The Future of College?, The Law-School Scam, The Real Value of Online Education, and more...

This Month from The Atlantic Magazine

September 2014

How for-profit universities are tearing down higher ed, the cocaine dealer who reinvented himself as a community leader, why climate hysterics hurt their own cause, the Cesarean-industrial complex, Murakami's mysterious literary appeal, and more

Cover Story

The Future of College?

A brash tech entrepreneur thinks he can reinvent higher education by stripping it down to its essence, eliminating lectures and tenure along with football games, ivy-covered buildings, and research libraries. What if he's right? 

Graeme Wood


The Law-School Scam

For-profit law schools are a capitalist dream of privatized profits and socialized losses. But for their debt-saddled, no-job-prospect graduates, they can be a nightmare.

Paul Campos

The Escape Artist

West Virginia frat boy, hippie expatriate, big-time drug dealer, prison escapee, millionaire mortgage broker—Jim Sargent was many things before he arrived in the idyllic Hawaiian town of Hawi and established himself as a civic leader. But it was only a matter of time before his troubled past would catch up with him. 

John Wolfson

How to Talk About Climate Change So People Will Listen

Environmentalists warn us that apocalypse awaits. Economists tell us that minimal fixes will get us through. Here's how we can move beyond the impasse. 

Charles C. Mann


The Transparency Trap

Why trying to make government more accountable has backfired

David Frum

How to Look Smart

Wear glasses, use a middle initial, and other tips for appearing intelligent

Julie Beck

Congressman Moonbeam

Can Representative Tim Ryan teach Washington to meditate? 

Molly Ball

Better Hygiene Through Humiliation

A device that reminds doctors and nurses to wash their hands

Eleanor Smith

Bypassing the Bankers

How peer-to-peer lending is changing the way consumers get loans

William D. Cohan

Menu Speak

On food descriptions and status anxiety

Jen Doll

Prepare to Be Shocked

Four predictions about how brain stimulation will make us smarter

Alexis C. Madrigal

The Rise of the Narco-Saints

A new religious trend in Mexico

Jake Flanagin

The Culture File

The Gonzo Historian

Rick Perlstein’s massive chronicle of “the whackadoodle far-right” gets ever more manic.

Sam Tanenhaus

The Mystery of Murakami

His sentences can be awful, his plots are formulaic—yet his novels mesmerize.

Nathaniel Rich

Building Better Teachers

Mastering the craft demands time to collaborate—just what American schools don't provide.

Sara Mosle

Pistachio Politics

Discovering a new angle on Turkey’s identity crisis through baklava

Esther Yi

How Rye Came Back

The unexpected source of a craft-whiskey boom

Wayne Curtis


The Conversation

Responses and reverberations

The Big Question

What is the most significant fashion innovation in history?