May/June 2000 Cover Features
Steel Town Lockdown
by Barry Yeoman
No one has profited more from the boom in private prisons than Corrections Corporation of America. The company is substituting shackles for steel in Youngstown, Ohio, importing thousands of violent inmates from out of state. (Sidebar: Interstate Inmates )

The Diddly Awards
by Jack Hitt
The envelope, please. Presenting the First Biennial Diddly Awards, in honor of our Do-Nothing Congress. From Newt on a blanket to Patton in charge, the only loser is democracy.

Libby’s Deadly Grace
by Maryanne Vollers and Andrea Barnett
W.R. Grace & Company knew that asbestos from its Montana mine could harm workers and their families, but kept quiet for decades. Only now is the town learning what caused the epidemic of lung disease that keeps on killing.

Light in Oxford
by Rob Gurwitt
A vibrant independent bookstore anchors the small town at the heart of Faulkner’s Mississippi. Its proprietor, Richard Howarth, has helped Oxford move from riots to renaissance.

Wedded Bliss
Photos by Alex Webb; text by Verlyn Klinkenborg
In what is supposed to be life’s most joyous ceremony, we are all, perhaps, just actors in uncomfortable clothes.

False Forests
by Ted Williams
Timber companies are fast replacing Southern hardwood forests with vast plantations of pine trees that are as carefully tended as cornfields — and as ecologically sterile.

A cry of thanks from Argentina; Nevada’s carpetbaggers; Israel’s sun brings power to the people.

E-commerce invades the classroom; a Caspian pipeline spins the DOE’s revolving door; the EPA’s clean air inaction; slang linguistics; and curbing police abuse in Chicagoland.

New York’s corporate graffiti; pulling the plug on Old Sparky; giving license to pro-lifers in Florida; and off-roading to the prom in a stretch Humvee.

Wide Angle
The end of childhood

Power Plays: TV’s Political Profits
by Paul Taylor
The boob-tube beneficiaries of campaign finance excess — and how to revolutionize elections.

The Commons
by Sue Halpern
When a devout and married Catholic in Vermont reveals that he is gay, the reaction from his church community is anything but charitable.

Media Jones
Rock in the Big House; book, music, and film reviews.
Plus: The Indigo Girls: Think globally, rock locally. An interview with the activists who play music on the side.

The Future of …
Cell phones
Cartoon by Barry Blitt