October 2012

James Bennet on campaign finance, James Parker on 50 Shades of Grey, a special report on American schools, and more

The Atlantic - October 2012

The Conversation

Responses and reverberations

Election 2012

The New Price of American Politics

Citizens United has changed our democracy. Will it lead to a populist awakening? Or a corporate recapturing of U.S. elections?
Video: Stephen Colbert's lawyer talks to James Bennet about the danger of super PACs.

The League of Dangerous Mapmakers

How a few determined partisans rig Congress
Gallery: The practice of manipulating electoral districts for party or class gain is as old the United States.

The Ballot Cops

A controversial new organization is building a nationwide army to root out voter fraud—or suppress voter turnout.

American Schools

Why Kids Should Grade Teachers

New research is finding that the best way to evaluate teacher quality is by asking students a few simple questions.

The Homeschool Diaries

In New York City, teaching your own kids can make the most sense.

The Writing Revolution

When New Dorp High School was faced with closure, the principal launched a dramatic new writing initiative—one that has become a model for educational reform.

The Schoolmaster

David Coleman is a poetry-loving Rhodes Scholar and former McKinsey consultant whose pending overhaul of the SAT has reignited a national debate over how much we should expect from students and schools.

A National Report Card

A visual look at the educational successes and failures of the past year

The Education Upstarts

In a field long dominated by the government and teachers unions, a new generation of activists has stepped up to lobby legislators and drive the conversation.


They Taught America How to Watch Football

The father and son who, through a half century at NFL Films, mythologized modern football—and helped make it the national game
Video: Five decades of highlights from NFL Films


After the Oil Rush

In Alaska, dwindling reserves forecast a statewide identity crisis.


An island nation confronts rising sea levels—and the related flood of foreign aid.

Tea and Kidnapping

In the desert with the world’s friendliest hostage-takers

Pipe Dreamer

Could Gary Johnson’s turn as a pro-legalization Libertarian swing the presidential election?

The Selfish Meme

Twitter, dopamine, and the evolutionary advantages of talking about oneself


The Next Panic

Europe’s crisis will be followed by a more devastating downturn, likely beginning in Japan.

Bad Romance

What the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon says about the modern sexual condition


The Weaker Sex

How the new gender economics has more and more professional-class women looking at their mates and thinking: How long until I vote you off the island?
Live chat: Sandra Tsing Loh will be online to discuss this article with readers on October 4. Click the link above to submit your questions.

Cover to Cover

The untold story of America's color consensus; Rachel Cusk's way with metaphors; and more


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?

What makes a story great? The storytellers behind House of CardsThis American LifeThe Moth, and more 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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