December 2000

The Atlantic - December 2000

William Langewiesche, “The Million-Dollar Nose”; Carl Elliott, “A New Way to Be Mad”; Barbara Ferry and Debbie Nathan, “Mistaken Identity? The Case of New Mexico's 'Hidden Jews'”; Stephen Budiansky, “The Physics of Gridlock”; and much more.

  • A New Way to Be Mad

    The phenomenon is not as rare as one might think: healthy people deliberately setting out to rid themselves of one or more of their limbs, with or without a surgeon's help. Why do pathologies sometimes arise as if from nowhere? Can the mere description of a condition make it contagious?

  • The Million-Dollar Nose

    With his stubborn disregard for the hierarchy of wines, Robert Parker, the straight-talking American wine critic, is revolutionizing the industry -- and teaching the French wine establishment some lessons it would rather not learn.

  • The Role of a Wine Critic

    An excerpt from the 1999 edition of Parker's Wine Buyer's Guide.

  • The Dark Side of Wine

    An excerpt from the 1999 edition of Parker's Wine Buyer's Guide.

  • Mistaken Identity? The Case of New Mexico's "Hidden Jews"

    Imagine descendants of Jews pursued by the Spanish Inquisition, still tending the dying embers of their faith among peasant Latinos in the American Southwest. The story has obvious resonance, and it has garnered considerable publicity. The truth of the matter may turn out to be vastly different, and nearly as improbable.

  • From Your Lips to Your Printer

    Finally, voice-recognition software that (almost) lives up to its promise to liberate those unable or unwilling to type.

  • The Culture Did It

    A semantic innovation gets us all off the hook.

  • The Physics of Gridlock

    What causes traffic jams? The depressing answer may be nothing at all.

  • Obscure Objects of Lapsed Desire

    What is the value of a painting that has outlived its appeal? An exploration of what happens when art becomes stuff.

  • Family Christmas

    Part of what I felt was shame -- shame for something I didn't understand, shame for other people's misery, shame that it had lain naked and exposed before us, shame that we'd seen it.

  • The Cosmopolitan Provincial

    Allen Tate's ambivalent, artificial relationship with the South

  • Defeat in Victory

    CRUCIBLE OF WAR The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766 HERE is…

  • Short Reviews

    Updike: America's Man of Letters This study of John Updike's body of work can't match Nicholson Baker's brilliant,…

  • Arts & Entertainment Preview

    Illustration by Brian Raszka. Whether you've finished your holiday shopping or haven't even begun, tune in to the A&E Network'…

  • White Nights in Siberia

    By local ferry down the Lena, one of Russia's great waterways

  • Craftsman Cheese

    American makers of raw-milk cheese, having survived an unwarranted health scare, are creating products that rival Europe's.

  • 77 North Washington Street

    IN the years ahead," says William Langewiesche, the author of this month's cover story, about the iconoclastic wine critic Robert Parker Jr.…

  • Letters

    The Heavenly Jukebox. Fourteen. Green Surprise? Borges on Tale-Telling. Shipbreaking. Grizzly Bears. Advice & Consent. The…

  • The Almanac

    Demographics Holiday shopping is in full swing this month -- and so is theft. In 1998 retailers lost more than $15 billion to shoplifters.…

  • Word Watch

    The Encarta World English Dictionary (1999). blow-in someone who has recently taken up residence in a given country or area: "[He] had a…


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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