June 2012

David H. Freedman on the perfected self, Mark Bowden on being in the dumb kids' class, James Parker on Glenn Beck, Isaac Chotiner on P. G. Wodehouse, and more

The Atlantic - June 2012


Letters to the editor

Responses and reverberations


What’s Your Problem?

What to do if you’re a marriage counselor named John Edwards, and other advice


The Perfected Self

Once denounced by critics as a fascist idea, "behavior modification" is making a comeback, powered by smartphone apps that aim to transform us into better versions of ourselves.
Live chat: David H. Freedman answers readers’ questions about weight loss strategies, teenage pot-smoking, Noam Chomsky, and other topics.

The Vietnam Solution

How a former U.S. enemy became a crucial ally in the effort to counter China's growing power
Map: A close look at the fiercely contested South China Sea

American Sweetheart

Fierce, cocky, and built for stardom, Marlen Esparza prepares to fight for the gold at this summer’s Olympic debut of women’s boxing.

Fiction: Honors Track

“The exam went off without a hitch, and from there, stopping just didn’t make sense. Before each Calc test, we convened at Jill’s house to work out the answers.”


Clone Wars

In which two guys who agree on just about everything face off in one of the most expensive House races of 2012
Video: Highlights from a Berman/Sherman debate

The Fraud Detectives

When it comes to preventing deceit in the housing industry, the best employees are the most paranoid ones.

Leave It to Beavers

Can large rodents help us adapt to climate change?

What's So Funny About Syria?

Out of a brutal military crackdown comes a taste for gallows humor.

Dumb Kids’ Class

The benefits of being underestimated by the nuns at St. Petronille’s

Cognac’s Identity Crisis

How the liquor’s marketing success among both rappers and codgers has blinded consumers to its subtler pleasures

In the Forests of the Night

Along the Bay of Bengal’s wild tidal basin, the scorpions and crocs can seem relatively harmless.

The End of Fate

New “social discovery” apps try to engineer chance encounters. Could they spoil true serendipity?


How We Got the Crash Wrong

Leverage was not the problem—incentives were, and still are.

Glenn Beck in Exile

Don’t cry for the former Fox star—he’s building a 24/7 media empire in his own loopy image.
Video: James Parker narrates scenes from GBTV, from earnest diatribes to fun chemistry experiments.


LBJ's Better Angels

The next volume of Robert Caro's epic biography, plus the power of Big Oil

The Escapist

P. G. Wodehouse’s comic gift was built on his brilliant capacity for repressing unpleasantness.

Cover to Cover

World War II as food fight; the demise of the family farm; 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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