Contents | March 2001
The Atlantic Monthly | March 2001
In This Issue
ou have zero privacy ... Get over it." This stark assessment (by a Silicon Valley executive) of the state of privacy in the information age may not be true for long. Toby Lester ("The Reinvention of Privacy") reports on how concern about the erosion of privacy has spawned a booming market for privacy-protection products and services and an entirely new sector of the economy: "the privacy space." Lester, a former executive editor of Atlantic Unbound, has more recently been the editor of Country Journal. His January, 1999, Atlantic cover story reported on scholarly efforts to reinterpret the Koran.
The battle over the future of the Pacific Northwest is largely one of competing visions of the landscape, writes Jonathan Raban ("Battleground of the Eye")—a struggle waged on terms defined by the landscape painters of the past three centuries. Raban traces the evolution of the region in art and the popular imagination, from Romantic wilderness to civic park to political stage. Raban is the author of numerous books, including Bad Land (1997), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award.
The British Broadcasting Corporation—its initials universally recognized—once enjoyed universal respect. No longer. Geoffrey Wheatcroft ("Who Needs the BBC?") investigates the forces at work behind the decline of a once great institution. Wheatcroft is a frequent contributor to The Atlantic. His most recent book is The Controversy of Zion (1996).
Bill Roorbach ("Big Bend") teaches creative writing in the M.F.A. program at Ohio State University. His story in this issue is drawn from his forthcoming collection, Big Bend, which won the 1999 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. It will be published this month by the University of Georgia Press.
The kind of monumental immortality available to the rich and famous can now be had by the ordinary and the unsung—digitally, anyway. Ed Leibowitz ("The Hollywood Forever Way of Death") reports on the content-rich afterlives of the residents of one of the nation's first multimedia cemeteries. Also in Notes & Dispatches this month: Murray Sayle, from Tokyo, on a new memorial to the kamikaze; Ian Frazier, from Nome, Alaska, on the pleasures of sulking; James Fallows, from Silicon Valley, on why a hip corporate culture does not ensure success; Jack Owens, from Washington, D.C., on what's keeping black women from joining the FBI; and Ben Howe, from Panama, on why the Pan-American Highway is still missing its midsection.
Few visitors to Belgium venture beyond Brussels to Ghent or Antwerp—livelier cities that bring the country into sharper focus. The Atlantic senior editor Corby Kummer ("An Alternative Belgium") reports on a visit to the cities he calls "a crash course in Europe."
Hatsy Shields ("Touring by the Book") recounts her visits to some of the nation's most beautiful and idiosyncratic private gardens—made possible by The Garden Conservancy's Open Days Directory, an annual publication bound to please gardeners and nosy parkers alike. Her last article for The Atlantic explored kitchen gardens in France.
As an amateur pilot, James Fallows ("Around the World in Eighty Megabytes") trained on flight-simulation software. Now he joins the millions of fans who fire up the software purely for fun. Our national correspondent explains the growing appeal of armchair flying.
Eugene Genovese ("Getting States' Rights Right") won the Bancroft Prize for his book Roll, Jordan, Roll (1974), a groundbreaking study of the moral and cultural complexities of slavery in the antebellum South. In this issue Genovese reviews Forrest McDonald's States' Rights and the Union: Imperium in Imperio 1776-1876, the first comprehensive history of the much maligned and largely misunderstood doctrine of states' rights. Genovese's most recent book is A Consuming Fire: The Fall of the Confederacy in the Mind of the White Christian South (1999).
The clear-eyed lyricism of the aristocrat and industrialist Henry Yorke helped to establish him, under the name Henry Green, as one of the most distinctive English novelists of the twentieth century—and yet, astonishingly, his work remains largely unknown to Americans. Brooke Allen ("The Richness of the Moment") reviews the first full-length biography of the man whose oblique style led one admirer to call him "the writer's writer's writer." Allen is a frequent contributor to The New Criterion, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.
The West Wing finds itself in an interesting position: the television show depicts a fictional liberal presidency in the shadow of a real-life conservative Administration. The prevailing political climate is unlikely to matter, though, says Chris Lehmann ("The Feel-Good Presidency"), because politically speaking, the show has always been off in cloud-cuckoo-land. Lehmann is a senior editor for the Washington Post Book World.
David Schiff ("The Tradition of the Oldie") casts his critical eye on National Public Radio's list of the "100 most important American musical works of the 20th century" and finds that in many listeners' minds, oldies have become synonymous with goodies. Schiff has written more than a dozen articles for the magazine, on subjects ranging from Duke Ellington to Kurt Weill.
Copyright © 2001 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; March 2001; In This Issue - 01.03; Volume 287, No. 3; page 6.