In Post & Riposte:

Religion in Flux
What kinds of religions will dominate in the twenty-first century?

Naipaul and the Nobel
In your view did V. S. Naipaul deserve the Nobel prize? Should his political incorrectness have been held against him?

Degrees of Evil
Could either bin Laden or Hitler be considered more "evil" than the other?

Getting Hip to Squareness
Is squareness becoming cool again?

See the complete forum index.

THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY | Volume 289 No. 2 | February 2002
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February 2002 cover In This Issue

Letters to the Editor

by Cullen Murphy

The Agenda
Getting Hip to Squareness by Michael Kelly
A Modest Little War by David Brooks
Do As we Say, Not As We Do by Jack Beatty
The Heartland of Darkness by Walter Kirn
The Professors Profess by Richard A. Posner
Councils of War by James Fallows
After the Quagmire by P. J. O'Rourke
Losing the Code War by Stephen Budiansky


Oh, Gods!
Religions mutate with Darwinian ferocity. Today we are witnessing an unprecedented explosion of new religions—and the "problem religion" of the next century may not be the one you think
by Toby Lester
Interviews: Supernatural Selection Toby Lester talks about the Darwinian way religions mutate and evolve [Web only]
The Keystone Kommandos
In June of 1942 eight Nazis bent on sabotage were set ashore on American beaches. Their mission came to naught, undermined by confusion and betrayal. The one (inadvertent) accomplishment: creation of a precedent for the military tribunals proposed by the Bush Administration
by Gary Cohen

Being Abe Lincoln
Once a year the country's Abraham Lincoln impersonators gather in conclave. Our correspondent became a Lincoln-in-training
by Joshua Wolf Shenk

Degrees of Evil
The word "evil" has been tossed about with abandon in recent months. The author, whose work includes an acclaimed study of Hitler scholarship, reminds us that there are hierarchies of wickedness. Where does bin Laden fall?
by Ron Rosenbaum

The Next Threat to NATO
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have been clamoring for admission to NATO—and the Bush administration appears receptive. It is a terrible idea
by Jeffrey Tayler

Penumbra A short story by Beth Lordan

Crayfish Hunting A poem by Jonathan Musgrove [with audio]
To Age A poem by W. S. Merwin
The Plot Thickens A poem by Jeff Mock [with audio]


Pursuits and Retreats
TRAVEL: A Secret Caribbean by Barbara Wallraff
MANNERS: Early Riser by Joseph Epstein
PALATE AT LARGE: Moore's Stone Crab by Corby Kummer

Books and Critics
A Terrifying Honesty
On V. S. Naipaul, by Geoffrey Wheatcroft

William Kennedy's Greatest Game
Roscoe, by William Kennedy, reviewed by Thomas Mallon

Sheer Data
Sinclair Lewis: Rebel From Main Street, by Richard Lingeman, reviewed by Benjamin Schwarz

New and Noteworthy
The Iliad anew; Ved Mehta on the couch; Andrea Barrett blends exactitude and compassion

Keeping Up Appearances
Somewhere for Me: A Biography of Richard Rodgers, by Maryle Secrest, reviewed by Wilfrid Sheed

The Puzzler by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon

Word Fugitives by Barbara Wallraff

Cover art by Edward Sorel.

All material copyright © 2002 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.