September/October 2009 Issue

Fiji: Spin the Bottle

Obama sips it. Paris Hilton loves it. Mary J. Blige won’t sing without it. How did a plastic water bottle, imported from a military dictatorship thousands of miles away, become the epitome of cool?

  • Hot Water
  • Celebrities sighted with Fiji Water bottles.
  • H2Uh-Oh
  • From Arrowhead to Volvic, Fiji’s not the only bottled water with a PR challenge.

Shock and Audit
Shock and Audit
Cost overruns, missed deadlines, fattened contractors, $296 billion wasted and counting: We dissect the latest defense budget so you don’t have to.
Still the Chosen One?
Still the Chosen One?
How a rift in the pro-Israel lobby—and a president determined to reform Middle East policy—could hobble the mighty AIPAC.
The Spy Who Loved Hamas
The Spy Who Loved Hamas
When Western politicians want to talk to Hamas and Hezbollah on the down-low, Alastair Crooke can make it happen. But whom is the British ex-superspy really working for?
The Sheikh Down
The Sheikh Down
The shady side of the Sunni Awakening: how the Pentagon uses billions of your tax dollars to pay off local strongmen to keep the peace in Iraq.
End of the Line
End of the Line
Used to be you could make a living working a factory job in Janesville, Wisconsin. Then GM went bust. Now the town is left to pick up the pieces.

Enter Stage Right
Enter Stage Right
GOP powerhouse Rep. Darrell Issa is taking a page right out of Henry Waxman’s playbook. Watch out, Obama.

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.



The Encyclopedia Brown of Watergate; 300 years into the memory hole; vintage ads speak louder than words; the nonprofit that loves payday lenders; algae-fuel companies’ false promise; high school military recruitment goes digital; the Army’s arsenal of shooter games

MoJo Mini College Guide


  • Out of Service
  • Government contractors outnumber civil servants 4-to-1 and control 70 percent of the intelligence budget. Can Obama stop the brain drain?

Media Jones

Lauren Sandler on the hue and cry over little girls’ passion for pink; plus music (Vivian Girls, Wheedle’s Groove, The Waitiki 7), books (Why Cant U Teach Me 2 Read?, A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge, A Paradise Built in Hell), and film (The Cove, Throw Down Your Heart) reviews.

MoJo Interview

  • Welcome to the Jungle
  • Filmmaker Joe Berlinger on his 16 years following the West Memphis Three, his Apocalypse Now moment, and Metallica’s existential crisis

Practical Values

Cover illustration by Henk Dawson