The Weekly Standard: A Reader: 1995-2005

William Kristol, Editor
William Kristol, Editor HarperCollins Publishers $27.95 (538p) ISBN 978-0-06-085274-0
Paperback - 538 pages - 978-0-06-088285-3
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""Magazine journalism is a perishable medium,"" writes Weekly Standard editor William Kristol in this anniversary anthology of the right-leaning magazine's writings, and ""political and social commentary is the most perishable magazine journalism of all."" Though the events framed within this retrospective-from the death of Dorothy Lamour to the war in Iraq-were hot for a moment (or, in some cases, much longer), they remain pertinent pieces of history, even after the public consciousness moves on to the next big thing. During its first decade in print, the magazine has featured the work of conservative luminaries and pundits such as PJ O'Rourke, who, with his acerbic pen, skewered then-first lady Hillary Clinton's book It Takes a Village, which, he noted, offered advice on how to entertain children with a sock puppet. Yet among John Podhoretz's lamenting the death of Broadway and Tucker Carlson's gleeful recollections of forged letters past, there are pieces that will be seen as eerily prophetic. In his April 2003 piece, ""Liberating Iraq,"" Stephen Hayes writes of Saddam Hussein's overthrow at a time when optimism over that country's fate was still palpable. Yet, his observations telegraph problems to come. ""Many Iraqis here...seemed to be fighting their own emotions, lurching unpredictably from gratitude to desperation to apprehension."" Even more striking is Reuel Marc Gerecht's prescient July 2001 piece on the lack of American urgency in the face of an Al Qaeda threat. Ideology and politics aside, it remains astonishing to review what the last ten years has wrought, and Kristol's ambitious venture has captured them with humor, sobriety and intelligence.
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