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.
In his response to an adverse decision by the Supreme Court, the former president previewed an argument he’s likely to keep using.
Former President Donald Trump faces various legal and political challenges, but few seem to have gotten him as agitated as a routine, expected, unsigned decision by the Supreme Court on Monday.
Trump had already lost a bid to prevent Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. from acquiring his financial records via subpoena. The former president then sought a stay while he searched for other means to stall. As anticipated, the justices rejected the request. Trump then issued one of just a handful of public statements he’s issued since leaving office, blasting “the Continuing Political Persecution of President Donald J. Trump.”
His vehemence is part of a long-running pattern: Trump dislikes all investigations, but nothing rattles him like probes into his finances. (When he tried to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, it was because of a report that Mueller had subpoenaed his financial records.) We can guess at the reasons. First, Trump is extremely defensive about anything that might imply he is not as rich as he claims. Second, there is much to suggest that Trump might have committed financial crimes.
The virus can take many paths to reinvading a person’s body. Most of them shouldn’t scare us.
On its face, reinfection appears to be a straightforward term. It is literally “infection, again”—a recovered person’s second dalliance with the same microbe. Long written into the scientific literature of infectious disease, it is a familiar word, innocuous enough: a microbial echo, an immunological encore act.
But thanks to the pandemic, reinfection has become a semantic and scientific mess.
Newly saddled with the baggage of COVID-19, reinfection has taken on a more terrifying aspect, raising the specter of never-ending cycles of disease. It has sat at the center of debates over testing, immunity, and vaccines; its meaning muddled by ominous headlines, it has become wildly misunderstood. When I ask immunologists about reinfection in the context of the coronavirus, many sigh.
She lived with us for 56 years. She raised me and my siblings without pay. I was 11, a typical American kid, before I realized who she was.
The ashes filled a black plastic box about the size of a toaster. It weighed three and a half pounds. I put it in a canvas tote bag and packed it in my suitcase this past July for the transpacific flight to Manila. From there I would travel by car to a rural village. When I arrived, I would hand over all that was left of the woman who had spent 56 years as a slave in my family’s household.
An uncertain spring, an amazing summer, a cautious fall and winter, and then, finally, relief.
Updated at 10:12 a.m. ET on February 24, 2021.
The end of the coronavirus pandemic is on the horizon at last, but the timeline for actually getting there feels like it shifts daily, with updates about viral variants, vaccine logistics, and other important variables seeming to push back the finish line or scoot it forward. When will we be able to finally live our lives again?
Pandemics are hard to predict accurately, but we have enough information to make some confident guesses. A useful way to think about what’s ahead is to go season by season. In short: Life this spring will not be substantially different from the past year; summer could, miraculously, be close to normal; and next fall and winter could bring either continued improvement or a moderate backslide, followed by a near-certain return to something like pre-pandemic life.
A new docuseries about the molestation allegation against Woody Allen is determinedly focused on making its case, sometimes at the expense of nuance.
Updated at 3:33 p.m. ET on February 24, 2021.
Watching Allen v. Farrow, HBO’s new four-part miniseries about the 29-year-old allegations of child molestation against the director Woody Allen, I kept having a feeling that I couldn’t entirely identify. Since revelations about Harvey Weinstein emerged in late 2017—broken, in part, by Allen’s son, Ronan Farrow—harrowing stories about abusive men in the workplace have been reported one after another. But the story of Dylan Farrow, who was 7 years old in 1992, when she told her mother that her father had sexually abused her, is different, an allegation of domestic trauma that’s been weaponized by interested parties again and again. The feeling I had, I eventually realized, was one of wanting to look away. Not because I don’t believe Dylan (I do), or because I believe Allen’s work is so valuable that her testimony is worth shunting aside (I don’t, and no one’s is). It’s queasier than that: a nagging sense that, at this point, there’s still no way for Dylan to tell her story without it being exploited.
The Netflix neo-noir isn’t just about a merciless scammer; it’s about the broken bureaucracies that enable her abuse.
Psychiatric hospitals, nursing homes, and other long-term-care facilities have served as chilling backdrops to some of film’s most arresting psychological thrillers. But the foreboding lighthouse of Shutter Island and the macabre, labyrinthine hospital of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest pale in comparison with both movies’ animating horrors: the wretched treatment of the people trapped within. These works dramatize the cruelties that hospital administrators and caretakers exact upon their patients, especially those who have been admitted against their will, with Hitchcockian dread. In doing so, they challenge conventional wisdom about mental illness, authority, and the ethics of condemning people to isolation.
At some point—maybe even soon—the emergency phase of the pandemic will end. But what, exactly, is that magic threshold?
In the middle of January, the deadliest month of the pandemic, one day after inauguration, the Biden administration put out a comprehensive national strategy for “beating COVID-19.” The 200-page document includes many useful goals, such as “Restore trust with the American people” and “Mount a safe, effective, and comprehensive vaccination campaign.” But nowhere does it give a quantitative threshold for when it will be time to say, “Okay, done—we’ve beaten the pandemic.”
A month later, it’s time to get specific. The facts are undeniable: The seven-day average of new cases in the United States has fallen by 74 percent since their January peak, hospitalizations have gone down by 58 percent, and deaths have dropped by 42 percent. Meanwhile, more than 60 million doses of vaccine have gone into American arms. At some point—maybe even some point relatively soon—the remaining emergency measures that were introduced in March 2020 will come to an end. But when, exactly, should that happen?
Side effects are just a sign that protection is kicking in as it should.
At about 2 a.m. on Thursday morning, I woke to find my husband shivering beside me. For hours, he had been tossing in bed, exhausted but unable to sleep, nursing chills, a fever, and an agonizingly sore left arm. His teeth chattered. His forehead was freckled with sweat. And as I lay next to him, cinching blanket after blanket around his arms, I felt an immense sense of relief. All this misery was a sign that the immune cells in his body had been riled up by the second shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, and were well on their way to guarding him from future disease.
Side effects are a natural part of the vaccination process, as my colleague Sarah Zhang has written. Not everyone will experience them. But the two COVID-19 vaccines cleared for emergency use in the United States, made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, already have reputations for raising the hackles of the immune system: In both companies’clinical trials, at least a third of the volunteers ended up with symptoms such as headaches and fatigue; fevers like my husband’s were less common.
Financial confessionals reveal that income inequality and geographic inequality have normalized absurd spending patterns.
The hypothetical couple were making $350,000 a year and just getting by, their income “barely” qualifying them as middle-class. Their budget, posted in September, showed how they “survived” in a city like San Francisco, spending more than $50,000 a year on child care and preschool, nearly $50,000 a year on their mortgage, and hefty amounts on vacations, entertainment, and a weekly date night—even as they saved for retirement and college in tax-advantaged accounts.
The internet, being the internet, responded with some combination of howling, baying, pitchfork-jostling, and scoffing. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York quipped that the thing the family was struggling with was math. Gabriel Zucman, a leading scholar of wealth and inequality, described the budget as laughable, while noting that it showed how much money consumption taxes could raise.
Biology textbooks tell us that lichens are alliances between two organisms—a fungus and an alga. They are wrong.
In 1995, if you had told Toby Spribille that he’d eventually overthrow a scientific idea that’s been the stuff of textbooks for 150 years, he would have laughed at you. Back then, his life seemed constrained to a very different path. He was raised in a Montana trailer park, and homeschooled by what he now describes as a “fundamentalist cult.” At a young age, he fell in love with science, but had no way of feeding that love. He longed to break away from his roots and get a proper education.
At 19, he got a job at a local forestry service. Within a few years, he had earned enough to leave home. His meager savings and nonexistent grades meant that no American university would take him, so Spribille looked to Europe.