A few weeks ago, The Atlantic Monthly opened up 125 years worth of archives on the web for free! That means you can read all past and present Atlantic for free whenever you want!
So, for those new to the Atlantic: Plan on spending a long, Saturday night by yourself, sifting through reams of high quality content on politics, culture, books, international relations, and more. You won’t be disappointed.
In the most recent issue, two articles of note.
James Fallows offers an excellent layman’s explanation of how, exactly, China is “subsidizing America’s way of life.” If you’ve ever scratched your head after reading articles that talk about China sitting on American dollars, read this article.
And Caitlin Flanagan, one of the funniest and wittiest writers alive, looks at the Today show and Katie Couric. It’s a stellar analysis from Couric’s start at Today to her disasterous run so far on the evening news. Here are two grafs:
The Today show creates a bond with its overwhelmingly female viewers because so many of them watch it, as I did, during one of the most psychologically complex and lonely—and most emotionally fulfilling—times of their lives: their tenure as mothers to small children. Indeed, one reason the show is so successful and profitable is that long ago its producers realized that American households follow a rhythm: early in the morning, there is a great bustling of activity as the working members of families propel themselves out of the cocoon and into the cold world of commerce and adult preoccupation, and then there is a quiet settling down, once the cars have backed out of the driveways and the neighborhoods have been drained of their breadwinners. This is a delicate moment for any mother who spends her days home with children: on the one hand, the number of household residents who feel they own a piece of her has just diminished; on the other hand, she’s been left behind with the babies and the pets.
It is into this emotional void that the Today show’s second hour comes to the rescue, trumpets blaring: out go the first hour’s reports on war and politics and economic trends, and in come pieces on family and shopping and decorating. “The men are gone,” the show seems to tell us. “Now we can talk about the things we love”: the exact way to sneak vegetables into the diet of a finicky toddler, the trick to putting aside a little money for a family treat, the essential components of a first-aid kit for the car—all the minutiae of running a household, presented without irony or scorn by hugely compensated media celebrities. It is the loneliness of at-home motherhood—the loneliness for other adults, for the adult way of life, for the work clothes and schedules and employment itself—that makes the hosts of the Today show crucial.