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MAY 1999 | Volume 283 No. 5
9905mcvs picture The Great Disruption
(This article is no longer available online.)

One of America's most provocative thinkers argues that the social ills of recent decades are neither illusion nor fluke. The rise in crime, the decline in stable families, the erosion of trust in government and fellow citizens -- these have constituted a Great Disruption in prevailing social values throughout the industrialized world. They have been brought on by the advent of the information age. The good news: Human beings are designed to create moral rules and social order. A Great Reconstitution may already be under way.

by Francis Fukuyama

Combinations of Jacksons
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Smackover Creek. "Fangs of Doom!" Uncle Alec and Nathan Bedford Forrest. Flying squirrels gliding from oak to oak. The picture show at El Dorado. A stinging snake. The author of Norwood and True Grit recalls aspects of life in a small Arkansas town during the Second World War.

by Charles Portis
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Notes & Comment: Flouting the Convention
Anti-whaling nations are using the International Whaling Commission to ban all commercial whaling no matter what the law says -- an effort that could undermine future environmental agreements.
by William Aron, William Burke, and Milton Freeman

Medicine: The Clinical-Trials Bottleneck
All new cancer therapies must be subjected to randomized clinical trials. Why is resistance to such trials so widespread -- among patients, doctors, and insurers?
by Francine Russo

Personal File: Six Days
The author teaches a child one kind of alphabet, even as he himself learns another.
by Jesse Wegman

Humor, Fiction, & Poetry

seahorse picture Woodcock
A poem
by Erica Funkhouser

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A poem
by W. S. Merwin

The Deacon
A short story
by Mary Gordon

  • Web-Only: Catholic. Woman. Writer.
    An Atlantic Unbound interview with Mary Gordon.

    seahorse picture In the Tube
    A poem
    by Mark Jarman

    Deus ex Machina
    A drawing
    by Guy Billout

  • Arts & Leisure

    Travel: Fresh and French
    A guide to the potagers, or kitchen gardens, of France, by turns shamelessly ostentatious and reassuringly practical.
    by Hatsy Shields

    Music: Napoleon in Rags
    Bob Dylan's creative peak lasted only three years, the author writes, but in that brief span "Dylan altered the course of popular music more fundamentally than even Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, or the Beatles."
    by Francis Davis


    Was the Great War Necessary?
    The Pity of War, by Niall Ferguson
    by Benjamin Schwarz

    Brief Reviews
    by Phoebe-Lou Adams

    Other Departments

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    The May Almanac

    The Puzzler
    by Emily Cox & Henry Rathvon

    seahorse picture Word Court
    by Barbara Wallraff

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    All material copyright © 1999 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
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