Browse back issues of The Atlantic from 1857 to present
that have appeared on the Web.
From September 1995 to the present, the archive is essentially complete,
with the exception of a few articles,
the online rights to which are held exclusively by the authors.
The Sports Report: Malcolm Jenkins, praise for fair-weather fans, Floyd Landis takes down Lance Armstrong, and the mobster who bought his kid a hockey team. Plus the U.S. military’s plunging morale, James Fallows on reinventing America, a new era of fake videos, an interview with Issa Rae, and more.
The women who busted a con man, refugee detectives in Germany, and why cartoonists struggle with drawing Trump. Plus the problem with Nancy Pelosi’s effectiveness, BLM meets sci-fi, an interview with Cory Booker, fiction by Mary Morris, and much more.
Why the Chinese love Trump, Paul Manafort and the corruption of U.S. politics, how we will feed the new global middle class, and why you should boycott the GOP. Plus, Mark Bowden revisits the world’s most body-conscious man, Caitlin Flanagan on Modesty Blaise, the failure of American democracy, fiction by Will Mackin, and more.
Russia’s election-hack gamble, God’s plan for Mike Pence, and the case against college for everyone. Plus, exoneration without DNA evidence, Eva Moskowitz’s charter-school revolution, the jellyfish apocalypse, and more.
The crucial hours after a fraternity pledge’s fall, what Thoreau really saw, and the secrets of Google’s moonshot factory. Plus, the enduring appeal of Joni Mitchell, the science behind Mona Lisa’s smile, and more.
A damage report on the presidency by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Eliot Cohen, and Jack Goldsmith. Plus, Woody Allen’s lazy filmmaking, Joyce Maynard’s personal-essay domination, and why happy people cheat on their spouses.
A family’s secret slave in America, Richard Spencer’s transformation, skydiving from space, and a new approach to helping psychopathic children. Plus, Pixar’s decline, Trump’s potential impact on the economy, and more.
The Money Report: how online shopping makes suckers of us all, how Walmart tricks people into saving, the plan to end Europe, and late-night comedy’s role in the rise of Trump. Plus, apps for aid in a humanitarian crisis, and more.
Kellyanne Conway as the Trump whisperer, Pleistocene Park, why Silicon Valley is so awful to women, and what your therapist doesn’t know. Plus, what secularization has done to American politics, and more.
President Trump’s autocratic potential, a social-media mom’s empire, blue cities in red states, and luxury doomsday bunkers. Plus, what sexuality looked like in the Victorian era, how to fix Hollywood, and more.
The Tech Issue: The view from Silicon Valley, how social media is changing war, and breaking your internet addiction. Plus, a rare presidential endorsement, Jane Jacobs on the fragility of democracy, and much more
The Politics Issue: A presidential Ponzi scheme, sizing up the debates, Trump’s punk-rock appeal, and female-leader backlash. Plus, museums learn to love selfies, the failure of poetry, Ta-Nehisi Coates on O. J. Simpson, and much more.
Transplanting human heads to save lives, evaluating U.S. homeland security 15 years after 9/11, how the plight of the white underclass drives American politics, reclaiming critical inquiry in Vietnamese schools, and much more
The mystery behind Jesus’s (probably fake) wife, white nationalism in the GOP, the timepieces of the rich and famous (and powerful), a potential diagnosis on American politics, Liberia after Ebola, and much more
The class divide is already toxic, and is fast becoming unbridgeable. You’re probably part of the problem.
1. The Aristocracy Is Dead …
For about a week every year in my childhood, I was a member of one of America’s fading aristocracies. Sometimes around Christmas, more often on the Fourth of July, my family would take up residence at one of my grandparents’ country clubs in Chicago, Palm Beach, or Asheville, North Carolina. The breakfast buffets were magnificent, and Grandfather was a jovial host, always ready with a familiar story, rarely missing an opportunity for gentle instruction on proper club etiquette. At the age of 11 or 12, I gathered from him, between his puffs of cigar smoke, that we owed our weeks of plenty to Great-Grandfather, Colonel Robert W. Stewart, a Rough Rider with Teddy Roosevelt who made his fortune as the chairman of Standard Oil of Indiana in the 1920s. I was also given to understand that, for reasons traceable to some ancient and incomprehensible dispute, the Rockefellers were the mortal enemies of our clan.
The president met with House Republican lawmakers, pushed them to pass immigration reform, and indicated he would sign whichever bill reached his desk.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening addressed House Republican lawmakers on immigration, only to leave the conference with members grappling with the same issues as before.
For House GOP leadership, it was nothing short of a victory.
Speaker Paul Ryan had invited Trump to meet with the conference in the hopes the president would rally skeptics behind the leadership’s so-called “compromise” bill on immigration, scheduled to reach the floor as early as Thursday. There was no expectation, of course, that Trump would change hearts and minds about the substance of the bill. Rather, leadership saw the president as their only hope for giving conservatives cover to vote for what many of them have referred to as “amnesty lite.”
As a demagogic president seeks to escape accountability by attacking the press, a Fox News host is irresponsibly echoing his sweeping attacks on mainstream outlets.
Last week, Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson, or else the eponymous populist demagogue that he plays on TV, declared on Tucker Carlson Tonight, "If you're looking to understand what's actually happening in this country, always assume the opposite of whatever they're telling you on the big news stations.”
He has previously hosted TV shows on CNN, MSNBC, and PBS.
While not uncharacteristic of the flagrantly illogical pandering regularly broadcast on his current show, Carlson’s comment proved to be particularly controversial, prompting a sharp rebuke from comedian Seth MacFarlane, creator of the hit Fox-owned series The Family Guy, who tweeted, “In other words, don’t think critically, don’t consult multiple news sources, and in general, don’t use your brain. Just blindly obey Fox News. This is fringe shit, and it’s business like this that makes me embarrassed to work for this company.”
For President Trump’s senior adviser, the public outrage and anger elicited by policies like forced family separation are a feature, not a bug.
When the news stories began to surface last month of sobbing young migrant children being forcibly removed from their parents at the border, many close White House watchers instantly suspected Stephen Miller was behind it.
Though he keeps a relatively low profile compared to the cast of camera-muggers and Twitter warriors in President Donald Trump’s orbit, the 32-year-old speechwriter and senior adviser has cultivated a reputation as the most strident immigration hawk in the West Wing. So, it came as little surprise when TheNew York Timesreported over the weekend that Miller had played a key behind-the-scenes role in advancing the new border policy:
“No nation can have the policy that whole classes of people are immune from immigration law or enforcement,” he said during an interview in his West Wing office this past week. “It was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry, period. The message is that no one is exempt from immigration law.”
… Privately, Mr. Miller argued that bringing back “zero tolerance” would be a potent tool in a severely limited arsenal of strategies for stopping migrants from flooding across the border … And in April, after the border numbers reached their zenith, Mr. Miller was instrumental in Mr. Trump’s decision to ratchet up the zero tolerance policy.
The hyperlocal social-media platform highlights small grievances—and proves that neighbors have more in common than they think.
Here are some of the things I heard about in my neighborhood over the past year: A thunderstorm downed a tree, blocking a central road; a shadowy agent called “the night clipper” arose, surreptitiously cutting overhanging bushes while unsuspecting property owners slept; several dogs and cats were lost, found, or “on the loose,” whatever that means for a cat; a federal-grand-jury-summons telephone scam struck; someone sought belly-dancing classes, an apparent alternative to Pilates; and, innumerable times, people deposited bags of dog poop into lawn-clipping and recycling canisters at the curb. All of this news came courtesy of the social-media service Nextdoor. On its website and app, people can post recommendations, updates, and warnings about their building, block, or neighborhood.
When it comes to children’s development, parents should worry less about kids’ screen time—and more about their own.
Smartphones have by now been implicated in so many crummy outcomes—car fatalities, sleep disturbances, empathy loss, relationship problems, failure to notice a clown on a unicycle—that it almost seems easier to list the things they don’t mess up than the things they do. Our society may be reaching peak criticism of digital devices.
Even so, emerging research suggests that a key problem remains underappreciated. It involves kids’ development, but it’s probably not what you think. More than screen-obsessed young children, we should be concerned about tuned-out parents.
Yes, parents now have more face time with their children than did almost any parents in history. Despite a dramatic increase in the percentage of women in the workforce, mothers today astoundingly spend more time caring for their children than mothers did in the 1960s. But the engagement between parent and child is increasingly low-quality, even ersatz. Parents are constantly present in their children’s lives physically, but they are less emotionally attuned. To be clear, I’m not unsympathetic to parents in this predicament. My own adult children like to joke that they wouldn’t have survived infancy if I’d had a smartphone in my clutches 25 years ago.
Hormones? Surgery? The choices are fraught—and there are no easy answers.
Claire is a 14-year-old girlwith short auburn hair and a broad smile. She lives outside Philadelphia with her mother and father, both professional scientists. Claire can come across as an introvert, but she quickly opens up, and what seemed like shyness reveals itself to be quiet self-assuredness. Like many kids her age, she is a bit overscheduled. During the course of the evening I spent with Claire and her mother, Heather—these aren’t their real names—theater, guitar, and track tryouts all came up. We also discussed the fact that, until recently, she wasn’t certain she was a girl.
Sixth grade had been difficult for her. She’d struggled to make friends and experienced both anxiety and depression. “I didn’t have any self-confidence at all,” she told me. “I thought there was something wrong with me.” Claire, who was 12 at the time, also felt uncomfortable in her body in a way she couldn’t quite describe. She acknowledged that part of it had to do with puberty, but she felt it was more than the usual preteen woes. “At first, I started eating less,” she said, “but that didn’t really help.”
While the Trump administration cited its criticism of Israel in its decision to withdraw, it also likely wants to distance itself from a body critical of its own policies.
When the Trump administration commits to a decision, it goes full throttle—and often with little regard for the consequences. One such decision was announced Tuesday evening: The United States is withdrawing its membership from the UN Human Rights Council, which it joined in 2008, two years after its creation.
The stated reasons for withdrawal ranged from what the Trump administration regards as the council’s seeming lack of interest in addressing abuses in places like Venezuela and Iran, to accusations of impartiality. In a press conference on Tuesday, Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, called the council a “protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias,” and said that “America should not provide it with any credibility.”
A tapeworm is essentially a very long, parasitic towel with a grappling hook for a head. It attaches itself to the internal organs of its host with its fiendish head spines, and it absorbs nutrients through its tagliatelle-shaped body. Once fastened, it does very little. It has no mouth or gut, no circulatory or respiratory systems. Its sparse nerves culminate in a cluster that could barely be called a brain. And yet, this very simple creature can manipulate the minds of more complex animals—even without infecting them.
Consider Schistocephalus solidus. Like many tapeworms, this one has a complicated life cycle. It reproduces in the guts of waterbirds, which excrete its eggs in their droppings. After the tapeworm eggs hatch, the larvae infect small crustaceans called copepods. These are eaten by stickleback fish, which are then eaten by waterbirds, completing the cycle.
It wasn’t what he said. But it was much more than nothing.
Donald Trump didn’t get much in the way of North Korean denuclearization in Singapore. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
In the days since the summit with Kim Jong Un, critics—including me—have pointed out how little the U.S. president got from North Korea’s leader during their much-hyped meeting. And it’s true that Trump fell far short in that meeting of his stated goal to fully dismantle North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program, and then wildly overstated his achievement by declaring the North Korean nuclear threat over. (It’s not.) But the Trump administration racked up real accomplishments in Singapore that are perhaps best understood by setting aside the president’s grand (and at times groundless) pronouncements. The summit’s modest and provisional results are actually of considerable consequence.