A while ago my wife and I got a subscription to The Atlantic Montly, either as a gift, or when Civilization fell. ( Civilization was a magazine published by the Smithsonian. Not too many of you will remember, because it folded several years ago.)

I regularly find a couple interesting things in each issue of The Atlantic Montly, but the current issue is a must read. Caitlin Flanagan’s long essay on “the nanny wars,” and how the rebirth of domestic labor saved the women’s movement; Keith Gessen’s hilarious piece on how the morticians who preserved Lenin have gone into business for themselves; Bruce Ackerman and David Fontana’s short article on Thomas Jefferson’s peculiar behavior during the counting of ballots for the 1800 election– it’s what people thought The New Yorker was before Tina Brown got to it.

Strangely, though, the book reviews aren’t that compelling this month. And I’m not just saying that because, long ago in the mists of time, I published one.

[To the tune of Henryk Gorecki, “I. Lento – Sostenuto Tranquillo Ma Cantabile,” from the album Symphony No. 3.]