November 2005

William Langewiesche, "The Wrath of Khan"; Ross Douthat, "Does Meritocracy Work?"; Richard H. Hersh, "What Does College Teach?"; Thomas Mallon on Doris Kearns Goodwin, Alex Beam on the greatest stories never told; Richard Clarke on FEMA; Caitlin Flanagan on "You Go Girl!" studies; and much more.

The Atlantic - November 2005

Also in this issue

Letters to the editor


What to watch for in the weeks ahead

Other articles in this issue

Film School

Five movies containing lessons for the college-bound

Guide to the Guides

The college pipeline

The Hidden Costs of College


August Walk

Hear Rosanna Warren read her poem "August Walk"

Panel at the Press Club

Her Daughter

[with audio]


[with audio]

Midday Mirage

[with audio]


The Wrath of Khan

How A. Q. Khan made Pakistan a nuclear power—and showed that the spread of atomic weapons can't be stopped
Interviews: William Langewiesche on nuclear proliferation—and why the U.S. is powerless to stop it.

The Greatest Stories Never Told

Some of the most delicious unpublished journalism gets passed around like a secret handshake

No Ordinary Tome

Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin's much anticipated book about Abraham Lincoln, marks her return to the arena after a devastating scandal. Throughout her personal trials, Goodwin says, Lincoln himself proved to be a major source of consolation.

In the Footsteps of Tocqueville (Part V)

A year-long journey ends on the coast of New England

Does Meritocracy Work?

Not if society and colleges keep failing to distinguish between wealth and merit

The Best Class Money Can Buy

The rise of the "enrollment manager" and the cutthroat quest for competitive advantage. The secret weapon: financial-aid leveraging

Is There Life After Rankings?

A report card from one college president, whose school now shuns the U.S. News ranking system—and has not only survived but thrived

What Does College Teach?

It's time to put an end to "faith-based" acceptance of higher education's quality

You Are Not Alone

College newspapers discover the sex column


Things Left Undone

Why has an administration that talks so much about homeland security been so unable to secure the homeland?

Progressive Dementia

One element of the president's Social Security plan will rise again. It shouldn't

What Would Zimbabwe Do?

The U.S. Supreme Court looks abroad for help in interpreting the Constitution

Declare War

It's time to stop slipping into armed conflict

Primary Sources

Post-Gaza Israel; the travails of black cabbies; the (continuing) migration of the Electoral College; how to spot a spy

Stop and Go

The miracle of movement in New York City


War Without End

The Third Reich in Power, by Richard J. Evans; A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water, by Patrick Leigh Fermor; Pétain, by Charles Williams; In Command of History, by David Reynolds; Forgotten Armies, by Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper

The Prisoner of Cool

Elmore Leonard's talents have increasingly become cooped up in his hallmark tough-guy aesthetic

Think Big, Be Big

Historians whose work spanned centuries, continents, and bookshelves

Boys Will Be Boys

The latest in the ever growing field of "You go, girl!" studies
Flashbacks: Articles by Karl Menninger, Bruno Bettelheim, Caitlin Flanagan, and others on how to raise well-adjusted children.

New Fiction

Household Words, by Joan Silber

Free and Easy

Ben Franklin, comic genius

A Close Read

In the Fold, by Rachel Cusk


Fatwa City

Behavior modification gets down to business

The Mother Load

"Oh, my God—Southwest to Tampa with a thousand people!" A report on the new Airbus A380, the world's biggest passenger plane

Better Bacon

A new cult takes hold

An Old-School Copper

Jack Slipper (1924-2005)

Who's Who

A selective index to this month's issue


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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