A Letter From The Publisher, Nov. 10, 1980

When Associate Editor Roger Rosenblatt was asked to write this week's story on the nation's capital city, he had no trouble at all identifying a central question: Why does America hate Washington? "It has become a byword for the country's problems," says Rosenblatt. "People abuse it, make fun of it, and presidential candidates campaign against it. You ask almost anyone in this country to tell you what's wrong, and he'll say Washington."

The subject was a natural one for Rosenblatt, a onetime Washingtonian who admits to ambivalent feelings about the capital. Before coming to TIME in July,...

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