April 20, 2012
Reefer Madness

Marijuana has not been de facto legalized, and the war on drugs is not just about cocaine and heroin. In fact, today, when we don’t have enough jail cells for murderers, rapists, and other violent criminals, there may be more people in federal and state prisons for marijuana offenses than at any other time in U.S. history

Eric Schlosser on the U.S. war on marijuana in the August 1994 issue of The Atlantic. His cover story eventually became Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market.
Read more at The Atlantic

Reefer Madness

Marijuana has not been de facto legalized, and the war on drugs is not just about cocaine and heroin. In fact, today, when we don’t have enough jail cells for murderers, rapists, and other violent criminals, there may be more people in federal and state prisons for marijuana offenses than at any other time in U.S. history

Eric Schlosser on the U.S. war on marijuana in the August 1994 issue of The Atlantic. His cover story eventually became Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market.

Read more at The Atlantic

March 30, 2012
The Atlantic Facebook Timeline: 1857-Present

We just launched our timeline featuring selections from our archives dating back to 1857. Read works by Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Bertrand Russell, Jane Addams, Henry James, Rudyard Kipling, Woodrow Wilson, H.G. Wells, David Foster Wallace, James Fallows, Arthur Schlesinger, and more.

The Atlantic Facebook Timeline: 1857-Present

We just launched our timeline featuring selections from our archives dating back to 1857. Read works by Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Bertrand Russell, Jane Addams, Henry James, Rudyard Kipling, Woodrow Wilson, H.G. Wells, David Foster Wallace, James Fallows, Arthur Schlesinger, and more.

February 1, 2012
"The Battle Hymn of the Republic" first appeared in The Atlantic 150 years ago this month. 
Historian Dominic Tierney on why Julia Ward Howe’s composition is “America’s song in itself.”

"The Battle Hymn of the Republic" first appeared in The Atlantic 150 years ago this month. 

Historian Dominic Tierney on why Julia Ward Howe’s composition is “America’s song in itself.”

November 11, 2011
"Nixon, in short, created the Nixon White House. “There was no independent sense of morality there,” said Hugh Sloan, who served in the Nixon White House for two years. “… If you worked for someone, he was God, and whatever the orders were, you did it … . It was all so narrow, so closed… . There emerged some kind of separate morality about things.” “Because of a certain atmosphere that had developed in my working at the White House,” said Jeb Stuart Magruder, “I was not as concerned about its illegality as I should have been.” “The White House is another world,” said John Dean. “Expediency is everything.” “No one who had been in the White House,” said Tom Charles Huston, “could help but feel he was in a state of siege.” “On my first or second day in the White House.” said Herbert Porter, “Dwight Chapin [the President’s appointments secretary] said to me, “One thing you should realize early on, we are practically an island here. That was the way the world was viewed.” The “original sin,” Porter felt, was the “misuse” of young people “through the whole White House system. They were not criminals by birth or design. Left to their own devices, they wouldn’t engage in this sort of thing. Someone had to be telling them to do it.” Gordon Strachan told of his excitement at “being twenty-seven years old and walking into the White House and seeing the President”; but, when asked what word he had for other young men who wanted to come to Washington and enter the public service, he said grimly, “My advice would be to stay away."

— Richard Nixon’s Watergate testimony was unsealed this week. In a 1973 issue of The Atlantic, historian Arthur Schlesinger detailed the danger in the White House. Read “The Runaway Presidency” in The Atlantic.

August 16, 2011
"

A stable neighborhood of families who care for their homes, mind each other’s children, and confidently frown on unwanted intruders can change, in a few years or even a few months, to an inhospitable and frightening jungle. A piece of property is abandoned, weeds grow up, a window is smashed. Adults stop scolding rowdy children; the children, emboldened, become more rowdy. Families move out, unattached adults move in. Teenagers gather in front of the corner store. The merchant asks them to move; they refuse. Fights occur. Litter accumulates. People start drinking in front of the grocery; in time, an inebriate slumps to the sidewalk and is allowed to sleep it off. Pedestrians are approached by panhandlers.


At this point it is not inevitable that serious crime will flourish or violent attacks on strangers will occur. But many residents will think that crime, especially violent crime, is on the rise, and they will modify their behavior accordingly. They will use the streets less often, and when on the streets will stay apart from their fellows, moving with averted eyes, silent lips, and hurried steps. “Don’t get involved.” For some residents, this growing atomization will matter little, because the neighborhood is not their “home” but “the place where they live.” Their interests are elsewhere; they are cosmopolitans. But it will matter greatly to other people, whose lives derive meaning and satisfaction from local attachments rather than worldly involvement; for them, the neighborhood will cease to exist except for a few reliable friends whom they arrange to meet.

"

— Spiking in the archives today: “Broken Windows,” George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson’s excellent treatise on neighborhoods and policing. (The Atlantic, March 1984)

May 10, 2011
In the June issue of The Atlantic: After the Arab spring, the tragedy of Sarah Palin, inside the failure of America’s schools, and more. Read the new issue at The Atlantic and let us know what you think.

In the June issue of The AtlanticAfter the Arab spring, the tragedy of Sarah Palin, inside the failure of America’s schools, and more. Read the new issue at The Atlantic and let us know what you think.

May 3, 2011
10 Essential #Longreads on Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda from The Atlantic archives

From The Atlantic archives, ten articles on terrorism, Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, and more. Visit The Atlantic for most After Bin Laden coverage


Hunting The Taliban In Las Vegas, Robert D. Kaplan, September 2006

In trailers just minutes away from the slot machines, Air Force pilots control Predators over Iraq and Afghanistan. A case study in the marvels—and limits—of modern military technology

 Al Qaeda’s Understudy, Nasra Hassan, June 2004

Suicide terrorism has come to Pakistan, waged by one of the most vicious Islamist groups ever know

The Gospel According to Osama Bin Laden, Reuel Marc Grecht, January 2002

To Western ears, the author writes, the public utterances of Osama Bin Laden have always come across like the “tirades of a loony idealogue.” But these skillful rhetorical constructions, rich in historical allusion, have enormous powers of penetration—and will survive their author

Declaring Victory? James Fallows, September 2006

The United States is succeeding in its struggle against terrorism. The time has come to declare the war on terror over, so that an even more effective military and diplomatic campaign can begin

The Roots of Muslim Rage, Bernard Lewis, September 1990

Why so many Muslims deeply resent the West, and why their bitterness will not easily be mollified

Inside Out, Michael Scheuer, April 2005

Why it’s so hard to infiltrate al-Qaeda

Ten Years Later, Richard A. Clarke, January/February 2005

"Then the second wave of al-Qaeda attacks hit America." A leading expert on counterterrorism imagines the future history of the war on terror. A frightening picture of a country still at war in 2011

The Leadership Secrets of Osama Bin Laden, Bruce Hoffman, April 2003

The terrorist as CEO

Stranger in a Strange Land, Christopher Hitchens, December 2001

The dismay of an honorable man of the left

The Fifty-First State? James Fallows, November 2002

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?

April 13, 2011
"

The full cloves
Of your buttocks, the convex
Curve of your belly, the curved
Cleft of your sex—


Out of this corm
That’s planted in strong thighs
The slender stem and radiant
Flower rise.

"

— Richard Wilbur’s “The Shallot" first appeared in the June 1975 issue of The Atlantic

April 11, 2011
"

Shall I love God for causing me to be?
I was mere utterance; shall these words love me?

Yet when I caused his work to jar and stammer,
And one free subject loosened all his grammar,

I love him that he did not in a rage
Once and forever rule me off the page,

But thinking I might come to please him yet,
Crossed out delete and wrote his patient stet.

"

Richard Wilbur, “The Proof" from the March 1964 issue of The Atlantic. For National Poetry Month, we’re devoting this week to the work of long time Atlantic contributor and former Poet Laureate Richard Wilbur. Read more.

Do you have a favorite poem? Tweet it to us @TheAtlantic with the hashtag #NationalPoetryMonth

April 4, 2011
"

What was her beauty in our first estate
When Adam’s will was whole, and the least thing
Appeared the gift and creature of his king,
How should we guess? Resemblance had to wait

For separation, and in such a place
She so partook of water, light, and trees
As not to look like any of these.
He woke and gazed into her naked face.

But then she changed, and coming down amid
The flocks of Abel and the fields of Cain,
Clothed in their wish, her Eden graces hid,
A shape of plenty with a mop of grain,

She broke upon the world, in time took on
The look of every labor and its fruits.
Columnar in a robe of pleated lawn
She cupped her patient hand for attributes,

Was radiant captive of the farthest tower
And shed her honor on the fields of war,
Walked in her garden at the evening hour,
Her shadow like a dark ogival door,

Breasted the seas for all the westward ships
And, come to virgin country, changed again—
A moonlike being truest in eclipse
And subject goddess of the dreams of men.

Tree, temple, valley, prow, gazelle, machine,
More named and nameless than the morning star,
Lovely in every shape, in all unseen,
We dare not wish to find you as you are,

Whose apparition, biding time until
Desire decay and bring the latter age,
Shall flourish in the ruins of our will
And deck the broken stones like saxifrage.

"

She,” by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and former poet laureate Richard Wilbur, appeared in the November 1958 issue of The Atlantic. This week, we’ll be highlighting Richard Wilbur’s poetry from our archives.

Do you have a favorite poem? Tweet it to us @TheAtlantic with the hashtag #NationalPoetryMonth

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