How wallpaper went from being a decorative interior piece to desktop background, what a workout identity entails, who conservative superstar Tom Cotton really is, and more...

This Week on TheAtlantic.com

Friday, September 19, 2014

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The Making of a Conservative Superstar

To understand why activists are so angry at the president, you have to understand how close they've come—and how long they've waited.

Molly Ball

The Entrepreneur Who Wants to Save Paradise

Douglas Tompkins—the founder of Esprit and The North Face—is using his fortune to build massive national parks in Chile and Argentina. But what he sees as philanthropy, local ranchers see as meddling.

Diana Saverin

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Israel's Worst-Kept Secret

Is the silence over Israeli nukes doing more harm than good?

Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

A Brief History of Shrinking Wallpaper

The decorative spaces around us are getting smaller and more secretive.

Rose Eveleth

How Gangs Took Over Prisons

Originally formed for self-protection, prison gangs have become the unlikely custodians of order behind bars—and of crime on the streets.

Graeme Wood

Wealthy L.A. Schools' Vaccination Rates Are as Low as South Sudan's

Hollywood parents say not vaccinating makes "instinctive" sense. Now their kids have whooping cough.

Olga Khazan

It's 2014: Why Are Men Still Paying for First Dates?

The disturbing implications of a long-standing expectation

Joe Pinsker

Chinese Colleges Are Trying to Look Like the Ivy League

Can architecture alone give a campus an air of Western prestige?

Bianca Bosker

Magazine: What Happens When We All Live to 100?

If life-expectancy trends continue, that future may be near, transforming society in surprising and far-reaching ways.

Gregg Easterbrook

Video: CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How does a workout become a social identity? In some ways, it's choosing a gym. In some ways, it's choosing a life.

In Focus: Photos of the Week: 9/13-9/19

This week, we have a look at photographs of debutantes at the Queen Charlotte's Ball, a crumbling Soviet memorial in Bulgaria, an Estonian raccoon dog, Saqqara's pyramid of Djoser, Hurricane Odile in Mexico, and much more.

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