Memo from the Editors

More

To: Atlantic Readers
Re: Thinking

Is there any concept more anodyne and vague at the one extreme, and more powerful at the other, than the idea of ideas? To give some heft and edge to it, we chose to build this, The Atlantic’s first Ideas Issue, not around speculative experimentation, academic abstraction, or gee-whiz gizmos—cool though they may be—but around real-world attempts to rethink big questions.

So Mark Bowden looks at Rupert Murdoch’s ideas for remaking the American newspaper, while Jonathan Rauch examines General Motors’ attempt to reinvent itself and the auto industry—by rethinking internal combustion. Robert D. Kaplan reconsiders Donald Rumsfeld’s attempts to transform the military, in the process recasting our image of Rumsfeld himself. Hanna Rosin, investigating a mysterious spike in crime, compels us to think anew about the seeming success of one of the most important antipoverty initiatives of the past 20 years. For his part, Jeffrey Goldberg rethinks himself—undergoing a brain-scanning procedure that marketers are now using to see what motivates us (it turns out that Goldberg is motivated, in part, by Edie Falco).

For this issue, The Atlantic’s editors and writers also thought back over the past year, distilling the ideas that we believe had the greatest influence. You might think we need to rethink our list; if so, please weigh in with your own big ideas about the past year.

Jump to comments
Presented by
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Time JFK Called the Air Force to Complain About a 'Silly Bastard'

51 years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a very angry phone call.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

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.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

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

Video

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.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

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

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

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

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In