December 2021

In This Issue

The autocrats are winning, the antiquities cop, death comes to the boxing ring, and France’s God complex. Plus the end of trust, the advertising singularity, BBQ chips, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Mozart and forgiveness, new fiction by hurmat kazmi, and more.

Cover Story

black + white images of Maduro, Lukashenko, Putin, Xi, Erdogan walking on red background
Illustration by Oliver Munday. Sources: Sven Creutzmann / Mambo Photo / Getty; Andrea Verdelli / Getty; Mikhail Svetlov / Getty; TPG / Getty; Mikhail Svetlov / Getty

The Bad Guys Are Winning

If the 20th century was the story of slow, uneven progress toward the victory of liberal democracy over other ideologies—communism, fascism, virulent nationalism—the 21st century is, so far, a story of the reverse.

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tricolor image with sculpture of woman's face with star and laurel crown on blue background; Muslim woman in hijab walking on cream background; priest raising cross and wafer on red background
Photo illustration by Cristiana Couceiro. Sources: Benjamin Cremel / Getty; Godong / Getty; Joelle Icard / Getty; Miguel Medina / Getty; Mychele Daniau / Getty

Why Is France So Afraid of God?

How the country came to view religion as a threat to national identity



Culture & Critics



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