May 2005

Bernard-Henri Lévy, "In the Footsteps of Tocqueville"; Christopher Hitchens, "On Becoming American"; Charles? C. Mann, "The Coming Death Shortage"; William Langewiesche, "Hotel Baghdad"; Benjamin Schwarz, "Will Israel Live to 100?"; Joshua Green, "It Isn't the Message, Stupid"; Ross Douthat, "The Apocalypse, Rated PG"; Corby Kummer, "The Kosher Conversion"; and much more.

The Atlantic - May 2005

Also in this issue

Letters to the editor


What to watch for in May

Other articles in this issue

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In the Footsteps of Tocqueville

How does America look to foreign eyes? This year marks the bicentennial of the birth of Alexis de Tocqueville, our keenest interpreter. We asked another Frenchman to travel deep into America and report on what he found
Interviews: Bernard-Henri Lévy speaks with David Brooks about America—its patriotism, its religion, its ideology

On Becoming American

What does it take for an immigrant to shift from "you" to "we"?

The Coming Death Shortage

Why the longevity boom will make us sorry to be alive

Hotel Baghdad

Fear and lodging in Iraq


Will Israel Live to 100?

Don't be seduced by the recent hopeful signs: in the long run the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will remain a problem without a solution

Gas Pains

One of the U.S. military's greatest vulnerabilities in Iraq is its enormous appetite for fuel. The insurgents have figured this out

The Apocalypse, Rated PG

Can a socially conservative Christian Republican succeed in Hollywood? Philip Anschutz is betting he can

Freedom, Responsibility … and What?

Social Security reform—an explanation

It Isn't the Message, Stupid

A new kind of guru is convincing Democrats that they don't need new ideas after all—a snazzy new sales pitch will revive their fortunes

The Hapless Toad

Amid all the liberal hysteria about the threats posed by a conservative Supreme Court, one threat tends to be ignored—and it happens to be the biggest one

Primary Sources

Why you shouldn't trust your real-estate agent; the financial cost of expelling gays from the military; how to spot a crooked CEO


Eminent Domains

The Sky's the Limit, by Steven Gaines; London 1945, by Maureen Waller; The Command of the Ocean, by N. A. M. Rodger

A Bag of Tired Tricks

Blank pages? Photos of mating tortoises? The death throes of the postmodern novel

Retail Therapy

Five fictional reasons not to pay full price

The Man Who Ended Slavery

Slandered by craven abolitionists as unhinged, John Brown was in fact an eloquent, cool-headed tactician who succeeded in his long-range plan: launching a civil war
Flashbacks: A collection of writings—some by Brown's friends and collaborators—sheds light on the abolitionist who took a violent stand against slavery

New Fiction

Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro
Interviews: Kazuo Ishiguro on Jane Austen, adapting his work for film, and his latest novel, Never Let Me Go

New Fiction

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

The Big Shill

Hollywood's need for hits creates a culture of misses

A Close Read

The Good Wife, by Stewart O'Nan


The Kosher Conversion

The market for kosher food is growing, for reasons both practical and spiritual

The Marrying Kind

Owen Allred (1914-2005)

Who's Who

A selective index to this month's issue


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?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life 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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