Popular magazines collection
Fence sitters and peacemakers
Is Al Qaeda winning the online battle for hearts and minds? Jihadists promote their cause via YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, message boards, and, since 2010, a Web-based, English-language magazine called Inspire. In 2011, an American drone strike in Yemen killed Inspire’s editor, but a new one took over and the magazine continues to appear. Though articles tend toward the turgid, the graphics are sometimes eye catching, and chillingly so. One issue includes a full-page photo of a man in a dark suit riding an escalator; behind him, a would-be assassin draws his gun.
Garden ornaments for hire
For upper-crust Britons of the 18th century, the garden was an especial point of pride. Amid the greenery, some landscape designers placed faux ruins of medieval structures. Others went in for more elaborate ornamentation: life-size rustic hermitages, inhabited by live, rustic hermits. Gordon Campbell, a professor of Renaissance studies at the University of Leicester, chronicles the fad in The Hermit in the Garden (Oxford Univ. Press). A visitor strolling the grounds of Sir Richard Hill’s Hawkstone Park, near Shrewsbury, would come upon a “well-designed little cottage,” according to a 1784 account.
Born in 1810, the pioneering feminist Margaret Fuller broke one glass ceiling after another. In 1837, she was the first woman admitted to the circle of the New England Transcendentalists, which included Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. In 1840, she was the first woman to edit a highbrow American journal, The Dial. In 1843, she was the first woman granted permission to use the Harvard College library. And in 1844, she was the first woman to join the newsroom of The New-York Tribune.
There is a booming market for self-improvement guides among Americans eager to redeem themselves from the sins of sloth, gluttony, or general discontent. But what qualifies one person to tell another how best to live?
BY SARAH L. COURTEAU
Who drew up this blueprint? Women make up 70 percent of self-help gurus’ clientele — here’s hoping the happiness architects know what they’re doing.
SEVERAL YEARS AGO, I WAS LIVING in Washington with one of my brothers, who had come to stay with me while he pulled himself out of a rough patch.
THE SOURCE: “America’s Missing Moderates” by Morris P. Fiorina, in The American Interest, March/April 2013.
PITY THE STATE OF AMERICAN POLITICS. HALF the voters pull the country in one direction, and the other half stubbornly yank it the opposite way. Everybody seems to be screaming, not so much at each other as past each other. The United States is divided down the middle, the pundits say.
It isn’t. In terms of party affiliation, ideology, and even positions on particular hot-button issues, the American electorate has hardly changed at all in a generation.