October 2006

Robert D. Kaplan, "When North Korea Falls"; Amy Waldman, "Prophetic Justice"; Bing West, "The Road to Haditha"; Virginia Postrel on glamorous superheroes; poetry by John Updike; America's smartest cities; and much more.


When North Korea Falls

The furor over Kim Jong Il’s missile tests and nuclear brinksmanship obscures the real threat: the prospect of North Korea’s catastrophic collapse. How the regime ends could determine the balance of power in Asia for decades. The likely winner? China

Running for Their Lives

Neglected children, hellish commutes, shrill coworkers, and first pitches at Little League games— why it’s no picnic to be a moderate in the House of Representatives

Prophetic Justice

The United States is now prosecuting suspected terrorists on the basis of their intentions, not just their actions. When it comes to Islam, are American jurors equipped to understand if words and beliefs are truly dangerous?
Interviews: The author of "Prophetic Justice" discusses the murky business of prosecuting would-be terrorists on the basis of their beliefs.

The Road to Haditha

How did the heroes of Fallujah come to kill civilians in Haditha? A Vietnam veteran who witnessed the battle of Fallujah says it's too soon to judge the marines—but not the high command

The Aspen Ideas Festival

excerpts from this year's discussions


This is the ninth in a series of archival excerpts in honor of the magazine’s 150th anniversary. This installment is introduced by James Bennet, the editor of The Atlantic.


Unwinding Bush

How long will it take to fix his mistakes?

The Fruitful Lie

Trade agreements have always been greased by deception about who benefits. Now they’re failing because leaders have come to believe their own lies

Where the Brains Are

America’s educated elite is clustering in a few cities— and leaving the rest of the country behind

The Fight to Lose Congress

Some political strategists are hoping for defeat in November

War in Lebanon

The Atlantic recently asked a group of foreign-policy authorities about the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah

Primary Sources

Unrest in China; on parking and national character; the importance of being squiggly; our overconfident youth


New Fiction

After This, by Alice McDermott
Interviews: Sandra Tsing-Loh describes the elite, utopian island of urban private education—and explains why she opted to steer clear of it

A Close Read

Breakable You, by Brian Morton

Zoologically Correct

A wisecracking playboy gets friendly with bunnies, birds, even dogs

New Fiction

The Keep, by Jennifer Egan

Poison Pen

The exceptional insouciance of Jessica Mitford


Escape to Old Russia

The Golden Ring, northeast of Moscow, offers a respite from the capital and an immersion in the past

Salmon Time

Our correspondent ventures to Alaska to learn when to eat wild salmon—and how to find it even when it’s not in season

Superhero Worship

Once the province of Garbo and Astaire, movie glamour now comes from Superman, Spider-Man, and Storm.

Artificial Intelligentsia

How the Internet is fitting its users with mental eyeglasses— and letting them see new vistas of knowledge in the process

Making Sinatra Sinatra

Bill Miller (1915–2006)


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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