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Afternoon Reading Assignment

[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner]

The great Tim Noah, who is napping on a beach finishing his book, has an excellent regular feature on this eponymous blog called Morning (or Afternoon) Reading Assignment, where he recommends articles or reports to readers.

This is slightly off-topic, but I want to recommend to people not a new article but a new (or rather relaunched) magazine. It's called The Caravan: A Journal of Politics and Culture. After being discontinued almost 25 years ago (it was established in 1940), Caravan came back with a vengeance last year. It is based in India, and most of its coverage concerns Indian politics and culture, although it also features a lot of articles about South Asia. For those with an interest in India, it has become an absolute must-read (the magazine comes out monthly). It's analysis of Indian politics is essential, and its arts coverage is robust.

Even those who are not particularly fascinated by the subcontinent owe it to themselves to check out the magazine's website. Over the past several months, the magazine has produced some of the best pieces of narrative journalism that I have read all year. Last month, the magazine's cover story on Manmohan Singh (written by Vinod K Jose), India's prime minister, was not only the single best profile written on the elusive leader, but also one of the better political profiles of the past several years. In a previous issue, Ramachandra Guha, the great Indian historian, penned a fascinating essay about the history of Communism in India. And this month, the magazine has a spectacular piece about Tata Steel, the Indian multinational, and the company's changing (i.e. declining) business standards. It is another brilliantly reported, in-depth story that will interest all readers. And finally, the magazine's literary section continues to be strong (this essay on Alan Hollinghurst was particularly smart).

I think TNR readers will find the magazine worth their time.