Inside The Atlantic's October Issue

The feature dispatches, articles, columns, and essays in The Atlantic’s October issue include:

The Case Against High-School Sports
The United States routinely spends more tax dollars per high-school athlete than per high-school math student—unlike most countries worldwide. And we wonder why we lag in international rankings? In the cover story, Amanda Ripley takes a look at what happens when schools prioritize academics over athletics. Take Premont Independent School District, outside of Corpus Christi, Texas. Facing the threat of closure for financial mismanagement and academic failure, the high school scrapped its pricey sports program entirely. Even the beloved football team. The following semester, 80 percent of all students passed their classes—up from 50 percent the previous fall. Now imagine what the rest of America’s schools would be like if our obsessive intensity about high-school sports was focused the classroom instead.

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How the NFL Fleeces Taxpayers
Behold the highly lucrative business model of the NFL: taxpayers fund the stadiums, antitrust law doesn’t apply to television deals, the league enjoys nonprofit status, and Commissioner Roger Goodell makes $30 million a year. It’s time, Gregg Easterbrook argues, to stop the public giveaways to America’s richest sports league—and to the feudal lords who own its teams.

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The New Terrorist Training Ground
Last year, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb did something no other modern terrorist group has: conquered a broad swath of a sovereign country—Mali. Since then, despite French intervention, northern Mali has become a jihadist front, reports Yochi Dreazen, with Islamist militants flowing in from around the world. While America remains focused on threats from the Middle East and South Asia, the new face of terror is likely to be African.

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My Daughter’s Homework Is Killing Me
What happens when a father, alarmed by his 13-year-old daughter’s nightly workload, tries to do her homework? After a week’s worth of algebra worksheets, Spanish quizzes, book reports, and more—upwards of three hours a night—Karl Taro Greenfeld realizes he can’t keep up with middle school anymore. If he can’t do it, what is homework doing to our kids?

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The Boom Towns and Ghost Towns of the New Economy
New York, Houston, Washington, D.C.—plus college towns and the energy belt—are all up, while much of the Sun Belt is (still) down. Richard Florida maps the winners and the losers in the Great Recession.

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The Culture File:

Finally, the Big Question on our back page: What was the best speech, historical or fictional, ever given? Ben Stein, actor and former speechwriter for Presidents Nixon and Ford; Melinda Gates; James Carville; General Stanley McChrystal; and many more weigh in.

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These articles and more are featured in the October issue of The Atlantic, available today, September 19, 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.

Media Relations
Natalie Raabe, The Atlantic
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