From Guernica, an interview with Stephen Kinzer, author of Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change; and first victims of freedom: An interview with Iraqi feminist Yanar Mohammed; an interview with Ali Allawi, author of The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace. An interview with Yanar Mohammed, founder of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, on how Iraq is into “an Afghanistan under the Taliban, where oppression and discrimination of women is institutionalized". Who says American feminists have ignored the plight of Muslim women? Katha Pollitt wants to know.

From The Nation, The Secret Air War in Iraq: Bombs from American planes are killing tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, and no one in the mainstream media is talking about it; and Iraq has prompted the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world, and it's threatening to destabilize the entire region. From The Washington Monthly, Democrats are right to push for an end to the Iraq war. But don't expect the troops to be grateful. "How a Democrat Can Get My Vote": Advice from seven recent war veterans. The Deja Vu to Avoid on Iraq: If any of the domestic political elements that led us to go into Iraq influence the fight over getting out of it, we're in trouble. From The Weekly Standard, liberal hawks, an endangered species: What Iraq has done to the interventionists of the Democratic party (and a response by Jon Chait). Ron Paul had a point: Non-interventionists have been remarkably prescient. So why are they still shunted to the fringe?

From TNR, she may be a witless fool. She may be a partisan hack. But Monica Goodling gave the best testimony yet about the U.S. attorney firings. Corleones of the Right: Bush's choice for Consumer Product Safety Commission chief is from a family of right-wing hustlers. Wanted: A Liberal Dick Cheney: Why a progressive vice president should follow the Cheney model. Dancing With Ghosts: American politics plays with the dangers of permanent opposition. Our unfinished Constitution: After 220 years of the electoral college, it's time for Americans to elect their president directly.

Thumpin' to Conclusions: Republicans are drawing all the wrong lessons from their midterm loss. An article on the surprising relevance of Ron Paul, the GOP's libertarian gadfly. The Ron Paul campaign hopes "Reading for Rudy" will educate Giuliani. A look at how missionary work trains Mormons to stump for Mitt. Can John McCain tell a joke? Michelle Cottle investigates.

From GQ, an article on the Honorable, Enraged Man from Virginia, Senator Jim Webb: It’s been a busy few months for the straightest talker in DC. An interview with Bay Buchanan, author of The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton. A review of A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton by Carl Bernstein and Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton by Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr. And you do what, exactly? If Hillary wins the White House, Bill becomes "First Gentleman". An expert on First Ladies explains just how that would work. A review of No Excuses: Concessions of a Serial Campaigner by Robert Shrum. And The Candidate Killers: There is one question that haunts every campaign. This is it

From Spaces of Utopia, Gregory Claeys (London): Who needs Utopia? A dialogue with my utopian self (With apologies, and thanks, to H. G. Wells); Raffaella Baccolini ( Bologna): Dystopia Matters: On the Use of Dystopia and Utopia; Peter Kraftl (Northampton): Spacing out an unsettling utopian ethics; Lisa Garforth (York): Ideal Nature: Utopias of Landscape and Loss Paul B Smith (Paisley): Utopia and the Socialist Project; Chloë Houston (London): No Place and New Worlds: The Early Modern Utopia and the Concept of the Global Community; Laurent Loty ( Rennes): Which utopias for today? Historical considerations and propositions for a dialogical and paradoxical alterrealism; Mary Baine Campbell ( Brandeis): Utopia Now; and Richard Saage (Halle-Wittenberg): Socio-political Utopianism and the Demands of the 21st Century; Malcolm Miles (Plymouth): The End of Utopia: Imminent and Immanent Liberation; and Utopia Re-Interpreted: An interview with Vita Fortunati of the University of Bologna pdf.

A review of The Challenge of Human Rights: Their Origin, Development, and Significance by Jack Mahoney. A review of Can Human Rights Survive? A review of Leora Batnitzky's Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy and the Politics of Revelation. A purple patch on a classless society by Hannah Arendt.

From Economic Principals, a review of Janos Kornai's By Force of Thought: Irregular Memoirs of an Intellectual Journey. Hip Heterodoxy: A group of economists is challenging the most basic assumptions of neoclassical economic theory, and their influence is growing. A History Hobby: Don't leave scholarship to the professionals.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education, a special report on what the rankings do for U.S. News. Mort Zuckerman abruptly ends an interview about the U.S. News College Rankings. Suicides a symptom of larger UC crisis: As more students with mental health problems enroll, campuses lack the resources to cope. But there may be hidden dangers. No-Sweat Sit-Ins Hit Academe: Will a donation from Nike deflect Stanford's efforts to curb sweatshop labor in the making of its sports regalia? Ask a Mexican: In what field of work would someone with a bachelor's in Chicano studies land?

From Great Britain, the myth of multiculturalism White pupils in urban schools are failing academically: why? (and two responses). Jay Matthews on why AP and IB schools soar. Strike Up the Band: Children at a Catholic school make music, and progress. Research finds young babies can discriminate between different languages just by looking at an adult's face, even if they do not hear a single spoken word.

Hold tight as we look at modern scientific advances and ask "Why aren't we dead yet?": 5 ways science wants to kill you. It came like yesterday: The first human inhabitants of North America may not have exterminated the mammoths. The culprit might have been a comet. Research suggests that a wayward comet hurtled into Earth's atmosphere around 12,900 years ago, fractured into pieces and exploded in giant fireballs, wiping out the Clovis culture. And Adam and Eve in the Land of the Dinosaurs: At the $27 million Creation Museum, evolution gets its continual comeuppance, while biblical revelations are treated as gospel

From The New Humanist, an interview with Richard Jeffrey Newman, author of The Silence of Men, on sexual abuse, machismo, and poetry as survival; and Andrea Kaspryk on "How I learned to stop worrying about my transgendered self". Something is defiantly happening in the literary scene, and Suburban Pornography is more proof of that. Can pornographic literature impart a lesson in morality? Tamara Faith Berger believes it can.

A review of Cake Or Death: The Excruciating Choices of Everyday Life by Heather Mallick. Gerard Woodward enjoys Charlotte Mednelson's fizzingly paced tale of fractured family life, When We Were Bad. Joanna Briscoe discovers what happens after twins are secretly separated at birth in Kim Edwards's The Memory Keeper's Daughter. Daddy Dearest (well, not always): A review of The First Man in My Life: Daughters Write About Their Fathers.

A bloody but riveting historical novel: A review of The Sun Over Breda by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. Lost in Black and White: In a subtly shaded tale of race relations in the wartime Western Australian Outback, a novelist finds her cross-cultural voice. Alexander in Afghanistan: A review of The Afghan Campaign: A Novel. A surreal novel of suspense from one of Japan's most exciting writers: A review of After Dark by Haruki Murakami (and more).

The insider: Jenni Mills explains how her Alien Baby grew into a novel. Stormy Weather, the title of Paulette Jiles's new work, has three meanings in the context of the novel. A review of Too Close to the Sun: The Audacious Life and Times of Denys Finch Hatton. The question of classification comes up again and again in reviews of Lydia Davis' work. Is she a fiction writer? Is she a poet? Add a new question: Is she a sociologist? You will love this book or loathe it: A review of The Gathering by Anne Enright. In the Driver's Seat: Stories by Helen Simpson and Male of the Species: Stories by Alex Mindt argue short stories deserve just as much respect as novels.

It is not difficult to see why Steven Hall's debut novel, The Raw Shark Texts, should have set off a heated bidding war for the film rights. An interview with Michael Connelly, author of The Overlook, serialized in The New York Times and acted out on videos at YouTube. Steve Donoghue touts the overlooked sea novels of Nicholas Monsarrat. Sam Sacks surveys the reviews of Paul Auster’s Travels in the Scriptorium, which caused some confused tail-chasing amongst its critics.

Prospect's Thomas Pynchon correspondent is battling his way through Against the Day—and recording the experience. A review of The Castle in the Forest, Norman Mailer’s new novel about evil and Hitler and, amazingly, not about Norman Mailer. The Man Made Visible: A review of Ralph Ellison: A Biography (and more and more and more and more and an excerpt). Bender Takes a Beating: When the Gertrude Stein imitations begin and the punch lines go flat, it's time to reconsider a writer so widely touted as a fiction star. More and more on Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union. And more and more on Nathan Englander’s The Ministry of Special Cases

From Political Affairs, an article on the childhood origins of adult resistance to Marxism. Champions of the Lost Cause: Obsession, defiance, grit: The line between indomitable genius and hopeless holdout is blurred. We all have the capacity to chase unlikely dreams, but for some people, the pursuit becomes its own reward. Should policies nudge people to make certain choices? Economists Mario Rizzo and Richard Thaler to hash it out.

From Forbes, Nassim Nicholas Taleb on how you can't predict who will change the world. Revolt of the CEOs: A massive expansion of the federal government, supported by big business, is on the way. Conservatives couldn't be less prepared. The GOP coddles fat cats: Jonathan Chait on letting stockholders set CEO pay and other communist plots. The Price of Citizenship: When the super-rich use offshore tax havens to avoid paying what they owe in taxes, the consequence ought to be the loss of their U.S. citizenship. A review of Pop! Why Bubbles are Great for the Economy by Daniel Gross. From Financial Times, here's all you need to know about the perils of management fads. Period.

The politics of plenty: How mass affluence shapes American politics and culture. Hollywood Values Save America! From Mel Gibson to Ann Coulter to Don Imus, the backlash against celebrity bigots has rolled eastward. The frayed knot: As the divorce rate plummets at the top of American society and rises at the bottom, the widening “marriage gap” is breeding inequality.

Notwithstanding this ground of common agreement, the differences between liberalism and libertarianism are fundamental and irreconcilable. More on Brian Doherty’s Radicals for Capitalism. Let artists have their overturned chairs, shipping pallets and moaning suitcases (trust me on this one). But in the political realm, don't cede an inch to anarchy. The No. 1 goal of cultural Marxism  has been the destruction of Western culture and the Christian religion: An excerpt from The Culture-wise Family: Upholding Christian Values in a Mass Media World by Ted Baehr and Pat Boone. Does God have enemies? An excerpt from The Message of the Old Testament. A review of God on Trial: Dispatches from America's Religious Battlefields by Peter Irons.

An excerpt from Al Gore's The Assault on Reason (and a review). A review of Urban Meltdown: Cities, Climate Change and Politics as Usual by Clive Doucet. How to Win the Energy War: The basic elements of a responsible energy policy are not complicated, but the politics are horrendous. There finally seems to be some momentum to improve U.S. agricultural policy. But will it be enough to fix the farm bill? End It, Don't Mend It: How to get rid of farm subsidies once and for all.

The $3-a-day diet: Can a vegetarian who wants to eat healthy subsist only on government food stamps? Death by Veganism: You cannot create and nourish a robust baby merely on foods from plants. A review of Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande and Final Exam: A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality by Pauline W. Chen. From Nerve, an interview with Eric Schaeffer, author of Can't Believe I'm Still Single, in which he insists he's not every single woman's worst nightmare; and going gentile into that good night: Why are non-Jews flocking to And One Night Only: Why some women prefer one-night stands to dating

Anil Hira (Simon Fraser): The World Is Round: A Real Plan to Solve Global Problems in this Generation. From TAP, the costs of UN peacekeeping missions across the globe have ballooned — and, along with them, so have America's arrears. A vast swath of the Pacific, twice the size of Texas, is full of a plastic stew that is entering the food chain. Scientists say these toxins are causing obesity, infertility and worse. While the developed world deals with a "birth dearth," populations are exploding in developing nations. What the first world should do to help.

Cracks in the Financial Foundation: The World Bank, the IMF and the WTO are now facing questions about their relevance in a global economy. How should the new and growing phenomenon of outward FDI from the South be assessed? Should South-South investment be promoted as an alternative to North-South investment flows? The Asian Development Bank has told itself it needs to change but can its slow-moving bureaucracy respond? A review of Aid Effectiveness in Africa: Developing Trust between Donors and Governments.

From American Diplomacy, more on Dangerous Nation, by Robert Kagan. The most troublesome Mideast state has signaled its desire to deal with us. How should America respond to Iran. Whenever the administration shifts toward engagement, one figure is there to stop it. How Dick Cheney ensures diplomatic failure with Tehran. Resistance, not terror: An interview with the Grand Ayatollah Ahmed Alhasani al-Baghdadi of Iraq. Exit Stage Right: Phillip Carter on a step-by-step plan for withdrawing from Iraq. We have to stay in Iraq for a decade: Here's how to do it. The Politics of Intelligence: Bush made a dramatic announcement about bin Laden plans to attack the US. But some counterterrorism experts say it was just another selective leak, designed to bolster support for the war in Iraq.

From TNR, Bob Shrum v. John Edwards: No one comes in for rougher treatment in the famed political consultant's forthcoming memoir, No Excuses, than his former client. No Democratic nominee will be immune to all of the GOP’s attacks. But it’s worth asking whether John Edwards is vulnerable to too many of them. If not money or looks, what else pre-determine the likelihood of success for a candidate attempting to woo today’s voters? Power to the people, 2.0: Barack Obama and John Edwards are boldly abandoning me-first campaigns for online "political movements". Howard Dean, anyone? John Zogby on Gore, Gingrich, Bloomberg scenarios in '08. And from The Politico, a look at why a Bloomberg run could matter, and why the Bloomberg fantasy won't come true

From CRB, a review of The Georgics of Virgil: Bilingual Edition, translated by David Ferry and Virgil's Georgics, translated by Janet Lembke. From Open Letters Monthly, a review of John Donne: The Reformed Soul; and Christploitation: Sam Sacks laments the great divorce of Christianity from literature; and on the great life and writing of Gerald of Wales, a continuously frustrated candidate for the Archbishopric of Wales. Pope could be saviour for Bloomsbury but the party may be purgatory. A lusty, violent thriller about the medieval clash between Christianity and Islam: A review of The Religion by Tim Willocks.

China Miéville on The Struggle for Intergalactic Socialism: The desire to meet "higher lifeforms" is just another expression of enthusiasm for socialism from above - way above. Bogdanov, technocracy and socialism: Alexander Bogdanov was a non-Leninist Bolshevik who also wrote science-fiction. Russian as an American language: An interview with Anya Ulinich, author of Petropolis. A review of A Romanov Fantasy: Life at the Court of Anna Anderson. In To the Castle and Back, Vaclav Havel reflects on the 13 years he spent as president of his country and his life afterward. Sheila Kohler's Bluebird, or the Invention of Happiness is a heavily fictionalized account of the extraordinary life of Henriette Lucy Dillon, who lived in France and America at the time of the French Revolution.

An emotional striptease: Ignore those publishers who claim ‘misery memoirs’ are popular because they tell life-affirming stories of survival. In truth, these books are a voyeur’s wet dream. Publisher Media Predict to let the public have a vote on book projects.

From Spiked, an interview with Sonya Dyer: "Can’t non-white people ever just make art?" It’s boring at the top: Is Andreas Gursky—the highest-priced photographer alive—running out of ideas? The Branding of Rothko: How his art became the ultimate luxury object.  From The Potomac, All This Makes a Magnificent Asparagus: Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso on how to look; and if childhood and happiness are inseparable in the poet’s mind, the fear that they must come to an end lurks in his mind. A review of Some Kind of Genius: The Extraordinary Journey of Musical Savant Tony DeBlois by Janice DeBlois and Antonia Felix.

Rembrandt's Feathers: Why do people collect? Is collecting a primal activity, perhaps rooted in the survival activities of primitive hunter-gatherers? What makes a "film pledge" visionary? Unimpeded by Norwegian language, culture, or social conditions, Norway should be capable of creating and expanding a visionary arena for critically independent, international documentary film. Laurence Olivier was born 100 years ago today, but how have the years affected his reputation? Was he a sublime master of stagecraft or ham cut thick?

Donald MacKenzie (Edinburgh): Finding the Ratchet: The Political Economy of Carbon Trading. From Sign and Sight, Leo Tuor has felt the effects of global warming right up to his belly button. Polymers are Forever: Alarming tales of a most prevalent and problematic substance. A review of Oil on The Brain: Adventures from the Pump to the Pipeline. A review of Ecology Without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics.

From Satya, an interview with Diane Beers, author of For the Prevention of Cruelty: The History and Legacy of Animal Rights Activism in the United States; and can’t a guy destroy a slaughterhouse without being called a “terrorist”? A review of Last Harvest: How a Cornfield Became New Daleville. From Satya, an interview with Juliette Williams on White Gold: The True Cost of Cotton; and an interview with Pietra Rivoli, author of The Travels of A T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power and Politics of World Trade.

From National Review, an interview with Peter Schweizer and Wynton C. Hall, editors of Landmark Speeches of the American Conservative Movement. As Giuliani emerges, conservative Catholic organizations are in the process of rolling out potentially broad-reaching “viral” initiatives with the common aim of denying him the Republican nomination. Uniting conservative Catholics, evangelicals and neoconservatives to fight a theoconservative holy war: A review of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. Max Blumenthal on the Diary of a Christian Terrorist. P.R. firm for a Christian nation: Christian Newswire serves Jerry Falwell, Operation Rescue, Focus on the Family... and the White House.

From Skeptical Inquirer, an essay on Fighting the Fundamentalists: Chamberlain or Churchill?; a review of The God Delusion; are silent prayers transmissible to, or readable by, a supernatural being?; the ongoing debate between scientists and creationists has ignored the contradictions contained in Genesis; and psychic vibrations: An article on The Incredible Bouncing Cow. From Free Inquiry, Tom Flynn on the seductions of misbelief; a review of Philip Kitcher's Living with Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith; Peter Singer on treating (or not) the tiniest babies; and an essay on religion and child abuse.

Have we raised a generation of narcissists? It's 10 p.m. Do you know how big your child's ego is? The invisible mommies: A spate of new books about opting out adds more fuel to the mommy wars. But will our focus on educated, well-paid women ever trickle down to less fortunate moms? A review of Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success, by Sylvia Ann Hewlett. And do the cliches about the fortes and failings of men and women stand up to scientific scrutiny?

From Law & History Review, Robert H. Churchill (Hartford): Gun Regulation, the Police Power, and the Right to Keep Arms in Early America: The Legal Context of the Second Amendment; David Thomas Konig (WSLU): Arms and the Man: What Did the Right to "Keep" Arms Mean in the Early Republic; William G. Merkel (Washburn): Mandatory Gun Ownership, the Militia Census of 1806, and Background Assumptions concerning the Early American Right to Arms; Saul Cornell (OSU): Early American Gun Regulation and the Second Amendment: A Closer Look at the Evidence; and a reply by Churchill. To Your Tents, O Israel: David Kopel finds biblical roots for the right to keep and bear arms.

A review of Righteous Anger at the Wicked States: The Meaning of the Founders' Constitution. Did Aaron Burr really try to take over half of America? A review of Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr. A review of In Passion and Principle: John and Jessie Frémont, the Couple Whose Power, Politics, and Love Shaped Nineteenth-Century America. A review of The Avenger Takes His Place: Andrew Johnson and The Forty-Five Days that Changed the Nation. A purple patch on rationality and social life by Reinhold Niebuhr.

From The University Bookman, a review of Neocon Teocon. Il ruolo della religione nella vita pubblica statunitense [Neocon, Theocon. The role of religion in public life in the United States] by Flavio Felice, and a review of Separation of Church and State by Philip Hamburger. Solomon’s House: An article on the deeper agenda of the new Creation museum in Kentucky. Being honest about ignorance: The temptation to deny scientific truths is timeless—and dangerous.

From Seed, are most published research findings actually false? The case for reform. From Wired, a look at The Best Thought Experiments: Schrodinger's Cat, Borel's Monkeys... Loooooooooong Division: Mathematicians factor 307-digit number using only 95 years of computing time. Androids, it seems, have appearance in the bag. But is their intelligence only skin-deep? Peter Spinks finds sharp divisions over the likely future of robotic intellect.

From Symmetry, when physicists marry physicists, the beginning may be a big bang, but issues of life, love, and family gravitate toward the universal. From Salon, an interview with David Weinberger, author of Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder. (and another interview). From Inside Higher Ed, Beach Blanket Bingo: Looking for a brief holiday from total seriousness? Scott McLemee checks into some good destinations for a mental vacation. And the office of assertion: John Leo offers some thoughts on writing well

From Prospect, there are worrying signs that the International Criminal Court's approach to justice may be jeopardising peace in Africa. Index on Censorship: Slavery 2007 is a salutary reminder of the presence of slavery. A review of The Door of No return: The History of Cape Coast Castle and the Atlantic Slave Trade.

From National Geographic, the Niger Delta holds some of the world's richest oil deposits, yet Nigerians living there are poorer than ever, violence is rampant, and the land and water are fouled. What went wrong?; as Mumbai booms, the poor of its notorious Dharavi slum find themselves living in some of India's hottest real estate; how one supercharged province in China cranks out lightbulbs, buttons, and bra rings, as well as instant cities for the factory workers; and fences may make good neighbors, but the barriers dividing the U.S. and Mexico are proving much more complicated.

From Vanity Fair, an excerpt from Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America. Give me back my legions! Cullen Murphy on Rome's most humiliating defeat — and a lesson for America. From The Potomac, must we become the darkness? Don Thompson reminds us of Cicero's rules of law, and the very foundation of civilization so recently corrupted by Bush; Barry Frye on America's Cult of Simplification; and if one of us were to read "Stupidity Street" to President Bush today, he would first of all apply it to other nations and not to the US.

Why Bush hasn't been impeached: Congress, the media and most of the American people have yet to turn decisively against Bush because to do so would be to turn against some part of themselves. Britain is losing Blair, but America is stuck with Bush, and that's because the British system is much better at getting rid of a discredited chief executive.

From Government Executive, an article on how government's personnel issues are more complicated than they look. From Governing, the disability dilemma: Police officers and firefighters injured in the line of duty receive generous benefits. Can localities afford to keep paying for them? Protect government watchdogs from politics: Washington's in-house inspectors general often fall victim to the officials they investigate. Daniel Gross on the silly effort to stop senators and bureaucrats from trading on their inside knowledge. How can politics recapture the ability to inspire us? Hard action and clear choices? Polling the populace: Citizen surveys are an increasingly popular tool for soliciting feedback on policies, programs and priorities.

From Public Opinion Pros, an excerpt from Questions & Answers in Attitude Surveys: Experiments on Question Form, Wording, and Context, by Howard Schuman and Stanley Presser; the public's lack of confidence in the press appears to be related to a superficial dissatisfaction with current political events, not a deep disaffection; and is the internet a boon for or a bane to democracy? Changes in the internet’s audience indicate that, contrary to the dark murmurings of some, this new technology may be a welcome development. And a political device goes corporate: Political veterans increasingly are taking their mastery of sophisticated new campaign techniques into the corporate world, though not all techniques will translate smoothly

From Kritikos, Senayon Olaoluwa (Ibadan): The Author Never Dies: Roland Barthes and the Postcolonial Project; and Travis English (Stony Brook): Hans Haacke, or the Museum as Degenerate Utopia.

From The Futurist, an article on the intersection of economics and the arts. The art journalist Lindsay Pollock’s The Girl With the Gallery reconstructs the life of a groundbreaking and largely overlooked woman who served as the midwife for the emergence of the modern art market in America. Bruce Cole, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, stands up for American exceptionalism in the arts. A review of Best American Magazine Writing 2006, ed. by Graydon Carter. A review of Granta 97: Best of Young American Novelists (and more).

Was Huck Faulknerian? A review of Jon Clinch’s Finn, a novel about Huck Finn’s father, and decides that it owes a heavy debt to a literary figure apart from Mark Twain. Author at work: When it first strikes you that your book isn't going to be the next Huck Finn, don't wallow in despair. Take a long walk. From The University Bookman, an essay on how small presses rescue classic genre writers from oblivion. Fiction critic Lionel Shriver explains why, for a novelist, reviewing is a dangerous game.

From Sign and Sight, escapology and the endgame: Peter Kümmel reports from this year's Theatertreffen in Berlin, the yearly rendezvous for the ten best plays on the German-language stage. A review of All That Glittered: The Golden Age of Drama on Broadway, 1919-1959 by Ethan Mordden. A review of The Shakespeare Riots: Revenge, Drama, and Death in Nineteenth Century America.

To be or not to be a philosopher did not concern Shakespeare, so far as we know. And we know very little: A review of Shakespeare The Thinker. Academic spitball fights can be tedious and polemical. But the May 31 New York Review of Books brings a refreshingly brief and engaging exchange on, would you believe, William Shakespeare's attitude toward political power (and the exchange between Richard Strier and Stephen Greenblatt). The introduction to Inventing English: A Portable History of the Language.

From, a review of The Poems of Georg Trakl by Margitt Lehbert. Absent Friends: That is Not Sad; This is Not Funny: Adam Golaski resurrects the poetry of Paul Hannigan in all its acerbic and ominous brilliance. The unpublished poetry of Bonnie Parker, America's most notorious woman gangster, has emerged in the prison notebook she kept. John Ash's latest collection, The Parthian Stations, suggests that time in Istanbul has transformed the poet's work, writes William Wootten. An exchange of identity crises: A review of The Opposite House by Helen Oyeyemi.

Writing While Arab: The Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI), with a membership of 215 poets, fiction writers, playwrights, bloggers, filmmakers and others, holds its conference in Dearborn, Mich. The biggest little country in the world: In Search of Kazakhstan explores the vast land where the Soviets dumped their dissidents and tested nuclear bombs. Khaled Hosseini, the author of The Kite Runner, returns with a story about Afghan women in A Thousand Splendid Suns (and more and more and more and more). And a review of The Sleeping Buddha: the story of Afghanistan through the Eyes of One Family by Hamida Ghafour