Washington, D.C. (March 15, 2016)—The Atlantic’s April 2016 issue is released in its entirety today at TheAtlantic.com, led by Jeffrey Goldberg’s “The Obama Doctrine,” an exclusive and sweeping telling of President Obama’s worldview based on many hours of in-depth and unusually candid interviews with the president. The piece, which was published online last week, pulls back the curtain on President Obama’s most difficult decisions when it comes to America’s role in the world. Goldberg’s report has spurred conversations and debates across the globe; to date The Atlantic has published more than a dozen commentaries on the piece, along with three original videos.
Other features in the April issue include Ta-Nehisi Coates on authoring the revival of Marvel’s first black superhero comic series; an investigation into the mysteriously intertwined cases of two men who went missing in Alaska; and James Parker’s homage to David Bowie.
The April 2016 issue of The Atlantic is now available online and on newsstands—with key pieces summarized below:
Cover Story and Features:
COVER: “The Obama Doctrine”: The moment many foreign policy observers consider one of the worst of Barack Obama’s presidency—not bombing Syria in the summer of 2013 after Bashar al-Assad had breached the “red line” on chemical weapons—the president sees as one of his best. In this historic accounting of President Obama’s foreign policy legacy, national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg details Obama’s deliberations on the most important international moments of recent history: from not enforcing the “red line” in Syria—which Obama calls “as tough a decision as I’ve made—and I believe ultimately it was the right decision to make”—to the threat of ISIS, to the mess of Libya, to Russia and Ukraine. Goldberg interviewed Obama and spoke to many of his current and former top national-security and foreign-policy advisors for this cover story.
Return of the Black Panther: The Atlantic has an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the revival of Marvel’s first black superhero series: publishing the first six pages of Black Panther #1 written by Atlantic national correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates. In an essay, Coates writes about taking on the project, the influence of comics on his life, and his approach to writing for the format. His piece in the magazine, and at TheAtlantic.com, includes early sketches for the revival of Black Panther by illustrator Brian Stelfreeze.
In the Land of Missing Persons: Everyone in Alaska seems to know people missing or “unfound.” The year before Rick Hills and Richard Bennett disappeared mysteriously, more than 3,000 people had been reported missing in the wilds of the state. But no one could have predicted that, a decade later, human bones found on the Kenai Peninsula would set in motion a series of other discoveries, adding a surreal twist to a long and disjointed tale of people lost and found and lost again. And in the process, reminding everyone involved of their smallness in a vast land. Alex Tizon investigates the parallel tragedies of two families and how a damaging mistake made by local authorities shook the hard new realities of each in different ways. Two families, two bodies, and a wilderness of secrets.
Psychology: Quit Your Job: If you’re in your 40s, 50s, or 60s and blissfully happy at your job, be very thankful to be in the minority: just one-third of mid-careerists share those same sentiments. Research indicates that a sense of purpose is a powerful predictor of mental and physical robustness, and changing careers later in life can be good for cognition, well-being, and even longevity. Over the course of researching a book on midlife, Barbara Bradley Hagerty interviewed dozens of experts, psychologists, psychiatrists, and people who had attempted to leap from an enervating career to a more satisfying. Even if learning new skills or navigating a new corporate culture is tough, shifting your career may be the best investment you can make in your cognitive health.
Business: The Art of Marketing Marijuana: Now that their wares are largely legal, sellers of pot are facing a predicament: convincing longtime users that their brand is better than the competition. Vauhini Vara explores the growing world of marijuana marketing and how those in the business are working to make pot seem as all-American as an ice-cold beer.
Politics: How to Reverse Citizens United: Even before Scalia’s death, Citizens United featured significantly in presidential primaries. Now with a new justice in the offing, the prospect of reversing the controversial 2010 ruling seems suddenly more plausible, but the matter is not so simple. David Cole writes that campaign-finance reformers should turn to lessons learned from gun-rights and marriage-equality campaigns in order to turn the tides on campaign finance.
Sketch: The Man Who Invented Dothraki: Kinuka’az, High Valyrian, Trigedasleng, Noalath. The languages of sci-fi and fantasy worlds -- think Game of Thrones, Defiance, and The 100 -- are all the mastermind of one man: linguist David J. Peterson. William Brennan takes a lesson in Castithan (spoken by a race of aliens on Defiance, duh), stepping inside the obsessively detailed and fully functional world of made-up speech.
Technology: The Future Will Be Quiet: Life today is noisy: last year, 340,000 noise complaints were filed in New York City alone. There are signs that people in the U.S. are getting serious about the problem, and new technologies could help. From silent cars and quiet pavement, to targeted sirens and innovations in airplane engines, Alana Semuels explores how cities and suburbs could becomes quieter, more peaceful places.
The Resurrections of David Bowie: “David Bowie, we now realize, with his words chiming posthumously in our heads, was one of the most potent lyricists in rock history,” writes James Parker in this appreciation. What made him so? Parker calls out Bowie’s ability to be in constant motion, onto the next thing, so that his songs never seemed out of date but rather “passed with eerie smoothness into the revolving cabaret of his back catalog.”
Books: The Truth About Abolition: The movement finally gets the big, bold history it deserves in The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition by Manisha Sinha. “Stunning” is the review from Adam Rothman, who praises Sinha for focusing on black people as central to the movement, “not merely the objects of white abolitionists’ sympathy.”
This month’s Big Question is “What are the best last words ever?” Authors and novelists weigh in on the most iconic final words ever uttered.
The April 2016 issue of The Atlantic is available today, March 15, on newsstands, TheAtlantic.com and The Atlantic’s mobile app.