May 1999

The Atlantic - May 1999

Francis Fukuyama, “The Great Disruption”; Charles Portis, “Combinations of Jacksons”; Francis Davis, “Napoleon in Rags”; Mary Gordon, “The Deacon”; and much more.

  • Flouting the Convention

    The ongoing campaign to ban all commercial whaling is driven by politics rather than science, and is setting a terrible precedent

  • Woodcock

    Hear Erica Funkhouser read this poem (in RealAudio). If you must possess something, own it as she does her scrubby acre, her seasonal work, the…

  • Combinations of Jacksons

    I MADE MY first experiments in breathing underwater at the age of nine, in 1943. It was something I needed to learn in life so as to be ready to…

  • Six Days

    On learning a new alphabet

  • The Clinical-Trials Bottleneck

    Randomized clinical trials are the most conclusive way to test new treatments for cancer, but these trials are often resisted by patients, by doctors, and by insurers reluctant to pay for unproven therapies

  • Napoleon in Rags

    Bob Dylan changed the popular music of his time and the music that followed, and the commercial release of a formerly bootlegged concert recording shows how he did it

  • The Deacon

    If anyone had asked her, Sister Joan would have said that her daily half hour of prayer and meditation provided the most satisfying consolation she could imagine for a world that was random and violent and endlessly inventive in its cruelty toward the weak

  • Deus Ex Machina

    Deus Ex Machina -- by Guy Billout. The Atlantic Monthly; May 1999; Deus Ex Machina; Volume 283, No. 5; page 107.

  • Fresh and French

    A pilgrimage among the potagers, or kitchen gardens, of France

  • Was the Great War Necessary?

    A young historian argues iconoclastically that Britain's entry into the First World War, in 1914, was "the greatest error of modern history," born of neurotic fears projected onto Germany.

  • 77 North Washington Street

    FRANCIS Fukuyama, the author of "The Great Disruption," this month's cover story, made his public reputation with "The End of History?," an…

  • Letters

    The New Germ Theory. What Is Intelligence? China and Tibet. Whites and Jazz. Editor's Note. The New Germ Theory. Judith Hooper's article "A…

  • The Almanac

    Food. May 5: Some 28 million avocados, mostly in the form of guacamole, will be eaten in the United States today -- more than on any other day of…

  • Puzzler

    Lawbreakers. HALF the clues (20) in this puzzle break a kind of law, committing what you might call 22 Across. The punishment is 5 Down,…

  • Word Court

    Cfree as a free-standing adjectival suffix? For example, sugar free, lead free, and smoke free seem to have entered our language within my lifetime…


Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."


Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."


An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground


The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."


The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

How a Brooklyn tattoo artist popularized the "cattoo"

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