Jersey Boys

The governor and the Boss—a tale of politics, rock and roll, and unrequited love

Jackie and the Girls

Mrs. Kennedy’s JFK problem—and ours

The Cruel Idealist

LBJ’s better angels, plus the power of Big Oil

Clone Wars

In which two guys who agree on just about everything face off in one of the most expensive House races of 2012

Can the Tea Party Take Japan?

Tokyo conservatives look westward for inspiration.

Creative Destruction

Meet the New Boss

Tattered finances, broken schools, rampant crime—Rahm Emanuel is taking on an entrenched bureaucracy and a legacy of corruption to fix the problems that American voters care about most deeply. Can the mayor of Chicago make the city that works work?

How I Missed That Story

Obama, Explained

As Barack Obama contends for a second term in office, two conflicting narratives of his presidency have emerged. Is he a skillful political player and policy visionary—a chess master who always sees several moves ahead of his opponents (and of the punditocracy)? Or is he politically clumsy and out of his depth—a pawn overwhelmed by events, at the mercy of a second-rate staff and of the Republicans? Here, a longtime analyst of the presidency takes the measure of our 44th president, with a view to history.

Campaign Inc.

How a presidential election boosts the economy

Perfecting Our Union

The president of the United States reflects on what Abraham Lincoln means to him, and to America.

The President’s Proclamation

Seven months after his call to free the slaves, Emerson hails the Emancipation Proclamation.


Three months after Lincoln’s murder, The Atlantic seeks to make sense of it.

The Words That Remade America

The significance of the Gettysburg Address

Recollections of Lincoln

A journalist who covered the Lincoln-Douglas debates recalls the future president’s bawdy appeal.

The Election in November

In 1860, The Atlantic endorsed Abraham Lincoln for president.

The Queen of San Francisco

The first openly gay U.S. political candidate works to save a slice of gay history

Sex and the Married Politician

The list of politicos laid low by sexual scandal grows ever longer. It hasn’t always been this way. Fifty years ago, the press famously considered politicians’ sex lives off-limits, however colorful. Go back to the Gilded Age, though, and salacious gossip was front-page news. Taken as a whole, history offers a few lessons on when the press should opt for exposure—and when it should leave well enough alone.

The Agony of Crist

A political superstar’s precipitous fall

How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans

An insider’s six-step plan to fix Congress

The Tragedy of Sarah Palin

From the moment Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech electrified the Republican convention, she was seen as an unbending, hard-charging, red-meat ideologue—to which soon was added “thin-skinned” and “vindictive.” But a look at what Palin did while in office in Alaska—the only record she has—shows a very different politician: one who worked with Democrats to tame Big Oil and solve the great problem at the heart of the state’s politics. That Sarah Palin might have set the nation on a different course. What went wrong?

The Iowa Caucus Kingmaker

Bob Vander Plaats offers GOP candidates a choice: join his crusade against gay marriage or lose the primary.

Herman Cain, the GOP Wild Card

The former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza wants to upend the race for the 2012 Republican nomination.

Inside the Secret Service

When President Obama and two-thirds of the world’s leaders gather in New York City, it is up to the U.S. Secret Service to keep them all safe. Granted unprecedented access, our author tells the story of how the agency pulls off the most complicated security event of the year, from counter-surveillance to counter-assault, hotel booking to event scheduling.

Strict Obstructionist

Mitch McConnell is a master manipulator and strategist—the unheralded architect of the Republican resurgence. Now that his relentless tactics have made his party victorious, he is poised to take down the president and win the Senate majority he covets—if he can fend off the Tea Party and keep his own caucus together.


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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