From The New York Review of Books, The Stasi on Our Minds: Timothy Garton Ash reviews " The Lives of Others", a film directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and Das Leben der anderen: Filmbuch; and a review of The Coast of Utopia, a trilogy by Tom Stoppard. From LRB, a review of Point to Point Navigation: A Memoir, 1964-2006 by Gore Vidal.

Falling Man's Precarious Balance: Don DeLillo's 9/11 novel is a powerful tale without heroic sentimentalism. In the shadow of the towers: A review of Falling Man by Don DeLillo. Code Red: Don DeLillo, the literary master of the terrorist’s imagination, reaches for the ultimate subject; and a guide to the DeLillo oeuvre. Prospect's Thomas Pynchon correspondent Kamran Nazeer is battling his way through Against the Day—and recording the experience.

From Three Monkeys Online, Dantean Echoes: An article on the influence of Dante on Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney; if you're looking for the place where Michael Jackson intersects with Al-Qaeda, look no further than Algerian born novelist Aziz Chouaki's The Star of Algiers; Irish journalist/novelist Declan Lynch places the 'demon drink' firmly, and unrepentantly at the centre of his debut novel The Rooms; and an interview with John Haskell, author of American Purgatorio.

From Ralph, a review of Goodnight, Texas; a review of A Ho-Chunk Autobiography: American Indian Courtship; a review of Cycles of Time and Meaning: In the Mexican Books of Fate; a review of Essays by Lia Purpura; and a reading on The Zen Monks and The Governor. From 3:AM, Charlotte Stretch reviews James Hopkin’s Winter Under Water; Italo Mariconi and Flávio Carneiro debate the Brazilian Offbeat Generation; and Ben Richards talks to A. Stevens about his career as a novelist and screenwriter. From Radar, arthouse queen Miranda July gets literary. From The Sun, a short story: "The Apology" by J.R. Helton pdf.

From PopMatters, a review of The End of the World As We Know It: Scenes from a Life. What happened when Emily Yoffe followed The Secret's advice for two months. Here's an online edition of Swink magazine, including an essay on The Stiff Jew and a look at how Data Will Save Us.

Rupert, White Knight: Murdoch and News Corp. come not to destroy The Wall Street Journal but to save it. A look at how Keith Olbermann's popularity and evolving image as an ideologue has led NBC News to stretch traditional notions of journalistic objectivity (and two responses from Salon).  From Cracked, here are sincere answers to common spam mail. And research finds banner ads work — even if you don't notice them at all


From Asia Times, arm thy neighbor: A review of Militia Redux by Desmond Ball and David Scott Mathieson. Tales of a Fourth Grade Suicide Bomber: Brooke Goldstein's exploration of child martyrs. The New Face of Warfare: A review of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier; Children at War by P.W. Singer; and Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go to War. An interview with Mark Bixler, author of The Lost Boys of Sudan: An American Refugee Experience. Intellectual imperialism as a fashion-shoot cum missionary visit: Bernard-Henri Lévy's report from Darfur shows that liberal lust for Western intervention survived Iraq.

From NYRB, Rory Stewart on Iraq: The Question. A small war guaranteed to damage a superpower: Patrick Cockburn on what the Bush Administration has wrought in Iraq. Although pleased to see Saddam toppled, some women look back on the prosperity and social liberation of the Ba’athist years with nostalgia. The meaning of freedom: In every corner of the Muslim world, female attire is stirring strong emotions. An excerpt from Iran: The Essential Guide to a Country on the Brink by Stephen Kinzer.

Nationalists march as the army threatens: A look at Turkey torn between God and state. Eight years after the Kosovo war, the UN is preparing to make a final decision on the province's final status. Can independence work? From Eurozine, as recent events around the statue of the Soviet soldier in Tallinn have strikingly shown, Russia remains a major factor in the national narratives of the post-Soviet space. But memory politics is less about the communist past than about the future political and economic hegemony on the European continent. A look at why Putin loves World War II. Russia's six deadly sins: Philip Longworth reviews How Russia Really Works: The informal practices that shaped post-Soviet politics and business.

Adam Michnik on The Other Poland: The second phase of the Polish revolution must not be permitted to consume either the will to freedom, or the democratic state. One Polish legislator has announced plans for a bill that would ban miniskirts and other "enticements", with the goal of reducing street prostitution. But the move is also part of a wider culture war.

From Edinburgh Review, during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, journalists would jump into taxis and ask to be taken to the fighting. Now it's political tourists eager for the scenes of past battles. But are taxi drivers qualified to be their guides? How Spain thrives on immigration: The open-border policy under Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero is driving a Spanish economic and social revival. And the Schweizer Réduit: One of the most famous quotes about Switzerland – probably annoying the hell out of the natives by now – is the closing line of the film "The Third Man"


From Great Britain, a look at the Top 10 most controversial ads. The great performer leaves the stage: A look at what Tony Blair did, and why he did it. Why do Brits dislike the departing prime minister? Geoffrey Wheatcroft investigates. Timothy Garton Ash on the lessons from Blair's three big mistakes. He made serious mistakes, and is one of the most controversial politicians of his generation, but also one of the most successful. His legacy to Great Britain will be immense. From Time, an interview with Gordon Brown.

Gaullist revolutionary Nicolas Sarkozy: Does France know the full implications of what it has voted for? (and more on his European plans). Anthony Giddens on how Sarkozy only has half the solution for France, but the French election could lead to a resurgence of Europe. Martin Wolf on why Sarkozy's triumph portends strife in Europe.

From Mother Jones, Putting Lipstick on a Dictator: Rogue states hire PR firms to change public perception and win audiences with American leaders. Whatever happened to old fashioned diplomacy? Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment looks at the future of Iranian-American relations, Iran's vulnerabilities, and whether we might one day see liberals ruling in Tehran. In a gruesome marriage of technology and medieval barbarity, an Internet video records the stoning death of a 17-year-old Kurdish girl. Welcome to the new Iraq.

Zugzwang, or, White to play and lose: Allen Quicke reports on a chess match being played in Baghdad between the forces of Good and Evil. From The Mises Institute, Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. on The War the Government Cannot Win. September will supposedly be the moment for a real, make-or-break verdict on Bush's surge and the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Don't bet on it. In Search of a Political Mission: Are the Democrats and Bushies playing good cop/bad cop with the Iraqis? America's Angriest General: Retired two-star Army Gen. John Batiste is lashing out at the Bush war in Iraq in ads targeting key Republicans up for re-election in 2008. His offensive may change the rules regarding civilian-military relations. From Stars & Stripes, a series of articles on training the Afghan military.

From Government Executive, a look at how intelligence agencies must decode a human capital crisis; the Army is developing the most expensive and complex weapons system in its history, but it's based on some very questionable concepts; but before accepting dire assessments of Army readiness, it's worth asking: Ready for what? House Democrats back down, but the military budget is as bloated as ever. The US Army has ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a superior officer. Phillip Carter on on how the Army can regulate soldiers' blogs and letters—but it shouldn't. An interview with Paul Rieckhoff, author of Chasing Ghosts: Failures and Facades in Iraq: A Soldier’s Perspective.

From National Journal, officials from the White House and the Justice Department worked together to keep Congress from uncovering presidential adviser Karl Rove's part in installing one of his own protégés, Timothy Griffin, as a U.S. attorney in Arkansas. And on Karl Rove's big election-fraud hoax: Republican manipulation of the polls long predates the U.S. attorneys plot, and the US voting system needs an overhaul


From TLS, Henry James's magic touch: The letters of the young James reveal a man still finding his style; the blithely subversive Aidan Higgins: Austere and often difficult, Higgins is a remarkable writer who has received less attention than he deserves; and Keats, Woolf and Van Gogh in the province: A literary guide to the jewels of Provence.

From Sign and Sight, here are the most talked about books of the 2007 spring season; and the press and Europe's public sphere: Swedish newspaperman Arne Ruth explains the importance of cross-border journalism in creating a European public space. Form the Caribbean Review of Books, a review of University of Hunger: Collected Poems and Selected Prose by Martin Carter; a review of Horizons: The Life and Times of Edric Connor, 1913-1968: An Autobiography; and Trinidad is nice, Trinidad is a paradise - but the country has not been very lavish to its poets: An article on Eric Roach, Laureate of nowhere.

From The Nation, a review of Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee; The Imaginary Jew: A review of The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon and The Ministry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander;  After Dark, Haruki Murakami's edgy new novel, describes how the lives of a group of strangers intersect over the course of one night; a review of Chance and Circumstance: Twenty Years With Cage and Cunningham by Carolyn Brown; and a review of Four Novels of the 1960s: The Man in the High Castle, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Do by Philip K. Dick.

From The New York Observer, in FSG’s posthumous collection of essays by Susan Sontag, an alert reader finds unattributed borrowings from Roland Barthes, Laura Miller: Regarding the Writings of Others. More and more on Falling Man by Don DeLillo. A review of What's Your Freakin' Problem? by N.B. Piccirilli, and a review of Running Toward Home by Betty Jane Hegerat.

From Smithsonian, Epic Hero: How a self-taught British genius rediscovered the Mesopotamian saga of Gilgamesh—after 2,500 years; and welcome to Rawda: Iraqi artists find freedom of expression at this Syrian café. An interview with Thalassa Ali, author of A Singular Hostage, A Beggar at the Gate, and Companions of Paradise. 798—and out? What's worse for artists, communism or capitalism? Home is where writers often retreat to focus on work, not receive visitors. Pushing aside the barbed wire, Elizabeth Kiem tracks down the author of The Ginger Man at his Irish estate. Lock your doors, Salinger. More and more on Ralph Ellison: A Biography. Reverent Entertainment presents: Machine translation or Faulkner?

From Cabinet, an article on A Minor History of Miniature Writing; and on The Language of the Bees: An interview with Hugh Raffles on Karl von Frisch and his "little comrades". Adam's Apple: Adam Moss is America's most celebrated editor. So why is New York magazine such a bore? Robert W. McChesney on the largely untold story of Monthly Review for its first 35 years, 1949-1984. Last exit to book land: An ex-book critic finds hope in the current campaigns to save newspaper book reviews and restore reading to the heart of American life. And the corporate pressure on the successful user-generator news aggregator Digg highlights the flaws in the legal architecture governing next-generation media outlets


From Monthly Review, István Mészáros on The Only Viable Economy. To do with the price of fish: How do mobile phones promote economic growth? A new paper provides a vivid example. From Cato Unbound, Daniel Klein on economics and the distinction between coercive and voluntary action. From American, does economic success require democracy? Sadly, no. In fact, the politically unfree countries are enjoying more economic growth than the politically free ones. Kevin Hassett tells why.

From The Economist, who's the real left-winger? The main Democratic candidates' economic policies are hard to pigeon-hole. John Edwards is meticulously laying the groundwork to become the candidate of organized labor, insisting prosperity can expand only if unionization expands. From TAP, why populists need to re-think trade: James K. Galbraith on why it's time for a reality-based approach; and why populists need to seize the moment: Jeff Faux on why it's time to rewrite the rules of the global economy on workers' behalf (and a debate). Locked in and locked out: When the world adopts a set of economic institutions it has an incentive to build on old mistakes, like a lack of labour and environmental standards. From traders with second thoughts: Poisoned pet-food ingredients are coming in from China.

Are the Communists out to kill our pets, or is the mood in America beginning to shift? Don't be fooled by Europe's mood. Globally, the left is reawakening: The political ructions of the past week can't hide a progressive resurgence - even in the belly of the capitalist beast. International socialism: The people's flag is palest pink—at the hustings, socialism can be a drag. A review of Comrades! A History of World Communism and Seven Years that Changed the World: Perestroika in Perspective. Michael Weiss reviews What's Left? by Nick Cohen. A review of Praised Be Our Lords: A Political Education by Régis Debray.

From New Humanist, Caspar Melville on anti-God squad "Rational Response Squad". From The Nation, a review of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins; God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens; Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam by Michel Onfray; and The Meaning of Life by Terry Eagleton. More on God is Not Great. Marvin Olasky on The Major Religious Alternatives.

Within its first 60 seconds, the new Rush album, Snakes & Arrows, throws down against the Christian right. Republicans retreat from their war history: How the GOP ditched decades of hard-headed foreign policy realism. How George Bush Salvaged His Dad’s Legacy: History is warming to George H.W. Bush by the day—just as it cools toward his son. A review of Ronald Reagan: Fate, Freedom, and the Making of History by John Patrick Diggins. The first chapter from The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater.

From American Heritage, a review of Michael Beschloss’s Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989. The royalty trap: Americans have a dangerous fondness for monarchy. An All American Suck-Ups: Don't believe the "hardy independence" nonsense. Americans eagerly pander to state and throne — and have throughout the country's history


A review of Plato: Political Philosophy by Malcolm Schofield. The first chapter form Sřren Kierkegaard: A Biography by Joakim Garff. Iran on jails Iranian-American Haleh Esfandiari, director of Middle East studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The fight for understanding: Charles Taylor's theory of secular and cross-faith engagement is what our society needs in order to build respect and end violence. It is bracing to see a major Straussian in action. Harvey Mansfield's delivery was so genial, so good-natured, that it required close attention to his prepared text to realize how radical he is. A review of The History Wars by Stuart Macintyre and Anna Clark.

Wellesley taps Yale biologist Kim Bottomly to be its next president. Nine prominent professors are leading an effort to rethink the culture of undergraduate teaching and learning at Harvard. Some colleges have longer wait lists than in previous years, offering a chance of openings if enough accepted applicants don't enroll. New graduation skills: As business schools start to teach more ethics and practical skills, enrolments are climbing again. Sex-Crazed Co-Eds! If Annsley Chapman reads one more article about college girls gone wild, she really will go wild. Carol Lloyd on college girls gone wild (and proud of it).

Fifty-three years after Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court will rule on two cases that will decide the future of school integration. L.A. students are hooking up with tutors in South Asia for help with their homework. Is this global economy cool, or what? New computer software that detects plagiarism in student essays could have long-lasting consequences for tutor-pupil relations.

From Smithsonian, species explosion: What happens when you mix evolution with climate change? In a whale-sized project, the world's scientists plan to compile everything they know about all of Earth's 1.8 million known species and put it all on one website (and more on the Encyclopedia of Life and a video with E. O. Wilson). From American Scientist, an interview with Desmond Morris, author of The Naked Woman: A Study of the Female Body. Two Millennia of Impotence Cures: An excerpt from Impotence: A Cultural History. Research finds oral sex can cause throat cancer.

From New Scientist, a quirky look at our quirky species: Humans are strange creatures that must be studied in strange ways, says psychologist Richard Wiseman. This Is Your Brain. This Is Your Brain on Neurotechnology: New brain research is leading to second thoughts on our morality. From The Scientist, hot paper in epigenetics: Twins diverge by Charles Q. Choi. Not Surprised You Speak Our Language: On the one hand, it's dos svidania, on the other sallam — globalization and jihad have language studies in an upheaval. Scientists examining documents dating back 3,500 years say they have found proof that the origins of modern medicine lie in ancient Egypt and not with Hippocrates and the Greeks. King Herod's secret is out: Archaeologists discover tomb of ancient King of Judea.

From Technology Review, Objects of Desire: Famous industrial designers talk about iconic pieces of technology. And 10 uses for audio cassettes: Sales of audio cassettes are dwindling, but what use is there for the estimated 500 million tapes gathering dust?


Gianluigi Palombella (Parma): Reasons for Justice, Rights and Future Generations. From Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, Paolo Carozza (Notre Dame): The Universal Common Good and the Authority of International Law.

From PUP, the introduction to Dream, Death, and the Self; the first chapter from The Grand Contraption: The World as Myth, Number, and Chance; and the introduction to The Impossibility of Religious Freedom. From The Global Spiral, an essay on The New Sciences of Religion; an article on Human Origins and Religious Awareness: In Search of Human Uniqueness; a look at the Compatibility of Religious and Transhumanist Views in an Enhanced Future; a review of Religion and Scientific Naturalism: Overcoming the Conflicts; and a review of The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics by Eric D. Beinhocker. Economist Amartya Sen chosen for Kiel prize in Germany. Economists agree?! More on Bryan Caplan's The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies.

From Natural History, Hidden Tombs of Ancient Syria: Evidence of animal and possibly human sacrifice suggests that burials at Tell Umm el-Marra were those of Bronze Age royalty. Meerkats At Play: Evolution demands that activities costing a lot of energy provide survival value in return. But what do these rambunctious little mammals gain from having so much fun?; and here's some samplings of news from nature. More than 1,000 bodies found at a construction site in West Philadelphia tell a story about science, medicine and society in the 1800s. A review of Born in Flames: Termite Dreams, Dialectical Fairy Tales, and Pop Apocalypses.

From Inside Higher Ed, Sex! Politics! Dubious Footnotes! How much excitement can you take? Scott McLemee looks at some scholarly scandals that seem faintly familiar; and Alexander C. McCormick writes about the problem with U.S. News rankings that nobody talks about. Two Russian-born sisters are due to become assistant professors of finance at the University of Rochester, even though they are only 19 and 21. Angela Kniazeva and her younger sister Diana were due to take up their new positions in September. From Britannica, an article on the child abuse called “College Sports”. And it's a world of possibilities: Virtual campuses are springing up in Second Life, as universities discover the advantages of cyberspace


From Newsweek, does Bush have the constitutional clout to ignore any congressional attempt to reign in his war powers? What the scholars say. Michael Dorf on the president's disingenuous arguments against expanding the federal hate crime law. Above It All: A deposition can be an ugly war. Sometimes judges have to get down in the trenches. Patently obvious: A Supreme Court ruling with far-reaching consequences for American innovation turns on the definition of a single word. The consensus on gun rights no longer exists — thanks largely to the work over the last 20 years of several leading liberal law professors. The Numbers Guy on figuring the impact of allowing felons in Florida to vote (and more).

From The Atlantic Monthly, The Story of a Snitch: Across our inner cities, the code of omerta has spread from organized crime to ordinary citizens. "Stop snitching" has become a motto to live or die by (and an interview with Jeremy Kahn on the growing problem of witness intimidation and the challenges of reporting a story about it). Jeremy Kahn rides along with Baltimore's Homicide Operations Squad in search of murder witnesses. Is Pittsburgh livable or leavable? An article on the shortcomings in city-ranking indexes.  Mine's Bigger: An article on the ridiculous race to build the world’s tallest building. Bus 2.0: From Boston to Brazil. city planners and transportation gurus are reimagining the possibilities of the humble motorbus, using high-tech 'smart mobility' to challenge the preeminence of the car — and revive the urban commons. Model Trains: Retired London subway cars are recycled into low-rent studio and office space.

The dirty truth about bottled water: how private companies are profiting from public concern about water quality. Nuns mug orphan! Soon we'll all be fighting for food. Barbara Ehrenreich on how it's better to be a chimpanzee: A homeless chimp in Austria seeks human status to qualify for charity. If he wins, expect a surge of humans to cross over. The black-footed ferret is in trouble, as are hundreds of other species. But so is the law that looks out for them. An interview with biologist Josef Reichholf: "We are children of the tropics". From Der Spiegel, how bad is climate change really? Are catastrophic floods and terrible droughts headed our way? Despite widespread fears of a greenhouse hell, the latest computer simulations are delivering far less dramatic predictions about tomorrow's climate. And a review of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth


What to do when Rupert calls? Rupert Murdoch may be the perfect publisher for The Wall Street Journal. The Wrong Man for Dow Jones: The sale of Dow Jones to News Corp. would diminish the news quality and integrity of The Wall Street Journal and the independence of a leading national editorial voice. The O'Murdoch factor: Rupert Murdoch's bid to take over The Wall Street Journal is a dramatic illustration of why public ownership is a disaster for newspapers, and here are eight more reasons to distrust Murdoch.

Craigslist's Craig Newmark says people who run printing presses are "screwed". Critical Mass: Ken Auletta on how everyone listens to Walter Mossberg. BostonNow, a free weekday daily, is culling blog posts and running excerpts next to articles from reporters and newswires.  Storybook Ending: Virginia Postrel tells the tale of how an enterprising first-time publisher gave the beloved children's book Mr. Pine a second life. So many news articles are the same; only the names are changed. A blank template from Michael Park takes the legwork out of your next general-interest piece.

Tim Berners-Lee on the Semantic Web: The inventor of the World Wide Web explains how the Semantic Web works and how it will transform how we use and understand data. The Hapless Seed: Publishers and authors should stop cowering; Google is less likely to destroy the book business than to slingshot it into the 21st century. Does your name Google well? In the age of Google, being special increasingly requires standing out from the crowd online. As more people flood the Web, that's becoming an especially tall order for those with common names. Annalee Newitz on the Myth of the Universal Digital Library: Sorry, but we can't digitize everything. Here's why.

Fragmentary Knowledge: Was the Antikythera Mechanism the world’s first computer? How uses, not innovations, drive human technology: A review of The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900. The Web 2.0 Bubble: Michael Hirschorn on why the social-media revolution will go out with a whimper. From Wired, an article on online advertising: So good, yet so bad for us. And How To Trick an Online Scammer Into Carving a Computer Out of Wood: Deceit and counter-deceit in the "Scamosphere"


From Open Democracy, an end to exclusivity: A move towards greater public access to state information is another step to constitutional government in China; and North Korea may be facing another food emergency. If it develops, the world needs to learn lessons from the mid-1990s famine in the country. Accidental Tourist: How three years in Korean prison changed one young American's spritual and sexual worldview. While the Japanese continue to get the blame for WWII enslavement, forcing women into sexual bondage continues.

A review of Perfect Hostage: a Life of Aung San Suu Kyi. Shackled by the Neck: Burma’s Long Neck Karen choose exploitation in a tourist village rather than returning to a civil war. A review of Human Rights on Asia: A Comparative Legal Study of Twelve Asian Jurisdictions, France and the USA.

From TNR, my journey through Darfur. Bernard-Henri Lévy on a guided tour of hell (and a video interview). A review of Chief of Station, Congo by Larry Devlin. An interview with Archbishop Pius Ncube, Zimbabwean human rights and pro-democracy activist. Desmond Tutu slams African leaders on Zimbabwe.

A look at how liberation theology, which the pope once called "a fundamental threat," retains its appeal in Latin America. From Axess, Ernesto "Che" Guevara is hot once again. But the historical record reveals that Che bore all the repressive hallmarks of his Soviet and Maoist masters. An interview with Ben Dangl, author of The Price of Fire: Resource Wars and Social Movements in Bolivia. The unnecessary conflict in the south Atlantic in 1982 between Britain and Argentina helped sow the seeds of more momentous and destructive wars, says Fred Halliday.

From Asia Times, are the Arabs already extinct? Rotting empire v inept enemy: Why the Islamist threat is greatly exaggerated. We can never make ourselves invulnerable to terrorism. But certain steps would reduce our vulnerability to as close to zero as possible. The Smarter Emergency Kit: When everything goes to hell, you'll want gear that gives you an evolutionary advantage over your less-prepared neighbors.

From Commentary, is Israel the problem? With the Middle East in crisis from end to end, analysts focus on one rather peripheral dispute. Middle East experts to rate the chances of the politicians gunning for Olmert’s job. AIPAC on Trial: The lobby argues that good Americans spy for Israel. And surprise! The US spies on Israel more than Israel spies on the US

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