March 2009

Richard Florida on how the crash will reshape America; Paul Elie on the Archbishop of Canterbury; Corby Kummer on cupcakes; Mark Bowden on rebuilding the Air Force; Christopher Hitchens on Samuel Johnson; Michael Hirschorn on the cheese-ification of network TV; and much more.

The Atlantic - March 2009

Also in this issue

Beyond Belief

Letters to the editor

What's Your Problem?

Eat this magazine, and other advice

Other articles in this issue

Quick Study

Cyberwar is hell; paranormal psychology

In a Word

Laundry as lingua franca; flow stoppers


How the Crash Will Reshape America

The meltdown will affect more than our economy. It will forever change our geography.

[Web only: Interactive Map: "The Shaping of America"]
Interviews: Urban theorist Richard Florida explains why recession is the mother of invention.

The Last Ace

As American air superiority declines, and the age of fighter jocks returns, we're going to need more men like Cesar Rodriguez.

[Web only: Video: "The View from the Cockpit"]

Prison Blocks

Incarceration exacts a terrible toll on New Orleans

The Velvet Reformation

Can Rowan Williams save the Anglican Church from itself?
Interviews: Paul Elie talks about Archbishop Rowan Williams's balancing act, and the schisms threatening the Anglican Church.


Tragic Heroes

What today’s veterans can learn from tales of the Trojan War

Sayonara, Prada

Why Japan’s young consumers are turning away from luxury goods

Cops and Squatters

On the foreclosure beat in San Bernardino

Musical Chairs

Michael Pettis is a finance pundit by day, a Beijing rock impresario by (very late) night.

Not So Guilty Pleasure

If only somebody could get the cupcake right

[Web only: Video: "The Frosting on the Cupcake"]

All the Street’s a Stage

New Orleans still has a way of making you feel as if you’ve been tippling, even when you’re stone sober.

Pipe Dreams

The quest for pure drinking water in an imperfect world


Designers’ Designers

Three books on three couturiers who rank among the greatest America has produced

Class Dismissed

A new status anxiety is infecting affluent hipdom

Demons and Dictionaries

A new book dissects Dr. Johnson’s pathologies and despair.

Cover to Cover

Dopes on a rope; northern lights; exhuming Fleming; classless etiquette; and more


My Drug Problem

The cancer drug Herceptin saved the author’s life. It also cost ,000. Would health-care reform put it, and other expensive new drugs, out of reach?

School of Rock

What does Guitar Hero’s popularity mean for the future of rock and roll?

The Future Is Cheese

Why the networks are surrendering prime time to Jay Leno and the Lord of the Dance


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?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life 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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