Annika Neklason
Annika Neklason
Annika Neklason is an assistant editor at The Atlantic.
  • David J. Phillip / AP

    The Atlantic Daily: Revelations and Relationships

    Shooting in Texas, Republicans push for new immigration policy, children of sperm donors, and more

  • Reuters

    The Atlantic Daily: Unearthed and Exposed

    The future of the U.S.-South Korea alliance may hinge on faltering North Korean peace talks. Plus rogue satellites, Marti Noxon’s new television shows, and more.

  • Bettmann / Getty Images

    What If America Had Taken Its Own Advice on Race?

    “With a powerful analysis of the problems of institutional racism before them, the government and the public moved in a very different direction.”

  • Caitlin Cadieux / The Atlantic

    Animating the Best of The Atlantic's Archives

    Some of the most notable and enduring works from the magazine’s past come to life in a new series of videos.

  • Timothy A. Clary / Getty Images

    The Problem With Families

    What happens when individual interests conflict with the interests of the family?

  • Bettmann / Getty

    'I Married a Jew,' 80 Years Later

    An Atlantic essay published in 1939 found its modern counterpart in a much-criticized Washington Post piece published in 2018.

  • Yuri Gripas / Reuters

    The Atlantic Daily: The Future of Facts

    Trump’s choice for VA Secretary, Russia’s retaliation, lie-detector tests, and more

  • AP

    How The Atlantic Covered Billy Graham at the Start of His Career

    Sixty years ago, the late evangelist went to Scotland, preached the gospel, and cost the magazine subscribers.

  • George Francis Schreiber / Library of Congress

    The Mystery Behind Frederick Douglass's Birthday

    Two hundred years ago, one of the 19th century’s most significant Americans began his life in anonymity and bondage.

  • The Nixon Library and Museum / Reuters

    The Other Time a President Went to War with the Media

    The archives of The Atlantic preserve a tense moment in amber.

  • AP / Wikimedia / Ted Streshinsky / CORBIS ...

    The Best of The Atlantic From 1967, 1917, and 1867

    When hippies, World War I, and the Civil War filled our pages

  • Jae C. Hong / AP

    California Is Running Out of Inmates to Fight Its Fires

    They’ve helped combat the flames since World War II. But with more—and more intense—fire seasons still ahead, a series of prison reforms have cut their ranks.

  • Christian Schussele / National Portrait Gallery

    From Frederick Douglass to Edith Wharton: Portraits of Influential Atlantic Contributors

    This author-themed tour of our history commemorates these writers and the magazine’s 160th anniversary.

  • Tyrone Sir/Reuters

    Let’s Party Like It’s 1857

    With essays about the state of democracy, naturally.

  • Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

    The Masthead, Sept. 21, 2017: What We’ve Heard From You This Week

    Why Russia hasn’t (so far) influenced the German election, and a history of whimsy

  • Poem of the Week: ‘Jazz’ by Theodore Maynard

    Harris & Ewing / Library of Congress

    The first jazz recordings were made a century ago, in late February 1917. Just five years later, Carl Engel reported in our August 1922 issue, “Jazz is upon us everywhere.” The music was spreading into venues across the United States and Europe, and Engel, for one, was not a fan. He found the dancing inspired by “this delirious caterwauling” particularly offensive: “silly, lewd gyrations … the release of tension in a witless, neurotic stratum of society” that were “not precisely setting an example of modesty and grace.” Still, he later acknowledged, “jazz—good jazz—is not devoid of musical possibilities, not wanting in musical merit,” even if the “prurient panders of the musical fraternity” and “deplorable dances of our day” were beyond defense.

    Theodore Maynard, on the other hand, thought modest and restrained dancing was ill-suited to the new music. In “Jazz,” from our January 1922 issue, he describes a cabaret scene in which wealthy patrons rise to dance to a jazz song. Maynard sees none of the “silly, lewd gyrations” that Engel condemned. Instead, he puzzles over the lack of passion and enthusiasm in the dancers, so out of touch with his own reaction to the music:

                                                               Gay
       They were not. They embraced without dismay,
    Lovers who showed an awful lack of awe.

    Then, as I sat and drank my wine apart,
       I pondered on this new religion, which
       Lay heavily on the face of the rich,
    Who, occupied with ritual, never smiled—
    Because I heard, within my quiet heart,
    Happiness laughing like a little child.

    You can read the full poem here.

  • Poem of the Week: ‘The Death of Slavery’ by William Cullen Bryant

    Interior view of a slave pen, showing the doors of cells where the slaves were held before being sold
    Slave pen in Alexandria, Virginia Library of Congress

    This year I’ve spent my working hours in a distant American past, reading contemporaneous accounts of abolitionism, civil war, and Reconstruction in the deepest reaches of our archives.

    Over the last few months this position has sometimes felt disjointed from the constant stream of news coming out of Congress and the White House. But this week the two eras collided violently when efforts to take down Confederate monuments were met with protests by white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Confederate generals became the subject of articles, protests, and presidential flim flam, and Frederick Douglass reemerged on our homepage as a powerful political voice.

    So, though it was written more than 150 years ago, William Cullen Bryant’s “The Death of Slavery” feels relevant today. In the poem, published in our July 1866 issue, Bryant hails the abolitionist victory at the close of the Civil War by addressing his words to the institution of slavery itself—that “great Wrong,” that “scourge,” finally at the end of its “cruel reign.”

    Like The Atlantic’s founders, Bryant was fiercely opposed to slavery. He repeatedly gave voice to his abolitionism in the editorials he penned as the longtime editor of the New York Evening Post, and was an emphatic supporter of the anti-slavery Free-Soil and Republican Parties and particularly of Abraham Lincoln’s 1860 presidential campaign. The grand moral language and triumphant tone of “The Death of Slavery” evince the fervent outrage with which he viewed America’s “peculiar institution,” and the equally fervent exultation he felt when it finally ended.

    The last stanza of the poem, in which Bryant addresses the physical remnants of slavery, feels particularly resonant at the end of this long and difficult week. It reads:

    I see the better years that hasten by
       Carry thee back into that shadowy past,
       Where, in the dusty spaces, void and vast,
    The graves of those whom thou hast murdered lie.
              The slave-pen, through whose door
              Thy victims pass no more,
    Is there, and there shall the grim block remain
       At which the slave was sold; while at thy feet
    Scourges and engines of restraint and pain
       Moulder and rust by thine eternal seat.
    There, ’mid the symbols that proclaim thy crimes,
    Dwell thou, a warning to the coming times.

    You can read the rest of the poem here, and find more verse about the Civil War in our archives.

  • AP

    The Atlantic Civil War Reader

    A look back at how the magazine covered the conflict as it unfolded

  • Poem of the Week: ‘August’ by H. H.

    Victor Fraile / Reuters

    It’s August again, and here in D.C., where we’ve had a cool and cloudy week, it’s already starting to feel a bit like fall.

    It’s a time of year that Helen Hunt Jackson (under the diminutive pen name “H. H.”), captured in our pages almost a century and a half ago. In “August,” from our August 1876 issue, she describes the loveliness, and ephemerality, of a summer nearing its end:

    Silence again. The glorious symphony
    Hath need of pause and interval of peace.
    Some subtle signal bids all sweet sounds cease,
    Save hum of insects’ aimless industry.
    Pathetic, summer seeks by blazonry
    Of color to conceal her swift decrease.

    You can read the full poem here.  

  • Poem of the Week: ‘Among the Redwoods’ by E. R. Sill

    Redwood trees seen from below, with light filtering between their trunks
    Eric Risberg / AP

    This week I left Washington, D.C., behind and returned to the coastal town in Northern California where I grew up for a brief respite from the late-summer heat and humidity pervading the capital. To mark my homecoming, here’s a bit of E. R. Sill’s haunting “Among the Redwoods,” from our December 1884 issue:

    Farewell to such a world! Too long I press
       The crowded pavement with unwilling feet.
    Pity makes pride, and hate breeds hatefulness,
       And both are poisons. In the forest, sweet
    The shade, the peace! Immensity, that seems
    To drown the human life of doubts and dreams.

    Far off the massive portals of the wood,
       Buttressed with shadow, misty-blue, serene,
    Waited my coming.

    I was born and raised just a short drive from the sort of forest Sill describes. He captures the experience of standing among the redwoods that I can still clearly recall from when I was younger: the incredible vastness of the trees; the mist and the light filtering through their close-grown trunks; the resounding sort of quiet they exude, so ancient and so far removed from anything man-made.

    Even with all the 19th-century tokens of its romanticism and rhyme scheme and formal language, Sill’s poem vividly evokes that familiar place and those familiar feelings. It’s one of my favorite pieces I’ve found in our archives, a little bit of my home set down a century before I was born.

    And it’s not the only reminder I’ve found. John Muir described the same woodlands in his 1897 case for saving “The American Forests”:

    The redwood is the glory of the Coast Range. It extends along the western slope, in a nearly continuous belt about ten miles wide, from beyond the Oregon boundary to the south of Santa Cruz, a distance of nearly four hundred miles, and in massive, sustained grandeur and closeness of growth surpasses all the other timber woods of the world. Trees from ten to fifteen feet in diameter and three hundred feet high are not uncommon, and a few attain a height of three hundred and fifty feet, or even four hundred, with a diameter at the base of fifteen to twenty feet or more, while the ground beneath them is a garden of fresh, exuberant ferns, lilies, gaultheria, and rhododendron.

    These forests were not destroyed by the clearings Muir denounced—by which, he wrote, “these vigorous, almost immortal trees are killed at last, and black stumps are now their only monuments over most of the chopped and burned areas.” Instead, when I was younger I was able to walk into much the same woods as Sill and Muir described in the late 19th century, and stand at the foot of some of the world’s tallest and most ancient trees. I can read these old writings and find something familiar, some sense of home. And when I return to the California coast the redwoods are still there, waiting my coming.