June 29, 2004
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.