review of Let's Spend the Night Together: Backstage Secrets of Rock Muses and Supergroupies by Pamela Des Barres.  14,000 reasons to be skeptical: Corporate takeovers — not a strong, stable economy — are fueling Wall Street's latest bubble. Back From the Dead: Doctors are reinventing how they treat sudden cardiac arrest, which is fatal 95 percent of the time. A report from the border between life and death. No Sex Please, We're Organizing: A nation of pack rats tries to get it together. The machines are already taking over: The real problem with a machine-driven society isn’t the machines themselves; it’s the relationships they create—or replace. Make Love, Not War? Why not have it both ways? Dropping a "gay bomb" on enemy soldiers might prove to distract them, yes, but these incapacitants, though no less harsh, will make the enemy forget what they were ever fighting for. 

A review of The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, Volume 1: The Woman Rebel, 1900-1928 and Volume 2: Birth Control Comes of Age, 1928-1939. How the Farm Bill affects more than just farms: The stealthy Farm Bill has fooled Americans for years into thinking it only affects people who wear overalls to work.  Meat is murder on the environment: A kilogram of beef is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution than driving for 3 hours while leaving all the lights on back home. A passing reference to Scientology in an article by Annie Lawson prompted an invitation from the church in Melbourne to hear its story. This is what she discovered.  A review of Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life by Margaret Kim Peterson. From The Brookings Institution, a paper on Rediscovering Federalism. From Daily Mail, won't anyone stand up for God?

Advertisement