'The Good Wife' Takes on a Facebook Clone

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Are we being prepared for major changes in Alicia's professional life?

Perhaps starting her own law practice? Or joining forces with another, less conspiracy-riddled law firm? What else can explain last night's episode, in which Alicia does little more than smile serenely while dishonesty, opportunism, and narrow legalisms swirl around her?

In moments of putatively high drama, Will and Diane win their struggle to maintain control of their own firm, when an Associate who appears to have traded his partner's vote for a plum job in the newly-organized firm reveals himself to have been conspiring with Will and Diane from the start, and delivers to them the crucial vote.

At the same time, the firm takes on a Facebook clone, worth billions, on behalf of a Chinese dissident who claims to have been confined and tortured by his government after the Internet company revealed his name and opinions to the world at large—including the Chinese government. The Internet defense rests on a definition of "torture" and, even more specifically, on when the U.S. government declared certain information-gathering techniques unlawful. Will and Diane win their case, and extract several million dollars from the Internet company, and viewers are left with an ugly sense that the law has less to do with justice than with hair-splitting.

Why Alicia would want to hang around is unclear. I'm betting she won't.

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C. Michael Curtis has been an editor at The Atlantic since 1963. Under his direction, the magazine has won numerous fiction prizes, including the National Magazine Award for fiction. More

C. Michael Curtis"Writers crave the intelligence and ardor of this magazine's editors and readership as well as the privilege of inclusion in its pages," says best-selling author Louise Erdrich, who, like so many young fiction writers, was introduced to national readership and subsequent success in The Atlantic Monthly.

Under the direction of senior editor C. Michael Curtis, The Atlantic Monthly's fiction has been nominated for a National Magazine Award virtually every year; in 1988 The Atlantic won this prestigious prize. Year after year short stories from the magazine are chosen for inclusion in the important annual prize collections. Curtis himself was the editor of American Stories: Fiction From The Atlantic Monthly, which was published in 1990. A second volume came out the following year, and 1992 saw the publication of Contemporary New England Stories. A companion volume, Contemporary West Coast Stories, was published in the fall of 1993. A fifth collection, entitled God: Stories, was published in December, 1998, by Houghton Mifflin, and a companion anthology, Faith: Stories, was published in 2003, also by Houghton Mifflin. His own essays, articles, reviews, and poems have been published in The Atlantic, The New Republic, National Review, and Sport, among other periodicals. Curtis is also renowned for his teaching: he has taught creative writing, ethics, grammar, and other subjects for more than thirty years at Harvard, MIT, Cornell, Tufts, Boston University, Bennington, and elsewhere, and now teaches writing at Wofford College, in Spartanburg, SC, where he occupies the John C. Cobb Chair in the Humanities.

Curtis earned a B.A. in English from Cornell in 1956. He came to The Atlantic in 1963 after four years of study toward a Ph.D. in government, also at Cornell. Previously he had worked as a reporter for The Ithaca Journal, and as an editorial assistant at Newsweek. While he was a graduate student, The Atlantic Monthly published three of his poems and employed him briefly as a summer reader.

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