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(The December Cover) The Search for a No-Frills Jesus

A group of scholars looking for the "real" Jesus -- the human figure divested of theological raiment -- believe that they have found him in Q, a primitive text whose very existence, let alone content, remains a matter of speculation. Who is the Jesus they discover? And do their investigations represent a painstaking breakthrough or a case of ingenious folly?

by Charlotte Allen

My Grandfather's Last Tale

You may never have heard of the composer Ernst Toch, but you have doubtless heard his music in any of dozens of old movies. His grandson's solicitude for Toch's serious work -- in particular a never-performed opera -- sets in motion a sometimes picaresque pursuit of the composer through the broad avenues and dark alleys of twentieth-century musicology.

by Lawrence Weschler

Web-Only: Toch Unbound A multimedia sidebar offering the music and writings of Ernst Toch, along with links to archival resources.

Great Society in Camouflage Currant Affairs


Notes & Comment: A Few Loose Ends
Had enough of the universe's unfathomable complexities?
by Cullen Murphy

(Seahorse) The Military: The Great Society in Camouflage
Accountability, diversity, sobriety, hierarchy -- all this and a sturdy safety net, too, have put the U.S. Army on a different road from the rest of America.
by Thomas E. Ricks

Web-Only: Sex in Camouflage A conversation with Thomas E. Ricks about sexual harassment and discipline in the Army.

Personal File: Magic Time
A big part of the experience of dying of cancer, the author has learned, comes down to etiquette.
by Michael Davitt Bell

Fiction & Poetry

The Shooting
A poem
by William Matthews

The Greatest Show on Earth
A short story
by Sheila Gordon

A poem
by Linda Bierds

The Game
A poem
by Marie Howe

Browse and search The Atlantic's online archive.

The seahorse symbol indicates that an article is supplemented with additional Atlantic material, such as related articles, audio, or special online sidebars.

Arts & Leisure

Travel: On France's Blessed South Coast
For all the laments one hears that the Côte d'Azur has been "spoiled," it remains an immensely successful combination of nature and nurture.
by Hans Koning

Food: Currant Affairs
The versatile black currant may do yeoman service in preserves and glazes, but it achieves true nobility in cassis, a liqueur that has won new attention from artisan producers.
by Corby Kummer


Elegant Variation and All That
The New Fowler's Modern English Usage, edited by R. W. Burchfield
by Jesse Sheidlower

Lincoln Speaks
Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln, compiled and edited by Don E. Fehrenbacher and Virginia Fehrenbacher
by James M. McPherson

Brief Reviews
by Phoebe-Lou Adams

Other Departments

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The December Almanac

The Puzzler
by Emily Cox & Henry Rathvon

Word Watch
by Anne H. Soukhanov

Note: some material from The Atlantic's print edition may not be available online, at the request of the authors or artists.

All material copyright © 1996 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
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