January 2001 | Volume 287 No. 1

The New Old Economy: Oil, Computers, and the Reinvention of the Earth

The New Economy is based on the production of knowledge. The Old Economy is based on natural resources and the production of physical goods. Now the line between them is beginning to blur. A New Old Economy is making productivity surge and ushering in an Age of Plenty.

by Jonathan Rauch

Why McDonald's Fries Taste So Good
This article is no longer available on the web.

Mysterious, man-made "natural flavor" explains why most fast food -- indeed, most of the food Americans eat -- tastes the way it does.

by Eric Schlosser

seahorse picture Web only: Unhappy Meals
In an Atlantic Unbound interview, Eric Schlosser talks about his new book, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal.

The Indoctrinologists Are Coming

Health-care activists increasingly lay the blame for disparities in treatment -- and even for illness itself -- on racism, sexism, and other forms of bias. That argument, the author contends, is demonstrably wrong and decidedly dangerous.

by Sally Satel


Notes & Comment:
Reading by Ear

Some combinations of voice and word are impossible to forget.
by James Fallows

The Scholars and the Goddess

Devotees of Wicca have laid claim to an ancient heritage. Historians now believe that not a single element of the Wiccan story is true.
by Charlotte Allen

Foreign Affairs:
Flushing Out the Shlaki

Everyone knows about the woeful health-care system in the former Soviet Union. Our correspondent, in Ukraine, suddenly needed a doctor.
by Jeffrey Tayler

Personal File:
My Mother's Dresses

A memoir.
by Kate Bolick

Humor, Fiction, & Poetry

In the Open
A poem
by W. S. Merwin

seahorse picture The Bindi Mirror
A poem
by Greg Delanty

A Diller, a Dollar
A short story
by Trudy Lewis

Civil Engineering
A drawing
by Guy Billout

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Arts & Leisure

Province of the Past

A sojourn in France's département of the Lot.
by Peter Davison

I Hear America Scatting

Ken Burns's documentary Jazz is enjoyable television, but in taking on the entire history of jazz Burns doomed himself to incompleteness and superficiality.
by Francis Davis

seahorse picture Web only: Jazz in The Atlantic Monthly
A collection of Atlantic articles on jazz from 1922 to the present.


"The Worst Thing About My Church"
Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews, by James Carroll
by Charles R. Morris

Short Reviews

Other Departments

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The January Almanac

At Last Count
Outside Influence
by Carl Thor Dahlman

The Puzzler
by Emily Cox & Henry Rathvon

Word Court
by Barbara Wallraff

Coming next month: Word Fugitives
Barbara Wallraff's acclaimed Atlantic Unbound column is coming back -- in print! Look for it in the February, 2001, issue of The Atlantic. Meanwhile, there's no need to wait to send us your fugitive words... [read more].

All material copyright © 2001 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.
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