The Fall of the House of Saud
Can the U.S. disentangle itself from Saudi Arabia? Share your thoughts on Robert Baer's cover story.

The Baby Experts
Has raising children become more competitive and stress-inducing in recent years? Or has it always been that way?

See the complete forum index.

THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY | Volume 291 No. 4 | May 2003
Articles with headlines in gray are unavailable online at the request of the author.

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May 2003 cover Letters to the Editor

The Agenda
What Now?  A letter from Kuwait City
by Michael Kelly

What Whitman Knew  Walt Whitman's "Democratic Vistas" is still the most trenchant explanation of American power and policies
by David Brooks

Let It Be  The greatest development in modern religion is not a religion at all—it's an attitude best described as "apatheism"
by Jonathan Rauch

"I'm Right, You're Wrong, Go to Hell"  Religions and the meeting of civilizations
by Bernard Lewis

Euphorias of Hatred  The grim lessons of a novel by Gogol
by Robert D. Kaplan

Primary Sources  Selections from recent reports, studies, and other documents

The World in Numbers  U. S. Military Logistics
by Bruce Falconer


The Fall of the House of Saud
[At the request of the author, this article is not available online. It will be available as part of an upcoming book by Mr. Baer.]
Americans have long considered Saudi Arabia the one constant in the Arab Middle East—a source of cheap oil, political stability, and lucrative business relationships. But the government is also deeply corrupt, and gives succor to terrorism. Now, a former CIA operative argues, the Saudi royal family is on the verge of collapse—and much of the global economy could collapse with it
by Robert Baer
An Interview With Robert Baer: Addicted to Oil
Robert Baer discusses the perils of our dependence on Saudi Arabia and its precious supply of fuel. [Web only]
Long Shot
An eccentric new company called Sea Launch is sending large rockets into space from a floating launch pad that sails to the Equator for blast-off. Has the era of private space travel begun?
by Gregg Easterbrook

Hitler's Forgotten Library
In the spring of 1945, in a German salt mine, soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division discovered some 3,000 books belonging to Adolf Hitler. More than a thousand of them are now in the Library of Congress. Largely ignored, the books—and their marginalia—reveal Hitler's deep and disturbing interest in religion and theology
by Timothy W. Ryback


Coyotes  A poem by Mark Jarman [audio]

Literary Lives  Ayn Rand
A drawing by Edward Sorel

A Good Country  A short story by Geeta Sharma Jensen

A Morris Dance  A poem by Mary Jo Salter

Amateur Iconography: Resurrection  A poem by A. E. Stallings


Books and Critics
New & Noteworthy
A new biography of Lord Nelson; a study of the architect Raphael Soriano; essays by the critic Clive James; an anthology of writing on compassion toward animals; the historian A.J.P. Taylor's still matchless history of Germany; a reconstruction of the first day in the Battle of the Somme; an account of the anti-Semitic hysteria that swept France in 1898
reviewed by Benjamin Schwarz

The Permanent Adolescent
The vices of Evelyn Waugh are what made him a king of comedy and of tragedy
by Christopher Hitchens
Flashbacks: The Cruel Wit of Evelyn Waugh
Articles over fifty years trace the evolution of the bitter and controversial master of British farce [Web only]
The Baby Experts
"Loving gardeners who spend twenty-four hours a day straining to pick up ineffable clues from their developmentally delicate hothouse flowers," the author writes, "wind up exhausted and hysterical." Two new histories of U.S. child-rearing show that anxiety in parents is nothing new
by Sandra Tsing Loh

Other reviews  Monkey Hunting, by Cristina García, reviewed by Margot Livesey; Bay of Souls, by Robert Stone, reviewed by Thomas Mallon
An Interview With Cristina García:
The Nature of Inheritance

A conversation with Cristina García, whose new novel, Monkey Hunting, explores Cuban identity, immigrant life, and the way family history evolves [Web only]
Not Green, Not Red, Not Pink
Oscar Wilde cannot be simplified into an Irish rebel, a subversive socialist, or a gay martyr
by Geoffrey Wheatcroft


Pursuits and Retreats
When the posthuman future meets our pre-posthuman selves
by Cullen Murphy

TRAVELS: Carbonaro and Primavera
With gasoline prices in Cuba going up and up, it is once again an excellent time to have—and to be—an ox
by Susan Orlean

FOOD: Back to Grass
The old way of raising cattle is now the new way—better for the animals and better for your table
by Corby Kummer

The Puzzler by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon

Word Fugitives by Barbara Wallraff

Cover art by John Ritter.

All material copyright © 2003 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.