Inside The Atlantic's June Issue

The columns, essays, and feature articles in The Atlantic's June 2013 issue include: 

The Gay Guide to Wedded Bliss
The Supreme Court will be ruling on two major gay-marriage cases before the term ends in June. Those opposed argue that allowing same-sex couples to wed will fundamentally change the institution of marriage forever. But what if the critics are right? What if same-sex marriage does change marriage, but primarily for the better? Compared with straight marriages, research finds, same-sex unions tend to be happier, with less conflict, greater emotional intimacy, and more-equal sharing of chores and child-rearing. Liza Mundy explores what gay and lesbian spouses can teach straight ones about living happily ever after.
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Digital exclusive: Atlantic National Correspondent Hanna Rosin and Liza Mundy discuss what straight spouses can learn from same-sex ones.
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Jerry Brown's Political Reboot
When Jerry Brown was elected governor of California at 36, he was seen only in contrast to his father, Pat, who had been elected governor before him. When he was elected for a third term, at 72, he was seen as someone who might fix a radically changed state that many considered to be broken. This time, according to James Fallows, he has been both reflective and ruthlessly practical--embracing his inner politician to try to restore the California dream.
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The Mystery of the Second Skeleton
A tiny percentage of the world's population suffers from fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, which locks its victims in cages of superfluous bone. For centuries, these patients were dismissed as a lost cause. But recent genetic and technological advances have propelled researchers toward an understanding of this disease that may transform the lives not just of people who suffer from it, but of those afflicted by much more common ailments. Rare diseases, Carl Zimmer reports, are more relevant than we ever imagined.
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  • Do Presidents Matter? Where foreign policy is concerned, the most-valuable traits are not always the ones we value most highly. Joseph S. Nye Jr. assesses the effectiveness of careful, transactional leadership versus a grand, transformational vision. (Read more)
  • Talk to the Hands: In this month's Wordplay, Jen Doll investigates why some hand gestures die out and others endure. (Read more)  
    • Digital exclusive: From greetings to graphic insults, NowThis News explores the many signs we use to communicate. (Watch video)
  • How to Save the GOP: Polls show that the GOP's stance on practically every issue is a loser: same-sex marriage, international affairs, immigration, even taxes and the deficit. This dismal situation was, a quarter century ago, the plight of the Democrats. Molly Ball explores what Republicans can learn from Democrats' revival. (Read more)
  • How to Protect Your Privacy Online: The average American Internet user visits 1,462 different Web sites a year. The median length of privacy policies for popular Web sites is 2,514 words. Reading every privacy policy of every Web site you call up in a year would take you 10 full days. Enter Disconnect, a start-up that has created a simple set of icons to help users navigate this terrain in a quicker--and more informed--way. (Read more)
  • In our Tech Column, James Fallows talks with the tech-industry veteran Linda Stone about how to focus in a world of proliferating distractions. (Read more)
  • Death of the Salesman: More Americans work in retail sales than in any other occupation, but these jobs are increasingly threatened by technology. Derek Thompson wonders: Should we mourn their passage? (Read more
    • Digital exclusive: A montage from NowThis News celebrates that pillar of teen culture: the shopping mall. (Watch video)
  • The Loneliest Republican: Jonathan Chait profiles Josh Barro, the conservative columnist whose growing contempt for the GOP is matched only by his disdain for its would-be reformers. (Read more)
  • The Tao of Steve: A year and a half after Steve Jobs's death, his Japanese fans remain singularly devoted to his memory. We're not talking everyday Apple fandom; what distinguishes the Japanese cult of Jobs, Olga Khazan reports, is its creative output. (Read more)
  • Are We Truly Overworked? Complaining about working too much is an American birthright. But the truth is that we are working less. So why do we feel so busy? Derek Thompson considers the data. (Read more)

The Culture File:

  • Why Sylvia Plath Haunts Us: Even half a century after her suicide, the thrilling, horrifying confrontations of Sylvia Plath's masterwork, Ariel, capture a life in balance. James Parker reflects on her work, and her enduring legacy. (Read more)
  • The Year the Beatles Found Their Voice: For Colin Fleming, The Beatles' 1963 BBC sessions, never commercially released, show a young band rapidly assimilating, mixing, and improving the musical genres they would soon transcend. (Read more)
  • Abraham Lincoln Is an Idiot: By nearly any measure--personal, political, even literary--Abraham Lincoln set a standard of success that few in history can match. But how many of his contemporaries noticed? Not many. Mark Bowden explores the difficulty of recognizing excellence in its own time. (Read more)
  • Pardon My French: Ta-Nehisi Coates reflects on a recent trip to Paris and Geneva, where he attempted to put the French he's been studying for the past two years to real-world use. As he soon discovered, in incomprehension and slow understanding, imagination can return. (Read more)
  • Distilling Deceit: That "local," "craft" liquor for which you shelled out top dollar may be neither. Wayne Curtis investigates some distillers' rather dubious claims. (Read more)

Finally, the Big Question on our back page: What was the most influential TV show ever? James Lipton, host of Inside the Actors Studio; Vince Gilligan, creator and show runner of Breaking Bad; Arrested Development's Jessica Walter; Lauren Zalaznick, executive vice president of NBCUniversal; and others weigh in.
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These articles and more are featured in the June issue of The Atlantic, available today, May 23, 2013, on and mobile devices and on newsstands next week.

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 now on global cities, The Atlantic is a multimedia forum on the most-critical issues of our times, from politics, business, urban affairs, and the economy, to technology, arts, and culture. The Atlantic is the flagship property of Washington, D.C.-based publisher Atlantic Media Company.