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 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
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 two Democratic leaders went to the White House for a negotiation, ended up with a public fight, and left all smiles with a political gift from the president.
It was Chuck Schumer’s smirk that said it all.
The Senate minority leader had just lobbed an honest-to-goodness zinger at President Donald Trump. Inside the Oval Office. With the television cameras running.
“When the president brags that he won North Dakota and Indiana, he’s in real trouble,” Schumer cracked to the press in the middle of a White House meeting on government funding between the president and Democratic congressional leaders that had quickly devolved into a verbal brawl in full view of reporters. His quip pulled off, the New York Democrat then peered around the room with a look of supreme self-satisfaction and a smile that would stay on his face until the end of the extraordinary, if wholly unproductive, summit.
The untold story of how anger became the dominant emotion in our politics and personal lives—and what we can do about it.
I. An Angry Little Town
Soon after the snows of 1977 began to thaw, the residents of Greenfield, Massachusetts, received a strange questionnaire in the mail. “Try to recall the number of times you became annoyed and/or angry during the past week,” the survey instructed. “Describe the most angry of these experiences.” One woman knew her answer: Recently, her husband had bought a new car. Then he had driven it to his mistress’s house so she could admire the purchase. When the wife found out, she was livid. Furious. Her rage felt like an eruption she couldn’t control.
The survey was interested in the particulars of respondents’ anger. In its 14 pages, it sought an almost voyeuristic level of detail. It asked the woman to describe the stages of her fury, which words she had shouted, whether punches had been thrown. “In becoming angry, did you wish to get back at, or gain revenge?” the survey inquired. Afterward, did you feel “triumphant, confident and dominant” or “ashamed, embarrassed and guilty”? There were also questions for people like her husband, who had been on the receiving end: “Did the other person’s anger come as a surprise to you, or did you expect that it would occur?”
President Trump’s interruptions of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are part of a long tradition of men talking over female colleagues.
It’s a situation familiar to many women: You’re in a contentious meeting with male colleagues. Your turn to talk comes around, and just as you get going, someone else raises their voice. Then another person. Within seconds, your colleagues are talking among themselves, and you’re trying to find a place to jump back into the conversation you were leading just moments before.
Today it happened in front of national media at the White House, during a heated exchange over funding for the border wall and a looming government shutdown. This particular conversation included President Donald Trump and the Democratic congressional leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, the latter of whom Trump interrupted 15 times in a short discussion.
An eight-year campaign to slash the IRS’s budget has left the agency understaffed, hamstrung, and operating with archaic equipment. The result: a hundred-billion-dollar heist.
In the summer of 2008, William Pfeil made a startling discovery: Hundreds of foreign companies that operated in the U.S. weren’t paying U.S. taxes, and his employer, the Internal Revenue Service, had no idea. Under U.S. law, companies that do business in the Gulf of Mexico owe the American government a piece of what they make drilling for oil there or helping those that do. But the vast majority of the foreign companies weren’t paying anything, and taxpaying American companies were upset, arguing that it unfairly allowed the foreign rivals to underbid for contracts.
Pfeil and the IRS started pursuing the non-U.S. entities. Ultimately, he figures he brought in more than $50 million in previously unpaid taxes over the course of about five years. It was an example of how the tax-collecting agency is supposed to work.
Google's CEO struggled to explain the reality of his company's power to a House committee convinced of liberal conspiracy.
The parade of Silicon Valley figures to Capitol Hill continued today when Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, the core of the Alphabet holding company, went before the House Judiciary Committee.
Like every other tech company hearing, it was more hackneyed than illuminating, more painful than inspiring. Pichai is a polished executive who rose through Google’s ranks. He is not a boy king like Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Dorsey. You knew he’d do the hard work of preparing. It seemed likely he’d sail through the hearing.
Yet, as the hearing got under way, Pichai struggled to make sense of the questions that lawmakers put to him. Even friendly Democratic queries asking him to explain how search-engine rankings worked were met with hesitation and stilted rhetoric. If a rep said a keyword he was prepared for, he gave a scripted response, even if it was only sort of responsive.
Like all but a handful of people, I saw this exchange first online, then in TV replays. Here are two body-language questions I wish I’d had the opportunity to judge up-close and in person:
Did Donald Trump register that Chuck Schumer was mocking him, to his face, with his “When the president brags he won North Dakota and Indiana, he’s in real trouble” line?
I gasped when I saw that the first time. I’m conscious of having seen presidents from John F. Kennedy onward perform on TV, but never before have I seen one of them directly ridiculed by another senior governmental official. (To spell it out, the ridicule was Trump’s boasting about big Senate wins, based on unseating two endangered Democrats in very Republican states. Trump wasn’t talking about the results in West Virginia, Ohio, Arizona, Nevada, etc., nor of course about the House.) The closest comparison might be the labored humor of White House Correspondents Association dinners, in which the featured comedian would give the president—seated a few feet away—a celebrity-roast experience. But that was ritualized joshing, sometimes more pointed and sometimes less. What Schumer did was impromptu and meant to convey, “Can you believe this guy?”
That Schumer would dare make this taunt was surprising—though I suppose he could have thought to himself, “We’re two New Yorkers, we’ve known each other for decades, this is give and take.” The more surprising aspect was that Trump, hyper-alert to slights of any sort, didn’t seem to register what had happened at all. He came back with a bland, “Well we did win! We did win North Dakota, and Indiana”—as if Schumer had been challenging him on that factual point. It’s as if the response to “Ooooh, you won a participation award! You must be so proud!” had not been “Shut up!” but “Yes, I did win that.” You can see the back-and-forth starting around time 11:45 of this video.
Did the president of the United States recognize that the minority leader of the Senate intentionally mocked him, and even turned to the press pool while doing so? From a distance, it appears that Trump did not catch this in real time. I would love to have been there to see for myself.
Did Mike Pence register any emotion whatsoever, during the 15-minutes plus of this extraordinary exchange?
Research suggests that elite colleges don’t really help rich white guys. But they can have a big effect if you’re not rich, not white, or not a guy.
This year, more than 2 million Americans will apply to college. Most will aim for nearby schools without global brands or billion-dollar endowments. But for the tens of thousands of families applying to America’s most elite institutions, the admissions process is a high-cost, high-stress gantlet.
American parents now spend almost half a billion dollars each year on “independent education consultants,” and that’s not counting the cost of test prep or flights and hotels for campus visits. These collegiate sweepstakes leave a trail of frazzled parents and emotionally wrecked teens already burdened with rising anxiety, which raises a big question: Does it really matter whether you attend an elite college?
Proving white-collar crimes is an exceedingly difficult task for prosecutors. Trump is doing his best to make it easier.
Donald Trump can’t stop telling on himself.
Just two years into his presidency, the New York real-estate mogul turned politician faces at least two separate criminal investigations, while half a dozen former advisers, including his former campaign chair, deputy campaign chair, national-security adviser, foreign-policy adviser, and personal attorney have all pleaded guilty to or been convicted of serious crimes. That’s even more remarkable when you consider that the American legal system makes white-collar crimes difficult to prove, by making guilt conditional on a defendant’s state of mind, a notoriously high standard.
Nevertheless, Trump has done his best to ensure that we all know what he’s thinking, even as his legal peril grows. Last Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York claimed in a filing that Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, had been directed during the campaign to pay hush money to women who claimed to have had affairs with the president. Those payments, according to the filing, were laundered through shell corporations and reimbursed by the president’s private company. Effectively, the president’s own Justice Department accused him of ordering his personal attorney to commit a felony.
During a photo op that morphed into a bizarre spectacle, the president brawled with Democratic leaders over funding his border wall.
It was clear almost immediately at the start of Trump’s administration that Mexico would not be funding a border wall. Two years in, it’s unclear whether the United States will ever be funding one either.
On Tuesday, the president gathered in the Oval Office with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to negotiate the terms of spending bills needed to keep the government open. The pressure point, as it has been for nearly every spending fight in the 115th Congress, was the wall: Trump demanded $5 billion to fund it, and Schumer and Pelosi refused to budge.
The three sparred openly in front of reporters, with Trump threatening a shutdown over wall funding in one of the more bizarre spectacles of this administration. “The experts say you can do border security without a wall, which totally does not solve the problem,” Schumer said.
Somehow, a man coughed up an intact blood clot shaped like a lung passage.
On Tuesday, The New England Journal of Medicine tweeted the most recent addition to its photo series of the most visually arresting medical anomalies. The image is of a mysterious, branchlike structure that, posted elsewhere, would probably pass for a cherry-red chunk of some underground root system or a piece of bright reef coral. But this is no creature of the deep. It’s a completely intact, six-inch-wide clot of human blood in the exact shape of the right bronchial tree, one of the two key tubular networks that ferry air to and from the lungs. And it was coughed up in one piece.
The clot is beautiful, and it’s also kind of gross. The tweet received a slew of replies from those frightened that the photo showed an actual coughed-up lung, which is about as likely to happen as your brain falling out of your butt. But even the doctors who treated the 36-year-old man who produced the clot aren’t entirely sure how it could have emerged without breaking.