A month after launching The Atlantic Weekly, we're hoping readers are, by now, eager each Friday for the next issue ( delivered right to your iPad or iPhone for a mere $20 a year). But in the annals of impatience, few people were as anxious to see the next edition of a magazine as young Truman Capote was in 1947. The unheralded author had had a story accepted by The Atlantic for publication and was none too pleased at the length of time it was taking to reach readers. " The Atlantic has held this story an unduly long time, and this has been rather an inconvenience," the 23-year-old Capote wrote to his editor. This week, we're happy to present that story, "Shut a Final Door," in the iPad edition of The Weekly just as it finally appeared--much to Capote's relief--in the summer of 1947.
Speaking of anxiety, this week Alexis C. Madrigal takes stock of a summer camp for people looking to disconnect from computers and gadgets, and wonders whether we aren't being a little quick to indict technology for our perceived mental unease. We also present a piece titled "Why Great Walls Fail," that tracks the decline of empires of yore and shows how fence building--of the sort under way along the U.S. border with Mexico--is foolish. For a smart idea, Alan Barra looks at the business model employed by the resurgent Pittsburgh Pirates, who this season have gone from laughingstock to league leaders. We've got a piece that spotlights a rather surprising and problematic effect of runaway college costs and another story that takes up the question of how Hollywood villains, this summer, reflect our current societal fears. Finally, we present a somewhat cinematic and potentially fearful tale likely unfolding in your backyard, as so-called cicada-killers begin feasting on their undead prey. We've got all that this week and more--and you don't have to wait around like Capote.