What's worth reading in The New Yorker, the Weekly Standard, and more.

Summaries of what's in Time, Newsweek, etc.
Nov. 20 2007 3:58 PM

Newsweek's New Hires

Karl Rove and Markos Moulitsas make their respective debuts in Newsweek.

Today, Other Magazines flips through Newsweek, The New Yorker, the Weekly Standard, New York, and Vanity Fair to find out what's worth your time—and what's not.

Other magazines.

Must Skip
Former Bush adviser Karl Rove pens a hatchet job in Newsweek on "how to beat Hillary" next November. Meanwhile, DailyKos publisher Markos Moulitsas offers the obvious advice to "make the Bush record the issue" that will defeat Republicans. Neither offers anything particularly insightful, choosing instead to devolve into partisanship.—J.M.


Best Campaign Piece
A New Yorker feature on Barack Obama's efforts to catch Clinton in the polls offers a detailed looks at exactly what he's doing to try and gain ground: painting himself as the only honest horse in the race.—B.F.

Best War Piece
An article in the Weekly Standard examines the Human Terrain System, a method the U.S. Army uses in Afghanistan to overcome cultural barriers. The insightful eyewitness report reveals the system's inabilities to clear the biggest hurdles, like language and social status.—D.S.

Best Line
From George Packer's New Yorker assessment of the Republican presidential candidates: "Off camera and in private, a few of the Republicans seem to understand that Bush has driven the country into a ditch. But, because the thirty per cent of Americans who remain die-hard Bush supporters have a death grip on their party, those candidates won't say so, choosing to repress their constructive impulses and sound as shallow and jingoistic as possible while campaigning."—B.F.

Best Economics Piece
Vanity Fair examines the economic effects of Bush's presidency, arguing that they will take generations to reverse. The article reminds us that "5.3 million more Americans are living in poverty now than were living in poverty when Bush became president," and class stratification is so severe that it is "heading in the direction of Brazil's and Mexico's." Ultimately, the piece concludes, "just as Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib have eroded America's moral authority, so the Bush administration's fiscal housekeeping has eroded our economic authority."—E.G.

Best Column
In Newsweek,Fareed Zakaria examines the difficulties faced by foreign travelers to the United States. While the declining value of the dollar should make America an attractive tourist destination for foreigners, he finds that bureaucratic fear of "[letting] in the next terrorist" has made traveling to this country a nightmare for many.—J.M.

Best Photo
Vanity Fair includes a striking image from Extraordinary Circumstances, the upcoming collection from the Ford administration White House photographer David Hume Kennerly. The photograph, taken in a Los Angeles hotel room, features Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan swathed in shadows, the lights of the city glimmering in the distance. At the time, Kennerly considered the picture too "brooding"; now it seems "that darkness captured something of the spirit of the time," the encroaching gloom of inflation, defeat in Vietnam, and post-Watergate uncertainty.—E.G.

Best Profile
New York tells the fascinating story of the life—and bloody death—of Linda Stein, the Bronx woman who became the manager of the Ramones and "realtor to the stars."—G.H.

Worst Profile
Vanity Fair works itself into a lather over Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, calling her "kittenish" and anxiously analyzing her past relationship with Salman Rushdie in a standard, slavishly flattering puff piece. The article is all appetizer, no entrée: At the beginning, she wears a white gown with "a hint of nipple"; at the end, she spoon-feeds Harvey Weinstein chocolate.—E.G.