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Hong Kongers, Don’t Idolize the U.K.

During this uncertain and unstable year, I’ve learned not to take Hong Kong’s freedom for granted. Prodemocracy protests consumed the city for months starting in early 2019, but the political climate changed abruptly in the spring, when Beijing passed a wide-ranging security law that many…

What the Supreme Court Fight Means for the Senate Majority

The struggle over Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement on the Supreme Court could help propel Democrats to the brink of a Senate majority in November’s election. But whether it lifts them over that threshold could turn on the terms of the confirmation fight. Given the nature…

Reddit Squashed QAnon by Accident

Two years ago, most Americans knew nothing about QAnon, the ever-growing, diffuse, and violent movement devoted to a loosely connected set of conspiracy theories, most of which tie back to the idea that Donald Trump is leading a holy war against a high-powered cabal of…

Photos: Remembering the Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is being marked across America, as, today, she lies in repose on the Lincoln catafalque in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Ginsburg died at her home in Washington, D.C., on September 18, at the…

Animals in the News

Time again for a look at the animal kingdom and our interactions with the countless species that share our planet. Today’s photos include a donkey-therapy program in Spain, animals affected by wildfires in the U.S., a rescued anteater in Brazil, COVID-sniffing dog training in Germany,…

A Dangerous Moment for the Court

The Supreme Court seems strangely immune to the bitterness that plagues our politics. Even now, when Americans can no longer agree on basic facts, the Court’s relative popularity has endured. Following Donald Trump’s 2016 election, the Court has what may be its most conservative majority…

What Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Death Means for America

A furious battle over a Supreme Court vacancy is arguably the last thing the United States needed right now. The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg today represents a devastating loss for feminists who held up the 87-year-old as an icon of women’s rights, and…

How Jimi Hendrix’s London Years Changed Music

“It’s so lovely now,” Jimi Hendrix said in his muzzy mumble, his topplingly elegant, close-to-gibberish, discreetly space-traveling undertone, onstage one night in 1967 at the Bag O’Nails in London. “I kissed the fairest soul brother of England, Eric Clapton—kissed him right on the lips.” This…

The Books Briefing: How to Remake America

The Constitution denied Danielle Allen’s enslaved ancestors the right to full citizenship—but she still believes in its ability to shape America for the better. Revisiting documents and moments from this country’s founding to parse how they can guide our future is the the central idea…

The Fall’s Best Movies Are About American Soul-Searching

David Byrne has long been a master of perfectly designed worlds. The 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense, with his band Talking Heads, captured how carefully he stages his shows, bringing in band members one by one to emphasize how each contributes to the harmonies…

The Slow-Fingered President

President Donald Trump has warned his Twitter followers three times as often about the threat from mail-in ballots as he has urged them to protect themselves from the threat of COVID-19. Since March, when the stay-at-home orders started, he has written a little over a…

The American Government Gave Up on Reality

Alexander Hamilton and his colleagues wrote 85 separate essays to make their case that Americans should take a risk and ratify the 1787 Constitution. Three sentences into the very first of those Federalist Papers, Hamilton made clear that he knew full well the stakes of…

Why Isn’t Trump Trying to Win?

The fate of an incumbent president is exquisitely sensitive to economic conditions. Incumbents tend to lose elections when the economy is weak (e.g., George H. W. Bush’s defeat in 1992) and win when it’s strong (e.g., Bill Clinton’s romp four years later). The 2020 economy…

The Most Important Number for the West’s Hideous Fire Season

To understand the ravenous wildfire season in the American West this year, boil some ravioli. Put the heat on high. After about 10 minutes, the pasta will go limp and start to break apart. Keep boiling. When the pot holds a shallow puddle of water…

Released Today: The Atlantic’s THE AMERICAN CRISIS from Simon & Schuster

The past four years have been among the most turbulent in U.S. history—and would have been so even without a global pandemic and waves of nationwide protest against police violence. How did we get here? Today The Atlantic and Simon & Schuster release The American…

The Great British Humbling

“The cretinous stupidity of it!” snaps the tragic hero in Joseph Roth’s The Radetzky March as he faces up to his likely death in a duel over his wife’s honor. He did not want the fight and no longer loves his wife anyway, but the…

Scientists Find a Possible Sign of Life on Venus

After the moon, Venus is the brightest object in the night sky, gleaming like a tiny diamond in the darkness. The planet is so radiant because of its proximity to Earth, but also because it reflects most of the light that falls across its atmosphere,…

Alexander Vindman: Trump Is Putin’s ‘Useful Idiot’

Shortly after midnight on June 17, 1972, an unusually attentive security guard named Frank Wills discovered an unlocked door in the garage of the Watergate office complex. A piece of tape had been placed over the latch. Wills removed the tape and continued on his…

When Women Lead Protest Movements

One of the most striking things about the prodemocracy protests in Belarus has been the outsize role of women. A woman, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, has emerged as the unlikely political challenger to longtime Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Two of the country’s highest-profile opposition figures, who have…

Making Joe Biden Cool

Ben Wessel was nervous. Joe Biden had just won the Democratic nomination, and the youth-focused super PAC Wessel runs, NextGen America, now had to figure out how to persuade the generation of TikTok and trigger warnings to turn out to vote for a 77-year-old man…

End the Nobel Peace Prize

Trolls are a Scandinavian invention, straight from the frigid sagas of Norse mythology, but Christian Tybring-Gjedde, a Norwegian parliamentarian, swears that he is not one. Observers of his antics this week could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. On Wednesday, he announced that he had nominated…

Who’s to Blame When a Sperm Donor Lies?

To the mothers, he was just Donor 9623. They did not know his name, but from his glowing sperm-donor profile, they knew he had an IQ of 160, spoke four languages, was pursuing a doctorate in neuroscience engineering, and looked like Tom Cruise. But Donor…

Who You’re Reading When You Read Haruki Murakami

Books are a product unlike most others. Novelists are not iPhones. The new doesn’t render the old obsolete. No matter how much you loved Sally Rooney, you would not suggest that because of her, Oscar Wilde is history. An adoration of Emma Cline would not…

The Oscars’ New Diversity Standards Are Low. That’s Part of the Point.

Five years after the #OscarsSoWhite movement began, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is again turning its attention to Hollywood diversity. Yesterday, the organization announced new inclusion requirements that seem bold at first glance, a drastic remit to studios about the kinds of…

This Republican Party Is Not Worth Saving

I was a Republican for most of my adult life. I came of political age in 1980, and although I grew up in a working-class Democratic stronghold in Massachusetts, I found a home in Ronald Reagan’s GOP. Back then, the Republicans were a confident “party…

Trajectory

Editor’s Note: Read an interview with Caleb Crain about his writing process. Maybe if there had been someone willing and able to hold him completely, so that his gift left him altogether, he would have accepted the loss for the sake of the connection and…

Celebrating Neurodiversity in the Classroom

Editor’s Note: In the next five years, most of America’s most experienced teachers will retire. The Baby Boomers are leaving behind a nation of more novice educators. In 1988, a teacher most commonly had 15 years of experience. Less than three decades later, that number…

What Makes a Good Preschool Education

Editor’s Note: In the next five years, most of America’s most experienced teachers will retire. The Baby Boomers are leaving behind a nation of more novice educators. In 1988, a teacher most commonly had 15 years of experience. Less than three decades later, that number…

Learning From Black Educators

Editor’s Note: In the next five years, most of America’s most experienced teachers will retire. The Baby Boomers are leaving behind a nation of more novice educators. In 1988, a teacher most commonly had 15 years of experience. Less than three decades later, that number…

“Making America Again”

Today The Atlantic begins publishing the trio of stories that appear together on its October cover. Under the banner “Making America Again,” staff writers Adam Serwer and George Packer, along with the political philosopher Danielle Allen, consider the renewed and growing appetite for radical reform.…

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