42 Jimmy Smits’ “Roll” of a Lifetime
The 2003 Pulitzer Prize winner for Drama was Anna in the Tropics, a relatively little-known play by a Cuban expatriate named Nilo Cruz. Now the Chekhovian tale of cigar rollers in an Ybor City cigar factory has hit the big time, playing on Broadway and featuring star Jimmy Smits in the lead role. For the charismatic, versatile star of “L.A. Law,” “NYPD Blue,” and Star Wars: Episode III, the return to the stage has been an immensely satisfying experience. For both actor and playwright, learning about the venerable tradition of cigar making has proven a joyously educational journey. And for legions of cigar enthusiasts, it’s a sign of cigar culture again on the rise.
By Mark Bernardo


50 Cigars and Stripes Forever
For American military personnel and civilian workers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, cigars from home, hand-delivered by a midwestern talk radio host, were the perfect balm for rattled nerves and the everyday intensities of war. For the author, the trip was an eye-opening, often harrowing firsthand look at life in post-Saddam Baghdad and post-Taliban Kabul.
By Jeff Bolton
58 Leaves of Rare Distinction
Cigar connoisseurs have long extolled the similarities of premium cigars and fine wines. Recently, cigar makers seem to have gotten the message, crafting limited-edition vintage cigars, made from rare, extra-aged tobacco, often from a single year, specifically tailored to be a smoking experience on par with uncorking a cellared Bordeaux. Are vintage dated cigars another passing fad, the future of the business, or something in between?
By Mark Bernardo
66 Feat of Clay
Heavyweight champion Sonny Liston was one of the most savage, intimidating men ever to step into a boxing ring, and when the upstart challenger Cassius Clay went up against him on that now historic night 40 years ago, he was widely believed to be more hapless cannon fodder for the invincible champ. Things didn’t quite turn out that way. We look back at the first chapter in the legend of Muhammad Ali.
By Bert Randolph Sugar

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