The Logic of Suicide Terrorism
Will suicide bombings one day become a fact of life in the U.S.? What should be done to prevent such a development? Join a discussion of Bruce Hoffman's cover story in the June Atlantic.

The Reluctant Fan
Do you secretly think baseball is boring? Does the economic side of baseball need a shakeup?

See the complete forum index.

THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY | Volume 291 No. 5 | June 2003
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June 2003 cover 77 North Washington Street  Michael Kelly (1957-2003)

Letters to the Editor

The Agenda
A Transformative Moment 
by Michael Kelly

Building Democracy Out of What?  The Iraqi people, and anyone who wants to help them, will have to deal with the long-term psychological effects of life under Saddam
by David Brooks

Norman Ornstein's Doomsday Scenario  What would happen if a bomb wiped out the federal government?
by Michelle Cottle

A Five-Step Program  Enhancing American Civic Life
A cartoon by Steve Brodner

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

The World in Numbers  The Weight of the World
by Don Peck


The Logic of Suicide Terrorism
The perceived randomness of suicide bombings is in large part responsible for the emotional suffering that they inflict on society. But the planners of these attacks use a strategy that is anything but random: they aim to relentlessly shrink to nothing the areas in which people can move freely
by Bruce Hoffman
An Interview With Bruce Hoffman: The Calculus of Terror
Bruce Hoffman, a world-renowned expert on terrorism, talks about the strategy behind the suicide bombings in Israel—and what we must learn from Israel's response [Web only]
Who Shot Mohammed al-Dura?
The image of a twelve-year-old boy shot dead in his helpless father's arms during a confrontation between Israelis and Palestinians has become a symbol of Israeli, and by extension American, oppression. But emerging evidence suggests that the boy cannot have died in the way reported by most of the world's media
by James Fallows

JFK's Second Term
A fresh look at the final months of the presidency of John F. Kennedy indicates that a second Kennedy term might have produced not only an American withdrawal from Vietnam but also rapprochement with Fidel Castro's Cuba
by Robert Dallek

Too Much of a Good Thing
The theoretical physicist who ignited the biggest firestorm in the history of the American photography market was simply trying to figure out if his vintage Lewis Hine photos were genuine
by Richard B. Woodward


First Pantoum of Summer  A poem by Erica Funkhouser [audio]

Monstress  A short story by Lysley Tenorio

Aria  A poem by Teresa Cader [audio]

Tar Pit  A poem by David Barber [audio]

The Two Fronts  A drawing by Guy Billout


Books and Critics
New & Noteworthy
A study of seventeenth-century letters that is "one of the best histories of the year"; a new biography that revises our understanding of Abraham Lincoln's view of the Civil War; an architectural chronicle and social history of late-nineteenth-century Chicago; books that shed new light on George Orwell and on his second wife, Sonia
reviewed by Benjamin Schwarz

The Reluctant Fan
"Misting up," the author writes, reviewing a new book on the economics of baseball, "is one of two physiological reactions the game tends to produce." The other is "unconsciousness"
reviewed by David Kipen

Aural History
Bob Woodward, the doyen of capital insiders, has written a misleading account of the buildup to the war in Iraq
by Christopher Hitchens

Book Group in Chadors
An outstanding and unusual memoir of post-revolutionary Iran
reviewed by Mona Simpson
An Interview With Azar Nafisi: The Fiction of Life
Azar Nafisi, the author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, on the dangers of using religion as an ideology, and the freedoms that literature can bring [Web only]
Still Growing
Michael Byers's first novel, though ambitious and often engaging, suggests that he hasn't yet made the leap from short stories
reviewed by Thomas Mallon

Lost in Translation
A new English version of Stendhal's Le Rouge et le Noir lacks the essential tone and style of the original
reviewed by Philip Hensher


Pursuits and Retreats
From the Transition Index to the Rapture Index
by Cullen Murphy

SPEECH: Sir Thomas Browne, Jorge Luis Borges, y Yo
A commencement address
by William Hamilton

FOOD: A New Chestnut
The work of a dedicated few may eventually restore America's blighted chestnut forests to their former vastness. One happy consequence can already be tasted
by Corby Kummer

The Puzzler by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon

Word Court by Barbara Wallraff

Cover: X-ray courtesy of the Department of Radiology and the Trauma Unit, The Hillel Yaffe Medical Center, Hadera, Israel.

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