What’s so cool about The Economist?

There’s nothing quite like The Economist. Many have tried to duplicate its authority, its prescience, its attitude but it takes a blend of uptown (that’ll be Oxbridge) haughtiness and downtown worldliness to produce writing quite so learned and quite so sarcastic at the same time. Take this week’s excellent feature about Google. No new information here but just the right synthesis of critical distance and intimate understanding to produce enlightenment – an intensely satisfying read. I’d like to claim The Economist’s unique tone of voice for Britain and it’s true that, by comparison, the American newsmags are miserable, irony-free zones, but I’m afraid this kind of provocative, highly condensed wit is rare on this side of the pond too.

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