September 2005

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.

The Atlantic - September 2005

Also in this issue

Letters to the editor


What to watch for in the weeks ahead


In a Ruined Country

How Yasir Arafat destroyed Palestine
Interviews: David Samuels, the author of "In a Ruined Country," on how Yasir Arafat conned the world and destroyed a nation

One of Our Whales Is Missing

In which Rick Renard, PR hustler par excellence, sets out to save Grimland's gentle giants of the deep. A short story

The Holy Cow! Candidate

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?

Lost Verizon

Intercepted phone call outside the gates of Vienna, recently declassified


Remote Control

The Supreme Court's greatest failing is not ideological bias—it's the justices' increasingly tenuous grasp of how the real world works

Without Precedent

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

Waiting for Sarko

Will Nicolas Sarkozy vanquish his mentor Jacques Chirac to become France's first "American" president?

Primary Sources

Terrorism tallies; do good grades cost minority kids popularity?; the long-term benefits of nonviolence; why athletes should wear red


He Found It at the Movies

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

Hobbes in the Himalayas

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

Gender Bending

Men's books that women should read

The Great Escape

A grudging salute to an absentee mom

New Fiction

Antwerp, by Nicholas Royle

If Pigs Could Swim

Why our farm animals would be better off on the other side of the Atlantic

A Close Read

Perfect Strangers and Other Stories, by Roxana Robinson


The XY Files

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.

The Pariah Guy

Edward J. von Kloberg III (1942—2005)

Who's Who

A selective index to this month's issue


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


The Origins of Bungee Jumping

"We had this old potato sack and I filled it up with rocks and dropped it over the side. It just hit the water, split, dropping all the stones. And that was our test."


Is Trading Stocks for Suckers?

If you think you’re smarter than the stock market, you’re probably either cheating or wrong


I Spent Half My Life Making a Video Game

How a childhood hobby became a labor of love



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