January 2000 | Volume 285 No. 1
The Diffusionists Have Landed

Who carved Phoenician-era liberian script into a stone found in West Virginia? How did a large stone block incised with medieval Norse runes find its way to Minnesota? Why do ancient temples in India depict what appear to be ears of maize, which is native to America? Questions like these, once the exclusive domain of "crank" science, are now getting respect from some mainstream scholars. The question of pre-Viking contacts between the Old and New Worlds is now open as never before.

by Marc K. Stengel

Israel Now

Our correspondent, a former resident of Israel and a member of its armed forces in the 1970s, describes how economics is combining with the peace process to create a new reality in the Middle East -- one that he likens to the aftermath of a bitter divorce.

by Robert D. Kaplan

Five and a Half Utopias

The idea of utopia had a very bad twentieth century, but it continues to tug at the human heart.

by Steven Weinberg

Notes & Comment:
A Winter's Tale

"When the cold air hit my face, my skin contracted so quickly that the thin skin on the bridge of my nose split, as if a fine knife had been drawn across it." A reverie about the elegance of winter.
by Rick Bass

Foreign Affairs:
Europe's Back Doors

For centuries few cared about Ceuta and Melilla, two lonely Spanish outposts on the coast of Morocco. But when Spain joined the European Union, Ceuta and Melilla suddenly became attractive to Africans as points of access to the industrialized and labor-short continent to the north.
by George Stolz

Fiction & Poetry

seahorse picture The Third-Prize Photograph
A poem
by Susan Donnelly

A short story
by Marshall N. Klimasewiski

seahorse picture Strays
A poem
by Stanley Plumly

seahorse picture Potato
A poem
by Laurie Lamon

A drawing
by Guy Billout

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Arts & Leisure

Who Was That Masked Composer?

Aaron Copland's politics, his emotions, and his sexuality lie concealed beneath his music -- but not so deep that they can't be recovered.
by David Schiff


The Trials of the Tribulation
The "Left Behind" novels, written by Jerry B. Jenkins and the prophecy expert Tim LaHaye, have already sold some 10 million copies. They'll no doubt sell millions more if the world doesn't come to an end first.
by Michael Joseph Gross

Brief Reviews
by Phoebe-Lou Adams

Other Departments

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The January Almanac

The Puzzler
by Emily Cox & Henry Rathvon

Word Court
by Barbara Wallraff

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