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Bright books for dark times

Inspired by comments from our readers, book guru Jessa Crispin offers a summer reading list: about humor in dark times, the strength of community, and people who shook off apathy to work at rebalancing the scales.

The Wiki leak is more and less important than you think

Radical transparency sounds like a really great idea until you ponder the real consequences.

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Double-dip days

Avoiding a double-dip recession will be difficult says economist Nouriel Roubini.

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This side of paradise

Jessa Crispin talks to Utopian writer J.C. Hallman about bucking the dystopian trend.

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Who ‘lost’ Turkey?

Joschka Fischer on why Europe can’t afford to alienate Turkey.

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Why do we care about the Gulf but not the oceans or the Amazon?

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely takes a look at the complexities of human emotion in the face of disaster.

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@ Sarah Palin, pls understand, this is America

This Sunday, Palin tweeted to “Peace-seeking Muslims” entreating them to “pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation.”

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What to make of ‘Top Secret America?’

Top Secret America,” the result of a two-year project by veteran national security reporter Dana Priest and William Arkin, is making waves for its eye-popping revelations.

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What will Clinton and Gates say in South Korea?

North Korea abruptly canceled a meeting scheduled for today to discuss the sinking of a South Korean warship. But the U.S. Secretaries of State and Defense will have to address the thorny issue at a meeting on the peninsula later this month.

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Historical immersion with Alice Albina

Now that it’s officially summer, acquaintances and friends of friends are emailing me, asking, “I’m going to be in Berlin for two days — what should I see?” I have no idea how to answer that. I’ve never been a skimmer when I travel — someone who only has a few days in each place, [...]

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Sticking the public with the bill for the bankers’ crisis

My city feels like a crime scene and the criminals are all melting into the night, fleeing the scene. No, I’m not talking about the kids in black who smashed windows and burned cop cars on Saturday. I’m talking about the heads of state who, on Sunday night, smashed social safety nets and burned good [...]

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When the pundits toe the general’s line

The recent revelation that Gen. Petraeus — now installed as the third commander of the flagging Afghan War in two years — collaborated with at least one pundit to get his story into the public isn’t exactly earth-shaking. But it might point to deeper problems with the commentary industry: namely, who’s driving the discussion?

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The Gulf oil spill: A hole in the world

Americans use to believe they had control over nature. But as Naomi Klein explains, the Gulf oil spill and its aftermath have shattered that dangerous myth.

The boy who cried foul, or lessons in lying from the World Cup

Soccer players — or, as the rest of the world calls them, football players — can be tricky. They sometimes fall and then, with a pained expression on their face and an eye on the referee, they roll around on the ground, face glazed with tears and sweat, pointing a finger at an opposing player. [...]

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The unsurprising failure of U.S. financial reform

For John Bellamy Foster, there is nothing in the new legislation that will prevent or even ameliorate future financial bubbles and their inevitable consequences.

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Hans Fallada and the fates of history

More than 60 years after his death, Hans Fallada had a groundbreaking success in the United States. The German writer, who died in 1947, was a bestseller in his home country with the publication of his novel “Little Man, What Now?” in 1932, which was later turned into a Hollywood film. But Fallada’s name, which [...]