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THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY | Volume 292 No. 5 | December 2003
Articles with headlines in gray are unavailable online at the request of the author.

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December 2003 cover Letters to the Editor

The Agenda
The Forgotten Millions  Communism is the deadliest fantasy in human history (but does anyone care?)
by Jonathan Rauch

A Stepford for Our Times  To work as social satire today, a remake of The Stepford Wives should be as much about perfecting children as about perfecting wives
by Margaret Talbot

BRIEF LIVES: Abizaid of Arabia  General John Abizaid has driven big changes in the American military. Now, as he commands U.S. forces in the Middle East, his ideas are being put to the test
by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

POST MORTEM: The Crucible of Hollywood's Guilt  Elia Kazan (1909-2003)
by Mark Steyn

Primary Sources  The White House's environmental "science"; how to make Iraq more like Kosovo; the dubious constituency of anti-globalization protesters; Kansas versus a pancake (Kansas wins)

by Terrence Henry


Tour of Duty
Senator John F. Kerry often cites his service in Vietnam as a formative element of his character. A new account of his time there—based on interviews with those who knew him well, and on his never-before-published letters home and his voluminous "war notes"—offers the first intimate look at a traumatic and life-altering experience
by Douglas Brinkley
The Thoughtful Soldier: An Interview Douglas Brinkley
Douglas Brinkley, the author of Tour of Duty, on John Kerry's conflicted but heroic service in Vietnam. [Web only]
The Bubble of American Supremacy
A prominent financier argues that the heedless assertion of American power in the world resembles a financial bubble—and the moment of truth may be here
by George Soros

The Backside of War
How I saved Iraq's modern art, and other confessions. A noncombatant's diary
by P. J. O'Rourke
Man on the Street: An Interview With P. J. O'Rourke
P. J. O'Rourke on Iraq, Michael Kelly, and taking a country's measure by just "hanging out." [Web only]
How to Kill a Country
Turning a breadbasket into a basket case in ten easy steps—the Robert Mugabe way
by Samantha Power
Life in Mugabe-Ville: An Interview With Samantha Power
Samantha Power describes Zimbabwe's descent into chaos. [Web only]
Scrutiny on the Bounty
Captain Bligh's secret logbook
by Christopher Buckley


Literary Lives  Lillian Hellman
A drawing by Edward Sorel

The Apparition  A poem by Maxine Kumin [audio]

Childlight  A poetry anthology
Children, Singing  A poem by Sydney Lea [audio]
Municipal Playground  A poem by J. Allyn Rosser [audio]
Hailstorm  A poem by Kay Ryan [audio]

Books and Critics
New & Noteworthy
The Gay Talese Reader, introduction by Barbara Lounsberry; The Life You Save May Be Your Own, by Paul Elie; Brick Lane, by Monica Ali; The Constant Circle, by Sara Mayfield; Theology in America, by E. Brooks Holifield; Chicago's Famous Buildings, Fifth Edition, by Franz Schulze and Kevin Harrington
reviewed by Benjamin Schwarz

The Supreme American Novelist
A tribute to Saul Bellow, fifty years after he published one of the great novels of all time
by Martin Amis

Second Puberty
The later years of W. B. Yeats brought his best poetry, along with personal melodrama on an epic scale
reviewed by Christopher Cahill

Pictures From an Inquisition
The work of the writer Victor Serge faultlessly captures the labyrinth of bureaucratic incrimination into which the Soviet Union descended
reviewed by Christopher Hitchens

Burgher Deluxe
Trading Up, by Michael J. Silverstein and Neil Fiske; and Living It Up, by James B. Twitchell
reviewed by Sandra Tsing Loh

Other Reviews:
Old School, by Tobias Wolff, reviewed by Thomas Mallon; The Towers of Trebizond, by Rose Macaulay, reviewed by Brooke Allen; Jenny and the Cat Club, by Esther Averill, reviewed by Christina Schwarz
The Writing Obsession: An Interview With Tobias Wolff
Tobias Wolff on his new novel, Old School, an examination of literary ambition gone awry. [Web only]
The Lonely Passion
The Between Boyfriends Book, by Cindy Chupack
reviewed by Caitlin Flanagan


Pursuits and Retreats
When our standards don't live up to our standards
by Cullen Murphy

TRAVELS: The Holy Mountain
Intimations of the geopolitical future in a place where time stands still
by Robert D. Kaplan

FOOD: Pride of Place
Oregon's artisan Pinot Noir growers are the garagistes of the Pacific Northwest
by Corby Kummer

FICTION: The Red Carpet
A short story by Lavanya Sankaran

The Puzzler by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon

Word Fugitives by Barbara Wallraff

Cover photograph by Michael Medeiros.

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