What new research reveals about sexual predators, and why police fail to catch them
In This Issue
Why police fail to catch sexual predators, Raj Chetty’s American dream, the jailhouse true-crime writer, and Drew Gilpin Faust on Virginia and race. Plus measles as metaphor, Sam Shepard as prophet, the stock-buyback swindle, new short fiction, and more.
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In his old life, Matthew Cox told stories to scam his way into millions of dollars. Now he’s trying to make it by selling tales that are true.
A historian looks back at the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow in her home state.
No one has done more to dispel the myth of social mobility than Raj Chetty. But he has a plan to make equality of opportunity a reality.
A short story
The return of a vanquished disease reflects historical amnesia, declining faith in institutions, and a troubling lack of concern for the public good.
Instantaneous communication can be destructive. We need to tweak our digital platforms to make time for extra eyes, cooler heads, and second thoughts.
In the early grades, U.S. schools value reading-comprehension skills over knowledge. The results are devastating, especially for poor kids.
The bird is a literary symbol, a natural wonder—and a harbinger of our own future.
AI will bring many wonders. It may also destabilize everything from nuclear détente to human friendships. We need to think much harder about how to adapt.
American corporations are spending trillions of dollars to repurchase their own stock. The practice is enriching CEOs—at the expense of everyone else.
For the nearly departed, a new bucket-list entry: “Build my casket”
A very short book excerpt
The Culture File
The great showman taught us to love hyperbole, fake news, and a good hoax. A century and a half later, the show has escaped the tent.
Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, and Zora Neale Hurston—spurred on by Franz Boas—revolutionized the way we think about humanity.
The family battles he described foreshadowed our current national crisis.
Glorified for its creative benefits, the pastime has become yet another goal-driven pursuit.
A drowning haunts Susan Steinberg’s dark first novel about teenagers’ summer adventures.
Readers respond to our June 2019 cover story.
A big question