In This Issue
Explore the April 1979 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.
Little in life is so painful as birth, but in the infant’s fear lies the origin of some of the noblest human impulses.
A shah falls. The West, taken by surprise, fears not only the loss of Iranian oil but shock-wave effects on the Persian Gulf and other parts of the Middle East. Pro-Russian revolutionaries seize power in Afghanistan and shortly thereafter the American ambassador in the Afghan capital is kidnapped and killed. The hope for Arab Israeli peace raised at Camp David twists in the wind. Where American interests are concerned, the countries of this part of the world present growing difficulties and puzzles. Here are reports from two of those countries, one in which already limited U.S. influence may soon disappear altogether, the other a country that American policy-makers have for the most part ignored.
They control the prosperous Los Angeles Times as well as a host of subsidiaries, but the Chandlers are more than publishers. For three generations they have stood at the center of California life, making and breaking political careers, directing the economic progress of Los Angeles, and profiting, always profiting.
How and why did 200 pounds of highly enriched uranium vanish from a small processing plant in Pennsylvania? Why were federal agencies reluctant to press their investigations? And how was the theft related to Israel’s simultaneous development of nuclear weapons?
Our gross national product, as a measure of material wealth, bypasses the question that should interest us most: how to enhance the quality of life. This and other reflections on the peculiarities of modern economic systems, from the author of Small Is Beautiful.