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(The January Cover) Running Scared

America's never-ending election campaign -- a phenomenon unknown in any of the world's other democracies -- keeps politicians vulnerable, frightened, and preoccupied, and makes it hard for government to deal with the country's most pressing problems. Americans often complain that the system is not sufficiently democratic. In truth, the author writes, it may be too democratic.

by Anthony King

Web-Only: Political analysts Jonathan Rauch and Larry Sabato respond to points made in this article.

Forgotten Benefactor of Humanity

His name means nothing to most Americans, but Norman Borlaug and his farming methods have in the course of half a century kept starvation at bay for hundreds of millions of people in Asia and Latin America. Some environmentalists now ask, Can't this man be stopped?

by Gregg Easterbrook

Web-Only: The Green Revolution
Norman Borlaug's Nobel Prize acceptance speech (December 11, 1970).

The Spirit of Cotonou The Many Faces of Ives The World as Your Oyster

Notes & Comment: The Spirit of Cotonou
Many of the world's languages are beleaguered. Here is a survival strategy for one of them, now thatit seems ready to come out from behind its Maginot Line.
by Cullen Murphy

Foreign Affairs: Cuba's Entrepreneurial Socialism
We say "embargo," they say "blockade" -- but semantics aside, two facts emerge: First, the Cubans have coped surprisingly well with recent economic crises and tighter U.S. sanctions. Second, with American companies looking on, the rest of the world has been eager to do business in Cuba.
by Joy Gordon

Urban Affairs: Good News!
The words "public housing" virtually epitomize what went wrong decades ago with major aspects of urban social policy. Today, quietly, low-income housing has become a showcase for what communities are doing right.
by Alexander von Hoffman

Fiction & Poetry

The Litany of Disparagement
A poem
by Dick Allen

A short story
by Akhil Sharma

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: The World as Your Oyster
"Now, where shall we eat?" Reliable strategies for answering that question -- wherever you are.
by Corby Kummer

Music: The Many Faces of Ives
American composers have long gazed inquiringly upon Charles Ives -- and seen images of their own choosing reflected back. In the course of his rediscovery of the composer, the author finds that "the mythological Ives is a trickster god."
by David Schiff


The Most Eminent Victorian
Gladstone, by Roy Jenkins
by Geoffrey Wheatcroft

Brief Reviews
by Phoebe-Lou Adams

Other Departments

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The January Almanac

Word Court
by Barbara Wallraff

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 © 1997 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
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