Today, Other Magazines reads through the Economist, the New York Times Magazine, and Time to find out what’s worth your time today—and what’s not.
Must Read The New York Times Magazine’s cover story profiles Mike Huckabee, who, despite a recent surge, is still a long shot at best, primarily because “he doesn’t have many troops in New Hampshire” or “the money to campaign simultaneously in more than 20 states for Super Tuesday.” Perhaps the No. 1 reason to read the piece is the firestorm that erupted after Huckabee’s musings about Mitt Romney and Mormonism—“Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?” he asks—hit the blogosphere this week— J.L.
The Economist insightfully chronicles the decline of Hillary Clinton’s “inevitability,” digging up this cringe-inducing gem from civil rights “giant” and Clinton endorser Andrew Young: “Bill [Clinton] is every bit as black as Barack—he’s probably gone with more black women than Barack.”—J.M.
Best Campaign Catch-Up
Time’s cover story provides a neat summary of the wobbly state of the Republican primary, noting that “Republicans have no experience with chaos like this, except in history books.”—M.S.
Best War on Terror Piece
A pair of articles in the Economist assesses jihadi “re-education” programs in Indonesia and the Middle East. The programs co-opt former extremists to renounce their old views and seeks to influence others by providing a “more credible” message of moderation. However, many worry about the dangers of endorsing former terrorists.—J.M.
Best New Angle to Israeli/Palestinian Conflict
Time recounts the woes of the sole Palestinian soft-drink bottler, who can no longer distribute his goods because of Israeli blockades. The strangest detail to emerge from the piece is the apparently “often-repeated” slogan in the Middle East that “Coke is for Jews, Pepsi is for Arabs.”—M.S.
Best Foreign-Politics Analysis
The Economist’s excellent piece on the “decline of the abstract noun” in French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s speeches takes a lighthearted view of French political philosophy. Contrasting Sarkozy’s emphasis on verbiage with traditional French “conceptualism,” the article deftly explains just how “new” Sarkozy is.—J.M.
Best Personal Essay
The New York Times Magazine has a great essay on organ donation by a woman who needed a kidney transplant. Desperate, she goes on a Web site called MatchingDonors.com, only to have her most promising lead back out. She argues that we have to seriously consider the idea of paying organ donors—a practice that’s currently illegal.—J.L.
Worst Science Piece
The Economist’s article about the impact of environment and culture on human evolution is billed as a discussion of the “awkward questions about the concept of ‘race.’ ” Instead, it descends into technical jargon about the theory, while only giving the “awkward questions” a passing mention.—J.M.