April 2012

How Ben Bernanke saved the economy, Rahm Emanuel's big plans, the triumph of HBO's Game of Thrones, Philip Roth's not-quite-autobiographical fiction, and more

The Atlantic - April 2012

Editor's Note

Creative Destruction

The modern Republican Party has braided together a reverence for tradition with a devotion to free markets. But those two values are inexorably in conflict.

Letters & more

Letters to the editor

Responses and reverberations


What’s Your Problem?

Never pay for marijuana, and other advice


The Villain

The left hates him. The right hates him even more. But Ben Bernanke saved the economy—and has navigated masterfully through the most trying of times.

Meet the New Boss

Tattered finances, broken schools, rampant crime—can Rahm Emanuel make Chicago work?

The Man Who Broke Atlantic City

Over the course of five months, Don Johnson won $15 million from three different casinos, devastating their monthly revenues. Here’s how he did it.

What Isn’t for Sale?

Market thinking so permeates our lives that we barely notice it anymore. A leading philosopher sums up the hidden costs of a price-tag society.

How We Spend

And what that tells us about the economy



Why did Harrison Barnes stay in college when he could have played pro? It’s all about building his brand.

School, Crossing

How do you move a 3-million-pound building across New Orleans? Carefully.

The Playboy

A former cricket star may become Pakistan’s next ruler.

The Royal Me

How Australians’ disdain for authority has led to an epidemic of secession

The Peaks of Persia

Sharing the rope on a rare expedition in the mountains of Iran

The Secret Ingredient

Liquor companies love to claim they use closely guarded, centuries-old recipes. Usually it’s just marketing.


Europe’s Real Crisis

The Continent’s problems are as much demographic as financial. And they won’t go away anytime soon.

The Enchanted State

HBO’s Game of Thrones, based on the novels by George R. R. Martin, represents a triumph of storytelling.


Night Owls

How nightlife changed Western culture, plus why New Zealand is better than the U.S.

Roth v. Roth v. Roth

The complexities and conundrums of reading Philip Roth’s work as autobiography

Cover to Cover

Katherine Boo’s unsparing portrait of slum life in Mumbai; two Agatha Christie memoirs; a modern Victorian novel set at the races; 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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