January/February 2009

Michael Hirschorn on how The New York Times could survive; Mark Bowden considers the hardest job in football; Ta-Nehisi Coates profiles Michelle Obama; Hua-Hsu on post-white America; James Parker on Battlestar Gallactica; Wayne Curtis on the return of the classic cocktail; and much more.

The Atlantic - January/February 2009

Also in this issue

Are We White?

Letters to the editor

What's Your Problem?

How to poison your guests, and other advice

Other articles in this issue

Quick Study

The mailbox monopoly; back to futures

In a Word

Mind control-alt-delete; liminal laundry


The End of White America?

Culturally, America is already post-white. Demographically, we're headed there, too.
Flashbacks: Articles from the turn of the 20th century onwards show that the breakdown of racial hegemony in America has been a slow, challenging process

American Girl

The radical normalcy of Michelle Obama.

[Web only: Video: "South Side Story"]

Race Over?

An inside look at how the Obama campaign tackled the thorniest issue of all
Interviews: Archbishop Desmond Tutu reflects on terrorism, torture, and what the first African American president might mean for Africa.

Then and Now

How has America changed since 2000?
Spotlight: Reports and commentary by James Fallows, Mark Bowden, Christopher Hitchens, Pat Buchanan, Robert D. Kaplan, and others.

The Founders’ Great Mistake

The true culprits behind the excesses of the Bush presidency
State of the Union: The filibuster is obstructive, anachronistic, and undemocratic. It's time to kill it off for good.

The Man in the Middle

What Chuck Schumer thinks he knows about the middle class; a profile
Dispatch: Market crashes are inevitable, but financial innovation and globalization have massively increased our vulnerability to them. Unless we make big regulatory changes—changes on a global scale—we should prepare for more years like this one.

The Hardest Job in Football

Producing NFL games is an art peculiar to the modern age. Meet Bob Fishman, master of the form


Security Blanket

Afghanistan’s most venerable relic faces its greatest challenge.

Road Worriers

With volatile gas prices, imploding suburban real estate, and an incoming administration, the New Urbanists seize their moment.

Dirty Sexy Money

Is porn recession-proof?

Food Fight

Iron Chef, Armed-Forces style

Found in Translation

The Basques reclaim their cultural identity, one word at a time.


Our correspondent toasts a growing trend: the return of the classic cocktail

Strange Paradise

Panama has pristine jungles, a nascent ecotourism industry—and the dark allure of a Graham Greene novel.

[Web only: Slideshow: "Panama’s Brooding History"]


How geeks are opening up government on the Web



A new report from the country’s top intelligence office predicts a fundamental change in America’s foreign policy—but not the change Barack Obama has promised.

Imperfect Union

A brilliant new book probes the intimate, unequal relationship between Virginia Woolf and the woman who cared for her.


Toni Morrison’s new historical novel is a monotonous series of flashbacks, larded with anachronisms.

Cool Cat

Our new president has a feline’s legendary nimbleness and luck—but there are downsides to being a cat.


Lost In Space

Is Battlestar Galactica a great television epic—or proof that there is no such thing?

[Web only: Video: "Far Out"]

End Times

Can America’s paper of record survive the death of newsprint? Can journalism?


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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