September 1995

George McKenna, “On Abortion: A Lincolnian Position”; Nicholas Lemann, “The Great Sorting”; Cait Murphy, “Ulysses in Chinese”; Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, “The Moral State of Marriage”; and much more.

  • On Abortion: A Lincolnian Position

    Principled yet pragmatic, Lincoln's stand on slavery offers a basis for a new politics of civility that is at once anti-abortion and pro-choice

  • Bone Key

    "He used to call his body Brother Ass. . . ." —Saint Bonaventure, Life of Saint Francis. Audio: Hear Richard Wilbur, former poet laureate of…

  • Cover Art

  • The Great Sorting

    The first mass administrations of a scholastic -aptitude test led with surprising speed to the idea that the nation's leaders would be the people who did well on tests

  • The Structure of Success in America

    In America perhaps only race is a more sensitive subject than the way we sort ourselves out in the struggle for success. At the center of that struggle are higher education and ETS, the Educational Testing Service. Herewith an inside look at the history and workings of one of the most familiar yet least public of American institutions

  • Raiding Nation

    Notes and comments on Matthew Arnold's "The Last Word"

  • 'Ulysses' in Chinese

    The story of an elderly pair of translators and their unusual bestseller

  • The Struggle to Govern Johannesburg

    The transition to nonracial rule is proceeding more slowly--and more viciously--than expected

  • The Lather

    On the tin stowed under the upstairs sink. The mule team circulates in silhouette: Yeoman hand-scrub of workingmen and sons. Going back to before…

  • Two Poems

    Bone Key. "He used to call his body Brother Ass. . . . " --Saint Bonaventure, Life of Saint Francis. You would think that here, at…

  • A Display of Mackerel

    They lie in parallel rows, on ice, head to tail, each a foot of luminosity barred with black bands, which divide the scales' radiant…

  • Green-Hearted Italy

    In autumn the mystic landscape of Umbria is at its best

  • Unreconstructed Modernist

    How does one account for the fall of Pierre Boulez the composer and the rise of Pierre Boulez the conductor?

  • Slavery and the Jews

    A review of The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews: Volume One

  • 745 Boylston Street

    745 Boylston St. -- THE first editors of The Atlantic Monthly, who were ardent abolitionists, did not initially favor Abraham Lincoln for…

  • Letters


  • The Almanac

    Almanac -- The September Almanac Arts & Letters This month the UCLA Center for Communication Policy will release the first of three…

  • Word Watch

    -- Word Watch By Anne H. Soukhanov. anxious class, U.S. workers at all levels of competence and rank who are overworked and affected by…


The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."


What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.


Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.


Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.


How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

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