Friday, July 30, 2010

This is a good -- but wholly American -- list of the best magazine articles ever

Much excitement in the Twitterverse about a list of what are said to be the "Best magazine articles ever (in English)", compiled by the website Cool Tools.  The list contains 27 articles from The New Yorker over the years, 17 from Esquire, 9 from Harper's, 8 from The Atlantic Monthly and 8 from Wired and ones and twos from more than a dozen other magazines. Nothing very surprising; these are all excellent magazines that publish and have published excellent, largely long-form journalism. I certainly don't quarrel with the top 5, as selected based on how many people cited them. However...
I bow to no one in my admiration for many of these articles which I have read; I am also glad to have links to many that I have not yet read. But I don't think I'm alone in saying that the list is mislabelled: it should have been the "Best American magazine articles". I note that there are no British, no Australian, no New Zealand and no Canadian articles included.
To be fair, the creators of the list invite inclusion of new links. Certainly, we should take them up on it and send in at least the top articles from Canadian magazines as selected by the National Magazine Awards, demonstrating that there is excellent, involving journalism being done outside the U.S.

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