Supremacy by Stealth
Does America bear the sole responsibility for preserving world order? Is it ethical to do so through covert means? Join a discussion of Robert D. Kaplan's cover story in the July/August Atlantic.

Headlines Over the Horizon
What developments around the world do you think have the most potential to grow into significant international-security threats?

The Texas Clemency Memos
Were those executed on death row during Bush's tenure as governor denied a fair hearing? Weigh in on Alan Berlow's article in the July/August Atlantic.

Thinking Like an Apparatchik
Weigh in on Christopher Hitchens's controversial review of Sidney Blumenthal's new book.

See the complete forum index.

THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY | Volume 292 No. 1 | July/August 2003
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July/August 2003 cover 77 North Washington Street

Letters to the Editor

The Agenda
The Transformer  Is Tony Blair what Bill Clinton should have been?
by David Brooks

Coming to America  With its diverse and dispersed immigrants, our nation's capital is a model of the post-racial society we've been awaiting
by Jonathan Rauch

A New Deal for Teachers  Here's how to fix our desperate urban schools: pay teachers more—much more—but tie compensation to performance and allow districts to fire bad teachers quickly
by Matthew Miller

Primary Sources  Selections from recent reports, studies, and other documents. This month: evangelicals and prostitutes; 3.3 million "excess deaths" in Africa; the Subcommittee on Total Force

The World in Numbers  Waterworld
by Jen Joynt and Marshall Poe


The Bear Slayer
During his quarter century of dictatorial rule Nicolae Ceausescu treated the brown bears of Romania almost as badly as he treated the people. Only his gamekeepers saw the grisly reality
by David Quammen

Supremacy by Stealth
It's a cliché these days to observe that the United States now possesses a global empire. It is time to move beyond a statement of the obvious. How should we operate on a tactical level to preserve our imperium? What are the rules and what are the tools?
by Robert D. Kaplan
An Interview With Robert D. Kaplan: The Hard Edge of American Values
Robert D. Kaplan on how the United States projects power around the world—and why it must [Web only]
Headlines Over the Horizon
Analysts at the RAND Corporation lay out ten international-security developments that aren't getting the attention they deserve

The Texas Clemency Memos
As the legal counsel to Texas Governor George W. Bush, Alberto R. Gonzales—widely regarded as a likely future Supreme Court nominee—prepared fifty-seven confidential death-penalty memoranda for Bush's review. They suggest that Gonzales repeatedly failed to apprise Bush of some of the most salient issues in the cases at hand
by Alan Berlow
Execution Summaries
Copies of three death-penalty memoranda prepared by Alberto R. Gonzales for Texas Governor George W. Bush [Web only]
In Praise of Nepotism
Americans censure nepotism on the one hand and practice it as much as they can on the other. There's much to be said for "good" nepotism, the author argues—which is fortunate, because we're living in a nepotistic Golden Age
by Adam Bellow

"The Democratic Party Suicide Bill"
Democrats knew that campaign-finance reform would cripple their fundraising ability—but they backed the idea anyway, largely on principle. The fate of McCain-Feingold ultimately rests with the Supreme Court. But principle has already cost the Democrats plenty
by Seth Gitell


Bloodlines  An anthology of poems
The Norwegian Grandson  A poem by Robert Bly [audio]
My Father on a Bicycle  A poem by Patricia Clark [audio]
Uncle Grossman  A poem by John Skoyles [audio]
Love Me  A short story by Garrison Keillor

Literary Lives  Bertolt Brecht
A drawing by Edward Sorel


Books and Critics
New & Noteworthy
What to read this month
reviewed by Benjamin Schwarz

Thinking Like an Apparatchik
"When speaking later of their experiences," our author writes of former Clinton associates, among them Sidney Blumenthal, who has recently published a political memoir, "several of them called to mind ex-members of a cult, its inner dynamic the assuaging of various exorbitant appetites on the part of the leader. It all makes sense as long as you stay inside the encampment, and it all has a hallucinatory quality in retrospect"
reviewed by Christopher Hitchens

Other Reviews
What Was She Thinking?, by Zoë Heller, reviewed by James Marcus; All Shook Up, by Glenn C. Altschuler, reviewed by Eric Alterman; The Photograph, by Penelope Lively, reviewed by Elizabeth Judd; The Devil Wears Prada, by Lauren Weisberger, reviewed by Caitlin Flanagan
Zoë Heller: Learning in Public
Zoë Heller, the author of What Was She Thinking?, talks about trying a new point of view, and how journalism prepared her for fiction [Web only]
The Poetry of Heartbreak
The new collection of Robert Lowell's poems will doubtless stand from now on as The Work
reviewed by Peter Davison
The Difficult Grandeur of Robert Lowell
Writings by and about Robert Lowell offer insight into the life and poetry of a tormented legend [Web only]

Pursuits and Retreats
The can-do spirit and the culture of handbooks
by Cullen Murphy

TRAVELS: The Colfax Riot
The author, pursuing genealogical research, stumbles on a forgotten Reconstruction tragedy, in a forgotten corner of Louisiana
by Richard Rubin

The Puzzler by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon

Word Fugitives by Barbara Wallraff

Cover art by John Ritter.

All material copyright © 2003 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.