November 2012

Our annual Brave Thinkers list, an interview with Mike Bloomberg, the strangest potential threat to the president, the Army's culture of mediocrity, Benjamin Schwarz on the end of jazz, and more


Brave Thinkers 2012

Our annual guide to the people risking everything in pursuit of big ideas

The Bloomberg Way

The mayor of New York on his soda ban, why he doesn't worry about approval ratings, governing in the age of Twitter, and the dumbed-down media
Gallery: A look back at some of Bloomberg's most audacious mayoral moments

A Brief History of Brave Thinking

Radical ideas from our archives, featuring Ralph Waldo Emerson, Virginia Woolf, and more

Hacking the President's DNA

Exponential advances in synthetic biology pose a serious new national-security threat. Here's a radical proposal for how to combat it.

General Failure

How a culture of mediocrity has taken hold within the Army's leadership ranks—and why America's military future depends on uprooting it.


The irony of getting away with something was that you were your own executioner. In a pang of remorse, you could open your mouth and change your life.


My Conversion Will Not Be Televised

How I ended up on TV debating Salafism with an Egyptian cleric
Video: Highlights from the author’s appearance on Egyptian TV

The Deer Paradox

It’s never been easier to shoot a buck. So why are hunters spending billions on high-tech gear?

Steal My Book!

Why I’m abetting a rogue translation of my novel

The Court Crasher

Tom Goldstein changed how lawyers get to the Supreme Court—and how news gets out of it.
Video: Tom Goldstein talks with Garrett Epps about the history of SCOTUS blog and the future of the Supreme Court.

Sprucing Up Your Cocktail

A lost flavor of the northern woods, rediscovered

Being There

Put down your smartphone—the art of travel demands the end of multitasking.


Prisoners of Cable

Why we can’t break free from our TV overlords

The Amis Obsession

How Martin Amis expanded the possibilities of English prose—including my own
Video: A 2010 conversation between Martin Amis and his close friend Christopher Hitchens

Busy and Busier

Productivity expert David Allen talks with James Fallows about the future of getting things done.


The End of Jazz

How America’s most vibrant music became a relic
Video: Benjamin Schwarz shares some of the greatest recordings in jazz history.

Slaughterhouse Rules

A professor spends a season in hell.

Cover to Cover

The deeply misanthropic paintings of Caspar David Freidrich; Flannery O'Connor as protagonist


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?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life 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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