Wednesday, June 14, 2006

In Praise of The Atlantic

This month's Atlantic finally arrived in my mailbox today. I have been eagerly anticipating this issue, with everyone talking about the timely cover article on al-Zarqawi by Mary Anne Weaver (even though I did not love her book on Pakistan) . I thought about reading that article on-line, but there is something to be said for being able to curl up with a good magazine. The truth is that I always eagerly anticipate the arrival of The Atlantic (this is the summer double issue, so now I have to wait two months for another). It is, for me, the perfect magazine. They can do no wrong. Whereas everyone else complained bitterly when they largely abandoned short fiction last year, I was very happy with the decision as it was the only section that I consistently skipped. Similarly, when they moved their editorial offices from Boston to Washington, DC, I was delighted (for them, seriously, no one should ever have to live in Boston).

How can one not love a magazine with book reviews by Christopher Hitchens, obituaries by Mark Steyn and reporting by men like Mark Bowden (Guests of the Ayatollah was great and I would never have thought to read it were it not excerpted in the Atlantic), Robert D. Kaplan and (until he jumped ship to Vanity Fair recently), William Langewiesche? Politics, foreign affairs, culture and art, it's all there.

I will confess to being a bit of a magazine junkie, but while I enjoy The New Yorker and the Economist, they sometimes receive only a quick scan, most months I barely touch Vanity Fair (although William Langewiesche's arrival may change that) and Foreign Affairs always is always received with a sense that I will never find the time to get through it. But the arrival of the Atlantic always fills me with nothing but a sense of joy and anticipation of what this month's issue will bring.

Anyway, enough of this pointless rambling. I have some reading to do.

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