The feature stories, dispatches, columns, and original fiction in The Atlantic's annual Ideas issue include:
"Why Women Still Can't Have It All"
It's time to stop fooling ourselves, says Anne-Marie Slaughter: the women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed. Slaughter, who was the first female director of policy planning at the State Department, serving from 2009 to 2011, left her foreign-policy dream job after she realized that juggling high-level government work with the needs of her two teenage sons was not possible. She returned to academic life at Princeton University and now, speaking out for the first time, she says that if we truly believe in equal opportunity for all women, we must make fundamental changes in the workplace, our families, and society. Here's her plan for how to do that.
Digital exclusive: Slaughter discusses her cover story with The Atlantic's Hanna Rosin in a video interview. Plus, join the online conversation about the piece using #HavingItAll on Twitter.
The 2012 Ideas List
The Atlantic presents its annual compendium of prescriptions, provocations, and modest proposals for making the world a better place. Check out 23 ½ big ideas--from banning gasoline and hiring introverts to abolishing the secret ballot and befriending Islamists.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is a diehard Bruce Springsteen fan: he's attended more than 100 of his concerts and knows every word to every song. Yet despite heroic efforts by the governor, Springsteen, who's a New Jersey resident, will not talk to him. Jeffrey Goldberg accompanied Christie to his 129th concert and talked at length about politics, rock and roll, and this unrequited love.
Digital exclusive: Christie shares his favorite songs by the Boss.
The Measured Man
Larry Smarr, an astrophysicist turned computer scientist, has a new project: charting his every bodily function in minute detail. What started as a mission to lose weight has evolved into a quest to understand the human body--his body--from the inside out. As Mark Bowden finds, Smarr may be charting the future of health care.
Digital exclusive: Smarr shows off his living laboratory--yep, his insides--at his research center at the University of California.
Hell on Bicycle Wheels
Olympic athletes descending upon London, beware. Longtime cyclist Lionel Shriver has biked dozens of American states and all over western Europe, and nowhere else has she encountered a cycling culture so cutthroat, vicious, reckless, hostile, and violently competitive as the U K.'s capital city.
As Londoners prepare to open this summer's Olympics, Britain's selection for the cauldron-lighter is a tightly held secret. As always, the chosen man or woman--almost certainly an athlete, according to Ed Caesar's well-placed source--is the host nation's opportunity to project its desired image to the world.
Digital exclusive: View a photo gallery of past Olympic torchbearers, a role steeped in history and national pride.
World's Worst Traffic Jam
Joshua Hammer assumed that a 40-mile trip to Lagos, a Nigerian metropolis of 21 million people, would be a routine commute. Twelve hours later, it had become a lesson in the dysfunction and criminality of Africa's most populous nation.
The Last Days of Foie Gras
On July 1, California's foie gras ban will go into effect, devastating chefs, gourmands, and Ed Leibowitz. Will the culinary community obey the law or, as some members have already threatened, defy it?
When the pro wrestler Abdullah the Butcher steps into the ring, fans know they're guaranteed to see at least one bloodied wrestler, and most likely two. Known for his fork-wielding, madman antics, Abdullah shares his trade secrets with Graeme Wood, who, we're happy to report, escaped the interview unscathed--more or less.