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THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY | Volume 292 No. 4 | November 2003
Articles below with headlines preceded by the ProQuest logo—ProQuest—are available in the print edition or for online purchase in our premium archive. Articles with headlines in gray are unavailable online at the request of the author.

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November 2003 cover Letters to the Editor

The Agenda
Odious Rulers, Odious Debts  Should the people of Iraq be forced to pay back money borrowed by Saddam? A Nobel laureate makes an urgent case for forgiveness
by Joseph Stiglitz

BRIEF LIVES: Defender of the Faith  Why all Anglican eyes in London are nervously fixed on a powerful African archbishop
by Philip Jenkins

POST MORTEM: Bright Young Thing With a Blind Spot  Diana Mosley (1910-2003)
by Mark Steyn

Primary Sources  George Bush's new report card for government agencies; the odds of terrorist attack in the coming year; why marriage and high achievement don't mix—for men

THE WORLD IN NUMBERS: ProQuest  Murder by the State
by Bruce Falconer


Columbia's Last Flight
The inside story of the investigation—and the catastrophe it laid bare
by William Langewiesche
The Structure of an Accident
William Langewiesche discusses the fundamental problems within NASA that led to the space shuttle's demise [Web only]
Close-Up: Young Rumsfeld
The Donald Rumsfeld of thirty years ago was a lot like the man we know today—a divisive figure who relishes bureaucratic combat, aims to shake up the established order, and is tenaciously committed to his own ideas and ambitions. But he was also a social moderate and a dove
by James Mann
Rumsfeld's Roots
James Mann talks about the political evolution and influences of Donald Rumsfeld [Web only]
The Atlantic College-Admissions Survey
"Calm down!" the deans and counselors say. Herewith our first annual exploration of the American college-admissions system

The New College Chaos  by James Fallows
The Late-Decision Program  by V. V. Ganeshananthan
What Makes a College Good?  by Nicholas Confessore
The Selectivity Illusion  by Don Peck
The Bias Question  by Jay Mathews
Flashback: The Old College Try
Who gets in, and why? Atlantic articles from 1892 to the present consider the art, the science, and the gamesmanship of college admissions [Web only]

Natural Settings
Pilgrim's Progress  A poem by David Barber [audio]
Journey  A poem by Erica Funkhouser [audio]

Books and Critics
New & Noteworthy
A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow, by David L. Chappell; Madam Secretary, by Madeleine Albright; Goethe, Volume II, by Nicholas Boyle; The Scofield Study Bible, King James Version; The Afterlife, by Penelope Fitzgerald; Governor Reagan, by Lou Cannon
reviewed by Benjamin Schwarz

American Radical
Mark Twain developed an enormous and subversive personality—but Fred Kaplan's new biography illumines it only in flickers
by Christopher Hitchens

Let's Call the Whole Thing Off
"Because the contemporary white wedding is an event staged by a dozen subcontractors," our author writes, reviewing a new how-to guide for backing out of an engagement, "the book includes ample advice about breaking the bad news to one's various vendors and possibly leveraging a broken heart into a refunded deposit"
by Caitlin Flanagan
'Til Death Do Us Part?
Atlantic articles throughout the twentieth century show how society has reshaped and refined our hopes for happily ever after. [Web only]
Princess of Discrimination
Shirley Hazzard's masterly descriptions and expertly drawn characters are in full evidence in The Great Fire—her first novel in more than twenty years
reviewed by Thomas Mallon

Collected Artistry
The Early Stories 1953-1975, by John Updike
reviewed by Scott Shibuya Brown

The Story of a War
The Iraq War: A Military History, by Williamson Murray and Major General Robert H. Scales Jr.
reviewed by Robert D. Kaplan

Fabulous Forgeries
My Life as a Fake, by Peter Carey
reviewed by Michael Gorra
A Living, Breathing Hoax
Peter Carey, the author of My Life as a Fake, talks about adding a dramatic new twist to an Australian literary legend. [Web only]
Their Show of Shows
Everything Was Possible: The Birth of the Musical Follies, by Ted Chapin
reviewed by Corby Kummer


Pursuits and Retreats
INNOCENT BYSTANDER: The Path of Brighteousness
The annals of semantic substitution—in which a name change is proposed for an entire group of people, and everyone goes along—are not voluminous. Undaunted, some atheists are now giving it a try, calling themselves "brights"
by Cullen Murphy

FICTION: Yao's Chick
A short story by Max Apple

The Puzzler by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon

Word Court by Barbara Wallraff

Cover photograph: television image of Columbia liftoff, January 16, 2003 (AP Photo/NASA TV).

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