• 77 North Washington Street

    Taking up the central portion of this issue of The Atlantic Monthly is a special section called "State of the World," and it offers snapshots of a…

  • In Praise of Nepotism

    Americans censure nepotism on the one hand and practice it as much as they can on the other. There's much to be said for "good" nepotism, the author argues—which is fortunate, because we're living in a nepotistic Golden Age

  • Execution Summaries

    Copies of three death-penalty memoranda prepared by Alberto R. Gonzales for Texas Governor George W. Bush

  • The Texas Clemency Memos

    As the legal counsel to Texas Governor George W. Bush, Alberto R. Gonzales—now the White House counsel, and widely regarded as a likely future Supreme Court nominee—prepared fifty-seven confidential death-penalty memoranda for Bush's review. Never before discussed publicly, the memoranda suggest that Gonzales repeatedly failed to apprise Bush of some of the most salient issues in the cases at hand

  • The Transformer

    Is Tony Blair what Bill Clinton should have been?

  • The Poetry of Heartbreak

    The new collection of Robert Lowell's poems will doubtless stand from now on as The Work

  • Making Sense of McCain-Feingold and Campaign-Finance Reform

    Democrats knew that campaign-finance reform would cripple their fundraising ability—but they backed the idea anyway, largely on principle. Republicans knew that it would give their party an even bigger edge than it already had—but they staunchly opposed it, also largely on principle. The fate of McCain-Feingold ultimately rests with the Supreme Court. But principle has already cost the Democrats plenty

  • Supremacy by Stealth

    It is a cliché these days to observe that the United States now possesses a global empire—different from Britain's and Rome's but an empire nonetheless. It is time to move beyond a statement of the obvious. Our recent effort in Iraq, with its large-scale mobilization of troops and immense concentration of risk, is not indicative of how we will want to act in the future. So how should we operate on a tactical level to manage an unruly world? What are the rules and what are the tools?

  • Love Me

    A short story

  • Letters to the editor

    The Mind of Bush Richard Brookhiser's article "The Mind of George W. Bush" (April Atlantic) was refreshing. Most of the time, in religious circles,…

  • A New Deal For Teachers

    Here's how to fix our desperate urban schools: attract better teachers by paying them more—much more—but tie compensation to performance and allow districts to fire bad teachers quickly

  • New & Noteworthy

    What to read this month

  • Other Reviews

    Scandalmonger What Was She Thinking?by Zoë Heller. Henry Holt. At first glance the narrator of What Was She Thinking? might easily pass for one of…

  • The Bear Slayer

    During his quarter century of dictatorial rule Nicolae Ceausescu treated the brown bears of Romania almost as badly as he treated the people. Only his gamekeepers saw the grisly reality

  • Headlines Over the Horizon

    Analysts at the RAND Corporation lay out ten international-security developments that aren't getting the attention they deserve

  • Coming to America

    With its diverse and dispersed immigrants, our nation's capital is a model of the post-racial society we've been awaiting

  • Word Fugitives

    In March we requested a word for a "tendency to make more mistakes ... if a very critical person is watching." Along with aspiring words, a flood of…

  • Thinking Like an Apparatchik

    In his new book Sidney Blumenthal presents a disconcertingly cynical yet naive account of the Clinton years.


Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


What Makes a Story Great?

What makes a story great? The storytellers behind House of CardsThis American LifeThe Moth, and more reflect on the creative process.


Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.


Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.


Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.


The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air



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