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.
October 1 Massage Reform Ten years after Bill Clinton signed the landmark welfare-reform bill, the Bush administration continues to squeeze.…
Debating JFK In his reply to Alecia Flores, who chided him for taking a gratuitous potshot at President Kennedy (Letters, July/August Atlantic),…
How long will it take to fix his mistakes?
Trade agreements have always been greased by deception about who benefits. Now they’re failing because leaders have come to believe their own lies
A guide to additional releases
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.
America’s educated elite is clustering in a few cities— and leaving the rest of the country behind
Unrest in China; on parking and national character; the importance of being squiggly; our overconfident youth
Fidel Castro ruled Cuba for forty-seven uninterrupted years—making him the world’s most tenured autocrat—before his grip slipped in August.…
Some political strategists are hoping for defeat in November
For the second year, The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute collaborated in July to host the Aspen Ideas Festival, which gathers scientists, politicians, entrepreneurs, religious figures, and others for a week of conversation and debate. Participants contribute provocative ideas from their fields, and discuss the world, both as it is and as it might become. Following are some excerpts from this year's discussion.
The exceptional insouciance of Jessica Mitford
The literature generated by the Mitford “gals” (or “gels,” as they were known in English circles) is of two types. The first is nonfiction…
If, like your reviewer, you are inclined to regard traditional Gothic tropes as silly—who, past boneheaded adolescence, gives a hoot about…
Alice McDermott’s sixth novel, After This, returns her readers to the famil‑ iar terrain of Irish American Long Island and, yet again, to the…
The battle between the sexes continues unabated in T. C. Boyle’s latest novel. Decked out as a thriller— complete with a heroine thirsting for…
What makes good writing good
What to read this month
Hey! Leave those kids alone!
Bill Miller (1915–2006)
Who knew that people could get so worked up about the domestic behavior of total strangers? In May a woman described her husband as a “pack…
Hear the author read this poem Here Michael Scott, the Wizard of Balwearie, Set Satan to the task of braiding rope.From sea sand. He might…
Caught out in daylight, a rabbit’s.transparent pallor, the moon.is paired with a cloud of equal weight: the heavenly congruence startles. For…
How the Internet is fitting its users with mental eyeglasses— and letting them see new vistas of knowledge in the process
When Ask.com was known as Ask Jeeves, I had a hard time taking it seriously. Its butler logo was the uncool opposite of Google’s minimalist…
Our correspondent ventures to Alaska to learn when to eat wild salmon—and how to find it even when it’s not in season
And how they taste
Once the province of Garbo and Astaire, movie glamour now comes from Superman, Spider-Man, and Storm.
The Golden Ring is just a three- to five-hour drive from Moscow. Renting a car, though expensive (about $100 a day), will maximize your flexibility…
The Golden Ring, northeast of Moscow, offers a respite from the capital and an immersion in the past
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
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
A portrait of Libya
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
A wisecracking playboy gets friendly with bunnies, birds, even dogs
The United States is now prosecuting suspected terrorists on the basis of their intentions, not just their actions. But in the case of Islamic extremists, how can American jurors fairly weigh words and beliefs when Muslims themselves can’t agree on what they mean?
The Atlantic recently asked a group of foreign-policy authorities about the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah
The author of "Prophetic Justice" discusses the murky business of prosecuting would-be terrorists on the basis of their beliefs.
Sandra Tsing-Loh describes the elite, utopian island of urban private education—and explains why she opted to steer clear of it