December 2013

How data is changing hiring and firing, the quest to end the flu, John Kerry's aggressive diplomacy, how women change men, the worst year in history, and more

The Atlantic - December 2013


The Conversation

Responses and reverberations

The Big Question

What was the worst year in history?


They're Watching You at Work

What happens when Big Data meets human resources? The emerging practice of "people analytics" is already transforming how employers hire, fire, and promote.

How John Kerry Could End Up Outdoing Hillary Clinton

Critics say he's pompous and reckless—but his relentlessness may end up making him the most consequential secretary of state in years.

Why Are Prison Riots Declining While Prison Populations Explode?

A visit to corrections officers’ annual Mock Prison Riot

The Quest to End the Flu

The methods used to make flu vaccines are slow and sometimes unreliable, and new viruses threaten to outrun them. Can researchers find a way to stay ahead?

The Hospital Is No Place for the Elderly

Medical treatment for aging, chronically ill patients is costly and often ineffective. Can they get better care at home?

The War No Image Could Capture

Photography has given us iconic representations of conflict since the Civil War—with a notable exception. Why, during the Great War, the camera failed.


Do Democrats Make Better Neighbors?

Possibly, though not if you need a kidney, or your plants watered while you're away

How Women Change Men

As daughters, sisters, wives, and co-workers

In Praise of Fancy Words

The pleasures of reading with a dictionary by one's side

Photobomb: A New Data-Recording Device for First Responders

It's round, it bounces, and it snaps pictures every half second.

Is Capitalism in Trouble?

CEOs are growing nervous. Can they help save our system from its worst excesses?

Cloudy With a Chance of Beer

The Weather Company's Vikram Somaya talks about why marketers are clamoring for weather data.

The Next Housing Crash

When the Boomers downsize, what will happen to the suburbs?

China's Latest Video-Game Craze

Within two hours of its release, Airplane War was reportedly downloaded 180 million times.

The Culture File

How Norman Rockwell Captured the Inner Life of a Nation

His tableaux of American innocence are not as simple as they seem.
From the archive: The 1950s backlash against Rockwell

Machiavelli Was Right

The shocking lesson of The Prince isn't that politics demands dirty hands, but that politicians shouldn't care.

'Our Place Is in the Sky'

Balloons, though they fly low, inspire dangerous dreams of escape.

Cover to Cover

A new essay anthology captures the power of city parks.

Where They Drink Whiskey in the Morning

A cruise around the Hebrides, the Scottish islands that inspired Samuel Johnson, James Boswell, and Robert Louis Stevenson


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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