Cover to Cover

The Glory of Oprah

Why the “talkinest child” understands women and the power of television better than anyone else

The Greatest Gossip

Plus a history of the Bank of England

The Rockford Style

Eastwood? McQueen? Why James Garner is the real star of his era.

Books of the Year 2011

The Atlantic’s literary editor picks the five best of the crop.

Night Sky


The Anti–James Bond

A new film adaptation of John leCarré’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy prompts a look at the various incarnations of his greatest character, George Smiley.

Police and Poetry

New York's crime drop; T. S. Eliot's dark days

Family Portrait

The secret of Modern Family’s runaway success: it’s just a sitcom.

Maple Gall

“Your Total Strike Feeling”

Rather than the slackers or ironic celebrants, bowling camp attracts the strivers.

Kansas City Bets on Culture

If you build a shiny new performing-arts center, will the creative class come?


Ladies’ Man

David Lodge’s new novel of H. G. Wells’s very active love life

Everything Old

Our obsession with musical nostalgia is strangling pop.

Woman by the Way

The Shame of College Sports

A litany of scandals in recent years have made the corruption of college sports constant front-page news. We profess outrage each time we learn that yet another student-athlete has been taking money under the table. But the real scandal is the very structure of college sports, wherein student-athletes generate billions of dollars for universities and private companies while earning nothing for themselves. Here, a leading civil-rights historian makes the case for paying college athletes—and reveals how a spate of lawsuits working their way through the courts could destroy the NCAA.

Great American Cynic

Ambrose Bierce’s astringent prose style reflects the severity of his vision.

Down Underworld

The brilliant foreignness of Australian crime fiction

Mare’s Nest

The Custodian

I Gave My Ears to Rock and Roll

Wearing earplugs could have saved the author’s hearing, but at the cost of his soul.

Meme Weaver

The author tries—and fails—to cash in on a big idea.

Bitter Crossing

A new history vividly describes the agony and uncertainty of the journey west by America’s pioneers.


Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more


Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.


What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world



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