December 2011

Our fraught alliance with Pakistan, Walmart's impact on China, Oprah's misunderstood appeal, and more

The Atlantic - December 2011


What’s Your Problem?

How to decode Justin Bieber lyrics, and other advice


The Ally From Hell

Pakistan lies to us, sponsors militants who attack American troops, and may have knowingly harbored Osama bin Laden. With a friend like this, who needs enemies?
Video: Jeffrey Goldberg explains America's relationship with this unstable nuclear power

I Was Wrong, and So Are You

A libertarian economist discovers that our political leanings leave us more biased than we think.

What I Lost in Libya

While covering the Libyan civil war, the author was seized by Muammar Qaddafi’s forces and imprisoned in Tripoli.
Back Story: Gillis's online dispatches reveal how her Libyan adventures played out in real time

How Walmart Is Changing China

Will the world’s biggest corporation succeed in transforming environmental standards?


The End of Chinatown

Does China’s rise mean the end of one of America’s most storied ethnic enclaves?

Why Veterans Should Get Their Own Court System

As troops surge back into domestic life, incarceration isn't always the answer

All His Children

A sperm donor discovers his rich, unsettling legacy.

Circle of Life

Namibia is trying to save its lions by charging trophy fees to kill them.

Land of the Dead

Guanajuato’s Museo de las Momias conjures the epic brutality of Mexico’s past.

Siberian Paradise

At play in Russia’s “Sacred Sea”

The Revolution in Photography

A new camera captures hundreds of images and lets you choose your own reality


Romney’s Business

The Republican contender touts his business experience—but does it really matter?

The Anti–James Bond

A new film adaptation of John le Carré’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy prompts a look at the various incarnations of his greatest character, George Smiley.


The Greatest Gossip

A John Updike compilation, plus a history of the Bank of England

Books of the Year 2011

The Atlantic’s literary editor picks the five best of the crop.
Runners-Up: In the December issue of The Atlantic, literary editor Benjamin Schwarz named his picks for the top five books of the year. Here, he lists five more that almost made the cut.

The Glory of Oprah

Why the “talkinest child” understands women and the power of television better than anyone else

The Rockford Style

Eastwood? McQueen? Why James Garner is the real star of his era.

Cover to Cover

Love and gambling at Niagara Falls; the evolution of James Wolcott; and more


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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