May 2012

How Facebook may be making us lonely, the genius of Kanye West, Muammar Qaddafi's grieving son, a profile of an iconoclastic video game inventor, and more

The Atlantic - May 2012

Editor's Note

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Brand

Social media is turning self-promotion into a full-time, alienating preoccupation.


Letters to the editor

Responses and reverberations


What’s Your Problem?

How to get a beard like Ben Bernanke’s, and other advice


Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?

For all the connectivity of the social- media age, research suggests that we have never been lonelier. A report on what this epidemic is doing to our bodies, our souls, and our society.

The Most Dangerous Gamer

The video-game developer Jonathan Blow is his industry’s harshest critic. In trying to prove the artistic capacity of his medium, Blow may cement his legacy—or end his career.
Video: Taylor Clark shows what makes Jonathan Blow's video games so subversive and extraordinary.

Six Rules for Dining Out

How a frugal economist finds the perfect lunch
Video: Tyler Cowen discovers an exceptional Vietnamese bistro in a suburban strip mall near Washington, D.C.

How to Make a Hollywood Hit

Charting the new globe-trotting science of moviemaking

Kanye West, American Mozart

Intense and emotional, the hip-hop superstar has become a national joke. Could a concert tour with Jay-Z, his preternaturally controlled friend and rival, offer redemption—or disaster?
Interview:: Rap legend Rakim talks to David Samuels about the state of hip-hop today, the state of hip-hop when he started—and how he ended up living in suburban Connecticut.


Can the Tea Party Take Japan?

Tokyo conservatives look westward for inspiration.

Alaska by Dogsled

A journey through the wilderness renews friendship and invites solitude.

The Army Bands of Afghanistan

The United States is hoping to leave the country with a fully functioning military. That includes training musicians who can sound "like sixth-grade band class."

Qaddafi’s Child

Bad tidings reach the despot's son Saadi.

Iron Lungs and Steely Nerves

Off the Kona Coast of Hawaii, a diving enthusiast learns to plunge 100 feet on a single gulp of air.

The Data-Driven Parent

Will statistical analytics make for healthier, happier babies—or more-anxious adults?


Why You Can’t Get a Taxi

And how an upstart company may change that

The Filthy Morality of Louis C.K.

How the comedian became America’s unlikely conscience


The Art of Fielding: A Swing and a Miss

Why the latest hyped-up work of staggering genius strikes out

Critiquing the Critic

Essayist Dwight Macdonald had a rhythmic voice and "a poet's eye for detail."

Cover to Cover

Richard Diebenkorn’s vision of California; Sir Walter Raleigh gets his due; stylish ghost stories; 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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