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.
James Fallows, "Why Iraq Has No Army"; Paul Bloom, "Is God an Accident?"; Christopher Hitchens, "Hurricane Lolita"; Mark Bowden on the Iran hostage crisis, Hanna Rosin on Jesus in Hollywood; Corby Kummer on Long Island Merlot; Nir Rosen on leaving Iraq; and much more.
William Langewiesche, "The Wrath of Khan"; Ross Douthat, "Does Meritocracy Work?"; Richard H. Hersh, "What Does College Teach?"; Thomas Mallon on Doris Kearns Goodwin, Alex Beam on the greatest stories never told; Richard Clarke on FEMA; Caitlin Flanagan on "You Go Girl!" studies; and much more.
Joshua Wolf Shenk, "Lincoln's Great Depression"; Joshua Green, "Roy and His Rock"; Robert D. Kaplan, "Imperial Grunts"; Sandra Tsing Loh on Nancy Drew, Corby Kummer on New Orleans rum; Clive Crook on the future of oil; Wayne Curtis on Hemingway's Havana; and much more.
David Samuels, "In a Ruined Country"; Sridhar Pappu, "The Holy Cow! Candidate"; fiction by Christopher Buckley; Lori Gottlieb, "The XY Files"; Christopher Hitchens on Salman Rushdie; Stuart Tayler Jr. on the Supreme Court's greatest flaw; Sandra Tsing Loh on a mother who fled; and much more.
Joyce Carol Oates, "*BD* 11 1 86"; Charles Baxter, "Poor Devil"; Adam Haslett, "City Visit"; Shira Nayman, "The House on Kronenstrasse"; George Singleton, "Director's Cut"; Curtis Sittenfeld, "The Perils of Literary Success"; Rick Moody, "Writers and Mentors"; Mary Gordon, "Moral Fiction"; and much more.
James Fallows, "Countdown to a Meltdown"; Benjamin M. Friedman, "Meltdown: A Case Study"; Bernard-Henri Lévy, "In the Footsteps of Tocqueville (Part Three)"; Scott Stossel, "North Korea: The War Game"; Mark Bowden, "Wolfowitz: The Exit Interviews"; Caroline Elkins, "The Wrong Lesson"; James A. Barnes and Peter Bell, "Hillary in 2008?"; and much more.
Robert D. Kaplan, "How We Would Fight China"; William Langewiesche, "Ziad for the Defense"; Bernard-Henri Lévy, "Road Trip: Part II"; Sridhar Pappu, "Being Geraldo"; Benjamin Schwarz, "Managing China's Rise"; Joshua Green, "The Odd Couple"; Stephen Budiansky, "Truth Extraction"; Sandra Tsing Loh, "Kiddie Class Struggle"; and much more.
Bernard-Henri Lévy, "In the Footsteps of Tocqueville"; Christopher Hitchens, "On Becoming American"; Charles? C. Mann, "The Coming Death Shortage"; William Langewiesche, "Hotel Baghdad"; Benjamin Schwarz, "Will Israel Live to 100?"; Joshua Green, "It Isn't the Message, Stupid"; Ross Douthat, "The Apocalypse, Rated PG"; Corby Kummer, "The Kosher Conversion"; and much more.
David Foster Wallace, "Host"; Jeffrey Rosen, "Rehnquist the Great?"; Robert D. Kaplan, "America's African Rifles"; James Fallows, "Getting Out Right"; Michael Scheuer, "Inside Out"; Joshua Green, "The Air America Plan"; Christopher Hitchens, "Civilization and Its Malcontents"; Timothy W. Ryback, "The Hitler Shrine"; fiction by Michael Lohre; and much more.
William Langewiesche, "The Accuser"; Paul Starobin, "The Accidental Autocrat"; Ross Douthat, "The Truth About Harvard"; David M. Kennedy, "What 'W' Owes to 'WW'"; Robert J. Shiller, "American Casino"; Peter Beinart, "Backfire"; Christopher Hitchens, "I'll Be Damned"; Sandra Tsing Loh, "Marshal Plan"; poetry by John Updike; and much more.
Richard A. Clarke, "Ten Years Later"; James Fallows, "Success Without Victory"; William Langewiesche, "Letter From Baghdad"; Sridhar Pappu, "What Amy Would Do"; Walter Kirn, "Lost in the Meritocracy"; The Annual "State of the Union" Report; Jeffrey Tayler, "Russia's Holy Warriors"; Tom Carson, "The Murdoch Touch"; fiction by Anna North; and much more.
Next time there’s a viral story, I’ll wait for more facts to emerge.
Like many people who spend too much time on Twitter, I watched with indignation Saturday morning as stories began appearing about a confrontation near the Lincoln Memorial between students from Covington Catholic High School and Native Americans from the Indigenous Peoples March. The story felt personal to me; I live a few miles from the high school, and my son attends a nearby all-boys Catholic high school. I texted him right away, ready with a lesson on what the students had done wrong.
“They were menacing a man much older than them,” I told him, “and chanting ‘Build the wall!’ and this smirking kid blocked his path and wouldn’t let him leave.” The short video, the subject of at least two-thirds of my Twitter feed Saturday, made me cringe, and the smirking kid in particular got to me: his smugness, radiating from under that red MAGA hat, was everything I wanted my teenagers not to be.
Corn lurks in so many surprising places, from table salt to apples to IV bags.
When Christine Robinson was first diagnosed with a corn allergy 17 years ago, she remembers thinking, “No more popcorn, no more tacos. I can do this.”
Then she tried to put salt on her tomatoes. (Table salt has dextrose, a sugar derived from corn.) She tried drinking bottled iced tea. (It contains citric acid, which often comes from mold grown in corn-derived sugar.) She tried bottled water. (Added minerals in some brands can be processed with a corn derivative.) She ultimately gave up on supermarket meat (sprayed with lactic acid from fermented corn sugars), bagged salads (citric acid, again), fish (dipped in cornstarch or syrup before freezing), grains (cross-contaminated in processing facilities), fruits like apples and citrus (waxed with corn-derived chemicals), tomatoes (ripened with ethylene gas from corn), milk (added vitamins processed with corn derivatives). And that’s not even getting to all the processed foods made with high-fructose corn syrup, modified food starch, xanthan gum, artificial flavorings, corn alcohol, maltodextrin—all of which are or contain derivatives of corn.
Insights into the little-studied realm of last words
Mort Felix liked to say that his name, when read as two Latin words, meant “happy death.” When he was sick with the flu, he used to jokingly remind his wife, Susan, that he wanted Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” played at his deathbed. But when his life’s end arrived at the age of 77, he lay in his study in his Berkeley, California, home, his body besieged by cancer and his consciousness cradled in morphine, uninterested in music and refusing food as he dwindled away over three weeks in 2012. “Enough,” he told Susan. “Thank you, and I love you, and enough.” When she came downstairs the next morning, she found Felix dead.
During those three weeks, Felix had talked. He was a clinical psychologist who had also spent a lifetime writing poetry, and though his end-of-life speech often didn’t make sense, it seemed to draw from his attention to language. “There’s so much so in sorrow,” he said at one point. “Let me down from here,” he said at another. “I’ve lost my modality.” To the surprise of his family members, the lifelong atheist also began hallucinating angels and complaining about the crowded room—even though no one was there.
The death of Martin Luther King Jr. wasn’t a galvanizing event, but the premature end of a movement that had only just begun.
“Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them.” Jesus’s rebuke to the Pharisees descended upon me on a cold January morning in 2017, in West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. On that Monday, the national holiday dedicated to the man at whose memorial I stood, the capital bustled in anticipation of a more pressing political event. That’s why I was at the park, pondering this granite stone of hope, carved out of a mountain of despair. The memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. cast its shadow over me, its presence just as conflicted as those tombs.
As sure as Jesus’s words proved prescient about the adoption of Christianity in the empire that killed him, so too the modern-day legend of King writes itself in real time. In the official story told to children, King’s assassination is the transformational tragedy in a victorious struggle to overcome.
Once again, Trump tried and failed to strike a deal on Saturday.
President Donald Trump is trapped. He shut the government to impose his will on the incoming Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. That plan has miserably failed. Instead, Trump has found himself caught in the trap he supposed he had set for his opponents.
Now he is desperately seeking an exit.
Trump attempted Exit One on January 8.He spoke that evening to the nation from the Oval Office, hoping to mobilize public opinion behind him, pressing the Democratic leadership of the House to yield to him. That hope was miserably disappointed. Surveys post-speech found that Trump had swayed only 2 percent of TV viewers. In the 10 days since the speech, Trump’s approval ratings have dipped to about the lowest point in his presidency. The supposedly solid Trump base has measurably softened.
“We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom.”
In April 1963, King was jailed in Birmingham, Alabama, after he defied a state court’s injunction and led a march of black protesters without a permit, urging an Easter boycott of white-owned stores. A statement published in The Birmingham News, written by eight moderate white clergymen, criticized the march and other demonstrations.
This prompted King to write a lengthy response, begun in the margins of the newspaper. He smuggled it out with the help of his lawyer, and the nearly 7,000 words were transcribed. The eloquent call for “constructive, nonviolent tension” to force an end to unjust laws became a landmark document of the civil-rights movement. The letter was printed in part or in full by several publications, including the New York Post, Liberation magazine, The New Leader, and The Christian Century. The Atlantic published it in the August 1963 issue.
She beat George W. Bush on Social Security privatization, and she’ll beat Trump on the wall.
Democrats sometimes portray themselves as high-minded and naive—unwilling to play as rough as the GOP. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is, once again, proving that self-image wrong. She’s not only refusing Donald Trump’s demand for a border wall. She’s trying to cripple his presidency. And she may well succeed.
Pelosi’s strategy resembles the one she employed to debilitate another Republican president: George W. Bush. Bush returned to Washington after his 2004 reelection victory determined to partially privatize Social Security. “I earned capital in the campaign, political capital,” he told the press, “and I intend to spend it.” Bush’s plan contained two main elements. The first was convincing the public that there was a crisis. Social Security, he declared in his 2005 State of the Union address, “is headed toward bankruptcy.” The second was persuading Democrats to offer their own proposals for changing it.
Starting the process will rein in a president who is undermining American ideals—and bring the debate about his fitness for office into Congress, where it belongs.
On January 20, 2017,Donald Trump stood on the steps of the Capitol, raised his right hand, and solemnly swore to faithfully execute the office of president of the United States and, to the best of his ability, to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. He has not kept that promise.
Instead, he has mounted a concerted challenge to the separation of powers, to the rule of law, and to the civil liberties enshrined in our founding documents. He has purposefully inflamed America’s divisions. He has set himself against the American idea, the principle that all of us—of every race, gender, and creed—are created equal.
Rudy Giuliani, on the Sunday shows, says the president never told Michael Cohen to lie about pursuing Trump Tower Moscow during the 2016 campaign.
Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who’s representing President Trump for free, is keeping up his public-relations war on Special Counsel Bob Mueller’s investigation. In a pair of appearances on Sunday-morning talk shows, he stuck to the playbook: attack Mueller’s credibility, and insist that all of Trump’s statements and actions were legal. Giuliani admits a fair amount but always insists that no crime was committed.
The president’s attorney once again admitted that discussions about a Trump Tower Moscow project may have continued as late as November 2016, contrary to the president’s previous representations that he had nothing to do with Russia, where he had longsought to do business. On NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Giuliani said talks may have continued as “as far as October, November” of 2016. That matches his statement last month that Trump’s written answers to Mueller’s questions “covered up to November 2016.”
[Please see Updates at the end of this post.] I don’t know who the young man in the MAGA hat in this photo is. And I don’t care to know.
His name, which the internet will inevitably turn up, really doesn’t matter. It matters to his parents, of course—and to his teachers. I hope they will be reflective, and I know they should be ashamed: of this smirking young man and the scores of other (nearly all white) students from a Catholic school in Kentucky. Today, on the National Mall in Washington, they apparently mocked, harassed, and menaced a Native American man who had fought for the United States in Vietnam and who today represented both the U.S. and his Omaha nation with poise, courage, and dignity.