The feature stories, dispatches, columns, essays, and original fiction in The Atlantic's November issue include:
The Bloomberg Way
As part of The Atlantic's Brave Thinkers list, the magazine's annual guide to the people risking everything in pursuit of big ideas, James Bennet sits down with Michael Bloomberg for a typically candid interview. The New York City mayor discusses his soda ban, approval ratings, and the 2012 presidential race, among many other topics:
- On why high approval ratings mean you're failing: "If I finish my term in office ... and have high approval ratings, then I wasted my last years in office. That high approval rating means you don't upset anybody...You always want to press, and you want to tackle the issues that are unpopular, that nobody else will go after."
- On how President Obama alienated Wall Street: "He had enormous support three years, or three and a half years, ago...I think a lot of [people on Wall Street] were frustrated that he didn't give the change that they had expected. I think a lot of them thought he'd be more of a centralist and less of a populist once he got elected."
- On whether Obama deserves credit for ordering the raid that killed Osama bin Laden: "That's like giving Harry Truman credit for dropping the bomb: any president would've pushed that button, any president would've dropped the bomb."
Brave Thinkers 2012
Every year, The Atlantic highlights individuals who are risking their reputations, fortunes, and lives in pursuit of ideas that upend the established order. Check out this year's list of 21 brave people and groups, ranging from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to the Russian punk collective Pussy Riot.
A Brief History of Brave Thinking
Since 1857, The Atlantic has presented some of America's most provocative thinkers, people with the bravery to challenge convention or imagine the future. Here, snippets from 155 years' worth of Brave Thinking in the magazine--from Vannevar Bush's sketch of a curious device that resembles what is now the Internet to John Muir's ideas leading to the creation of the U.S. Forest Service.
Digital exclusive: watch a highlights reel of past and present Brave Thinkers.
Hacking the President's DNA
The U.S. government is surreptitiously collecting the DNA of world leaders, and is reportedly protecting that of Barack Obama. Decoded, these genetic blueprints could provide compromising information. Andrew Hessel, Marc Goodman, and Steven Kotler assert that, in the not-too-distant future, the data may provide something more as well--the basis for the creation of personalized bioweapons that could take down the president and leave no trace.
Looking back on the troubled wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many observers are content to lay blame on the Bush administration. But inept leadership by American generals was also responsible for the failure of those wars. Thomas E. Ricks exposes a culture of mediocrity within the Army's leadership rank. If it is not uprooted, the country's next war is unlikely to unfold any better than the last two.