Caitlin Flanagan, “How Serfdom Saved the Women's Movement”; Robert D. Kaplan, “The Man Who Would Be Khan”; James Mann, “The Armageddon Plan”; Keith Gessen, “We Will Bury You”; Bruce Ackerman and David Fontana, “How Jefferson Counted Himself In”; John Katzman, Andy Lutz, and Erik Olson, “Would Shakespeare Get Into Swarthmore?”; fiction by Mona Simpson; and much more.
Georgians want the Confederate emblem back on their state flag, and are frustrated that a referendum this month won't give them that option. What they don't know is that if the emblem's creator were alive, he'd vote to bury it
A new breed of American soldier—call him the soldier-diplomat—has come into being since the end of the Cold War. Meet the colonel who was our man in Mongolia, an officer who probably wielded more local influence than many Mongol rulers of yore
During the Reagan era Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were key players in a clandestine program designed to set aside the legal lines of succession and immediately install a new "President" in the event that a nuclear attack killed the country's leaders. The program helps explain the behavior of the Bush Administration on and after 9/11
The EU's suppressed report on anti-Semitism; the real relationship between pot smoking and crime; how nonvoting aliens affect U.S. elections; why Republicans benefit more than Democrats from high taxes; Al Sharpton's taste in hotels
Adam Tooze, a historian of economic disaster, sees a combination of worrisome signs.
This article was featured in One Story to Read Today, a newsletter in which our editors recommend a single must-read from The Atlantic, Monday through Friday. Sign up for it here.
America and the world are living through what Adam Tooze, the internet’s foremost historian of money and disaster, describes as a “polycrisis.” As he sips a beer at a bar near Columbia University, where he is the director of the European Institute, Tooze talks through a long list of challenges: War, raising the specter of nuclear conflict. Climate change, threatening famine, flood, and fire. Inflation, forcing central banks to crush consumer demand. The pandemic, closing factories and overloading hospitals. Each crisis is hard enough to parse by itself; the interconnected mess of them is infinitely more so. And he feels “the whole is even more dangerous than the sum of the parts.”
Too many Americans are blithely dismissing threats that could prove cataclysmic.
Even as we watch the reservoirs and lakes of the West go dry, we keep watering our lawns, soaking our golf courses, and growing water-thirsty crops.
As inflation mounts and the national debt balloons, progressive politicians vote for ever more spending.
As the ice caps melt and record temperatures make the evening news, we figure that buying a Prius and recycling the boxes from our daily Amazon deliveries will suffice.
When TV news outlets broadcast video after video of people illegally crossing the nation’s southern border, many of us change the channel.
And when a renowned conservative former federal appellate judge testifies that we are already in a war for our democracy and that January 6, 2021, was a genuine constitutional crisis, MAGA loyalists snicker that he speaks slowly and celebrate that most people weren’t watching.
Carl von Clausewitz observed in his classic On War that “the maximum use of force is by no means incompatible with the simultaneous use of the intellect.” That means, in part, acting thoughtfully but with the utmost effort, understanding that war is more bar fight than chess game. Or, to put it in the simpler words of Jim Malone, Eliot Ness’s counselor in The Untouchables, “You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way! And that’s how you get Capone.”
Al Capone is an apt analogy for what the West confronts in Russia: a particularly noxious mix of Mafia mentality, hypernationalist ideology, and totalitarian technique. Elegance is not the Russian way, and it cannot be our way. This is the light in which one should measure the accomplishments of NATO’s recent gathering in Madrid.
The planet is looking extra sharp in photo dispatches from NASA’s newest rover.
When Corrine Rojas comes into work, Mars is waiting for her. She drives to the office, grabs a cup of coffee, and then pulls up the latest dispatches from Perseverance, a car-size NASA rover situated inside a crater in Mars’s northern hemisphere. Rojas, an operations engineer at Arizona State University, checks that the rover’s main cameras are working well, and that they took the shots scientists back home had asked for. Then, she basks in the wondrous sights of our celestial neighbor. “I am often the first person to lay eyes on photos from Mars taken by the rover,” Rojas told me.
And Mars has been looking particularly good lately. That’s not to say that the planet has been working on its appearance; aside from the winds blowing around some dust, it has remained mostly unchanged for a few billion years. The difference is us, and particularly the Perseverance mission, which has captured some of the sharpest views of the Martian surface to date. The rover’s job is to search for potential signs of fossilized life in the rock, but since it arrived last February, it has become quite the landscape photographer.
Pop culture tends to romanticize bookstores as workplaces. Imogen Binnie’s Nevada does the opposite.
Many writers have to wait until old age to see their work reissued. Imogen Binnie, whose debut novel, Nevada, came out in 2013, only had to wait nine years. Nevada was first released by Topside Press, an indie publisher that was run by trans editors and that put out primarily trans literature. It became a word-of-mouth hit, generating what the writer Casey Plett calls a “communal response,” especially among trans and queer readers. After Topside folded in 2017, taking the book out of print, fans kept Nevada alive—discussing it, recommending it, and distributing it via a site called Have You Read Nevada? Eventually, one such fan, the editor Jackson Howard, reached out to Binnie, which led to Farrar, Straus & Giroux reissuing the book this summer.