A collection of articles from every year of The Atlantic’s history traces the evolution of the magazine, and of America.
Seventy years ago, Albert Einstein presaged atomic war.
Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken,” originally published in The Atlantic in 1915, is animated in a new video.
An animated excerpt of an article from W.E.B. Du Bois depicts the “double-consciousness of a dark body.”
In 1932, Hellen Keller offered some advice for the “perplexed businessman.”
The Atlantic was first published in November of 1857. Its 160th anniversary calls for a celebration.
A history of the first African American White House—and of what came next
The U.S. president talks through his hardest decisions about America’s role in the world.
Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.
How to think about drones
The Great Recession has accelerated the hollowing-out of the American middle class. And it has illuminated the widening divide between most of America and the super-rich. Both developments herald grave consequences. Here is how we can bridge the gap between us.
The election of Barack Obama is just the most startling manifestation of a larger trend: the gradual erosion of “whiteness” as the touchstone of what it means to be American. If the end of white America is a cultural and demographic inevitability, what will the new mainstream look like—and how will white Americans fit into it? What will it mean to be white when whiteness is no longer the norm? And will a post-white America be less racially divided—or more so?
What the Internet is doing to our brains
Karl Rove had the plan, the power, and the historic chance to remake American politics. What went wrong?
A growing number of Internet dating sites are relying on academic researchers to develop a new science of attraction. A firsthand report from the front lines of an unprecedented social experiment
Dealing with North Korea could make Iraq look like child's play—and the longer we wait, the harder it will get. That's the message of a Pentagon-style war game involving some of this country's most prominent foreign-policy strategists
The American bubble in Baghdad
First you feel nervous about riding the bus. Then you wonder about going to a mall. Then you think twice about sitting for long at your favorite café. Then nowhere seems safe. Terrorist groups have a strategy—to shrink to nothing the areas in which people move freely—and suicide bombers, inexpensive and reliably lethal, are their latest weapons. Israel has learned to recognize and disrupt the steps on the path to suicide attacks. We must learn too.
Going to war with Iraq would mean shouldering all the responsibilities of an occupying power the moment victory was achieved. These would include running the economy, keeping domestic peace, and protecting Iraq's borders—and doing it all for years, or perhaps decades. Are we ready for this long-term relationship?
The electoral map of the 2000 presidential race became famous: big blocks of red (denoting states that went for Bush) stretched across the heartland, with brackets of blue (denoting states for Gore) along the coasts. Our Blue America correspondent has ventured repeatedly into Red territory. He asks the question—after September 11, a pressing one—Do our differences effectively split us into two nations, or are they just cracks in a still-united whole?
Al Gore is the most lethal debater in politics, a ruthless combatant who will say whatever it takes to win, and who leaves opponents not just beaten but brutalized. But Gore is no natural-born killer. He studied hard to become the man he is today.
How prisons, established to fight crime, produce crime.
The sensational revelations of recent years about the Central Intelligence Agency almost obscure a larger point: The Agency is just no good at what it's supposed to be doing. So writes the author, a former CIA officer, who describes a corrosive culture in which promotion-hungry operatives collect pointless intelligence from worthless foreign agents. Reform, the author warns, may be impossible.
The global triumph of democracy was to be the glorious climax of the American Century. But democracy may not be the system that will best serve the world—or even the one that will prevail in places that now consider themselves bastions of freedom.
Why has the media establishment become so unpopular? Perhaps the public has good reason to think that the media's self-aggrandizement gets in the way of solving the country's real problems.
The management of California's strawberry industry offers a case study of both the dependence on an imported peasantry that characterizes much of American agriculture and the destructive consequences of a deliberate low-wage economy.
Organized crime has Russia even more firmly in its grip than has been reported. Lawlessness has made Americans in Moscow fear for their lives, thrown obstacles in the way of businesses both foreign and domestic—and eroded the government's control over its nuclear weapons and materials.
After 60,000 deaths from firearms use over the past two years, America is in a gun crisis. Yet gun laws remain weak, gunmakers continue to promote killing power, and gun dealers accept no responsibility for the criminal use of what they sell.
Why are there so few women in Congress? Why is it especially difficult for women to make it to the Senate? With a record number of women running for the Senate this year, our reporter takes a careful look at the obstacles in the way of women candidates and at their emerging advantages.
A whole two days off from work, in which we can do what we please, has only recently become a near-universal right. What we choose to do looks increasingly like work, and idleness has acquired a bad name. Herein, a history of leisure.
At a time when citizens in Eastern Europe and elsewhere were demanding the right to self-determination and converting their governments to democracies, a social scientist considered the degree to which civil liberties within a democracy require protection.
"Suppose, just suppose, that the Animal Welfare Act were replaced by an animal-rights act, which would prohibit the use by human beings of any animals to their detriment. What would be the effect on medical research, education, and product testing?"
Picasso's art enacted the violent passions and twisted energies of the twentieth century. So did his life.
An American abroad in Chernobyl's aftermath confronts the half-life of truth
Two stereotypes dominate discussions of terrorism. They cloud thought and inhibit effective action.
An overview of the history and geopolitical significance of the Soviet invasion and occupation
Learning by doing and sensitivity to feelings are the keys to academic progress
Nixon, Ford, Haig, and the transfer of power.
The police and neighborhood safety
“None of us really understands what’s going on with all these numbers.”
“Television is poised to absorb and emasculate the movies, all in the name of home entertainment.”
“The evidence, fragmentary as it is, suggests that the CIA customarily drew the line at what is commonly meant by the word ‘murder.’ However, in the late 1950s, the CIA began to get orders to kill people.”
A report on the veterans of Vietnam—and on the often disgraceful treatment they have received from their countrymen.
Space scientists won't say so, but the results of three brilliantly conceived experiments lead inevitably to one startling conclusion: Life, in some form, exists on Mars.
However the Toynbee or the Gibbon of the future adjudges what happened to American society, he will need to reckon large with the impact of radio and television.
Robert Byrd, a little-known, fiddle-playing West Virginian, is the Senate’s Democratic whip, probably its next majority leader, and just possibly a favorite son at the 1976 Democratic Convention. Says he: “I believe that a big man can make a small job important.” Some of his colleagues think Byrd also proves the converse: that big job can help a small man to grow.
In Harlan County, Kentucky, are some of our country's richest natural resources—and some of its poorest people.
As a steady stream of disturbing revelations surfaced in the Watergate investigation, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.—a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and a former adviser to President Kennedy—argued that under Richard Nixon's insidious influence, the power of the presidency had spiraled out of control.
“Inevitably political, the Pentagon Papers case is a decisive test of the federal government's capacity to control the disclosure of information stamped 'secret,' of an individual's right to defy the security classification system, and at least peripherally, of the press's ability to rely on 'leaks' in government circles.”
Is this what we want?
“More women will have to become much more aggressive than they are at present if equal opportunity in employment is to be achieved.”
Are the Blackstone Rangers a corrupt, exploitive street gang? Or a constructive engine of community black power?
From the beginning of John Kennedy's Administration into this fifth year of Lyndon Johnson's presidency, substantially the same small group of men have presided over the destiny of the United States. In that time they have carried the country from a limited involvement in Vietnam into a war that is brutal, probably unwinnable, and, to an increasing body of opinion, calamitous and immoral. How could it happen?
Countless sociological studies and official reports have described the dreadful condition of the nation's ghetto schools in abstract terms, but the general public has no concrete idea of what goes on inside them. Jonathan Kozol recounts his experience as a teacher in the Roxbury section of Boston.
“I've never had a chance to explain my position on this subject without interruption, and to a large audience. So people mistakenly think I'm asking people to take dope-fiend dope.”
In 1965, an anonymous woman described the steps she took to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
“In the election this fall ... we stand for the election of President Lyndon B. Johnson.”
Six years before the first Apollo mission, two scientists from NASA argued for manned lunar exploration.
“The housewife, the factory worker, and the businessman will tell you that they are against such things as narcotics, bootlegging, prostitution, gang murders, the corruption of public officials and police, and, the bribery of college athletes. And yet this is where their money goes.”
In 1961, Eleanor Roosevelt called for Americans to rededicate themselves to the country's democratic ideals.