Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Economist is by a large margin the most valuable magazine on the planet, still going strong in the digital age, with a 50% non-controlling stake changing hands in 2015 for £469 million ($731 million) in cash. (In comparison, Marc and Lynne Benioff spent $190 million for 100% of Time in 2018.)

The intrigue: The Economist's allure is based in liberalism, but it's not easy to understand how that is defined.

The big picture: Every so often, a talented essayist attempts to identify the source of The Economist's appeal, and invariably finds that its actual quality falls far short of its reputation.

Both pieces are good, but neither aspires to being a comprehensive historical survey, going back to The Economist's founding in 1843.

  • Now, that survey has finally arrived, in the form of "Liberalism at Large: The World According to The Economist," a new book by Alexander Zevin.

Required reading: Pankaj Mishra's magisterial review-essay of Zevin's book has appeared in the New Yorker, and it is likely to change the way you view not only The Economist, but the entire edifice of liberalism.

  • When all 175 years of the magazine's history are viewed as a whole, the reek of colonial hypocrisy becomes impossible to ignore.

Go deeper: Radio's decline is podcasting's gain

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

Early voting eclipses 2016 total with 12 days until election

People stand in line to vote early in Fairfax, Virginia in September. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Americans have cast more than 47.1 million ballots in the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the total early-vote count for 2016 with 12 days left until Election Day, according to a Washington Post analysis of voting data.

Why it matters: The election is already underway, as many states have expanded early and mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic.

What to expect from the final debate of the 2020 election

Trump and Biden at the first debate. Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Image

Watch for President Trump to address Joe Biden as “the big guy” or “the chairman” at tonight's debate as a way of dramatizing the Hunter Biden emails. Hunter's former business partner Tony Bobulinski is expected to be a Trump debate guest.

The big picture: Trump's advisers universally view the first debate as a catastrophe — evidenced by a sharp plunge in Trump’s public and (more convincingly for them) private polling immediately following the debate.