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THE ATLANTIC | Volume 293 No. 3 | April 2004
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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April 2004 cover 77 North Washington Street

Letters to the Editor

The Agenda
Clearer Than the Truth  Duplicity in foreign affairs has sometimes served the national interest. But the case of Iraq is different
by Benjamin Schwarz

BRIEF LIVES: Second Coming  Ralph Reed has moved on from doing God's work to doing George W. Bush's
by Joshua Green

The Buffness Deficit  What Iraq needs is a homegrown professional police force. What it has is something else
by Tish Durkin

THE LIST: Ten Tax Scofflaws
by Christopher Shea

POST MORTEM: A Meteoric Disappearance  Jack Paar (1918-2004)
by Mark Steyn

Primary Sources  The kind of body count Americans can tolerate; the aggrieved boyfriend as terrorist; why the "dirty bomb" threat is real; finally—the truth about bullies and their victims

THE NATION IN NUMBERS: ProQuest  On the Money Trail
by Don Peck


The Case Against Perfection
What's wrong with designer children, bionic athletes, and genetic engineering: a prominent political philosopher investigates the false promise of human mastery
by Michael J. Sandel

The Enthusiasts
Deep in the grass roots, our correspondent tries to understand political fervor
by P. J. O'Rourke

John Ashcroft's Permanent Campaign
In the liberal imagination Attorney General John Ashcroft is an authoritarian and a religious zealot, bent on sacrificing liberty to achieve the illusion of safety from terror. But those who see Ashcroft as a zealot are missing Ashcroft the canny politician—a man beholden to both his polls and his God
by Jeffrey Rosen
The Softer Side of Ashcroft: An Interview with Jeffrey Rosen
Jeffrey Rosen argues that it is not social conservatism but a quest for popular approval that drives John Ashcroft's public life [Web only]
A More Perfect Union
Advocates and opponents of same-sex marriage agree on one point: something needs to be done about it on a nationwide basis. But why not consider a different approach?
by Jonathan Rauch

Royal Pain
Further adventures of Rick Renard
A short story by Christopher Buckley


House  A poem by Billy Collins [audio]

Childhood  A poem by Debra Bruce [audio]

The Martha Stewart Trial  A cartoon by Edward Sorel

Seesaws  A poem by Samuel Hazo [audio]

Lunge With Martha  A poem by Jonathan Musgrove [audio]


Books and Critics
New & Noteworthy
The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, by Benny Morris; Fidelity, by Michael Redhill; The Making of the Poets, by Ian Gilmour; Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow
reviewed by Benjamin Schwarz

Nasty, Brutish, and Short
Our author finds Jeffrey Masson's "divertingly amateurish" style likely to broaden the audience for the animal-rights movement in a way that Peter Singer and Matthew Scully never could
by B. R. Myers

Domesticated Goddess
"Dying is an art," said Sylvia Plath. But so is living, and she excelled at both—not that her biographers, with one wise and big-hearted exception, have noticed
by Cristina Nehring

Me and My Moguls
The new book by the media columnist Michael Wolff, a portraitist who has mastered the art of the suck-up putdown
by Eric Alterman

Reactionary Prophet
Edmund Burke understood before anyone else that revolutions devour their young—and turn into their opposites
by Christopher Hitchens

REFLECTIONS: True to His Words
The collected articles and columns of Michael Kelly
by Robert Vare


Pursuits and Retreats
INNOCENT BYSTANDER: Primary Considerations
If the first presidential primary were held in the "most representative" state, which one would that be?
by Cullen Murphy

TRAVELS: The Valley of the King
Beyond a crack in the Afghan mountains lies a lost world, the hunting grounds of King Mohammed Zahir Shah
by Jonathan Ledgard

The Puzzler by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon

Word Court by Barbara Wallraff

Cover art by Marc Yankus.

All material copyright © 2004 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.