Louisa May Alcott in The Atlantic

Four short stories in The Atlantic demonstrate Alcott's lesser-known penchant for romantic fantasy.

Abraham Lincoln in The Atlantic

A collection of articles in honor of Lincoln's 200th birthday

White America Reacts

Articles from the turn of the 20th century onwards show that the breakdown of racial hegemony in America has been a slow, challenging process

Obama's Poetic Predecessor

Both Lincoln and Obama dabbled in poetry as young adults. Herewith, a consideration of a poem by Lincoln that appeared in The Atlantic.

The Cultural Meaning of the Kennedys

Articles from the Atlantic archives speculate on the lives and deaths of the legendary American family.

The Great Depression

Atlantic articles from the 1930s reveal how Americans reinvented banking, restructured the economy, and dealt with challenges unsettlingly parallel to those of today.

A Near Miss

Atlantic contributors reflect on the Cuban Missile Crisis

Art for Art's Sake

In an age of commercialization, a look back at a century of Atlantic writings on the intrinsic value of art museums.

Notes on the Conventions

Four articles spanning nearly a hundred years consider the changing role of political conventions in America's electoral process

The Road to the Information Age

Decades before the rise of the Internet, Atlantic contributors were dreaming of the day when all knowledge on earth would be available at the click of a button.

After the Bastille

Atlantic articles from the 19th and 20th centuries reflect France's ongoing struggle with authority.

Cities and Crime

Jacob Riis, Robert Moses, Nicholas Lemann and others weigh in on the problematic relationship between inner-city poverty and crime

Guns Out of Control

Atlantic writers debate the true intentions behind the Second Amendment and the safest approaches to firearm ownership.

Prophesying Palestine

Jeffrey Goldberg looks back at a mixed bag of Atlantic predictions from the 1920s and '30s about prospects for a Jewish homeland.

Finding a Place for God

Atlantic contributors from throughout the past century question the value of religion in a scientific world.

Fidel Castro

A collection of Atlantic writings assesses Castro and his legacy

Crossing the Color Line

A look back at Charles Chesnutt and his pioneering African-American fiction

Suharto and Indonesia

Atlantic writings from the '50s through the '80s shed light on Suharto and the unique challenges facing Indonesia

Who Was Kipling?

A sampling of writing from The Atlantic's past offers a range of views on the many contradictions of Rudyard Kipling.

Balkan Epic

Rebecca West's sweeping story of a region in turmoil

The Godfather of Sprawl

The legacy of Robert Moses is as controversial as ever. Atlantic articles by Moses from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s offer a glimpse into the mind of this father of the postmodern American landscape.

The Lure of the Skies

On December 17, 1903, Orville Wright became the first to fly a machine that could carry a person, cruise forward at a constant or accelerating speed, and land at a point as high as that from which it started. For approximately twelve seconds that day, he cruised 120 feet over the snow-covered…

Mark Twain in The Atlantic

The fruitful relationship between Mark Twain and The Atlantic Monthly began in December 1869, when William Dean Howells, then an assistant editor at The Atlantic, wrote a highly favorable review of Twain's first book, Innocents Abroad, which had been published that year by a small commercial…

The War on Fat

A trip through the Atlantic's archives offers revealing insights into American body politics

Nuremberg Revisited

The Nuremberg trials began on November 20, 1945, forging a model after which subsequent international enforcement of justice might be patterned. Indeed, to many, the trials indicated that transgressions against basic, universal human values would no longer be tolerated by the international…

The American Way of Beef

Atlantic contributors follow the decline of the meat industry

Torture and Terror

Articles by Mark Bowden and others consider what tactics are appropriate for eliciting potentially lifesaving information

Mark Twain in The Atlantic

Mark Twain’s long relationship with The Atlantic began in December 1869, when William Dean Howells, then an assistant editor at the magazine, wrote a highly favorable review of Twain's first book, Innocents Abroad, which had been published that year by a small commercial publishing house that…

For the Love of the Game

With the U.S. Open in mid-swing, a look back at a century of Atlantic articles on tennis.

Harry Potter Joins the Canon

From Tom Brown to Mary Poppins to the Chronicles of Narnia, a look back at Atlantic writings on perennial favorites from children's literature

And Health Care For All

Atlantic writings from 1910 to 1960 make clear that reforming the state of American health care has long been a pressing concern.

Leaving the Party

Articles from the The Atlantic's archives present a history of outsider politics.

The Cross and the Star

Articles from The Atlantic's archives illuminate the history of China's complex relationship with Christianity.

In Search of the American Dream

Articles by Eleanor Roosevelt and others take up the question of what constitutes the American ideal

The Reinvention of Jazz

Two articles from the Atlantic archives dissect the genius of Ornette Coleman.

Property Pirates

As the U.S. government reproves China for its disrespect of intellectual-property rights, we may do well to remember that our own past record in that area has been less than impeccable.

Play Ball!

A classic lineup of Atlantic essays on our national pastime.

Saint John Paul?

A selection of Atlantic writings on Pope John Paul II offer insight into the man, his leadership style, and his far-reaching influence

Power-sharing in Northern Ireland

Atlantic writings from 1916 through the 1980s offer perspective on just how momentous a development this is.

Union Blues

A collection of Atlantic writings assesses the uncertain future of the European Union

Gangland U.S.A.

Articles dating back to the 1800s trace the evolution of America's gang problem.

Living History

The Atlantic honors the life of historian Arthur Schlesinger with a selection of his memorable contributions to the magazine.

College Girls

Articles from the 1890s through the 1960s explore the academic, social, and sexual debates surrounding women at college

Spy vs. Spy

Robert Philip Hanssen, meet Aldrich Ames, Kim Philby, Greville Wynne, and Gordon Lonsdale. A collection of Atlantic writings considers the phenomenon of renegade intelligence agents.

In the Mood for Love?

Terrorist matchmakers; Singaporean makeout sessions; the truth about diamonds; tales from the frontlines of online dating...

White House Whoppers

Articles from 1872 to the present shed light on a longstanding presidential tradition of playing fast and loose with the truth.

The Diamond Myth

Articles from the past 150 years reveal the dark side of "the most brilliant of stones"

Nobel Quibbles

When it comes to the Nobel Prize, controversy and debate have always been the name of the game.

Suez in Retrospect

Articles written in the months and years following the Suez crisis take stock of its implications

Iraq: Is Partition the Answer?

Articles by Hitchens, Kaplan, Gellhorn, and others make clear that if history is any guide, then probably not.

From the Ancient Greeks to Yoga Chic

Articles from the 1850s to the present on the quest for spiritual health through physical fitness

Iraq: Is It Time to Leave?

James Fallows, Robert Kaplan, and Nir Rosen weigh in


Articles from the 1860s to the present point to polygamy's persistent appeal in American life

In the Face of Genocide

On a number of recent occasions, the world has done little more than observe.

The Indomitable Jessica Mitford

Articles by and about the muckraking journalist make clear that her name is synonymous with far more than cheap funerals

Broadcast News

David Halberstam, James Fallows, and Nicholas Lemann on the rich past and uncertain future of broadcast journalism

Shedding Light on Lebanon

A 1984 piece by John Keegan offered an in-depth look at a complex and troubled nation

To Smoke or Not to Smoke?

Articles from the 1860s to the 1990s take up the contentious question

Remembering Martha Gellhorn

A longtime Atlantic contributor, Gellhorn's career was far more glorious than her brief marriage to Ernest Hemingway

A Taxonomy of Knowledge

Atlantic authors from the nineteenth century to the age of Wiki wax philosophical on encyclopedias, dictionaries, and thesauri.

So You Want to Be a Writer

Wallace Stegner, Francine Prose, John Kenneth Galbraith, and others offer advice to aspiring wordsmiths.

Too Rich for Their Money

Articles from the early twentieth century to the present comment on the philanthropy of the superrich

That's Edutainment

Atlantic authors address talking bears, Sesame Street, and the obsession with making kids smarter

The Vox in the Box

Articles from 1937 to the present—by Vance Packard, Gilbert Seldes, James Fallows, and others—consider the proper role of television in American life.

Obscenity, Censorship, and the First Amendment

Atlantic writings from the turn of the twentieth century forward on the fraught battleground between freedom of speech and public morality

Women at Work

Articles from the '70s, '80s, and '90s address the ongoing obstacles that career women face.

A Moral Wrong or a Fundamental Right?

Articles from the 1960s onward illuminate the many facets of the abortion debate

The Sport of Kings

As the Kentucky Derby approaches, a look back at Atlantic writings paying tribute to the exhilarating heights and seedy depths of horse racing

Burning Up People to Make Electricity

Articles spanning the last thirty years make the case for better safety standards for coal miners.

Tales From the Borderlands

Articles by Eric Schlosser, William Langewiesche, and Jack Miles shed a human light on the debate over the Mexican border

Immigration: The Perpetual Controversy

Writers dating back to the nineteenth century argue the merits and pitfalls of American immigration

Our Liberian Legacy

Articles spanning the twentieth century take up the question of what the U.S. owes Liberia.

Private Domain

Three Atlantic authors consider the fine line between security and breach of privacy

The Call of the Slopes

Atlantic articles from the '30s through the '50s comment on the development and appeal of skiing as a sport

An Atlantic Scandal

A tale of one of the most notorious journalistic forgeries of the twentieth century

Appalachian Hardship

In the wake of the Sago mining tragedy, a look back at an 1861 tale that brought the plight of impoverished West Virginia workers to national attention.

Birthplace of a Magazine

A look back at reflections on The Atlantic's early years in Boston

Howells Rediscovered

A collection of articles by and about The Atlantic's third editor, William Dean Howells, celebrates his contributions to the magazine and American literature.

Hard Times in the Big Easy

Articles from the '40s through the '80s on the delights and drawbacks of life in New Orleans.

The Best Interests of the Child

Articles by Karl Menninger, Bruno Bettelheim, Caitlin Flanagan, and others on how to raise well-adjusted children.

A Century of Cartoons

Articles by Walt Kelly and others on the Yellow Kid, superhero comics, Art Spiegelman, and more

Israel and Palestine

Articles from 1919 to the present comment on the establishment of Israel and the resentment of those it has displaced.

Defending Darwin

Articles from 1860 to the present on the conflict between evolution theory and religious fundamentalism

The Varieties of Reproductive Experience

Atlantic writing from the 1960s to the present on cloning, in vitro fertilization, egg donation, sperm donation, and more.

Supreme Speculation

Byron York, Randall Kennedy, and Benjamin Wittes ponder the future of the Supreme Court and the coming confirmation hearings

Notes on the Intelligence of Women

Atlantic authors from the early to the late twentieth century comment on the status of women in science

This American Life

In the 1930s a series of articles by the French author Raoul de Roussy de Sales commented on politics, courtship, and identity in American life

When Social Security Was Young

Three articles from the pages of The Atlantic about the early, uncertain days of Social Security

The Craft and Craftiness of Henry Kissinger

Articles by Seymour Hersh, Robert D. Kaplan, and others assess Kissinger's career and legacy.

Poetic Justice

Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Julia Ward Howe, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow champion the cause of freedom in the pages of The Atlantic.

Mind Over Matter

Articles from the 1920s to the 1990s reflect on the revolutionary insights of Albert Einstein

John Brown in The Atlantic

A collection of writings—some by Brown's friends and collaborators—sheds light on the abolitionist who took a violent stand against slavery

Whose Right to Die?

Articles from 1974 to the present consider the question

Russia's Would-Be Masters

What sort of men have ruled Russia? Articles from 1928 to the present examine the inner lives of Russia's leaders.

The Trembling of the Earth

Earthquakes, tsunamis, mudslides—Atlantic authors from the 1880s to the present have addressed the causes and steep human costs of Earth's violent outbursts

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Islam

Can democracy take root in a predominantly Islamic part of the world? Atlantic contributors from the early to the late twentieth century take up the question.

In Search of the Canadian Dream

Is Canada a more civilized version of America? Articles from 1923 to the present take up the question of Canadian national identity

Dr. Kinsey's Revolution

Articles from the 1920s through the 1990s comment on sex in America and the influence of Dr. Alfred Kinsey

Close Up: George W. Bush

Insight into the mind and career of President George W. Bush.

Putin the Terrible

Articles by Jeffrey Tayler and Paul Starobin consider Vladimir Putin, the war on terror, and democracy's uncertain future in Russia

The Great Debates

Two early twentieth-century articles recall one of America's most momentous electoral showdowns of all time—the Lincoln-Douglas debates

John Kerry, Circa 1996

Years before the frenzy of the 2004 election, Jack Beatty offered a look at John Kerry and how he was perceived by voters.

Athens, 1896

A gold medal-winning hurdler and an eminent Classics scholar recall their experiences at the 1896 Olympics

The Joy of Advertising

At the dawn of the advertising age a century ago, the industry had already learned how best to connect with consumers

Facing Up to Stalin

Dying is usually bad PR for a ruthless despot. After all, most dictators jealously guard their public images throughout their lifetimes, making criticism in public an offense punishable by death. But once our leaders have merged with the infinite, history tends to judge them more discerningly.…

Do We Really Need a Vice President?

John Kerry's selection of John Edwards as his presidential running mate has ended weeks of speculation about which candidate he was leaning toward and what factors would enter into the selection process. Though some have commended Kerry's choice as creating a "balanced ticket," history indicates…

The Paradoxical Case of Tony Blair

When Britain voted last week on which delegates to send to the new European Union Parliament, the results heavily favored members of the Conservative and Liberal Democratic parties over those of the ruling Labour party. For Britain, The New York Times writes, this represents "the first time in…

Looking Back at Brown v. Board of Education

This week marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark ruling in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, which ordered the desegregation of the nation's schools. While the ruling did not, of course, prove to be a panacea for the problem of uneven educational opportunities for…

Transcripts of a Troubled Mind

Twenty-five years ago this month, on the evening of April 8, 1979, the young author Breece D'J Pancake placed the barrels of a shotgun in his mouth and took his own life. He was twenty-six. At the time of his death he had published six short stories, two of them in The Atlantic Monthly. Two more…

Iran on the Brink

Iraq and Israel may dominate the headlines these days, but many who are well-versed in Middle Eastern affairs agree that the linchpin of the region has almost always been, and still is, Iran. "If history repeats itself," Middle East specialist Reuel Marc Gerecht wrote recently, "as goes Iran, so…

The Public and Private Worlds of Charles Dickens

Personal recollections, essays, and reviews by Edmund Wilson, David Lodge, and others, shed light on the life and career of Charles Dickens.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Roger Ebert, Pauline Kael, Budd Schulberg, Raymond Chandler, and others weigh in on the state of American movies.

America's Bard

A collection of writings by and about Walt Whitman, the free-spirited poet who championed democracy and America.

Understanding Afghanistan

Atlantic articles from the 1950s and the 1980s offer background and perspective on a nation in conflict

The Battle Hymn of the Republic

Americans today are finding new inspiration in Julia Ward Howe's anthem—originally published in The Atlantic in 1862 to rally Union troops.

Pearl Harbor in Retrospect

Atlantic articles from 1948, 1999, and 1991 look back at Pearl Harbor from American and Japanese perspectives.

Recollecting Longfellow

In The Atlantic's early years, he was the poet of the age

Denmark Vesey, Forgotten Hero

Who was Denmark Vesey, and why is there a sudden surge of interest in this little-known figure of American history? An Atlantic essay from 1861 helps to clarify.

Rhetoric of Freedom

"Emancipation is the demand of civilization," Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in April, 1862. "That is a principle; everything else is an intrigue." Atlantic articles by Emerson and Frederick Douglass comment on Lincoln's greatest decision, and his greatest legacy.

Looking For Shakespeare

Did Shakespeare actually write the plays and poems he's famous for? In 1991 The Atlantic published a debate on the topic

Henry James and The Atlantic Monthly

Jane Campion's film adaptation of The Portrait of a Lady has rekindled public interest in the lapidary, demanding novels of Henry James (1843-1916). This April 15th, on the 154th anniversary of James's birth, we've gathered together writing by and about James that has appeared over the years in…

View More Flashbacks »


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



More in Magazine

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In