Inside The Atlantic's November Issue

The feature stories, dispatches, columns, essays, and original fiction in The Atlantic's November issue include: 

The Bloomberg Way
As part of The Atlantic's Brave Thinkers list, the magazine's annual guide to the people risking everything in pursuit of big ideas, James Bennet sits down with Michael Bloomberg for a typically candid interview. The New York City mayor discusses his soda ban, approval ratings, and the 2012 presidential race,
among many other topics:

  • On why high approval ratings mean you're failing: "If I finish my term in office ... and have high approval ratings, then I wasted my last years in office. That high approval rating means you don't upset anybody...You always want to press, and you want to tackle the issues that are unpopular, that nobody else will go after."
  • On how President Obama alienated Wall Street: "He had enormous support three years, or three and a half years, ago...I think a lot of [people on Wall Street] were frustrated that he didn't give the change that they had expected. I think a lot of them thought he'd be more of a centralist and less of a populist once he got elected."
  • On whether Obama deserves credit for ordering the raid that killed Osama bin Laden: "That's like giving Harry Truman credit for dropping the bomb: any president would've pushed that button, any president would've dropped the bomb." 

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Digital exclusive: view a gallery of Bloomberg's boldest mayoral moments, and read a full transcript of the conversation.

Brave Thinkers 2012
Every year, The Atlantic highlights individuals who are risking their reputations, fortunes, and lives in pursuit of ideas that upend the established order. Check out this year's list of 21 brave people and groups, ranging from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to the Russian punk collective Pussy Riot.
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A Brief History of Brave Thinking
Since 1857, The Atlantic has presented some of America's most provocative thinkers, people with the bravery to challenge convention or imagine the future. Here, snippets from 155 years' worth of Brave Thinking in the magazine--from Vannevar Bush's sketch of a curious device that resembles what is now the Internet to John Muir's ideas leading to the creation of the U.S. Forest Service.
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Digital exclusive: watch a highlights reel of past and present Brave Thinkers.

Hacking the President's DNA
The U.S. government is surreptitiously collecting the DNA of world leaders, and is reportedly protecting that of Barack Obama. Decoded, these genetic blueprints could provide compromising information. Andrew Hessel, Marc Goodman, and Steven Kotler assert that, in the not-too-distant future, the data may provide something more as well--the basis for the creation of personalized bioweapons that could take down the president and leave no trace.
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General Failure
Looking back on the troubled wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many observers are content to lay blame on the Bush administration. But inept leadership by American generals was also responsible for the failure of those wars. Thomas E. Ricks exposes a culture of mediocrity within the Army's leadership rank. If it is not uprooted, the country's next war is unlikely to unfold any better than the last two.
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My Conversion Will Not Be Televised
How did Graeme Wood end up on TV debating Salafism with an Egyptian cleric? He was lured on the air with a tantalizing offer: the chance to ask the cleric anything he wanted.
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The Deer Paradox
It's never been easier to shoot a buck. So Tim Heffernan wonders: Why are hunters spending billions on high-tech gear?
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Steal My Book!
What do you do if you discover your novel is being illegally pirated in Russia? If you're Peter Mountford, you assist the rogue translator. 
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The Court Crasher
SCOTUSblog devotes more resources to covering the Supreme Court than has any other media outlet in history. As Stephanie Mencimer reports, the blog's founder and publisher, Tom Goldstein, changed not only how news gets out of the Court--but how lawyers argue before it as well.
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Sprucing Up Your Cocktail
Spruce, a lost flavor of the northern woods, has been rediscovered and, according to Wayne Curtis, is on its way to a well-crafted cocktail near you.
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Busy and Busier
In The Atlantic's new technology column, the productivity expert David Allen talks with James Fallows about the future of getting things done.
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Prisoners of Cable
Even with all the TV and entertainment options that are available to stream or download, Derek Thompson explains why we just can't break free from our cable overlords, and their pesky bundling system.
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The Amis Obsession
Martin Amis has run with no bulls, head-butted no Gore Vidals, repented for no fake memoirs. So, James Parker asks, what accounts for his peculiar fame?
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Digital exclusive: watch an August 2010 video of Amis in conversation with Christopher Hitchens.

"Clean," by Edward J. Delaney
You think of that night endlessly, the decisions made, the chain of mistakes. The irony of getting away with murder is that you become your own executioner. In a pang of remorse, you could open your mouth and change your life.
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These articles and more are featured in the November issue of The Atlantic, available today, October 25, 2012, on and newsstands.

About The Atlantic

Since its founding in 1857 as a magazine about "the American Idea" that would be of "no party or clique," The Atlantic has been at the forefront of brave thinking in journalism. One of the first magazines to launch on the web in the early 1990s, The Atlantic has continued to help shape the national debate across print, digital and event platforms. With the addition of its news- and opinion-tracking site,, and, The Atlantic is a multi-media forum on the most critical issues of our times, from politics, business, and the economy, to technology, arts, and culture. The Atlantic is the flagship property of Washington, D.C.-based publisher Atlantic Media Company.