Saturday, December 07, 2013
"The Atlantic" and "Harper's" are both iconic magazines that are responsible for promoting the careers of many prominent writers. I have been reading them for years. They also both have a profile of John Kerry in their December issue. David Rohde did a individualist profile of Kerry, lauding him as an "activist" diplomat shaking up the stuffy old foreign policy establishment in "The Atlantic." In "Harper's," Andrew Cockburn rejects this sort on analysis completely and challenges the idea that there is such a thing as foreign policy at all. Kerry comes off as a power hungry but powerless hack who owes his position to back room politics much more than shrewd determination. Cockburn was actually communicating original thoughts and I turned each page with a new morsel of knowledge. Rohde's fluff would have fit nicely after a top ten vacation spot list on Delta's in-flight magazine. Reading the whole thing felt like choking down sugarless oatmeal. With a few notable exceptions, this is a good representation of the current trajectory of each magazine.