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.

Advertisement

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.

Best Review
The Weekly Standard offers a withering review of Beowulf, complaining that "never, in the annals of motion picture history, has an adaptation of a great work been run through the shredder quite as thoroughly." The piece particularly disdains director Robert Zemeckis' sweeping changes to the original story: "Imagine a movie called The Torah that tells the story of creation from the perspective of Christopher Hitchens, and you might get a sense of the rather shocking transformation that takes place here."—D.S.

Worst Cultural Analysis
New York navigates through a tale of two strikes—those of the writers union and the stagehands union—and tries to uncover why public sympathy rests with the writers. It addresses underdog theories, PR strategies, and the media bias. But it leaves one explanation untouched: TV writers affect more people than stagehands.—G.H.

Best Media Article
Vanity Fair declares ours "the age of the media gadget," detailing how the gadget has altered both the production and consumption of content. Yet in spite of the transformative "power and supremacy of the gadget," the article suggests, all things come full circle: future gadgets may offer songs and videos for free. All you will have to do is watch an advertisement—just like television and radio.—E.G.

Best Cocktail-Party Factoid
From Newsweek's intriguing piece on the death of the book and the rise of the e-book: "Only 57 percent of adults read a book—any book—in a year."—J.M.

Brad Flora is the CEO of Perfect Audience and a former Slate intern.

Elizabeth Gumport is a Slate intern.

Garin Hovannisian is a Slate intern.

Jake Melville is a Slate intern.

David Sessions is a former Slate intern. He is currently a blogger at Politics Daily.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Science

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

The Ungodly Horror of Having a Bug Crawl Into Your Ear and Scratch Away at Your Eardrum

We Could Fix Climate Change for Free. What Exactly Is Holding Us Back?

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 17 2014 6:09 PM Here's Who Voted to Fund Syrian Rebels and Get This ISIS Conflict Really Cooking
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM Should Men Still Open Doors for Women? Or is it ungentlemanly to do so at all?  
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 5:56 PM Watch Louis C.K., Dave Chappelle, Bill Hicks, Mitch Hedberg, and More on New YouTube Channel
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 5:26 PM If Fixing Global Warming Is Free, What’s the Holdup?
  Health & Science
Jurisprudence
Sept. 17 2014 4:49 PM Schooling the Supreme Court on Rap Music Is it art or a true threat of violence?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?