Nicholas Carr on what the internet is doing to our brains; Hanna Rosin on why crime is making a mysterious comeback; Jonathan Rauch on the race for the electric car; Sandra Tsing Loh on feminism's dirty little secret; the 11.5 biggest ideas of the year; Christopher Hitchens on Salman Rushdie; Wayne Curtis visits a bizarre Frank Lloyd Wright building in Oklahoma; and much more.
Why is crime rising in so many American cities? The answer implicates one of the most celebrated antipoverty programs of recent decades.
What the Internet is doing to our brains
A thumbnail intellectual history of the year. [Web only: Video: "Where Ideas Come From": Interviews with David Lynch and Donovan ]
With the Chevy Volt, General Motors—battered, struggling for profitability, fed up with being eclipsed by Toyota and the Prius—is out to reinvent the automobile, and itself.
Intrigued (and alarmed) by the new science of “neuromarketing,” our correspondent peers into his own brain via an MRI machine and learns what he really thinks about Jimmy Carter, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bruce Springsteen, and Edie Falco.
Why stop signs and speed limits endanger Americans
Rupert Murdoch wants his Wall Street Journal to displace The New York Times as the world’s paper of record. His ambitions could be good news for the newspaper industry— or another nail in the coffin of serious journalism. [Web only: Video: "Rupert Murdoch: The Last Hope for Journalism"]
Editor’s Choice: Oscar Niemeyer’s work continues to enchant and appall students of architecture and urban planning.
The fruits of the feminist revolution? Sisterhood, empowerment, and eight hours a day in a cubicle
Salman Rushdie’s ebullient historical novel manifests both his dexterous erudition and his bawdy wit.
The characters of Meg Wolitzer's latest novel are so insightful and articulate that it's a pleasure to listen to them think.
A guide to additional releases
A new theory of the leisure class
We chose to build this, The Atlantic's first Ideas Issue, not around speculative experimentation, academic abstraction, or gee-whiz gizmos, but around real-world attempts to rethink big questions. [Web only: Submit your own suggestions for the idea (or ideas) that have been most important this year. Some submissions may be included in part or in full in a future issue of the magazine.]