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Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    The Atlantic Is Big

    By kyle | January 7, 2011

    The Atlantic magazine, which I would rank second only to The New Yorker among general-interest magazines*, apparently just turned a profit in the fourth quarter — for the first time in decades. Maybe you could argue that the Atlantic is a unique player in the magazine world, but this is good news for journalism in general, I think. And it makes the magazine’s boyish, princely publisher Justin Smith look pretty good. Making a profit publishing a magazine for smart people who like to read in a wobbly economy? Really freaking impressive.
    One small (i.e. huge) quibble: Benjamin Schwarz’s books coverage has been shrinking. The Schwarz-edited back-of-the-book stuff is by far the most essential reading in the magazine, loaded with witty and fresh takes on culture and books by the impossibly well-read Anglophile Schwarz, Christopher Hitchens, my friend Lori Gottlieb, Sandra Tsing Loh and Caitlin Flanagan. In recent issues, the books pages have been emaciated, though. I’ll bet the Atlantic’s readers are more likely to start with the back than the readers of just about any other magazine. How about giving Schwarz some of those profits so he can rebuild the best section?

    Does the New York Review of Books count as a magazine? If so, is it general-interest?

    Topics: Magazines | 5 Comments »

    5 Responses to “The Atlantic Is Big”

    1. JohnFNWayne Says:
      January 7th, 2011 at 8:56 pm

      Hitchens has been sadly absent as of late in the books section, since his review of Tony Blair’s memoir. Given the weight of his various writing endeavors, as well the rather hefty endeavor of saving his own life, something had to give, and unfortunately it looks to be his monthly review in The Atlantic.

    2. Ben Schwarz Says:
      January 7th, 2011 at 9:21 pm

      Thank you very much for the kind words.

    3. Sherlock Says:
      January 8th, 2011 at 11:52 pm

      I remember thinking that Benjamin Schwarz was so respectful of Niall Ferguson’s theories and so patient in picking apart those contradictions that undermine them that, when you read the review, you never feel as though something’s been left out and thus that the fight was fixed. Schwarz, in fact, fights with one hand tied, leaving out all the obvious points about British policy in the Low Countries since 1583, or about forced labour in Poland, Belgium and France.

    4. Kyle Says:
      January 9th, 2011 at 10:30 am

      One of my favorite Schwarz pieces is his review of David Kynaston’s Austerity Britain, which simultaneously makes you want to buy the book (as I did) but also gives you plenty of the flavor of the book in itself if you can’t make time for an 800-pager.

    5. svanrensler Says:
      January 10th, 2011 at 5:42 pm

      Aren’t these the people who printed deliberately distorted photos of John McCain on the cover? The “good news for journalism” is not all that good.