Russia’s Dark Master: Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin, Russia’s new president, won the admiration of his people for his iron grasp on power. Then came the Kursk submarine crisis. Will the Kremlin’s mystery man be able to rein in a massively corrupt oligarchy, or will he wake the ghost of Stalin?

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Margaret Thatcher’s Big Problem

While Margaret Thatcher is washed-up in England, the post–Gulf War American right has taken the warrior queen to its heart—and she’s determined to reinvent herself as an international power player. But, as our author reports, Thatcher’s plans to create a new world forum may be foundering thanks to the storm of controversy raging around her maladroit millionaire son. Has Mrs. T. missed her moment?

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Charisma Argentina – Carlos Menem

Argentineans have always had a fatal weakness for charisma. And in their president from 1989 to 1999, they had the glitziest crowd pleaser since Evita. Maureen Orth reports for Vanity Fair from Buenos Aires about the ARab leader of a Catholic country, and his double political tango with the rich elite and the descamisados.

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