May 2021

In This Issue

Return the national parks to the tribes, how we’ll remember the pandemic, a kidnapping gone wrong, and the women reinventing the Western. Plus American exclusion, Zoom justice, Andrew Yang, puberty TV, first ladies, giant closets, and more.

Cover Story

Get the digital edition of this issue.

Subscribers can access PDF versions of every issue in The Atlantic archive. When you subscribe, you’ll not only enjoy all of The Atlantic’s writing, past and present; you’ll also be supporting a bright future for our journalism.


collage of illustrations: woman alone; stacks of cash; truck with birds on wire; sketches of men; Nixon
Leonardo Santamaria

A Kidnapping Gone Very Wrong

In 1974, John Patterson was abducted by the People’s Liberation Army of Mexico—a group no one had heard of before. The kidnappers wanted $500,000, and insisted that Patterson’s wife deliver the ransom.

silhouetted man with a gun in a cowboy hat
Illustration by John Gall; Searchlight Pictures

The Western Rides Again

A new cohort of directors, all women, is exploring the death wish that infuses the genre—and proposing visions of repair.


Culture & Critics



Latest Issues