The Melodrama Behind the Elián Saga

Summaries of what's in Time, Newsweek, etc.
April 22 2000 1:30 AM

The Melodrama Behind the Elián Saga

New York Times Magazine, April 23

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A cover story reveals the personal melodrama behind the Elián González saga. Elián's parents were loyal revolutionaries who spoiled their only son. His mom left Cuba at the behest of her boyfriend. The Miami members of the González family are intent on reuniting their whole clan, by almost any means necessary. In a cover memoir, a reporter recalls joining the Mariel boatlift when she was a teen. All the possessions of the émigrés were confiscated; fellow Cubans stoned those who wanted to leave. A profile credits Phil Jackson with shaping up the Los Angeles Lakers by treating his players with respect. Jackson's authority stems from his "strategic willingness" to let the Lakers direct their own play. Zen Buddhism infuses his "emancipated coaching style." 

Economist

Economist, April 28

An article argues that a stock-market downturn could trigger a recession. American businesses and households are deeply in hock. Private sector debt is 4 percent of the GDP. Stock losses could stop people from spending. A piece says that 700,000 albinos in Tanzania are organizing to demand equal rights. The country's high albinism rate—2 percent—is attributed to inbreeding. The cover story blames Janet Reno for letting the Elián González saga drag on for so long. The attorney general should have returned the boy in November. Instead she treats Elián's recalcitrant Miami relatives "with the sort of deference that most politicians reserve for a head of state."

New Republic

New Republic, May 1

An editorial dismisses the inchoate complaints of World Bank-International Monetary Fund demonstrators. The IMF and the bank are not instruments of megacorporate oppression: They "allow global capitalism to function better by making it more humane." The cover story explains why anarchists dominate anti-globalization protests and the "New New Left." The collapse of socialist and Communist regimes left a power vacuum on the left. Youth activists are attracted to anarchism's rebellious image. Their movement is a "revolt of the affluent."

O: The Oprah Magazine

O: The Oprah Magazine, May 2000

The première issue of Oprah Winfrey's magazine takes the radical position that you should feel better about yourself. Oprah's editorial note explains: "This magazine is about helping you become more of who you are." … There are lots of Q and A's (on hosiery, inner-self improvement, and financial freedom). … A " Something to Think About" section invites readers to fill in the blank beneath questions, such as "What is my heart's deepest desire?" … A "Tap Your Personal Courage Calendar" schedules daily confidence-building exercises, such as "[e]ach time you do something courageous, no matter how small, write it in your journal." … In a nine-page interview, Oprah quizzes Bill Cosby's wife, Camille, about menopause and learning to love herself.

New York Review of Books

New York Review of Books, May 11

A piece describes the horrific civil war in Colombia, where the leftist guerrilla movement FARC fills its ranks with teen-age soldiers and supports itself by collecting $500 million a year in protection money from coca growers. Long-anticipated peace talks with the government have not materialized. Proposed U.S. military aid will only prolong the fighting. An article deplores China's "custody and repatriation" policies. Every year, police round up thousands of migrant workers, mentally ill people, children, and other innocents, imprison them for not having a permit to live in the city where they were arrested, and ship them back to their rural hometowns. Most of the victims are peasants left out of China's urban boom. A laudatory review of Frances FitzGerald's history of the Strategic Defense Initiative blasts the Star Wars missile defense as a ludicrous idea that won't ever work, never scared the Soviets, and continues to waste billions of tax dollars every year.

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