DECEMBER 1998 | Volume 282 No. 6|
The number of Americans behind bars is now larger than the prison population in
all of China -- and it continues to grow, even as violent crime rates fall. The
economies of whole regions have been skewed toward incarceration, and the job
of incarceration is increasingly being handed over to private companies.
America's prison-industrial complex, the author argues, is rapidly corrupting
the criminal-justice system.
by Eric Schlosser
Lost in Translation
"A penny, which becomes secured, is an acquired penny" -- behold the
metamorphosis of one familiar saying, after a computer-aided excursion from
English into German and back. But computer programs that can translate are
actually getting to be quite good.
by Stephen Budiansky
America's Maginot Line
The development of ballistic missiles that any country can obtain threatens to
make America's military presence in Asia untenable.
by Paul Bracken
Notes & Comment: Back to Basics
Some of the steps toward a
more satisfying political life may be surprisingly simple.
by Cullen Murphy
Personal File: Neshering
jumble of a shared taxicab ride in Israel. "We have put our trust in him," the
author writes of a typical Nesher Company cabbie. "Here in the Middle East that
is no trivial act."
by Edith Pearlman
Foreign Affairs: Hoods
"Within twenty-four hours of crossing into Bulgaria by
train from Romania," the author recalls, "I began hearing two words over and
over again: 'wrestlers' and 'groupings.'" Both of these terms refer to a new
type of crime syndicate that is operating in the former Communist
by Robert D. Kaplan
Humor, Fiction, & Poetry
by Billy Collins
Today Is Sunday
A short story
by Peter Ho Davies
Web-Only: On the Sly
An Atlantic Unbound interview with Peter Ho Davies.
by Cathy Smith Bowers
Arts & Leisure
Travel: An Old-fashioned Christmas
Savoring the holiday season in Salzburg and Vienna.
by Corby Kummer
Music: Mahler's Unfinished Symphony
We can now hear several versions of
Mahler's Tenth, a work that should at last be recognized as among the
by William H. Youngren
Our Own Backyard: The United States in
Central America, 1977-1992, by William M. LeoGrande
by Phoebe-Lou Adams
77 North Washington Street
(Send a letter to the
The December Almanac
by Emily Cox & Henry Rathvon
by Anne H. Soukhanov
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