The 20 Best Magazines of the Decade (2000-2009)

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10. Good (2006-present)


The youngest magazine on this list was started with the simple idea that some people actually do give a damn. All proceeds from its subscription goes to charities, and the magazine has raised over $800,000 so far. But rather than just being benevolent, its design, originality and writing make it actually good. Josh Jackson

9. The Week (1995-present)


First published in the UK, The Week launched a US edition in 2001. Rather than trying to report without bias or spin, the magazine rounds up a variety of news sources to offer multiple points of view. Its format may be by the numbers, but navigating complex issues has never been easier. Josh Jackson

8. The Economist (1843-present)


The Economist is an intelligent and opinionated weekly examining news, politics, business, science and even the arts. They don't just chronicle events; they apply their neo-liberal philosophy (pro- free markets, globalization, open borders, and government spending on stimulus, health and education) in articles (mostly without byline) that take a definite stance in the interest of progress. You can count on them for lively and comprehensive editorial spanning the globe. It's no wonder the magazine has remained as one of the few bright stars in the publishing industry, with the trifecta of editorial vitality, growing readership and healthy advertising. Tim Regan-Porter

7. The Atlantic (1857-present)


The Atlantic underwent a major redesign this decade, but it could be printed on paper towels in ComciSans for all we care, as long as it continues to offer some of the most well-reasoned analysis in all of print media. Surely the magazine's latest batch of writers have been doing their legendary forebears—Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes—proud. Josh Jackson

6. Oxford American (1989-present)


As we toil away down here in Decatur, Georgia, it's nice to be reminded that all great magazines don't come from New York City. Marc Smirnoff's Oxford American has been through its share of publishing turmoil, but its uniquely Southern voice hasn't wavered once. Josh Jackson

5. The Believer (2003-present)


An arm of the McSweeney's publishing empire, The Believer represents several platonic ideals of the magazine industry: The writing is smart; the book feels great in your hands; the subjects share a particular sensibility but maintain some element of surprise. It's a miracle that, with such a lean staff and so little advertising, the editors can do what they do. Nick Marino

4. New Yorker (1925-present)


We love Talk of the Town, Alex Ross and Sasha-Frere Jones. But more than that we love knowing that whatever feature we read, whether it's about Obama or the freakin' Dog Whisperer, we're not going to want to put it down. Josh Jackson

3. New York (1968-present)


As magazine editors, we collectively bow down to the feet of New York's Adam Moss and the font of creativity he has instilled in this (so much more than a) city mag since taking over in 2004. From David Edelstein's movie reviews to the Approval Matrix, there's plenty for even non-New Yorkers to love. Josh Jackson

2. Esquire (1933-present)


Though I was tempted to pitch a fit in the space of the blurb for Esquire being recognized as anything less than the best magazine in the world, I will do my best to focus on the task at hand. When I think of Esquire, I think of Tom Chiarella's poignant and straight-shooting instructions on how to deliver a eulogy, which made me chuckle despite the lump in my throat ("Don't sing, unless they ask you to. Even then, consider not singing"). I think of Chris Jones' devastating—and National Magazine Award-winning—essay "The Things That Carried Him," which relates the journey of a dead soldier's body from Iraq back to his hometown in Indiana. I think of Tom Junod's towering, exhaustive profiles of Angelina Jolie and Steve Jobs and Arnold Schwarzenegger and so many others. Esquire is the reason I love magazines. I dare you to comb through an entire issue and find a single word between those covers that doesn't leave you reeling with delight or nodding vigorously at the gobsmacking truth sparking like a Texas thunder storm just behind it. Jason Killingsworth

1. Wired (1993-present)


Everything about Wired seems designed to surprise and delight, from its innovative covers to its voracious curiosity about everything under and beyond the sun. More than just a way to keep its readers current with the latest gadget or technological advance, _Wired_ writers are constantly questioning conventional wisdom, offering new perspectives and debunking misconceptions about all that we hold dear. That they can lead the conversation about innovation via paper and ink makes them the decade's most important as well as best magazine. Josh Jackson