Introducing America In Person, The Atlantic’s new section about what it means to be an American

America In Person launches with stories on evangelical church-planting and the diverse internet subcultures created by the pandemic investing boom.

A collage of different people
John Whitlock

Today, The Atlantic launches America In Person, a new section dedicated to exploring the complexity and multidimensionality of American identity. “The Atlantic has long been preoccupied by pluralism and the American idea, so it’s only natural for us to explore in a dedicated way what it means to be American,” said Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic’s editor in chief. “American identity is far more layered, and far more interesting, than straightforward categorization allows.”

Created as part of The Atlantic’s culture vertical, America In Person is led by senior editor Lauren N. Williams with senior editor Mathew Rodriguez. It will build on The Atlantic’s robust tradition of writing about race, class, and gender, and will offer a more expansive and layered view of how people form communities and come to see themselves and one another in the United States.

“There is more than one way to think about American identity, and with these stories, we’re eager to expand on The Atlantic’s work of helping readers explore nonmainstream narratives,” said Williams, who joined The Atlantic as a culture editor in 2018.

America In Person launches with “Why Millions of Americans Took Investing Into Their Own Hands,” a report from Talmon Joseph Smith on the varied internet subcultures borne out of the country’s untamed pandemic investing boom. Through interviews with economic analysts, amateur and professional investors, and former hedge-fund managers, Smith considers what each of these cultures can tell us about society, writing: “They’re diverse if not integrated, some silly, some assiduous—yet all infused with a quiet desperation to reach escape velocity and defeat the gravitational pull of class stagnation that’s lasted decades.”

Also published today as part of the launch: “Latinos Will Determine the Future of American Evangelicalism” by Meaghan Winter, on Latinos being the fastest-growing group of evangelicals in the country, and the implications of that shift for American politics; and “The Pandemic Might Have Changed Sex for the Better” by Madison Moore, on the ways queer people kept their sexuality alive during the pandemic, and how they're applying those lessons to post-vaccine life.

The launch of America In Person comes as The Atlantic continues to expand its newsroom. In addition to Rodriguez, who joined The Atlantic in May, recent hires include assistant editor Andrew Aoyama; visuals editor Jehan Jillani; designer Shannon Lin, who joined the experimental-storytelling team; copy editor Christina McCausland; crossword-puzzles editor Paolo Pasco; podcast producer Rebecca Rashid; associate photo editor Cédric Von Niederhäusern; and fact-checkers Susan Banta, Isabel Cristo, Sam Fentress, and Yvonne Kim.