The Tragedy of the American Military, Gun Trouble, How I Learned to Love the Draft, and more...

This Month from The Atlantic

January/February 2015

The tragedy of the American military, the most powerful conservative in America, 5,200 days in space, balancing Iran and Israel, fiction by George Singleton, and more

Cover Story

The Tragedy of the American Military

The American public and its political leadership will do anything for the military except take it seriously. The result is a chickenhawk nation in which careless spending and strategic folly combine to lure America into endless wars it can’t win.

James Fallows


Gun Trouble

The rifle that today's infantry uses is little changed since the 1960s—and it is badly flawed. Military lives depend on these cheap composites of metal and plastic. So why can't the richest country in the world give its soldiers better ones?

Robert H. Scales

How I Learned to Love the Draft

A veteran of the Cold War–era draft argues that once again sharing the burden of defending the country would produce better foreign policy—and better Americans.

Joseph Epstein

5,200 Days in Space

An exploration of life aboard the International Space Station, and the surprising reasons the mission is still worthwhile

Charles Fishman

Is the Most Powerful Conservative in America Losing His Edge?

Erick Erickson built his career on stoking populist rage. But now the man who steers the Tea Party says conservative anger has grown toxic and self-defeating.

Molly Ball

The Death of the Artist—and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur

Hard-working artisan, solitary genius, credentialed professional—the image of the artist has changed radically over the centuries. What if the latest model to emerge means the end of art as we have known it?

William Deresiewicz

Fiction: Hex Keys

Father's Day 1972—an oddball quest

George Singleton


Warming to Iran

An American-Iranian détente is in both countries’ interest—but it needn’t upset our special relationship with Israel.

Robert D. Kaplan

The Bro Whisperer

Michael Kimmel’s quest to turn college boys into gentlemen—and improve sex on campus

Olga Khazan

Moscow: Minivans for Minigarchs

Instead of leaving the office early, elite Muscovites are taking their offices on the road.

Isaac Webb

Wall Street Rises Again

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

William D. Cohan

You’re Just Like Me!

Why we choose partners who share our traits

Matthew Hutson

The Future of Getting Arrested

What they're gonna do when they come for you

Leon Neyfakh

Does Global Warming Make Me Look Fat?

The health benefits of being cold

James Hamblin

How Do You Say 'Sex'?

Why English has 1,750 slang words for the simple act of sexual intercourse

Jonathon Green

Living Small

The making of Manhattan’s first micro-apartments

Henry Grabar

Buses Are for Other People

Americans love public transportation. So why don’t they use it?

Eric Jaffe

The First Potato Chip

A very short book excerpt

John McQuaid

The Culture File

Morality TV

The hidden-camera show What Would You Do? reveals the persistence of American decency.

James Parker

How the Fed Flubbed It

A new book’s harsh verdict: Ben Bernanke, the Depression expert, failed to learn from some key history lessons.

Sebastian Mallaby

The Strangest Power Couple

What Mary Anne and Benjamin Disraeli can tell us about the Clintons

Deborah Cohen

Fyodor’s Guide

Revisiting Dostoyevsky’s St. Petersburg haunts in the Putin era

Jeffrey Tayler