December 2008

Henry Blodget explains why Wall Street always blows it; Caitlin Flanagan on the appeal of Twilight for adolescent girls; James Fallows interviews America's Chinese banker; P.J. O'Rourke on Disney's house of the future; David Samuels profiles an ultimate fighting champion; James Parker on the strange genius of actor Jim Carrey; and much more.

The Atlantic - December 2008

Also in this issue

American Precedent

Letters to the editor

What's Your Problem?

Tropical print is dead, and other advice

Other articles in this issue

Quick Study

Elitist endowments; borrowing blind

Word Fugitives

Articles of agreement; dishwasher dictators


Why Wall Street Always Blows It

And why we never learn from the last bubble
Flashbacks: Atlantic articles from the 1930s reveal how Americans reinvented banking, restructured the economy, and dealt with challenges unsettlingly parallel to those of today.

“Be Nice to the Countries That Lend You Money”

An interview with America's Chinese banker

Iceland’s Meltdown

Map: A visual guide to economic calamity

Getting Away With Murder?

Why Rafiq al-Hariri's assassins may never be caught [Web only: Slideshow: "Fear and Loathing in Beirut"]

Future Schlock

Disney's new, furiously unimaginative House of the Future


In the ring with Quinton Jackson: a profile of an ultimate fighter



The spies who loved me

Caveat Donor

A street brawl in India brings down a global kidney-transplant ring.

A Cock Crows in Portland

The heartbreak of urban chicken husbandry


After 17 years in the NHL, Czech hockey star Jaromir Jagr hits the ice—and the jackpot—in Siberia.

Cheese Balls

Mozzarella’s American renaissance

The Ottoman Mystique

In Turkey, there are dancers, and there are dancers. [Web only: Slideshow: "Turkish Surprise"]

Rook Dreams

New chess software makes it easier for younger players to reach the top of their game—and harder to stay there


Geography Is Destiny

An epochal new book argues that the events of history we think consequential and monumental are, mostly, trivia
Books: In time for the holidays—a comprehensive selection of books highlighted in The Atlantic in 2008

Books of the Year

The best of 2008

What Girls Want

A series of vampire novels illuminates the complexities of female adolescent desire. [Web only: Video: "Twilight—a Review"]

Suburbs of Our Discontent

Misery and banality in a 1950s Connecticut development—rendered with anatomical precision on the page, and now coming to the screen

Cover to Cover

A guide to additional releases


Pop Psychology

Why asset bubbles are a part of the human condition that regulation can’t cure

The Existential Clown

Why Jim Carrey makes us uncomfortable. [Web only: Video: "The Fears of a Clown"]


Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


What Makes a Story Great?

What makes a story great? The storytellers behind House of CardsThis American LifeThe Moth, and more reflect on the creative process.


Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.


Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.


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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