Graeme Wood

Graeme Wood is a contributing editor at The Atlantic. His personal site is

  • Jack Black, Col. Qadhafi, and a Tube of Vaseline

    TRIPOLI - Afriqiyah Airways is better than its Web site suggests. Founded in 2001 as the airline of Africa (with a hub here, in the…

  • Cairo's Soccer War

    CAIRO -- After aerial bombing and rent control, I suppose one of the worst things that can happen to a city is acute mania for national sports. This…

  • Superstition at the Checkpoints

    Last week, Rob Nordland filed a great story about the Iraqi police's use of the ADE 651, a bomb-detecting device that costs "$16,500 to $60,000 each"…

  • Quds Day: Homeward Bound

    The Iranian government fielded an impressive squad of angry, hungry, Jew-hating fanatics. What of the opposition? Their counterprotest, centered…

  • Quds Day: Hunger Strikes

    Click here for all the installments of this account of the protests in Tehran last month.This is a small point. I have mentioned the funny hats, the…

  • Quds Day: Cartoon Edition

    At a stand just off Enqelab, near the center of the Quds Day rally, a very active desk gave away and sold postcards and memorabilia about the…

  • Quds Day: On Revolutionary Row

    Traffic diminishes on Ferdowsi Street every Friday morning, and especially during Ramadan. But only on a strange and special Friday does it decline…

  • Quds Day Revisited: An Iran Report

    TEHRAN -- Slightly over a month ago, anti-government protesters (the ones not yet in prison, or murdered) went back to the streets of Tehran, in a…

  • ¡Hola, Hezbollah!

    How a Lebanese mullah found happiness in Paraguay

  • A Three-Hour Viaje

    PALENQUE -- Last month, Mexico decriminalized possession and use of small amounts of pot, heroin, methamphetamine, and acid. You still can't buy or…

  • The Warlord Takes Mastercard

    MEXICO CITY to VILLAHERMOSA -- With few exceptions, a warlord is someone who controls a stretch of road and can, with the threat of force, extract…

  • More on "Secuestro Express"

    In my previous post I wondered why almost no one copies Mexico City's signature crime, the "express kidnapping," in the U.S. and in big and chaotic…

  • Bovine Intervention
    Bob Strong/Reuters/Landov

    Bovine Intervention

    How cows can help win the peace in Fallujah

  • Twin Cities

    MEXICO CITY -- Since Cairo is the foreign city I know best, I often see its image in other world capitals. Usually those kinships present themselves…

  • Bovine Intervention

    Earlier this year, I followed around an embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team in Fallujah, Iraq. Check out the September Atlantic (subscribe here)…

  • Lawless Road (Signs)

    SAN LUIS POTOSI to MEXICO CITY -- Along the highway to Mexico City, placards every few miles advertise the availability of "tuna" -- which puzzled me…

  • A Villainous Desert

    SAN LUIS POTOSI to MEXICO CITY -- Not far south of San Luis Potosi, the Mexican authorities reveal their presence for the first time, with the most…

  • A City Surrounded

    SAN LUIS POTOSI -- When Graham Greene, whose path I am now following, crossed the border from Texas, he vaulted almost immediately to San Luis Potosi…

  • Mexico's Lawless Roads

    SAN LUIS POTOSI -- Seventy years ago, Graham Greene crossed the US-Mexican border into a land blighted by violence, unrest, insurgency, and religious…

  • Not all News is Bad News

    Other, happier parts of the Atlantic site have two new pieces by me. Click here to learn about chocolate made from camel's milk, and here to find…


Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


What Makes a Story Great?

What makes a story great? The storytellers behind House of CardsThis American LifeThe Moth, and more reflect on the creative process.


Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.


Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.


Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.


The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air