May 2014

Why successful women lack self-assurance—and men have too much, the end of desegregation, the odd life of a retired pope, the case for secrecy, the annual money report, and more

The Atlantic - May 2014


The Conversation

Responses and Reverberations

The Big Question

Q: What was the worst business decision ever made?


The Confidence Gap

Evidence shows that women are less self-assured than men—and that to succeed, confidence matters as much as competence. Here's why, and what to do about it.
Video: The authors talk with Hanna Rosin about the mysteries of self-assurance.

Segregation Now ...

Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, the schools in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, show how separate and unequal education is coming back.
Video: A short documentary about Tuscaloosa's Central High School

The Pope in the Attic: Benedict in the Time of Francis

What’s it like for the first living ex-pope in 600 years to watch from up close as the successor he enabled cheerfully dismantles his legacy?

Why We Look the Way We Look Now

The modern style of clothes emerged in the Depression, and so did the focus on the figure beneath the fabric—with a startling result: as Americans' wardrobes became more similar, bodies diverged along class lines.

The Money Report

Africa’s Tech Edge

How the continent's many obstacles, from widespread poverty to failed states, allowed African entrepreneurs to beat the West at reinventing money for the mobile age

Where the Card Sharks Feed

In 2011, the Justice Department targeted online-poker operators for violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Since then, many guileless amateurs, known to poker pros as “fish,” have been moving back to casinos.

The Pirate Economy

The high price of warding off hijackings in Somali waters


We Need More Secrecy

Why government transparency can be the enemy of liberty

Our Gullible Brains

How our senses influence our thoughts

Office Talk Visualized

The origins of workplace jargon

A Stethoscope That Can See

A new tool lets doctors turn sound waves into graphs.

A New Golden Age for Media?

An era of investment in the news business is upon us. Will it last?

A Better Battery

Steven Chu, a Nobel laureate and former secretary of energy, and Yi Cui, a celebrated battery researcher who works with Chu at Stanford, describe how an overhaul of the unglamorous battery will jump-start a shift to renewable energy.

Survival Tweets

#Lebanon #LatestBombing

The Vodka Wars

A very short book excerpt

The Culture File

Reading the Beatles

Forget the recent spate of books on the Fab Four. The only volume you need was published 20 years ago today …

Our Nudge in Chief

How, and why, Cass Sunstein believes laws and public policies should help save us from our irrational impulses

The Disillusionist

Edward St. Aubyn, who can make words do just about anything, can’t help mistrusting precisely that power.

A Chekhov From China

Yiyun Li’s latest novel maps new extremes of loneliness.

How Shirley Temple Helped FDR

The tiny actress showed demoralized grown-ups how much spunky perseverance could achieve.


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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