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June 29, 2004

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It's Us Weekly for Us Wonks

Okay, that’s way overstating it, but that seems appropriate for a blog entry written in praise of a magazine that way overstates it.

Foreign Policy, published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is by far the hippest policy mag on the rack. The Atlantic Monthly has more authority; The New Yorker is better-written; Foreign Affairs has, um, larger print. But FP has grafs like this:

American neoconservatives such as Robert Kagan look down upon feminine, Venus-like Europeans, gibing their narcissistic obsession with building a postmodern, bureaucratic paradise. The United States, by contrast, supposedly carries the mantle of masculine Mars, boldly imposing freedom in the world’s nastiest neighborhoods. But by cleverly deploying both its hard power and its sensitive side, the European Union has become more effective — and more attractive — than the United States on the catwalk of diplomatic clout. Meet the real New Europe: the world’s first metrosexual superpower.

(That’s from “The Metrosexual Superpower” by Parag Khanna, which you’ll have to register to read. It’s free.)

FP has such a funny attitude. This is from their writer’s guidelines:

Don’t send us any article or proposal that begins with “Since the end of the Cold War…” or “In the wake of September 11…” Really. Please don’t.

Notable on the website right now: an article on “Iraq’s Excluded Women” (reg. req’d); the metrosexual Europe story; one of FP’s great “Think Again” pieces (they’re like these laser-guided anti-conventional-wisdom missiles) on Al Qaeda; and one of the mag’s indispensable reviews of books in foreign languages (!), this one called “The Nokia Generation Hangs Up,” about success and disillusionment in Finland. You gotta love that!

Feel free to ignore the cover story by Niall Ferguson, author of “Colossus.” As a historian friend put it to me, “Wild claims are what make historians famous.”

But then, it wouldn’t be FP if the claim wasn’t just a little bit wild.

Posted June 29, 2004 at 10:36 | Comments (4) | Permasnark
File under: Journalism


My main problem with FP is that they update their website with about the same frequency that The Wall Street Journal announces re-designs. I mean, I understand the magazine's bi-monthly, but can't they think of one dynamic site element that changes at least once a week or something? If you don't find anything interesting on the front page of The Atlantic, wait around a week and you will. If you don't find anything interesting on the front page of (as happened for me with the May/June issue -- snorefest!), wait two months and maybe you'll get lucky.

Posted by: Matt on June 29, 2004 at 11:41 AM

Clearly they need to hire some young, hip bloggers to run a front-page linkfest, updated daily.


Posted by: Robin on June 29, 2004 at 11:58 AM

That is just superb prose! I almost spat coffee out my nose when I read it.

What? They update the site almost daily.

Posted by: roman on July 7, 2004 at 11:14 AM
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