The Atlantic: Speechwriting, Rove, Quirkiness

The Atlantic is my favorite media brand. I say brand because they’re much more than a monthly ideas magazine. They have the best web site of its peer group (web-only content, interactive articles, etc), some of the most interesting writers blogging under its masthead (Jim Fallows, Andrew Sullivan, Ross Douthat), they produce the annual Ideas Festival, and much more. Here’s a recent Washington Post piece about their intense hunt for the top talent.

The September 2007 issue is outstanding. Links below are for subscribers only.

Matthew Scully, former speechwriter for President Bush, has a delicious tell-all piece about Michael Gerson‘s role in crafting Bush’s speeches. It’s apparently stirred quite the chatter in Washington. I’ve always been interested in the speechwriting world, and Scully’s first-person piece gives interesting insight into how it all works — and sometimes doesn’t.

Joshua Green has a terrific analysis and prediction of Karl Rove’s legacy. In a word: he had a huge opportunity to re-make American politics, and he failed.

Michael Hirschorn writes a piece on "quirk" in culture:

We’re drowning in quirk. It is the ruling sensibility of today’s Gen-X indie culture, defined territorially by the gentle ministrations of public radio’s This American Life; the strenuously odd (and now canceled) TV sitcom Arrested Development; the movies of Wes Anderson; Dave Eggers’s McSweeney’s Web site; the performance art, music, and writing of Miranda July; and the just-too-wacky-to-be-fully-believable memoirs of Augusten Burroughs.

Given that everybody and their kid brother seems to profess their deep love of "This American Life", it’s refreshing to hear someone complain about the show’s "unbearable lightness". I actually haven’t heard it much, but I’m all for the lone voice.

So…do you subscribe to The Atlantic? Do you read Atlantic bloggers? It’s some of the highest quality brain food around.

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