What's worth reading in Time, the New Republic, and more.

Summaries of what's in Time, Newsweek, etc.
Feb. 15 2008 4:05 PM

Minds of Their Own

The Economist on the return of the independent voter.

Today, Other Magazines reads the Economist, Time, the New York Times Magazine, the New Republic, and Vanity Fair to find out what's worth your time—and what's not.

Magazine Covers


Best Candidate Profile
In a cover story for the New Republic, Jonathan Chait challenges the conventional wisdom that John McCain is "basically a right-winger." Actually, Chait argues, McCain has "diverged wildly and repeatedly from conservative orthodoxy" and has "reinvented himself so completely" over the years that it's hard to know where he really stands.—J.L.

Best Religion Piece
In a book excerpt in Time, Amy Sullivan, who has written for Slate, details the Democratic Party's attempts to regain religious voters' confidence—and examines the mistakes that alienated the faithful in the past.—C.W.

Best Obituary
The Economist reveals an unexpected affection for the recently deceased Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, guru to the Beatles. Despite conceding that the Maharishi may have been a "crackpot" and "charlatan," the magazine is smitten with his good intentions, if not his penchant for yogic flying. Perhaps most admirable to the Economist, though, was the Maharishi's fiscal enlightenment, for "he certainly knew how to make money."—N.M.

Best Infographic
In an education-focused issue, Time compares Clinton's, Obama's, McCain's, and Huckabee's positions on No Child Left Behind, vouchers, merit pay for teachers, and longer school days or years. The magazine finds that McCain fairs the worst, having only recently made any serious education proposals.—C.W.

Best History Lesson
In Vanity Fair's Hollywood Issue, Peter Biskind looks at the making of Coming Home and The Deer Hunter—two very different films about the Vietnam War that stirred up heated political debates before battling it out at the 1979 Oscars. Biskind notes that "with the U.S. fighting two new wars" and "Hollywood in the midst of another film cycle devoted to those conflicts," these movies seem more relevant than ever.—N.R.

Best Economic Piece
The New Republic has a good overview on why we're heading into a recession. The story of the junior trader at Societe Generale who lost the bank's $7.2 billion is just one indication of how global finance got out of control. U.S. investment banks were borrowing 80 percent to 90 percent of every dollar they invested. Plus, collateralized debt obligations were priced based on overly optimistic evaluation models or untested patterns. Basically, "a lot of smart people took a lot of foolish risks."—J.L.

Best Technology Package
A special section in the Economist looks at how governments can improve Internet services without unduly intruding on citizens' privacy. An accompanying piece recommends that governments look to the example of private banks and open-source software for ways to minimize technological red-tape.—N.M.

Best Science Piece
The New York Times Magazine's cover story asks "Why Do We Play?" and gives an in-depth look at the evolutionary motivators behind the fun. The piece presents a variety of possible evolutionary explanations and consequences, including a proposed link between a lack of play and the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.—A.J.

Best Sports Story
Time reminds us that combinations of star athletes that look great on paper don't always lead to chemistry on the court. But the trio of Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics, argues Sean Gregory, appear to have eluded that pitfall.—C.W.

Best Photo Spread
The stars of today re-create iconic Alfred Hitchcock images for Vanity Fair's Hollywood issue. Charlize Theron, Scarlett Johansson, and Gwyneth Paltrow play variations on Grace Kelly; Naomi Watts and Jodie Foster try on Tippi Hedren; and Renée Zellweger mugs as Kim Novak.—N.R.

Alex Joseph is a Slate intern.

Juliet Lapidos is a former Slate associate editor.

Noreen Malone is a senior editor at New York magazine.

Nina Shen Rastogi is a writer and editor, and is also the vice president for content at Figment.

Chris Wilson is a Slate contributor.


Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Yes, Black Families Tend to Spank More. That Doesn’t Mean It’s Good for Black Kids.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge


The GOP’s Focus on Fake Problems

Why candidates like Scott Walker are building campaigns on drug tests for the poor and voter ID laws.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Iran and the U.S. Are Allies Against ISIS but Aren’t Ready to Admit It Yet

Farewell! Emily Bazelon on What She Will Miss About Slate.

  News & Politics
Sept. 16 2014 5:47 PM Tale of Two Fergusons We knew blacks and whites saw Michael Brown’s killing differently. A new poll shows the gulf that divides them is greater than anyone guessed.
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 5:07 PM One Comedy Group Has the Perfect Idea for Ken Burns’ Next Project
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 1:48 PM Why We Need a Federal Robotics Commission
  Health & Science
Sept. 16 2014 4:09 PM It’s All Connected What links creativity, conspiracy theories, and delusions? A phenomenon called apophenia.
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.