New York Magazine February 15-28, 2021

In the Apr. 15–28 issue: Olivia Nuzzi on “wonder boy” Pete Buttigieg. Plus: Art & Design, by Wendy Goodman; the half-billion dollar “Leonardo”; Natasha Lyonne, Annette Bening, and more.

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4 Min

1 New York’s latest cover story focused on the millions of women pushed out of the labor force during the pandemic (“All Work, No Pay,” February 1–14). On Instagram, the cover inspired many women to share their own experiences: @brittboozle wrote, “2/24 is my last day. Employers pretending like it’s working because we’ve done it for almost a year doesn’t mean it’s working.” Dabney Ross Jones added, “I’m one. I have sent out so many resumes, I even tried working retail. It did not work out. I am scared I will never have a traditional 9-5 job ever again.” Ellen Santistevan said, “This is the first time in my entire life I’ve had to deal with the unemployment system (and fortunately our state has a well-run system) but it is…

6 Min
the national interest : jonathan chait

IN 1993, BILL CLINTON, young and full of hope, aspired to prod the still sluggish economic recovery to life by passing an economic-stimulus measure. But the Federal Reserve, reported the New York Times, feared Clinton “would embrace too large a stimulus plan of, say, $60 billion.” Clinton’s aides, for their part, feared that if the plan did succeed in accelerating growth, the Fed would simply choke it off by raising interest rates. Even if they could pass it through the Senate (which they couldn’t; even after the House reduced the cost to a trivial $16 billion, Republicans filibustered it), then–Fed chair Alan Greenspan would just shoot dead whatever staggered through Congress. Last week, Jerome Powell gave a speech on the labor market. The current Fed chair implicitly approved President Biden’s $1.9…

6 Min
jeffrey wernick

IN THE SUMMER OF 2019, Jeffrey Wernick, then a 63-year-old investor and self-described anarcho-capitalist, was living above a hotel in midtown Manhattan and hosting regular lunches at Freds at Barneys, where he’d extol bitcoin and rue the sunset of free speech in America. It was at one of these gatherings that he got to talking with John Matze, 26, the libertarian who had recently founded Parler—a Twitter alternative for conservatives fed up with what they considered to be the suppressive policies of mainstream social media. Wernick doesn’t particularly like social media (“It’s antisocial,” he told me), but he appreciated Parler’s purity: The platform showed posts in simple chronological order with rather laissez-faire content moderation. A few months after the encounter, Wernick invested in the start-up and became a strategic adviser. “I thought…

2 Min
the group portrait: publishing’s new power club

BY THE TIME THAT America’s reckoning on race reached a fever pitch last year, publishing was months into a messy upheaval of its own. On Twitter, publishing insiders railed against the blinding whiteness of the industry, while writers of color used #PublishingPaidMe to show that they often received far less money than their white peers. The resulting move by the big-five publishers to hire executives and editors of color has been viewed by some as a sea change for the industry. But as Lisa Lucas, the new publisher of Pantheon and Schocken, put it, “We’re not going to change it on our first day. It’s a step.” Each of the executives pictured here has a slightly different approach to their new role. Novelist Nicola Yoon created an imprint dedicated to YA…

6 Min
tomorrow : david wallace-wells

SINCE ALMOST THE BEGINNING of the pandemic, Harvard’s Michael Mina has been among the country’s most outspoken epidemiologists, urging the public-health apparatus toward a more responsive and creative approach to managing the crisis. In particular—despite maddening resistance from the medical Establishment—he has advocated for a mass deployment of rapid tests, similar to home pregnancy tests, to help curb the spread of the virus. We spoke in mid-February with vaccine distribution in full swing—and the threat of new strains on the horizon. How do you see the state of things? I’m having a hard time juggling the bad news about strains versus the good news about vaccines. My personal feeling is we are seeing the benefits of seasonality hit, which I know some of my colleagues don’t necessarily agree with. But it’s…

23 Min
chloé zhao’s america

CHLOÉ ZHAO USED TO SAY SHE SOMETIMES FORGOT SHE was Asian. It wasn’t something she meant as a statement of racial renunciation or a “We’re all citizens of the world” platitude. Zhao, the filmmaker behind the Oscar-favored Nomadland, is fully cognizant of the fact that she’s 38 and five-foot-six (and a half), with what she impishly describes as the typical traits of northerners in China: “Loud, obnoxious, big bones—I love stereotyping my own people.” What she was trying to articulate was a reflection of her own slippery sense of self, made more elusive by her years spent moving around the globe. ¶ When she was growing up in Beijing in the 1980s and ’90s, being Chinese was simply the context in which she and everyone around her existed. A few…