November/December 2011 Issue

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Special Report

  • Goodbye, Columbus
  • Public servants axed, jobless thirtysomethings living in abandoned homes, crime up, wages down, and tax breaks for the richest. Welcome to Ohio!
  • The New Dealers
  • Laid off and broke, more surburban families are peddling pot to get by.

The Cruelest Show on Earth
The Cruelest Show on Earth
An exclusive Mother Jones investigation finds that bullhooks, whips, and electric shocks are just part of the job for Ringling Bros. circus elephants.
No Child Left Offline
No Child Left Offline
Is Jeb Bush's online-education advocacy a stealth attack on teachers, presidential positioning, a giveaway to private companies—or all of the above?

As a public service, Mother Jones, which is a nonprofit magazine, will release the full contents of this issue online over the next several weeks. If you'd like your Mother Jones sooner—and you want to support independent investigative journalism—please subscribe now.



Living large in the nation's most conservative zip code; Inside the secret Koch donor retreat; To cash in on a predator; "Zombified" nukes; Gingrich ♥s ABBA and other candidate rock trivia; Florida's $2,560 urine test; What Rick Perry gave to nine of his biggest donors

Mixed Media

Hip-hop star Questlove on Jimmy Fallon, Philly's neo-soul scene, and Obama; Jeff Bridges trades in White Russians for country music.; Vera Farmiga gets personal with God.; Salvador Dalí's "penis-shaped pool"; plus book and music reviews


Cover illustration by Tim O'Brien


Mother Jones co-editors Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery wrote our lead essay ("The Job Killers"), while blogger Kevin Drum tackles six economic whoppers in "Rich People Create Jobs!"

Living near California's Emerald Triangle on and off during the past eight years, contributor 1 Tony D'Souza rubbed elbows with players in the interstate marijuana trade, some of whom became the subjects of "The New Dealers" as well as of his recent novel, Mule. The piece was illustrated by 2 William Duke, whose photomontages earned him a gold medal from the Society of Publication Designers.

MoJo human rights reporter Mac McClelland returned to her home state of Ohio to report on America's jobs crisis ("Goodbye, Columbus"); Andrew Spear, who took the photos for Mac's story, is a lifelong Ohioan.

Our investigative feature about circus elephant abuse ("The Cruelest Show on Earth") is by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist 3 Deborah Nelson.

During MoJo intern 4 Aaron Ross' interview with Questlove ("A Guy Called Quest"), a bellboy delivered a goldfish to the drummer's hotel room.

Staff reporter 5 Stephanie Mencimer investigated Jeb Bush's online- education campaign ("No Child Left Offline").

6 Caitlin Kuhwald, who illustrated the story, admits to joining Brownies as a kid solely for the craft supplies.

Tony D'Souza
William Duke Deborah Nelson
Aaron Ross Stephanie Mencimer
Caitlin Kuhwald