National

The Wicked Coast

Maine is a joy in summer, but even more captivating in winter.

Learning to Love the (Shallow, Divisive, Unreliable) New Media

Everyone from President Obama to Ted Koppel is bemoaning a decline in journalistic substance, seriousness, and sense of proportion. But the author, a longtime advocate of these values, takes a journey through the digital-media world and concludes there isn’t any point in defending the old ways. Consumer-obsessed, sensationalist, and passionate about their work, digital upstarts are undermining the old media—and they may also be pointing the way to a brighter future.

Saying No to $1 Billion

Why the impoverished Sioux Nation won’t take federal money

The Last Stand of Ricardo Sanchez

The ex-commander of troops in Iraq thinks some of his superiors should go to hell.

Private Plane, Public Menace

Wealthy travelers routinely bypass the TSA by flying on private jets. How long until al-Qaeda does the same?

The Tyranny of Defense Inc.

In 1961, Dwight Eisenhower famously identified the military-industrial complex, warning that the growing fusion between corporations and the armed forces posed a threat to democracy. Judged 50 years later, Ike’s frightening prophecy actually understates the scope of our modern system—and the dangers of the perpetual march to war it has put us on.

Fighting the Next War

The case for a new national security act

Why Our Best Officers Are Leaving

Why are so many of the most talented officers now abandoning military life for the private sector? An exclusive survey of West Point graduates shows that it’s not just money. Increasingly, the military is creating a command structure that rewards conformism and ignores merit. As a result, it’s losing its vaunted ability to cultivate entrepreneurs in uniform.

How the Recession Changed Us

What a difference two years makes.

Your Child Left Behind

For years, poor performance by students in America relative to those in other countries has been explained away as a consequence of our nationwide diversity. But what if you looked more closely, breaking down our results by state and searching not for an average, but for excellence?

A Matter of Degrees

U.S. universities are still on top, but Asia is rising.

Escape Key

It’s part of our contemporary condition to feel simultaneously blessed and cursed by technology.

Tabloid Feminist

An antidiscrimination icon finds a new frontier in trash culture.

Taking Chances

The point of this annual issue isn’t to celebrate power, influence, or even, necessarily, success. It’s to identify people who are taking a substantial risk for a big idea.

Birding at the Border

Watching raptors—and immigration agents—in an Arizona preserve

Autism’s First Child

As new cases of autism have exploded in recent years—some form of the condition affects about one in 110 children today—efforts have multiplied to understand and accommodate the condition in childhood. But children with autism will become adults with autism, some 500,000 of them in this decade alone. What then? Meet Donald Gray Triplett, 77, of Forest, Mississippi. He was the first person ever diagnosed with autism. And his long, happy, surprising life may hold some answers.

Can Boomers Lead?

Earthbound

The space-shuttle program is coming to a quiet end. Is the same true for the era of space exploration?

The News Merchant

Interested in booking Joran van der Sloot’s ex-girlfriend for the morning news? Want an exclusive? Got a little cash to spend? Larry Garrison’s the person to call, though most news networks won’t admit they call him. The inside story of how tabloid TV news is made, bought, and paid for—and its implications for the news industry and our society.

Prison Without Walls

Incarceration in America is a failure by almost any measure. But what if the prisons could be turned inside out, with convicts released into society under constant electronic surveillance? Radical though it may seem, early experiments suggest that such a science-fiction scenario might cut crime, reduce costs, and even prove more just.

A Promising Land

Small towns in the South are looking for a few good Jewish families.

The Littlest Schoolhouse

Brainy but easily distracted, the author barely made it through high school and dropped out of college. Would a program like New York’s new School of One, which uses technology to tailor learning to each student’s style and pace, have made all the difference?

The End of Men

Earlier this year, women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history. Most managers are now women too. And for every two men who get a college degree this year, three women will do the same. For years, women’s progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women? A report on the unprecedented role reversal now under way— and its vast cultural consequences

Are Fathers Necessary?

A paternal contribution may not be as essential as we think.

The 14 3/4 Biggest Ideas of the Year

A guide to the intellectual trends that, for better or worse, are most shaping America right now

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

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