Time, Dec. 27
The cover story declares Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos "Person of the Year." (The announcement of "Person of the Century" is slated for next week.) A profile lauds Bezos as the guru of online retailing, though his company will lose $350 million this year. In 1994, he recognized e-commerce could provide lower prices, larger selection, and better customer service. He started with books because they were "highly databased." Now he plans to sell "Anything, with a capital A." … Runners-up include Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and Chinese leader Jiang Zemin. … A piece offers science's latest advice on how to ease a hangover: Quaff lots of water, eat plenty of carbohydrates, and don't dry heave--you could tear your esophagus.
Newsweek, Jan. 1
The cover story, "Good Grief," bemoans the demise of Peanuts (U.S. News' Peanuts headline: "Good Grief"; Weekly Standard headline: "Good Grief"; Time headline: "The Good and the Grief"). Peanuts, which reaches 355 million readers in 75 countries, "touches something much deeper than the funny bone." It offers "gentle lessons in faith" and life, "infused with an almost quaint optimism." … An article explains why some Vietnam vets denounce John McCain as the "Manchurian Candidate." McCain annoyed extremists by supporting the normalization of relations with Vietnam and dressing down POW/MIA advocates who claim that American soldiers are still being held captive. … A package of fuzzy predictions for the 21st century. In " ism" news, "dot-comism" will weaken nationalism and protectionism, but fundamentalism will continue to fuel terrorism. … "In the next century you're going to have better sex than you've ever had before." Virtual sex bodysuits will enable you to make indiscriminate cyberlove without any risk of VD.
U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 27
The cover story crowns Uncle Sam the "Man of the Century." Achievements in science, business, and the arts bear "an indelible American imprint." America's triumph over totalitarianism--from Roosevelt through Reagan--is "the most riveting story of the 20th century." … A package honors 25 Americans who shaped the century. Louis Armstrong was jazz's best ambassador. Francis Turner midwifed the interstate highway system. Margaret Sanger popularized birth control. William Levitt made homeownership affordable to regular Americans by mass producing houses.
The New Yorker, Dec. 27 & Jan. 3
The "Millennial Fiction" issue. A collection of unpublished letters from American soldiers delivers a stronger literary punch than the short stories. A World War I doughboy describes his first bayonet kill: "Sure I was afraid--as you and any other chap would be, too--but what I feared most was I would be yellow." A prescient Gulf War sergeant: 'It may appear … to you back home that we've done our job, but we've screwed up. … [U]nless somehow the rebels finish what we've started, we may be back."
The Nation, Jan. 3
The cover story says that the prospect of a John McCain presidency is "scary" because of his experiences in Vietnam. McCain flew immoral bombing missions during the war and exhibits "a swaggering readiness to avenge America's defeat." Moreover, McCain opposes gun control, increasing the minimum wage, and abortion. … An editorial warns against the lingering threat of nuclear war. U.S.-Russian relations are in a "downward spiral." To ease Russian angst we should halt missile-defense plans and "permanently freeze NATO expansion."
Weekly Standard, Dec. 27
A piece bashes drug courts for dispensing drug treatment and psychological mumbo-jumbo in lieu of hard time. There is no solid proof that they are effective. Drug courts "will lead not to the remoralization of society but to the rise of a therapeutic state." … An article argues that John McCain has a real (long) shot at the Republican nomination. A New Hampshire surge could carry over to South Carolina. Bush seems to have locked up the religious right and the GOP establishment, but McCain's solid anti-Clinton credentials appeal to Carolinians.
New York Times Magazine, Dec. 19
The cover profile admires Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's steely determination to make peace. The unpretentious ex-general acts as "the national tough guy." He set an ambitious 15-month timetable for solving the centuries-old Arab-Israeli conflict and back-burnered domestic issues to keep on schedule. … A profile of auteur Paul Thomas Anderson, director of the new Magnolia, applauds his artistry and moxie. Boogie Nights showed that Anderson is master of camera movement and character development. Anderson shepherded his new film into theaters without letting it be dumbed down, proving that he can protect his work from rank Hollywood commercialism. … An article exposes Tulsa, Oklahoma's long-forgotten race riots. In 1921, as many as 300 African-Americans were killed when white authorities deputized a bloodthirsty lynch mob. A state commission is finally investigating the disturbance.
New Republic, Jan. 3
A millennium parody issue. … A faux-profile picks a man of the millennium: "With his cartwheeling intellect and generous heart; with his revolutionary brain and conservative gut ... this epoch has belonged to Richard Keith 'Dick' Armey." … A piece honors nachos as the emblematic invention of the last thousand years: "Producing penicillin may be beyond the mental faculties of the average Joe, but melting things isn't. … [N]achos are the glue that unites us." … The magazine also includes a helpful list of the "Top Ten Stain-Removing Tips of the Millennium."
Economist, Dec. 18
The cover story pegged to Russia's parliamentary elections says democracy is not in terrible shape. The crackdown on Chechnya has swelled the popularity of Boris Yeltsin's flailing administration, but the Russian system remains robustly pluralistic. The Communists will probably retain a plurality in the Duma, and "reformist views may be more strongly represented." … An article earnestly questions whether irony is eroding the national character of post-imperial England: "In the days of yore British superiority was proven by force of arms. Now the point is made with a joke, and a quiet, knowing smile." … A survey cheers the globalization of wine. The "best wines of the new world can match or even surpass the great wines of the old world." Vintners in Bordeaux now solicit the advice of Australian producers.