In July 1979, this magazine ran a series of articles about the United States’ plans for a nuke war. As usual in a Mother Jones piece of the era, writers dove into wonky policy while finding a straightforward and biting tone to match the horror of what they were reporting. It was solid investigative work. And it has some fun stuff in there about how moving to the suburbs meant we might not have anywhere to hide if bombs dropped.
But you don’t really need to know all that. I’m talking to you about this issue because…check out the cover! It’s a formal portrait of military leaders with the headline “Meet America’s Leading Terrorists.”
I don’t have a ton to say here. It seems that, at the time, we cared a lot more about nukes than now. Another issue that year had President Jimmy Carter on the cover, as we prodded his administration’s nuclear policy. But, at least until something happens like oh I don’t know a war with Iran, our nuclear policies are not top of mind for anyone in the United States at the moment. I dearly hope that does not change.
However, the other article mentioned on the cover—“Marriage Dissected”—will perhaps be more directly relevant to your daily lives. It’s a doctor arguing, basically, that “marriage has not been healthy for women.” One of its standout lines is quite the turn of phrase: “Marriage seems to be good for men and bad for women. The obvious public health conclusion from this is that men should marry other men and leave women alone.”