In This Issue
Explore the June 1978 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.
The backward coal industry
Long-distance rail travel in America will soon be changed completely, but a few of the old trains (often nearly empty) still roll across the prairies.
Its proponents call it “humane,” but they disregard the delayed effects of the enhanced radiation warhead, and the likelihood that this weapon would only increase the chances of nuclear war in Europe.
“He who has reached the highest degree of emptiness will be secure in repose. ” —A Taoist saying
Although in age they were fifteen years apart, they were united by a love of books, the South, drink, pranks, history, rural life, storytelling; by a sense of what counts and what doesn’t. Their friendship ended with James Jones’s death last summer, and here Willie Morris, his literary executor, recalls the last years of the novelist, a man who “knew character because he had character.”
Deep in the Colombian jungles, according to popular legend, lived a tribe of Indians whose king wore a suit of gold. The tale intrigued a number of Spanish and English explorers, not many of whom survived their sad, rapacious efforts to find El Dorado.
Certain substances produced by the human brain and pituitary gland may lead to new treatment for mitigating pain, curing drug addiction, and healing mental illness. In several laboratories in the United States and Europe, scientists are excitedly competing to duplicate the opiatelike material and apply it to a broad range of human ills.