October 2004

James Fallows, "Bush's Lost Year"; Peter Bergen, "The Long Hunt for Osama"; Sridhar Pappu, "The Crusader"; Ian Frazier, "If Memory Doesn't Serve"; Jonathan Rauch, "Divided We Stand"; Michelle Cottle, "The X Factor"; P. J. O'Rourke, "To Hell With Lipitor!"; Graham Allison, "Tick, Tick, Tick"; fiction by Christopher Buckley; and much more.

The Atlantic - October 2004

Also in this issue

Letters to the editor


What to watch for in the weeks ahead

Other articles in this issue

Three's Company


Tío Pancho’s Farewell

A winner of the Atlantic's 2007 Student Poetry Contest


[with audio]


[with audio]


[with audio]


Bush's Lost Year

By deciding to invade Iraq, the Bush Administration decided not to do many other things: not to reconstruct Afghanistan, not to deal with the threats posed by North Korea and Iran, and not to wage an effective war on terror. An inventory of opportunities lost

The Long Hunt for Osama

Where has he been? How did we ever let him get away? Our correspondent—one of the few Western journalists ever to have met Osama bin Laden—traces the al-Qaeda leader's footsteps in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and describes the sometimes hapless American pursuit

If Memory Doesn't Serve

Sarah Jessica Parker or Sarah Michelle Gellar? Ashanti or Beyoncé? All will come clear on the Day of Reckoning

The Crusader

Eliot Spitzer, the attorney general of New York, has risen to national prominence by emulating Teddy Roosevelt and fearlessly taking on powerful interests. His aggressiveness has made him a lot of enemies—but it may propel him to the governor's mansion and beyond

The Big Picture

Our annual survey of the admissions landscape uncovered recent and upcoming changes to the process, growing concern about tuition increases, and serious questions about whether colleges are fulfilling their mission

Who Needs Harvard?

The pressure on smart kids to get into top schools has never been higher. But the differences between these schools and the next tier down have never been smaller
Interviews: Atlantic contributing editor Gregg Easterbrook on why the college-admissions process need not be a confidence-shattering ordeal

Measure by Measure

A new effort to determine how well schools teach

Independent Counsel

For private admissions consultants business is booming. But is their expensive expertise worth the cost?

The Third Way

Liberal arts or a professional education? More and more students are choosing to combine elements of both. A leading proponent describes the emerging trend he calls "practice-oriented education"

Florence of Arabia (Part II)

One woman's crusade to bring female emancipation to the Middle East. A short story


Divided We Stand

Republicans and Democrats should be careful what they wish for

The X Factor

Americans probably care less about Teresa Heinz Kerry's outspokenness than about her exoticism. The question is what they think of it

Suspended Sentencing

The consequences of "the single most irresponsible decision in the modern history of the Supreme Court"

"To Hell With Lipitor!"

Medicare reform—an explanation

Tick, Tick, Tick

Pakistan is a nuclear time bomb—perhaps the greatest threat to American security today. Here's how to defuse it

Primary Sources

How gay marriage could reduce the federal deficit; what your eleven-year-old has in common with presidential debaters; Cuba's looming chaos


The Glass of Fashion

What to read this month—and what not to

A Gloom of One's Own

Demanding women with demanding lives, and the men who love them

No Way, Madame Bovary

A new but not improved translation

Rote From Underground

Progressive books that—like Michael Moore—(ought to) make progressives wince

The Real Thing

Joseph O'Neill reviews William Trevor's short story collection A Bit on the Side.

Mind the Gap

Turkey is everyone's idea of a "successful" modern Muslim state. A new novel will make you think twice


Never Mind

Old science doesn't die ...

125 Years Ago in The Atlantic

The flight of jobs overseas is a hot-button issue in the 2004 election. But the problem is by no means new. As this October 1879 editorial by William Vaughn Moody makes clear, concerns about losing jobs to developing nations have been with us for a long time.

Good-bye, Cryovac

Imagine college food for which students will fake IDs, write rap songs, and line up outside the dining-hall door


Where the Wild Things Go

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


Adults Need Playtime Too

When was the last time you played your favorite childhood game?


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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