What's worth reading in Newsweek, New York, the New Republic, etc.

Summaries of what's in Time, Newsweek, etc.
Dec. 4 2007 3:48 PM

Intruder Alert

The New Yorker on how an Asian parasite has devastated America's eastern hemlock population.

Today, Other Magazines reads The New Yorker, Newsweek, New York, the Weekly Standard, the New Republic, and Esquire to find out what's worth your time—and what's not.

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Must Read
The New Yorker eulogizes the eastern hemlock, which has been decimated by the woolly adelgid, an Asian parasite introduced to North America in the early 20th century. This kind of plague is not unusual: A number of other trees, including the American elm, have been devastated by non-native predators, whose rapid proliferation has been aided by increasingly warm winters.—E.G.

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Must Skip
A Newsweek profile goes a little too far lionizing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for his quiet, moderate role "as the best insurance that the Bush administration (read: Vice President Cheney) will not leave a legacy of ashes in Iran."—J.M.

Best Profile
The New Republic goes to the margins to paint a charming portrait of Republican presidential hopeless Duncan Hunter: "Hunter's amiability may, one day, win him the kingdom of heaven, but in this kingdom he is a very poor man."—G.H.

Best Takedown
New York's cover story tackles Rudy Giuliani's campaign-trail claims that he rescued the city from "the hellhole of depravity and despair." The piece notes that yes, Giuliani rose to the occasion of 9/11, but "New York from all the years in between, knows something else about his character. … If a crisis doesn't present itself, Rudy Giuliani can be counted on to create one."—M.S.

Best Foreign-Policy Piece
Novelist Khaled Hosseini pens an editorial in Newsweek urging the American government to remain engaged in Afghanistan. Despite continuing hardships and a resurgent Taliban, he finds many reasons to be cautiously optimistic about the country's fate.—J.M.

Strangest Anecdote
In an otherwise thoughtful Weekly Standard remembrance for the late Sen. Henry Hyde, Fred Barnes fondly recalls the time Hyde silenced a pro-choice colleague by telling a fictitious story about being reared by strangers after his unmarried mother left him on their doorstep.—B.F.

Best Fact-Check
Newsweek evaluates statements from "master spinners" Bill Clinton and Karl Rove regarding their roles in the run up to the October 2002 vote for war with Iraq. It finds that both men aren't exactly telling the truth.—J.M.

Best Culture Piece
A column in Esquire advocates punching "the sorts of assholes who not only act like assholes but celebrate their assholedom." Just like in the blogosphere ("everybody thinks they're above being edited"), our culture has developed far too much tolerance for the insistently uncivilized.—D.S.

Best Music Piece
A Weekly Standard survey of Pakistan's pop music scene, which boomed after Musharraf privatized the nation's television networks but has since declined with the rise of militancy, focuses on a duo of Led Zeppelin-inspired hard-rock extremists.—B.F.