The Press: Making Culture Pay

The institutional title—Smithsonian —suggests a museum guide heavy on diagrams and dry prose. In fact, the magazine is as muscular and attractive as the bare-chested young blacksmith who posed for a recent cover picture. He symbolized one faction in a New England town embroiled in a fight over a polluted lake. This month's cover photo is a stark snow scene; the story tells of winter life in Siberia. Inside, other striking color pictures illustrate a variety of lively stories that explore everything from contemporary culture ("Cross-country with Shakespeare") to offbeat Americana (Tom Thumb's...

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