A World Without Work, Prison Born, Why the Saudis Are Going Solar, and more...

This Month from The Atlantic

July/August 2015

Ideas of the year, the end of work, why the Saudis are going solar, the insidious message of tween TV, and more

Cover Story

A World Without Work

For centuries, experts have predicted that machines would make workers obsolete. That moment may finally be arriving. What will a society without jobs look like—and how should we prepare?

Derek Thompson


Prison Born

What becomes of the babies of incarcerated mothers? Research suggests that having nurseries in prisons leads to lower recidivism rates for moms and better outcomes for their kids.

Sarah Yager

Why the Saudis Are Going Solar

The fate of one of the biggest fossil-fuel producers may now depend on its investment in renewable energy.

Jeffrey Ball

The Decline of the American Actor

Why the under-40 generation of leading men in the U.S. is struggling—and what to do about it

Terrence Rafferty

How Much Political Power Do You Have?

A quiz to compare yourself with the likes of Barack Obama, Cliven Bundy, and others

Eric Liu

Ideas of the Year

The Cold War Never Really Ended

For the first time in a decade, Russia spent a higher portion of its GDP on defense than the U.S. in 2013.

David Frum

Americans Are Okay With Surveillance and Torture

In the face of damning evidence against U.S. officials, the country has shrugged.

Conor Friedersdorf

Sex on Campus Is Impossible

The complicated reality of consent

Hanna Rosin

Post-Racial Society Is Still a Distant Dream …

The United States needs more than a good president to erase centuries of violence.

Ta-Nehisi Coates

… And So Is Global Religious Peace

As long as people interpret texts literally, religion will be a source of conflict.

Graeme Wood

The Tricks People Use to Avoid Debate

In the art of evading meaningful policy discussions, all political camps have honed their particular styles.

Hanna Rosin

The NFL Is Evil—and Unstoppable

Despite incidents of cheating, taxpayer fleecing, domestic abuse, brain damage, and suicide, America can’t stop watching professional football.

Scott Stossel

Silicon Valley Is Not a Force for Good

A sector that once promised revolutionary change is finally hitting its backlash.

Don Peck

The Nightmare of Cable TV Is Over

America is living in a golden age of television, largely in thanks to cord cutting.

Megan Garber

Old People Are Cool

The effortless hipness of senior citizens.

Hanna Rosin

Inequality Is Enemy No. 1

The urgency of fixing income disparities around the world

Don Peck

More Ideas of the Year

From selfie sticks and wristwatches and to kale and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt


Closing Europe’s Harbors

The urgent case for stopping the flow of illegal migrants across the Mediterranean

David Frum

Hunted by the Mob

The Italian investigative journalist Roberto Saviano, in exile in New York City

William Brennan

The Fine Art of Forgery

Why the Smithsonian is using 3‑D printing to copy artifacts

Henry Grabar

Palm Reading Is Real?

How your hands actually predict your future

Eleanor Smith

Reclaiming the Public Square

Cleveland is the latest city to call on James Corner, the landscape architect behind New York’s High Line, to revive an urban park.

Eric Jaffe

The Wheels of Crime Are Greased With Olive Oil

The high cost of food fraud

Sarah Yager

The Many Names of Charles Dickens

A very short book excerpt

Why People in Chile Love Soap Stars From Turkey

Chilean TV audiences fall for foreign shows—and their actors.

Audrey Wilson

The Culture File

What Tween TV Teaches Kids

The insidious message of Disney and Nickelodeon

James Parker

Does Milan Kundera Still Matter?

The Czech writer’s new novel The Festival of Insignificance sees a new specter haunting Europe: a decadent and dying culture.

Jonathan Rosen

The Maternal Eye of Sally Mann

Two decades after her photographs of her children created a furor, she reveals the curious logic of her art.

Sarah Boxer

The Mystery of Marriage

A new book is a cultural scrapbook on the resilience of a fraught institution.

Alice Gregory

The Tedium of Baseball

A review of “The Grind: Inside Baseball's Endless Season” and “33 Days.”

Ann Hulbert