Graeme Wood

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

  • Out of the Frying Pan

    AN AIR BASE IN KUWAIT - When I flew out of Baghdad, leaving Iraq this most recent of dozens of times, something felt different. Usually when we reach…

  • Striking Camp

    TASH, ANBAR PROVINCE - When Marines leave a city, they do not leave neatly. They are not raptured up, riding ghostly Humvees and MRAPs to the next…

  • Helmand Dreams

    KARMAH - Lt. Peter Brooks, the infantry officer at the base I wrote about a few days ago, flattered me with an invitation to speak to his Marines.…

  • The Mayor has a Question

    FALLUJAH -- I was sure he would cancel the meeting. The night was intensely dusty. Blizzard-like conditions made driving hazardous, even at the…

  • Two Ways of Looking at a War Zone

    KARMAH -- A dispatch by Rod Nordland of the New York Times asks whether the violence in Fallujah -- lately viewed as a model of an Anbar city…

  • The Presentable Americans

    FALLUJAH -- Every Marine officer who sees me reading The Ugly American (another MWR library treasure) nods in recognition and asks me what I think of…

  • The Gathering Dust Storm

    FALLUJAH - Anbar may no longer be Iraq's most dangerous province, but it is still the dustiest. If you are imagining a constant powdery film that…

  • Kebab Fallujah

    FALLUJAH - In 2004, I asked my friend Yasir al-Gabara, an Iraqi Christian, whether pork was cheap here. He said no: very few Iraqi butchers stock it…

  • The Quick and the Safe

    A MARINE BASE NEAR FALLUJAH -- When media describe Fallujah as "an insurgent stronghold outside Baghdad," they don't quite convey just how close the…

  • Buzz Kill

    THE INTERNATIONAL (ex-"GREEN") ZONE, BAGHDAD - In war reporting, the cliche is to pronounce any violence-free day "eerily calm," and then to survey…

  • Baghdad Airport, On Final

    Baghdad International Airport -- Using a shoulder-fired missile to shoot down a plane takes skill, and unless you have practice, training, or a very…

  • The Pleasures of Military Air

    *Passenger terminal, an air base in Kuwait* - I wrote earlier about how all big military bases [resemble each…

  • Reading Lysistrata in Kuwait

    Still in Kuwait, waiting to fly -- Longstanding orders from on high forbid U.S. soldiers in Iraq from doing most of the things soldiers historically…

  • Into the Sandbox

    An air base in Kuwait -- The State of Kuwait looks a bit like Darth Vader's helmet in profile, with Darth looking west, away from the Persian Gulf. …

  • Welcome

    Over southern Iraq -- I first flew over Iraq in November 2004, when the country was still in flames. From my KLM seat I could literally see some of…

  • Will Japan Be Canada?

    Today Japan released first-quarter economic figures, and pleasantly surprised itself by noting that its economy is cratering just a little bit less…

  • Pork Knuckle, German Delight

    Some misunderstand this indelicate delicacy. For most American consumers, Pork knuckle is uninviting, and conjures the image of knobby, stringy joints. But it's featured by nearly every brewpub in Germany, and it's great with a Bavarian brew.

  • India's railway king

    Lalu Prasad Yadav, the demagogic yokel who has headed Indian Railways since 2004, unveiled a preliminary 2009-2010 budget last week. It smells of…

  • Security Blanket
    Louie Palu

    Security Blanket

    Afghanistan’s most venerable relic faces its greatest challenge.


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?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life 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