In this week’s New Yorker

March 28, 2012

Hilton Als lets us know that he loves Jesus, the same way Patti Smith does, but boy, does he not love Des McAnuff’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway.

Rebecca Mead provides a coolly factual portrait of Christine Quinn, who may well be the next mayor of New York City.

David Sedaris writes a Personal History essay about his favorable experience with socialized medicine (specifically his dentist) in France, in contrast to current American preconceptions: “One thing that puzzled me during the American health-care debate was all the talk about socialized medicine and how ineffective it’s supposed to be. The Canadian plan was likened to genocide, but even worse were the ones in Europe, where patients languished on filthy cots, waiting for aspirin to be invented.”

But the highlight of the issue by far is “The Transition,” an excerpt from the great Lyndon B. Johnson biographer Robert A. Caro’s next volume microscopically detailing the events of the morning of November 22, 1963. Even though the outline of that infamous day in American history is known to one and all, not so well-known aspects to the story are:  the brewing financial scandal LBJ was facing (quickly squashed when he became president), exactly how miserably he hated being Vice President, what happened inside the cars in the presidential motorcade in Dallas, how delicately thoughtful and solicitous LBJ was of Jackie Kennedy, and all the logistical details that led up to his being sworn in after the assassination. A must-read.

Then there’s the cover by George Booth, titled “Rite of Spring.” As Andy noted, what the hell are we supposed to think is going on here?

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