A pair of terrific covers landed in my mailbox recently.
The first was from Drew Magazine, the dependably fine magazine from Drew University in New Jersey:
You can’t tell from the digital facsimile, but the cover text is reverse embossed silver foil. The cover story is about the school’s most recent campaign, written as a narrative of an urgent and successful—yeah, yeah, spoiler—push to reverse a decline in the participation rate. Editor Renée Olsen followed with five short profiles of contributors. Then comes a 50-page honor roll of donors. Publishing campaign honor rolls is not an editorial practice that I endorse, but sometimes an editor’s gotta do what an editor’s gotta do.
The second cover was from Tufts Magazine:
The cover story is “Up in Arms,” a fascinating piece by Colin Woodard about how the current contention regarding gun laws derives from how North America was settled. When I first glanced at the magazine, I loved the cover but was not enthused about another gun control story, because I’ve grown sick of American society’s appalling inability to even conduct the conversation. But I started in on the story anyway, and I’m glad I did. Woodard, a Tufts alum, is the author of American Nations: A History of the Eleven Regional Cultures of North America (Penguin 2012), and this story is drawn from that work. His thesis is that the United States can be divided into 11 regions with distinct dominant cultures, and each region has a different attitude toward violence and gun culture, derived in part from who settled there. Woodard first summarizes the settlement and cultural characteristics of each of his 11 sub-nations, then discusses the correlations between patterns of violence and those delineations. He also explores the regional attitudes towards gun laws, self-defense laws, and capital punishment. It’s a fascinating piece.