December 2006

The Atlantic Top 100 list; William Langewiesche, "How to Get a Nuclear Bomb"; Hanna Rosin on the commercialization of yoga, James Fallows on life in contemporary China; Christopher Buckley's letter from 2008; Michael Hirschorn considers the future of the newspaper; Benjamin Schwarz selects the books of the year; and much more.

The Atlantic - December 2006

Other articles in this issue

Influential Architects

Influential Critics

Influential Filmmakers

The Top 100 Influential Figures in American History

Who are the most influential figures in American history? We asked 10 eminent historians. The result, collected here, is The Atlantic’s Top 100—and some new insight into the nature of influence and the contingency of history.

Top Living Influentials

Living Americans who received votes from panelists

Influential Musicians

Panelist Biographies

Influential Poets

The Travel Advisory

What to see and do in Iceland

Five California Wines From Wally's


They Made America

Who are the most influential figures in American history? The Atlantic recently asked ten eminent historians. The result was The Atlantic’s Top 100—and some insight into the nature of influence and the contingency of history. Was Walt Disney really more influential than Elizabeth Cady Stanton? Benjamin Spock than Richard Nixon? Elvis Presley than Lewis and Clark? John D. Rockefeller than Bill Gates? Babe Ruth than Frank Lloyd Wright? Let the debates begin.

How to Get a Nuclear Bomb

It wouldn’t be easy. But it wouldn’t be impossible. A reporter travels the world to find the weaknesses a terrorist could exploit

Postcards From Tomorrow Square

Our man in Shanghai samples budget beer, survives subway scrimmages, and starts living the contradictions of China’s breakneck modernization

Striking a Pose

Fifty years ago, yoga was the province of California communes and fringy New Agers. Now it’s teetering on the brink of overexposure and commodification. So, is it a spiritual antidote to the upscale Western lifestyle, or just the latest manifestation?
Interviews: Hanna Rosin, the author of "Striking a Pose," discusses yoga's journey from Himalayan mountaintops to the studio down the street.

American Icons

This is the eleventh in a series of archival excerpts in honor of the magazine's 150th anniversary. This installment is introduced by Mark Bowden, an Atlantic national correspondent.


Coalition of the Waiting

The U.S.-European alliance is not on its last legs— and when Bush goes, it could emerge stronger than ever

Ordinary People

A remarkable celebration of unremarkable lives deflates pat social theories of both the right and the left

Containment Strategy

Iran. North Korea. Uganda? Why the Pentagon ranks Africa’s AIDS crisis as a leading security threat

Pakistan: Ally or Adversary?

The Atlantic recently asked a group of foreign-policy authorities about Pakistan and its president, Pervez Musharraf

Iran: A Minority Report

Mapping the rise of discontent

Primary Sources

Afghan schools under attack; the perils of stock-tip spam; marriage as a matter of life and death; Vietnamese astrology gets it right


Walt's World

Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination, by Neal Gabler

Books of the Year

Selected by The Atlantic’s literary editor, Benjamin Schwarz
Roundup: In time for the holidays—a comprehensive selection of books highlighted in The Atlantic Monthly in 2006

Of Sex and Marriage

Stop it, you’re killing my libido

True North

A career-spanning anthology reveals again why Alice Munro is the living writer most likely to be read in a hundred years

New Fiction

The View From Castle Rock, by Alice Munro

Out of Character

On Richard Ford’s latest

Rich Man’s Burden

The steely resolve of Andrew Carnegie

Cover to Cover

A guide to additional releases


In Hot Water

Midwinter pool hopping in Iceland

Dumbing Down Wine

Chain stores threaten to destroy independent wineshops— and your chances of finding interesting wine

In Praise of Chain Stores

They aren’t destroying local flavor—they’re providing variety and comfort

Microsoft Reboots

A preview of the new versions of Windows and Office

Get Me Rewrite!

A modest proposal for reinventing newspapers for the digital age


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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