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The May Cover (image)

(Seahorse) Will America Grow Up Before It Grows Old?

We all know that the aging of the Baby Boom generation will have a profound impact on Social Security and Medicare. Not fully recognized, the author argues, is just how devastating the impact will be. Indeed, he writes, the present entitlement regime simply cannot be sustained. We are heading for a major crisis for which our society is unprepared, and only drastic changes made now can enable us to avert the crisis humanely.

by Peter G. Peterson

(Seahorse) The Nitrous Oxide Philosopher

William James was an ardent believer in the value of religious experience--of which he himself remained for the most part emotionally incapable. The exceptional moments came when he experimented with drugs. These episodes open a window onto James's thinking--and onto our own world.

by Dmitri Tymoczko


Reports

Notes & Comment: Backlogs of History
On a national scale as in our personal lives, a vexing question remains unresolved: How much stuff should we save?
by Cullen Murphy

Foreign Affairs: Blowback
In a perverse twist, the "freedom fighters" trained by the United States in Afghanistan in the 1980s have turned out to be the fount of international terrorism in the 1990s.
by Mary Anne Weaver

Personal File: Someplace Like Home
Inside a house made famous by Edward Hopper.
by Paul Bochner

(Seahorse) Politics: The Protean President
Bill Clinton was elected as a Democrat. Will he be re-elected as a Republican?
by Thomas Byrne Edsall

Fiction & Poetry

I Don't Talk Service No More
A short story
by Charles Portis

(Seahorse) Vasectomy
A poem
by Thom Ward

(Seahorse) More Marriages
A poetry anthology
by James Reiss, Erin Belieu, Donald Hall, Stanley Plumly, and Debra Pennington


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: In Tune With Ireland
Wexford's opera festival.
by Geoffrey Wheatcroft

Music: Finished Symphonies
Muzio Clementi was once more famous than Mozart. His under-known music deserves attention.
by William H. Youngren

Books

The Idea of Disorder at Key West
The fiction of south Florida, from Hemingway on.
by Phyllis Rose

What Election '96 Should Be About
Fat and Mean: The Corporate Squeeze of Working Americans and the Myth of Managerial "Downsizing," by David M. Gordon
by Jack Beatty

Brief Reviews
by Phoebe-Lou Adams

Other Departments

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Contributors

Letters
(Send a letter to the editor.)

The May Almanac

Word Court
by Barbara Wallraff

Note: some material from the print magazine is not available online, at the request of the authors.

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