From Democratiya, Claude Lefort on the concept of totalitarianism (and a response by Robert Fine); The Eichmann Polemics: Michael Ezra on Hannah Arendt and Her Critics; Keeping the Republic: Dick Howard on reading Arendt’s On Revolution after the Fall of the Wall; a review of What is Genocide? by Martin Shaw; Norman Geras on the limits of international law; a review of Emergent Conflict and Peaceful Change by Hugh Miall; and a review of Retribution and Reparation in the Transition to Democracy

From Entelechy, Simon Baron-Cohen on The Biology of the Imagination; memory works in strange ways, scientists are still unsure how it is stored, and even more baffled by the fact that it seems to change over time; Not Just-So Stories: Reflections on an EP conference through an EP lens; and did you know that your academic productivity can be attributed to your subconscious desire to avoid thinking about your own possibly imminent death? The Clone Wars: A review of The Case Against Perfection by Michael Sandel.

When sources of "normal" news head out, science journalists get more ink, and there are four things readers should look out for. An interview with Benjamin Radford, managing editor of Skeptical Inquirer, on myths and monsters. A majority of Republicans have doubts about evolution, and more Americans believe in the creationism theory, according to a new Gallup poll.

From Sign and Sight, philosopher, poet and friend: Jürgen Habermas writes an obiturary for American philosopher Richard Rorty. From Kritika & Kontext, democracy and philosophy: Richard Rorty outlines the anti-foundationalist premise of his philosophy. Richard Rorty combined scepticism about the truth with a passion for social justice, while being ironically upbeat in dark times. Damon Linker on Rorty's blasé liberalism.

Searching for life’s meaning: Despite what sceptics say, philosophy can help us answer the big questions that always tease mankind. When academic Stephanie Trigg discovered she had breast cancer, she started a blog that became a meditative lifeline between her personal and professional lives. Dual careers worry academia: Scholarly couples are lured away. The Perpetuation of Privilege: When enormously wealthy individuals give millions to enormously wealthy universities, it’s time to stop calling it philanthropy. In Praise of Immigrant Students: The educational odysseys of foreign-born college graduates disprove the lies spread by anti-immigrant politicians. Three times perfect: They grew up dressing alike, but at Dartmouth these triplets forged their own successful paths; now they've made history. When College Ends, So Does Activism: Why selling out is a depressingly rational choice for many graduates.

From NYRB, the Lost Jewish Culture: Harold Bloom reviews The Lost Jewish Culture The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950–1492; and Racing Against Reality: A review of Falling Man by Don DeLillo. The playful literary legend: John Updike, now 75, says he "lucked out and became a writer," but his distinguished career says otherwise. When it comes to humor, Woody Allen dishes up a perfect deli mix in his new collection of sketches and stories, Mere Anarchy. "And that's why you're a blogger and not a writer": New Yorker writer gets touchy in the comments section of a blog.

From The New York Review of Magazines, an interview with Atoosa Rubenstein, from magazine queen to the MySpace scene; and inside the juiced-up, iron-pumped world of bodybuilding magazines. Magazines and newspapers featuring poetry and short works of fiction are to be commended and awarded bonus points for culture. But publishing extracts from novels? It should be prohibited. How long does it take to write a novel? One year is the ambitious target Louise Doughty sets first-time writers in A Novel in a Year, aware that what most will have at the end of 12 months is a start rather than a finished product. A review of Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter; Writer's Coach: An Editor's Guide to Words That Work by Jack Hart; and When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It: The Parts of Speech, for Better and/or Worse by Ben Yagoda.

From 3:AM, a review of The Human War, the most pitch perfect representation of what it is like to live in America in 2007. An interview with author Pete Hamill: Bush and Cheney "didn't grow up in Brooklyn, where you know if you punch a guy in the mouth, he's going to come back with three other guys and punch you back". Anatomy of a row: Christopher and Peter Hitchens are two of Britain's most famous scribes, but they appear to agree on nothing. After their latest public spat, James Macintyre, who has known both brothers for many years, dissects their very odd relationship.

A review of How We Built Britain by David Dimbleby. A review of British Diplomacy: Foreign Secretaries Reflect. A review of The Diana Chronicles by Tina Brown, and more on how Princess Diana brought the British monarchy to the brink of collapse, and more and more. Why Britannia still rules the stage: British theatre has never had it so good. On screen, in plays, and from Broadway to the Oscars, our actors are being feted as never before. We celebrate this remarkable renaissance by bringing together 50 great British actors in a unique portrait, featuring our finest young talents and treasured veterans like Ian McKellen (and part 2 and part 3). Fall From Grace: In 1843, British novelist Grace Aguilar was a household name on both sides of the Atlantic. So how come we've never heard of her?

A review of Queuing for Beginners: The Story of Daily Life from Breakfast to Bedtime. A review of Strange Son: Two Mothers, Two Sons, and the Quest to Unlock the Hidden World of Autism by Portia Iversen. A review of The Empty Nest: 31 Parents Tell the Truth About Relationships, Love, and Freedom After the Kids Fly the Coop. A review of The Sun Farmer: The Story of a Shocking Accident, a Medical Miracle, and a Family's Life-and-Death Decision by Michael McCarthy.

A new issue of Cultural Survival Quarterly is out, on passing the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. A review of Jungle Capitalists: A Story of Globalisation, Greed and Revolution by Peter Chapman. A review of The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About it by Paul Collier. Three for Thought: What you need to read about global poverty. Arrested development: Distribution of aid is too important not to pause for a moment while discovering how funds might best be allocated. Is Bob Zoellick the next Paul Wolfowitz? Bush's popular nominee to head the World Bank could fall prey to the same problems that doomed his predecessor.

From Time Asia, a special issue on Hong Kong, 10 years after the handover. A review of The Dragon and the Elephant: China, India and the New World Order by David Smith; China: Fragile Superpower by Susan L Shirk; and Getting Rich First: Life in a Changing China by Duncan Hewitt. The introduction to Punishment and Power in the Making of Modern Japan by Daniel V. Botsman. Masahiko Fujiwara's The Dignity of a State re-ignites the debate about whether there are specifically “Asian” values

From Prospect, Stephen Oppenheimer responds to readers' questions and comments on his October 2006 article on British ancestry. From The Observer, it is the debate on everybody's lips - just how British are we? Then came plans for a British Day. Then Gordon Brown spoke of "British jobs for British people". As a new study demands we celebrate "where we live" to combat social division, is there any way to define a nation's values? In Britain, the Scout movement still struggles to shake off a reputation as a place where men in shorts teach boys to tie rope. The French President's beautiful and strong-willed wife refuses to conform to expectations of how a statesman's spouse should behave. So maybe it's not surprising that she seems to attract more attention than her husband. Murder in the Pyrenees: When the unpopular mayor of Fago was found dead in a ditch, virtually the entire population of the isolated Spanish hamlet came under suspicion, writes Leslie Crawford. One man confessed - but was he telling the whole story. Sons of Italy: A long line of conservative Italian political thought goes ignored when we get caught up looking at Italy's current state

The Thin Iraqi Line: Can the U.S. train Iraq's military and police to be the anchor that steadies the country, or will they become part of the sectarian storm that terars it apart? The Guidebook for Taking a Life: The set of rules — a kind of jihad etiquette — that seek to guide and justify the killing that militants do is growing more complex. Defeat’s Killing Fields: An American defeat in Iraq would throw the entire Middle East into even greater upheaval.

From The Washington Post Magazine, freshman congressman Joe Courtney, elected by a margin of 83 votes, is learning that the first requirement of power is self-preservation. A review of The Wrong Stuff: The Extraordinary Saga of Randy "Duke" Cunningham, the Most Corrupt Congressman Ever Caught (and an interview). Red Meat Season: The base likes it bloody. The candidates dish it up. Do the rest of us have to swallow it? Joel Achenbach wants to know. Noam Scheiber on how Mitt Romney's campaign shows who really runs the GOP. Fred Thompson is like Reagan without the new ideas. Nicholas von Hoffman on why we need fringe candidates. Politics 2.008: How will the Internet influence the presidential election?

From The New York Times Magazine, a special issue on Money, including The Poverty Platform: John Edwards says Americans should care more about economic injustice. Can he turn the plight of the poor into a winning campaign issue?; The Class-Consciousness Raiser: In the nation’s classrooms, middle class teachers increasingly encounter poor students, often with disastrous results. Ruby Payne says she has the secrets to help them cross the great divide; Shop Stewards on Fantasy Island? With nothing but the very rich and the people who serve them, Florida’s Fisher Island is a stark metaphor for income inequality in America — and an irresistible target for labor activists; and Should We Globalize Labor Too? These days, capital and goods cross borders with ease.

Lant Pritchett says that if the developing world’s workers could do the same, everyone would benefit; Roger Lowenstein on The Inequality Conundrum: How can you promote equality without killing off the genie of American prosperity?; a look at how former Treasury secretary Larry Summers is having second thoughts about how to make globalization work for the middle class; and a quiet exchange of funds lets a family buy a new house and helps the seller get a good price. So why is it illegal? A review of The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes. For Brink Lindsey, affluence is a uniter, not a divider: A review of The Age of Abundance: How Prosperity Transformed America’s Politics and Culture. Who are you kidding? A review of Consumed by Benjamin Barber and The Real Toy Story: The Shocking Inside Story on Toys and the Industry That Makes Them by Eric Clark.

From Psychology Today, a study finds the media messes with men's minds too, and here are five shocking stats about men and sex. How Viagra, bikinis and the internet changed the sexual landscape: A review of Manliness by Harvey C. Mansfield; Impotence: A Cultural History by Angus McLaren; Sex & the Psyche: Revealing the True Nature of Our Secret Fantasies From the Largest Ever Survey of Its Kind by Brett Kahr; and The Swimsuit: A Fashion History From 1920s Biarritz and the Birth of the Bikini to St Tropez and Sports Illustrated by Sarah Kennedy. Reaffirming boyhood in all of its politically incorrect glory: A review of The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden.

Obituary: Richard Rorty, and more and more and more, and an interview with Danny Postel. From Philosophy Bites, Stephen Law, author of The Philosophy Files, The X-Mas Files and The War for Children's Minds, explains the Problem of Evil and gives an original take on this traditional philosophical problem; what can philosophers contribute to public life? Mary Warnock discusses how her training in philosophy prepared her for public roles; and Simon Blackburn, author of Plato's Republic: A Biography, on Plato's image of the cave. 

Four small books about four very big books: A review of Plato's Republic: A Biography by Simon Blackburn; The Qu'ran: A Biography by Bruce Lawrence; On The Wealth of Nations: A Biography by P.J. O'Rourke; and Marx's Das Kapital: A Biography by Francis Wheen. 

A Zelig among economists: A review of John Kenneth Galbraith: a 20th-Century Life by Richard Parker. eBay-nomics: Modern economists have assumed that people in auctions behave rationally. Then came eBay. A review of A Beautiful Math: John Nash, Game Theory, and the Modern Quest for a Code of Nature, by Tom Siegfried. A review of Numbers and Infinity: A Historical Account of Mathematical Concepts by Ernst Sondheimer and Alan Rogerson. You are looking at an open book: This conceptual pinwheel could change the way we read and retrieve information.

From American Scientist, a review of A New Human: The Startling Discovery and Strange Story of the “Hobbits” of Flores, Indonesia, by Mike Morwood and Penny van Oosterzee; a review of The Lie Detectors: The History of an American Obsession, by Ken Alder; a review of Why Choose This Book?: How We Make Decisions, by Read Montague; a review of Music: A Mathematical Offering, by David J. Benson; a review of Into the Black: JPL and the American Space Program, 1976–2004, by Peter J. Westwick; a review of The Grid: A Journey through the Heart of Our Electrified World, by Phillip F. Schewe; a review of The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900, by David Edgerton; and a review of The Volterra Chronicles: The Life and Times of an Extraordinary Mathematician, 1860–1940 by Judith R. Goodstein.

From Think Tank, an interview with Edward O. Wilson on the future of life. Evolution, Religion and Free Will: The most eminent evolutionary scientists have surprising views on how religion relates to evolution. Peter Singer's message is uncomfortable: Most people follow a minimalist morality that makes them a lot more immoral than they consider themselves to be. A review of Autobiography as Philosophy: The Philosophical Uses of Self-Presentation.

Efforts to isolate Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, intensified yesterday after he was stripped of an honorary degree by Edinburgh University and faced similar action by academics in the US. Drew Gilpin Faust has been called Harvard's "safe" choice to succeed Larry Summers. Now, as she prepares to take office, no one knows what kind of president she will be. But we do know what kind of historian she is, and safe is not the word. From The American Scholar, Love on Campus: Why we should understand, and even encourage, a certain sort of erotic intensity between student and professor. Past Impressions: A look at how prior relationships cast a long shadow over our social lives.

From American Journalism Review, a look at what the mainstream media can learn from Jon Stewart: No, not to be funny and snarky, but to be bold and to do a better job of cutting through the fog; is Keith Olbermann the future of journalism?; a review of No Questions Asked: News Coverage Since 9/11 by Lisa Finnegan; newspapers should be planning for a print-free future; Gannett and other media companies are embracing “hyperlocal” Web sites as a new way of engaging fleeing readers; an article on the continuing excellence of The New Yorker; and is there a role for the weekly newsmagazines and their Web sites in a 24-7 news environment?

From Columbia Journalism Review, Meghan O’Rourke on why you should trust the literary critic John Leonard on the coarsening of our intellectual culture; a review of Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America's Media by Eric Klinenberg; a young reporter winces when his big story lands on the Dr. Phil show; fifteen months after he enraged the Muslim world, Danish editor Flemming Rose's conscience is clear; Graydon Carter’s political outrage has fueled a resurgence in Vanity Fair’s serious journalism. But how far can he push the signature high-low mix of this Conde Nast cash cow?

From Opinion Journal, an independent newspaper: An article on the Bancrofts and a century of "free people and free markets". The Wall Street Journal's Murdochian Roots: Clarence W. Barron, the founder of the Bancroft dynasty, would have loved Rupert Murdoch.  A review of The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of America by Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff. From Socialism and Liberation, a special section on Media and Class Society, including an article on the capitalist media and the growing mass movement, and an essay on revolutionary journalism

From Extra, Obamamania: How loving Barack Obama helps pundits love themselves; an article on the Trials of Air America and the unlearned lessons of right-wing radio; can you hear us NOW? Anti-war march gets more coverage—but the message is still muted; and from self-censorship to official censorship: Ban on images of wounded GIs raises no media objections. Good To Go: A military-run course designed to prepare reporters for combat raises some thorny questions about journalistic ethics.

From Bad Subjects, a special issue on Intermedia, including an editorial on how for all its usefulness and currency, the word "media" conceals as much as it reveals; is the Internet a portal to Hell? A look at the assumptions behind Christian attacks on various configurations of sexuality on the internet and considers the potent combination of anxieties about sexuality with anxieties about new media; and a review of Steven Johnson's Everything Bad is Good for You.

From Policy Review, a review of Will the Boat Sink in the Water? The Life of China’s Peasants by Chen Guidi and Wu Chuntao; and a review of The China Fantasy: How Our Leaders Explain Away Chinese Repression by James Mann. Karl Marx is back in China, and the philosopher is arguably bigger than ever. A review of Nixon and Mao: The Week That Changed the World by Margaret MacMillan; and Washington's China: The National Security World, the Cold War, and the Origins of Globalism by James Peck. As threat documents go, the latest version of the Pentagon's annual report, "Military Power of the People's Republic of China", released last month, is actually a fairly reassuring document.

From NYRB, Pankaj Mishra reviews The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India's Future by Martha C. Nussbaum. They won history's biggest gamble: A review of India After Gandhi: the History of the World's Largest Democracy by Ramachandra Guha (and more). A Business School for the Indian Poor: An innovative business school gives new hope for downtrodden rural women. "Gary, man, Iraq's a real downer, why don't you write about fun wars for a change?" A look at the slow, quirky, curry cookin' in Sri Lanka. A war strange as fiction: An opportunistic president and a dyed-in-the-wool rebel appear to have ended Sri Lanka's best-ever hope for peace.

From Prospect, what Luttwak didn't say: Edward Luttwak is right that the Middle East is not important enough to fight over. That's why the US should withdraw from Iraq and stop providing aid to Israel. A review of Killing Mr. Lebanon: The Assassination of Rafik Hariri and Its Impact on the Middle East by Nicholas Blanford; Hezbollah: A Short History by Augustus Richard Norton; Hizbullah: The Story from Within by Naim Qassem; Everyday Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam Among Palestinians in Lebanon by Bernard Rougier. Here's an open letter by 139 writers, including scholars of Iran and the Middle East, protesting the detention of Halef Esfandiari by the Iraninan government.

What the new U.S.-Russia fight is really about: The dispute over missile defense reflects a deeper conflict over influence in Eastern Europe — and the need to take Russia seriously again as a regional power. Is Russia our enemy? These days, it's not so simple. Amitai Etzioni on Dealing with Russia: The Wrong Priorities. Adam Michnik on how two Polands confront each other. A Poland of suspicion, fear, and revenge is fighting a Poland of hope, courage, and dialogue.

From TLS, a review of Over to You Mr Brown by Anthony Giddens and Yo, Blair! by Geoffrey Wheatcroft. A review of A History of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr. Sweden’s economic and social system, sometimes called the “Swedish Model,” is often depicted either as an ideal or an abnormality. But Sweden’s system has varied considerably. The truth is that Europe is back and very much so. Consider these facts.

From The Situationist, an article on the situation of Interrogation and Marketing. Top government officials from several countries gathered in Italy in late May to discuss torture and rendition. In the background loomed the knowledge that CIA officers may soon be put to trial for seizing a terror suspect in Milan in 2003. If the Bush administration forces the CIA to drop "tough" interrogation techniques like waterboarding, the agency will probably fall back on a brutal method that leaves no physical marks. A review of Five Years of My Life: A Report from Guantánamo by Murat Kurnaz and Helmut Kuhn, and a review of Bad Men: Guantánamo Bay and the Secret Prisons by Clive Stafford Smith. What kind of process is due detainees? Benjamin Wittes on terrorism, the military, and the courts. The introduction to Liberty Under Attack, published by The Century Foundation.

Spoils of War: Bush cronies are cashing in on terror. And so can you. More than 58 Arabic linguists have been kicked out since “don’t ask, don’t tell” was instituted. How much valuable intelligence could those men and women be providing today to troops in harm’s way? A review of Sexual Decoys: Gender, Race and War in Imperial Democracy by Zillah Eisenstein. A review of Spy Wars: Moles, Mysteries, and Deadly Games by Tennent H. Bagley (and more). A review of Perfect Spy: The Incredible Double Life of Pham Xuan An, Time Magazine Reporter & Vietnamese Communist Agent by Larry Berman. A review of Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans by Jean Pfaelzer. From Against the Current, a review of Max Yergan: Race Man, Internationalist, Cold Warrior by David Henry Anthony and Caribbean Crusaders and the Harlem Renaissance by Joyce Moore Turner; and a review of Afro-Orientalism by Bill Mullen. 

From The Sun, The Unseen Life That Dreams Us: An interview with John O'Donohue on the secret landscapes of imagination and spirit; Nature-Deficit Disorder: An interview with Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder; and The Myth of Tough Love: An interview with Maia Szalavitz, author of Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled-Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids. Why are we such worried parents?

The Compulsive Philanthropist: Zell Kravinsky explains why he would have kept on giving, even after giving away $40 million to charity and donating his kidney to a stranger. Imagining the Future: Bruce Mau on why the cynics are wrong. Death Wish 7 Billion: Freud says we are all subject to the pleasure principle — which includes the death wish. Is he right? Evolution has made three attempts to create a hyper-multicellular organism: an ant-hill, communism, and the internet. The last attempt seems to be crowned with success. Can the Thing act? Why not? If I were in its place I would do three simple things.

From Daedalus, a special issue on the Body in Mind, including Antonio Damasio and Hanna Damasio (USC): Minding the body; Gerald Edelman (SRI): The embodiment of mind; Arne Öhman (Karolinska): Making sense of emotion: evolution, reason & the brain; Carol Gilligan (NYU): When the mind leaves the body... and returns; William Connolly (JHU): Experience & experiment; Jacques d'Amboise on the mind in dance; Roy Dolan (Wellcome): The body in the brain; and Jerry Fodor (Rutgers): How the mind works: what we still don't know. A review of I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter. 

From Daedalus, a special issue on Aging, including Chris Wilson (IIASA): The century ahead; Henry Aaron (Brookings): Longer life spans: boon or burden?; Sarah Harper (Oxford): Mature societies: planning for our future selves; Paul Baltes (Virginia): Facing our limits: human dignity in the very old; Linda Partridge (UCL): Of worms, mice & men: altering rates of aging; Hillard Kaplan (New Mexico): The life course of a skill-intensive foraging species; Dennis Selkoe (Harvard): The aging mind: deciphering Alzheimer's disease & its antecedents; Caleb Finch (USC): Aging, inflammation & the body electric; an essay by Kenneth Clark on The artist grows old; Jagadeesh Gokhale (Cato) and Kent Smetters (Penn): Measuring Social Security's financial outlook within an aging society; and Lisa Berkman and M. Maria Glymour (Harvard): How society shapes aging: the centrality of variability.

A review of The Politics of Life Itself: Biomedicine, Power, and Subjectivity in the Twenty-First Century, by Nikolas Rose. According to transhumanist Michael Anissimov, there’s an even chance that we’re looking at immortality or existential destruction in the next 20-40 years. A review of The Case Against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering by Michael J. Sandel. The extra embryos: Be fruitful and multiply, even in the lab. A review of The Medicalization of Society: On the Transformation of Human Conditions into Treatable Disorders by Peter Conrad. A review of Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver by Arthur Allen. A review of The Lonely Patient: How We Experience Illness by Michael Stein.

The Royal Society of Chemistry presents a visually striking online periodic table of the elements. A lithium imbalance: The universe's chemistry looks wonky. That may change the laws of physics. The Universe, expanding beyond all understanding: Our successors, whoever and wherever they are, may have no way of finding out about the Big Bang and the expanding universe. A review of Traveling at the Speed of Thought: Einstein and the Quest for Gravitational Waves, by Daniel Kennefick. An interview with Donal O'Shea, author of The Poincaré Conjecture: In Search of the Shape of the Universe (and a review).

From In These Times, Fighting Corporate Copper in Bougainville: Multinational polluter Rio Tinto sued under Alien Tort Claims Act for causing deaths of 10,000 Papua New Guineans. Almost entirely dependent upon foreign aid, cash-starved countries in Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia vacillate between forming diplomatic ties with China or Taiwan based on the amount of funds involved. An essay on The Kingdom of Tonga and the Fight Against Feudalism in the Pacific Islands. Fiji has had four coups in 20 years, but Owen Sheers finds racial harmony survives despite the political tension. A review of The Fragile Edge: Diving and Other Adventures in the South Pacific by Julia Whitty.  No Man is an Island: Evidence of our actions is everywhere—even on a remote Pacific atoll. 

From Cosmos, Unnatural Selection: The power and beauty of the natural world is everywhere in the wilds of Africa, as is the possibility of tragedy and death; and landmines, chemical agents and hunting for bushmeat all take a heavy toll on wildlife during war, but on occasion animals can fare surprisingly well in times of conflict. 

From Vanity Fair, Jeffrey Sachs' $200 Billion Dream: Extreme poverty can be eradicated, insists superstar economist Jeffrey Sachs—all it takes is determination, focus, and, well, money; and The Lazarus Effect: Aids is no longer a death sentence, thanks to miracle drugs. But millions still can't afford them. Enter the consumer-action strategy of (Product) Red. How Bono made Africa the focus of several Vanity Fair covers: First, it was The Independent. Now Bono has guest-edited the world's glossiest magazine. David Usborne tells the inside story of Vanity Fair's Africa Issue - and how its 20 stunning covers were created. Al Gore wins Spain's prestigious Prince of Asturias award for his work in defending the environment, the latest feather in the cap of the politician-turned-activist.

A vast rift yawns between the three players that matter most when it comes to stopping climate change: Europe, China, and the United States. Finding a language that speaks to ourselves: A review of Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning by George Monbiot. Here Comes the Heat: New research suggests climate change could be faster and more furious than anyone expects. Everybody talks about the weather; now, all of a sudden, it’s controversial. Rising seas, spreading deserts, intensifying weather and other harbingers of climate change are threatening cultural landmarks from Canada to Antarctica.

From Spectrum, a special report on A How-To Manual for the Megacity, including Engineering The Megacity: How technology can make our urban future better; How to Build a Green City: Shanghai hopes to build the world's first truly sustainable city; How to Measure a City's Metabolism: Taking stock of London's appetites; How to See the Unseen City: A veritable museum of forgotten infrastructure lies buried beneath a city's streets; How to Build a Mile High Skyscraper: Behemoth buildngs are becoming practical, thanks to new technologies and innovations in construction materials; How Not to Make a Megacity: On a good day, Lagos is exasperatingly corrupt, poverty-ridden, and dangerous; How to Design a Perfect City: Paolo Soleri imagines systems as intricate and insular as ocean liners; How to Keep 18 Million People Moving: São Paulo operates the world's most complex bus system; Made-to-Measure Mass Transit: Driverless cars aim to give each passenger a customized ride; and megacities by the numbers