Contents | June 2001

The Atlantic Monthly | June 2001
In This Issue

rustrated air travelers take heart—help is on the way. In this month's cover story, "Freedom of the Skies," James Fallows offers a look at the network of engineers and entrepreneurs working to devise ultra-safe, comfortable, and affordable small planes that could be the aviation industry's answer to taxicabs. Fallows is The Atlantic's national correspondent. His article in this issue is drawn from his forthcoming book, Free Flight: From Airline Hell to a New Age of Travel, to be published this month by PublicAffairs.

When Ellen Ruppel Shell ("New World Syndrome"), an Atlantic correspondent, visited Kosrae, in Micronesia, last year, she found the population struggling with an epidemic of obesity-linked disease brought on by the island state's recent Westernization. For many in developing countries whose genes adapted long ago to survive famine, Ruppel Shell reports, the impact of a fatty Western diet can be lethal. Ruppel Shell, a co-director of the Knight Center for Science and Medical Journalism, at Boston University, is at work on a book about obesity. Her article on asthma appeared in The Atlantic last May.

Last November, Emmanuel "Toto" Constant, the founder of FRAPH, Haiti's most feared paramilitary organization, was convicted in absentia of murder for his involvement in a massacre in Haiti in 1994. Today he lives and works in Queens. David Grann ("Giving 'the Devil' His Due") investigates Constant's ties with U.S. intelligence, which may help to explain why Constant has not been returned to Haiti to face justice. Grann is a contributing editor of The New Republic.

Bobbie Ann Mason ("Three-Wheeler") is the author of numerous books, including the memoir Clear Springs (1999). Mason's latest collection of short stories, Zigzagging Down a Wild Trail, will be published in August, along with a reissue of Shiloh and Other Stories, which won the 1983 Hemingway Foundation/ PEN Award for First Fiction.

Each year, as high schools across the nation close for the summer break, rural and suburban homeowners brace themselves for the onslaught of mailbox baseball. Wayne Curtis ("Maginot Mailbox") reports from Cincinnati, Ohio, on the latest attempt to thwart would-be mailbox McGwires: commercially manufactured anti-vandal mailboxes. Also in Notes & Dispatches this month: Jeffrey Tayler, from Astrakhan, Russia, on why good caviar is becoming increasingly hard to find; Richard Martin, from Fort Belvoir, Virginia, on why simpler may be smarter when it comes to de-mining technology; Robert D. Kaplan, from Le Kef, Tunisia, on the Roman foundations of that nation's prosperity; and Teller, the shorter, quieter half of the noir comedy-magic team Penn & Teller, on why a tragic accident in Torrington, Connecticut, involving a young burn victim may not be all that it appears.

The immediate success of the architecturally daring Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, has prompted American art museums to embrace a new philosophy: if you build it, they will come. Ann Wilson Lloyd ("Architecture for Art's Sake") surveys the recent high-style building boom among art museums nationwide. Lloyd, a journalist and a curator, is the Boston corresponding editor for Art in America and a member of the International Association of Art Critics.

The launch of the Women's United Soccer Association represents the beginning of a new era both for soccer and for women's athletics. Scott Stossel ("As American as Women's Soccer?") looks at how American feminism cuts across the grain of international sports culture. Stossel, the executive editor of The American Prospect, teaches about sports and culture at Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut. He is at work on a book about Sargent Shriver.

Perhaps no author other than Proust was as masterly a chronicler of remembrance as the celebrated British novelist Anthony Powell, the author of A Dance to the Music of Time. Christopher Hitchens ("An Omnivorous Curiosity") reviews the abridged reissue of Powell's extraordinary memoirs, To Keep the Ball Rolling. Hitchens, a columnist for Vanity Fair and The Nation, is the author of Unacknowledged Legislation: Writers in the Public Sphere (2000) and The Trial of Henry Kissinger (2001).

The historian Stephen E. Ambrose's sentimental and flawed interpretation of America's role in World War II has come to define the way most Americans think about that war, says Benjamin Schwarz ("The Real War"), an Atlantic senior editor. Schwarz takes aim at the simplistic pieties of The Good Fight, Ambrose's new book for young adults, which, Schwarz fears, will likely mold yet another generation's understanding of World War II.

For the past twenty years the English novelist Anita Brookner has been leading her heroines and her readers toward an unflinching and pessimistic acceptance of life, observes Miranda Seymour ("The Mistress of Gloom"). This month Seymour reviews Brookner's latest novel, The Bay of Angels. Seymour's books include Robert Graves: Life on the Edge (1995) and a biography of Mary Shelley, which will be published in the United States this fall.

Copyright © 2001 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; June 2001; In This Issue; Volume 287, No. 6; page 6.