A Few Small Repairs

With Bush slipping in the polls, his message shop--led by Karen Hughes--tries to remake his image. Inside Dubya's failure to communicate

Pleading Guilty

A writer confesses to libeling Anita Hill--and reopens the Thomas hearings

DJ Craze (America's Best / DJ)

With sharp ears, fleet fingers and constant invention, he is turning the sampling of old records into a new art form

America's Best (America's Best)

Not just good. Not just very good. Who is A-No. 1, top of the heap in entertainment and the arts? We say these are. And here are the reasons

Novelist: Philip Roth (America's Best / Novelist)

He has delighted and infuriated readers for four decades. And as his recent novels show, he's still in command

Artist: Martin Puryear (America's Best / Artist)

A master of both modernism and traditional crafts, he creates sculptures that are a synthesis of beauty but free of cliche

Fashion Designer: Tom Ford (America's Best / Fashion Designer)

An American in Paris--and London--and with creations all over the world, he has put the frisson back in Gucci and is extending his reign with Yves Saint Laurent

Talk Show Host: Jon Stewart (America's Best / Talk Show Host)

With smart talk, shrewd insights and sly wit, he is making the evening news a daily habit again

Comedian: Chris Rock (America's Best / Comedian)

Even when cracking jokes that make us cringe, he shows us that laughter can be the best revenge

Odd Jobs (America's Best / Odd Jobs)

Performances on the periphery, making art (or something) where you least expect it

America's Best Clown: Bello (America's Best / America's Best Clown)

His dazzling stunts, goofy gags and big-top hairdo have made the circus a great show again

Hilary Hahn (America's Best / Young Classical Musician)

Masterly onstage and a webmaster on the Net, she's a virtuoso with a 21st century sensibility

Steven Holl (America's Best / Architect)

His designs offer a new, luminous model for buildings that satisfy the spirit as well as the eye

Ira Glass (America's Best / Radio Host)

He has retuned radio with old-fashioned storytelling

Photographer: Sally Mann (America's Best / Photographer)

In both family scenes and rural landscapes, she views the world with singularly naked candor

Sleater-Kinney (America's Best / Rock Band)

In an era of prefabricated pop, this group plays music that's totally unpredictable and defiantly uncompromising

The Roots (America's Best / Rappers)

Old-school players who actually play instruments, they're leading the way for a more musical style of hip-hop

Cassandra Wilson (America's Best / Singer)

Soulful, sensual and lyrical, she's carrying on the tradition of great jazz vocalists

Songwriter: Lucinda Williams (America's Best / Songwriter)

Wasting few words and sparing no pain, she has composed an extraordinary songbook about the rituals of loving, losing and keeping the faith

Movie Star: Julia Roberts (America's Best / Movie Star)

Great looks, box-office clout, Oscar-certified talent and a tempestuous love life make her the reigning Queen of Hollywood

Film Director: Ang Lee (America's Best / Film Director)

Born in Taiwan, trained in the U.S., filming everywhere--making movies that speak a universal language

David Chase (America's Best / TV Producer)

Showing that even hit men can be human, he brings humanity to the screen

Sean Penn (America's Best / Actor)

Conflicted about his craft, eclectic in his roles and brilliant in his performances, he is a worthy heir to Brando and Dean

Broadway Director: Susan Stroman (America's Best / Broadway Director)

From the high lifts in Contact to the pratfalls in The Producers, she puts the joy back in musicals

Playwright: August Wilson (America's Best / Playwright)

His poetic plays about African-American life offer plainspoken truths that transcend race


Long Walk To Justice

As Serbia lobbies for aid, Slobodan Milosevic is taken to the war-crimes tribunal in the Hague

Incident in Okinawa

As Bush and Koizumi meet, an alleged rape muddies relations between Tokyo and Washington


The Thrill Of The Grill (Living)

It may be the new car. Cooking outdoors is about looks, power and--oh, yes--taste

Episcopal Turf War

Conservative rebels have drawn archbishops from Africa and Asia into a suddenly less civil discourse




Cyber Payback

The high court upholds freelancers' online rights


Finally, Help With Your 401(k) (Personal Time / Money In Motion)

With $1.7 trillion at stake, lawmakers and Wall Street are pushing aside regulators to give you real advice

Failing Grade For Breast Exams? (Personal Time / Your Health)

A controversial study of the popular cancer-screening test suggests that it may do more harm than good