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.
How the new political correctness is ruining education, Ta-Nehisi Coates’s letter to his son, stopping murder in New Orleans, the GOP rewrites the Iraq War, bracing for the future in Havana, the elitist allure of Joan Didion, and more
The money issue: Starbucks’ radical attempt to save the middle class, the financially savvy Millennial, underpaid NBA players, the neuroscience of generosity, where drug lords put their money, and more
The Technology Issue: Why kids sext (and what to do about it), the new technology of adultery, what Silicon Valley's best minds think about everything from drones to Uber, the Steve Jobs of beer, and more
How for-profit universities are tearing down higher ed, the cocaine dealer who reinvented himself as a community leader, why climate hysterics hurt their own cause, the Cesarean-industrial complex, Murakami’s mysterious literary appeal, and more
The Tesla CEO’s tearful New York Times interview reveals a lot about the double standards men and women face.
On Thursday night, The New York Timespublished an interview with Elon Musk that offers a view into the billionaire entrepreneur’s life in the last year. Musk choked up “multiple times,” the Times reported in the story, and “alternated between laughter and tears.” He explained that he was overworked at Tesla, his electric-car company—which has spent the past several months scrambling to meet ambitious production goals—and that the situation has taken a toll on his physical health, family time, and social life.
“I thought the worst of it was over—I thought it was,” Musk said. “The worst is over from a Tesla operational standpoint. But from a personal pain standpoint, the worst is yet to come.”
The president’s decision to revoke John Brennan’s security clearance has drawn fire even from figures like Robert Gates and David Petraeus, who have avoided criticizing him.
This week, beset by bad news about Omarosa Manigault-Newman, President Donald Trump decided to launch a war of choice. The White House announced Wednesday that he had revoked security clearance for John Brennan, who was the CIA director under Barack Obama and has since become a leading Trump critic. Trump also threatened to take clearance away from a slew of other critics.
But wars, once started, don’t always unfold the way you intend. In Trump’s case, a host of prominent retired military and intelligence leaders have entered the fray opposing him. First, retired Navy Admiral William McRaven wrote an open letter to the president in The Washington Post on Thursday criticizing the revocation of Brennan’s clearance and asking to join him: “I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.”
Science suggests we’re hardwired to delude ourselves. Can we do anything about it?
I am staring at a photograph of myself that shows me 20 years older than I am now. I have not stepped into the twilight zone. Rather, I am trying to rid myself of some measure of my present bias, which is the tendency people have, when considering a trade-off between two future moments, to more heavily weight the one closer to the present. A great many academic studies have shown this bias—also known as hyperbolic discounting—to be robust and persistent.
Most of them have focused on money. When asked whether they would prefer to have, say, $150 today or $180 in one month, people tend to choose the $150. Giving up a 20 percent return on investment is a bad move—which is easy to recognize when the question is thrust away from the present.
The president described the deceased soul legend first as a person who “worked for me,” a telling remark in his ongoing disparagement of black women.
Donald Trump isn’t particularly nice to anyone. His standard demeanor and language in disagreement or debate resemble the union of a road-rage incident and a bad game of the dozens. Even in agreement, he’s not a person for whom respect—of others or of the office he holds—is necessarily a guiding light. He does not run out of venom for opponents, and rarely has a word of unqualified praise for people who haven’t praised him first.
But if one pattern in his remarks about other people has crystallized in the past few months, it’s that the president employs a particular species of dismissive language when he’s talking about black women. After spending a good chunk of his first year in office attacking black men, his sophomore year has involved high-profile verbal attacks against high-profile black women. And, as evidenced by his recent remarks on the death of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, his need to subordinate black women, even without enmity, is a primary drive.
The FBI’s disciplinary office had recommended Peter Strzok be suspended for two months but was overruled by the bureau’s deputy director.
The paperwork was signed. The former FBI agent Peter Strzok, who had become a lightning rod for efforts to undermine the Russia investigation, was set to receive a two-month suspension and a demotion as punishment for his alleged misconduct during the 2016 election. Then the FBI’s deputy director, David Bowdich, stepped in and fired him, saying he had undermined “the credibility of the FBI.”
Strzok came under fire late last year after the Justice Department released text messages that he sent using an FBI-issued device that were critical of Donald Trump. But questions have been raised about what specific bureau policies Strzok violated in sending those texts.
Candice Will, the longtime deputy director of the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), had cited three ways in which Strzok had allegedly violated FBI policies during the election, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. The first, “unprofessional conduct off duty,” directly related to his use of an FBI-issued cell phone to send the private texts. The second, “investigative deficiency”—later reduced to “dereliction of supervisory duty”— related to Strzok’s perceived delay in searching a laptop that belonged to Anthony Weiner, the husband of a top Hillary Clinton aide, as part of the probe of Clinton’s emails in the fall of 2016. Finally, Will told Strzok that he had committed a “security violation” for forwarding certain sensitive law-enforcement documents to his personal Gmail account. Bowdich’s decision to overrule her and fire Strzok on August 10 was considered highly unusual.
A Princeton geologist has endured decades of ridicule for arguing that the fifth extinction was caused not by an asteroid but by a series of colossal volcanic eruptions. But she’s reopened that debate.
Gerta Keller was waiting for me at the Mumbai airport so we could catch a flight to Hyderabad and go hunt rocks. “You won’t die,” she told me cheerfully as soon as I’d said hello. “I’ll bring you back.”
Death was not something I’d considered as a possible consequence of traveling with Keller, a 73-year-old paleontology and geology professor at Princeton University. She looked harmless enough: thin, with a blunt bob, wearing gray nylon pants and hiking boots, and carrying an insulated ShopRite supermarket bag by way of a purse.
I quickly learned that Keller felt such reassurances were necessary because, appropriately for someone who studies mass extinctions, she has a tendency to attract disaster.
A mysterious wild cat in Sri Lanka may hold a clue.
The goldfish were the first to vanish. Every so often, a few would go missing overnight from the office’s tiny outdoor pond. But goldfish were cheap, so no one in the building—an environmental nonprofit in the bustling, sweaty center of Colombo, Sri Lanka—bothered investigating.
Then the dragon koi began to disappear. Lustrous and ethereal, each of these whiskered Japanese carp cost around 10,000 Sri Lankan rupees, or $65. In a fit of extravagance, the building’s landlord had bought 10. Soon, he had seven. Then three.
Panicked, the landlord installed four security cameras to catch the thief. The pond rested at the end of a narrow driveway surrounded by tall concrete walls, so whoever was swiping the carp had either a key or the superhuman ability to bound up nearby roofs and drop in undetected. The landlord couldn’t imagine what kind of person would steal a fish, but he was eager to find out.
Under President Trump, the most outrageous and aggrieved polemicists are thriving.
Few have enjoyed quite so spectacular a comeback under President Donald Trump as the conservative polemicist and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza. In 2012, D’Souza resigned as president of a Christian college amid charges of adultery and deception. In 2014, D’Souza pleaded guilty to violating federal campaign-finance laws. He was sentenced to eight months of confinement followed by 52 months probation.
Now, as the saying goes, D’Souza is back—and bigger than ever. He has reinvented himself as something like the court intellectual of the age of Trump. Trump pardoned D’Souza on May 31, 2018. At the beginning of August, Donald Trump Jr. co-hosted the premiere of D’Souza’s latest movie, Death of a Nation. The movie compares Donald Trump to Abraham Lincoln, and his Democratic opponents to Nazis. Afterward, Trump Jr. delivered a memorable summation of what he had learned from the film. “You see the Nazi platform in the early 1930s and what was actually put out there … and you look at it compared to, like, the DNC platform of today, and you’re saying, man, those things are awfully similar, to a point where it’s actually scary.”
Flowers carpet Brussels, a farewell is bid to Aretha Franklin, abandoned share bikes find homes in Germany, a cardboard Viking church collapses in Liverpool, a bridge collapses in Italy, and much more.
Flowers carpet Brussels, an alt-right rally is met with overwhelming opposition in Washington, D.C., City2Surf takes off in Sydney, the Women’s Softball World Championship is underway in Japan, a farewell is bid to Aretha Franklin, the Obon prayer is made in Japan, abandoned share bikes find homes in Germany, record-setting hot dogs are lined up in Mexico, a cardboard Viking church collapses in Liverpool, a bridge collapses in Italy, a newborn gibbon shows off in Prague, and much more.
People know a famous community of killer whales as individuals, with their own names, families, and personalities—which has made their woes even harder to take.
The first half of the killer whale’s scientific name—Orcinus orca—comes from the Latin for “of the realms of the dead.” For one population of orcas living in the waters of the Pacific Northwest, that etymology has taken on a newly dark resonance.
Last month, a 20-year-old female orca named Tahlequah (J35) gave birth to a female calf that died after half an hour. While many orca mothers have been seen carrying the bodies of their dead calves for a day or so, Tahlequah did so for 17 days—a heartbreaking tour that captured the world’s attention, and that ended last Friday. “I have never seen that kind of grief,” says Ken Balcomb from the Center for Whale Research.
Meanwhile, scientists noticed that a 3-year-old female named Scarlet (J50) was looking severely emaciated, with her ribs showing through her side. They have since given her a shot of antibiotics, via dart, and are considering feeding her more medications embedded within live salmon.