David Samuels, "In a Ruined Country"; Sridhar Pappu, "The Holy Cow! Candidate"; fiction by Christopher Buckley; Lori Gottlieb, "The XY Files"; Christopher Hitchens on Salman Rushdie; Stuart Tayler Jr. on the Supreme Court's greatest flaw; Sandra Tsing Loh on a mother who fled; and much more.
In which Rick Renard, PR hustler par excellence, sets out to save Grimland's gentle giants of the deep. A short story
Mitt Romney, the governor of Massachusetts, loves data, hates waste, and reveres Dwight Eisenhower. He's also the Next Big Thing in the Republican Party. But can anyone so clean-cut, so pure of character, and (by gosh!) so square overcome the "two Ms"—Mormonism and Massachusetts—to be our next president?
Intercepted phone call outside the gates of Vienna, recently declassified
The Supreme Court's greatest failing is not ideological bias—it's the justices' increasingly tenuous grasp of how the real world works
Actually, the Supreme Court's problem is not merely disconnection from the real world—it's also arrogance, dishonesty, grandiosity, and a lack of respect for principle, history, or logic
photograph by Stephen Hird
Will Nicolas Sarkozy vanquish his mentor Jacques Chirac to become France's first "American" president?
Terrorism tallies; do good grades cost minority kids popularity?; the long-term benefits of nonviolence; why athletes should wear red
A field guide
James Agee: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, A Death in the Family, Shorter Fiction and James Agee: Film Writing & Selected Journalism, edited by Michael Sragow; Louis I. Kahn, by Robert McCarter; Tired of Weeping, by Jónína Einarsdóttir; The Chosen, by Jerome Karabel
The situation in horrible, magical modern Kashmir—where East battles East in a war that fuses the psychopathic and the apocalyptic—defies political analysis. But Salman Rushdie's new novel captures it as nothing else can
Interviews: Salman Rushdie talks about his new novel, Shalimar the Clown, the Islamic moral universe, and the crushing of Kashmir
Men's books that women should read
A grudging salute to an absentee mom
Antwerp, by Nicholas Royle
Why our farm animals would be better off on the other side of the Atlantic
Perfect Strangers and Other Stories, by Roxana Robinson
Forgoing a trip down the aisle, our correspondent heads straight to the sperm bank. But does she want the Truffaut aficionado or the mentor to underprivileged kids?
Flashbacks: Atlantic writing from the 1960s to the present on cloning, in vitro fertilization, egg donation, sperm donation, and more.
Edward J. von Kloberg III (1942—2005)
A selective index to this month's issue
What to watch for in the weeks ahead