Contents | December 2001

The Atlantic Monthly | December 2001
In This Issue

aps produced during the 2000 presidential election revealed a nation distinctly divided into the Democratic-leaning and largely urban "Blue" America of the East and West Coasts and the Republican-leaning and largely rural or small-town "Red" America in between. But the apparent split may be less a chasm than a gully, writes David Brooks ("One Nation, Slightly Divisible"), who shuttled between Red and Blue America to report this month's cover story. Brooks, an Atlantic Monthly correspondent, is also a contributing editor of Newsweek, a senior editor of The Weekly Standard, and a political analyst for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. His most recent book is Bobos in Paradise (2000).

Samuel P. Huntington, a professor of government at Harvard, has long been one of America's most prominent and controversial intellectuals—noted for his unsentimental views of both U.S. domestic affairs and the nation's dealings with the rest of the world. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11 Huntington's "realist" vision seems terribly vindicated. Robert D. Kaplan ("Looking the World in the Eye"), who examines Huntington's life and work, is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation. His new book, Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos, will be published this month. An earlier book, Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan (1990), has just been reissued.

Penny Wolfson ("Moonrise") reflects on how life has been and what lies ahead for her teenage son, Ansel, stricken by muscular dystrophy. Wolfson's essays have appeared in The New York Times and Exceptional Parent.

Over the past three decades the poems of W. S. Merwin (Paradiso XXXIII) have appeared in these pages more frequently than those of any other poet. Merwin's most recent collection of poems, The Pupil, appeared in October. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1971.

Lesley Dormen ("The Old Economy Husband") teaches fiction and poetry writing at The Writers Studio, in New York City. Her fiction has appeared in Five Points. She is at work on a collection of short stories and a screenplay.

In Notes & Dispatches this month: P. J. O'Rourke travels from Washington to London and back, and comments on the state of security and of public opinion; Christopher Hitchens excoriates his longtime comrades on the left for their refusal to admit the evil of September 11; Bruce Hoffman relates a tale from Gaza, about how Yasir Arafat once dealt with a terrorist threat of his own; Conor Cruise O'Brien describes the Irish Republican Army's covert strategy to gain police powers in Belfast; and Jeffrey Tayler reports from Moscow on what lies behind Vladimir Putin's calculated bet to support the fight against terrorism.

This month the magazine introduces The Agenda, a new department devoted to issues of American politics and public policy. James Fallows, The Atlantic's national correspondent, looks at the conflicting "lessons of history" being applied by those managing the response to the recent terrorist attacks; Richard A. Posner, a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, explores the ever shifting fulcrum between civil liberties and national security; Jason Vest explains fourth-generation warfare; and Jonathan Rauch describes one maverick scientist's commonsense approach to blunting the effects of a bio-terrorist attack.

The French island of Ouessant, off the westernmost tip of Brittany, experiences some of the most awful winter weather in the world. The Atlantic correspondent William Langewiesche ("Storm Island") recounts a tempest-tossed weekend.

Rosalie Parker wandered into the Harvard Boxing Club and ended up in the national Golden Gloves competition. Daniel Boyne ("Portrait of a Woman as a Young Boxer") is the author of The Red Rose Crew: A True Story of Women, Winning, and the Water (2000).

Marshall Jon Fisher ("Pixels at an Exhibition") compares digital cameras and traditional film cameras, and argues that the digital age has at last arrived. He is a frequent contributor to The Atlantic.

The simplicity and naturalism of Alice Munro's writing has led more than one critic to hail her as the contemporary Chekhov. So why is she not better known? Mona Simpson ("A Quiet Genius") assesses Munro's writing and reputation on the occasion of her new collection, Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage. Simpson is the author of several novels, including Anywhere But Here (1986) and Off Keck Road (2000).

Bruce Hoffman ("One-Alarm Fire"), who finds the best-selling book Germs to be considerably overwrought, is the editor in chief of the journal Studies in Conflict and Terrorism and the author of Inside Terrorism (1998).

Caitlin Flanagan ("Costumes From Camelot") considers the peculiar blend of fortitude and femininity that underlies Jacqueline Kennedy's singular mystique. Flanagan's essay takes as its point of departure the catalogue of the recent exhibition of the former First Lady's dresses.

Copyright © 2001 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; December 2001; In This Issue; Volume 288, No. 5; 10.