A history of the first African American White House—and of what came next
In This Issue
The legacy of the first black U.S. president, what makes products popular, and a physician’s guide to sleep. Plus, despair and hope under a Trump presidency, Glenn Beck’s regrets, and more.
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What makes things cool?
Who killed Alexander Perepilichny?
Should you drink more coffee? Should you take melatonin? Can you train yourself to need less sleep? A physician’s guide to sleep in a stressful age.
A new history of the essay gets the genre all wrong, and in the process endorses a misleading idea of knowledge.
Americans are optimistic about the communities they live in—but not their nation. Why?
Why encountering vastness makes us more spiritual, generous, and content
His paranoid style paved the road for Trumpism. Now he fears what’s been unleashed.
The joy of cooking in miniature
The surprising ingenuity of the U.S. shale-oil industry—and its global consequences
What Obama can learn from Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush
Could technology help prevent mass shootings?
Can a faux 1950s downtown sharpen the minds of dementia patients?
A very short book excerpt
The Culture File
The self-medicating effects of extreme-fitness TV
A scuba-diving philosopher explores invertebrate intelligence and consciousness.
Her marriage broken, her house dismantled, Rachel Cusk has broken apart her fiction, too, remaking it in new ways.
Science can’t prove it and the industry denies it, but Gary Taubes is convinced that the sweet stuff kills.
Helon Habila’s new book recounts the horror and revives the call to take notice.
In difficult times, the work of explaining America to itself and the world becomes ever more crucial.
Readers respond to stories in our October issue on America’s monopoly problem and the plight of the substitute teacher.
A big question