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.



Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Free Speech

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 3:13 PM Why Countries Make Human Rights Pledges They Have No Intention of Honoring
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM The Global Millionaires Club Is Booming and Losing Its Exclusivity
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 1:47 PM The Best Way to Fry an Egg
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.