New Yorker on gripping, good books

October 17, 2016

So, you saw the cover to the October 17, 2016 New Yorker?

Poignant commentary on good books.

Cover of New Yorker, October 17, 2016. “The Finish Line,” by R. Kikuo Johnson.

Cover of New Yorker, October 17, 2016. “The Finish Line,” by R. Kikuo Johnson.

It was the fall book edition, after all.

I miss the good old days, when I subscribed to The New Yorker at full price for $6.00 a year. Helped me enormously in college and graduate school, and introduced me to John McPhee’s writing.

Good books are really that good. Haven’t read one like that lately? Pick up another, keep trying until you get one that good.

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Businessweek’s great covers – “Don’t play chicken with the debt ceiling”

May 21, 2011

BusinessWeek cover, April 18-24, 2011 - Don't play chicken with debt ceiling

BusinessWeek cover, April 18-24, 2011 - Don't play chicken with debt ceiling; chicken image by Jan Hamus/Alamy

Not every one of the Bloomberg Businessweek covers has been a hit, but a lot of them are — vastly more entertaining since Bloomberg took over the old workhorse magazine.

This one packs a political punch along with visual excitement.

And it’s right.  Do any Republicans pay attention to the finance and business worlds anymore?

Articles inside are informative, too — see Peter Coy’s article, and  did you see the article on the debt ceiling issue and the views of past Treasury secretaries?

Hey!  Republicans!  Stop playing chicken with the nation’s credit, will you?

Graphic - dangerous game on debt ceiling -- Businessweek

Businessweek graphic from April 18-24, 2011 issue - click for larger view at Businessweek site; chicken image by Jan Hamus/Alamy


Great cartoons: The Economist

April 26, 2009

Best, wisest and most cynical cartoon of the week, on the cover of the current North American edition of The Economist:

Cover, The Economist, North American edition, April 25-May 1, 2009

Cover, The Economist, North American edition, April 25-May 1, 2009; illustration by Jon Berkeley

For a week at least, you can get the story behind the cover for free, here.

THE rays are diffuse, but the specks of light are unmistakable. Share prices are up sharply. Even after slipping early this week, two-thirds of the 42 stockmarkets that The Economist tracks have risen in the past six weeks by more than 20%. Different economic indicators from different parts of the world have brightened. China’s economy is picking up. The slump in global manufacturing seems to be easing. Property markets in America and Britain are showing signs of life, as mortgage rates fall and homes become more affordable. Confidence is growing. A widely tracked index of investor sentiment in Germany has turned positive for the first time in almost two years.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

But, welcome as it is, optimism contains two traps, one obvious, the other more subtle. The obvious trap is that confidence proves misplaced—that the glimmers of hope are misinterpreted as the beginnings of a strong recovery when all they really show is that the rate of decline is slowing. The subtler trap, particularly for politicians, is that confidence and better news create ruinous complacency. Optimism is one thing, but hubris that the world economy is returning to normal could hinder recovery and block policies to protect against a further plunge into the depths.

The cover almost says it all, doesn’t it?  Week in and week out, The Economist has great covers, a phase of newsstand-oriented journalism that I hope never goes away, regardless the medium.


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