Decline or Renewal?
The epochal collapse on Wall Street has sent a tornado of destruction ripping through America’s economy—and its self-confidence. Is American-style capitalism finished? Will the world ever accept U.S. leadership again? What must America do to recover?
Can America Fail?
A sympathetic critic issues a wake-up call for an America mired in groupthink and blind to its own shortcomings.
More Stories From This Issue
Last Man Standing
It’s no cause for celebration, but the global financial crisis shows why the United States remains the indispensable nation.
The Pessimist Persuasion
Throughout history, many intellectuals have been willing to write their society's obituary long before the game was up.
A Fighting Chance
As Mexico steps up its war against the brutal cartels that supply the United States’ drug habit, leaders on both sides of the border face tough questions about how to combat a problem that threatens the very fabric of Mexico’s democracy.
They Call It Home
Ethnic and religious violence keep Russia's North Caucasus region in the news. A portrait of daily life in one small village reveals a richer, more hopeful reality.
John Stuart Mill's “Very Simple Principle”
Wherever there's a debate over gay marriage, free speech, or even smoking in public places, the arguments John Stuart Mill made in “On Liberty” are still in the thick of the action.
The 500-year-old technology of the book may be poised for assisted living, or maybe even perpetual care.
The Establishment Restored
Not since the election of JFK has America chosen a president so closely associated with the Ivy League.
In Praise of Trimming
Not only is trimming pervasive, says the government's new regulatory czar, it is also honorable.
First Steps with Iran
There are signs of change in what one scholar calls “the poisonous domestic political climates in both Tehran and Washington.”
Magnifying American Power
"International institutions channel the United States’ power and enhance its security," say two Dartmouth political scientists.
City of Niche News
Niche reporters and correspondents from overseas now dominate the Washington press corps.
The First Civil War
The American Revolution may be more accurately viewed as a series of local civil wars.
History by Name
Baby names paint a remarkably revealing picture of village life in western Uganda from 1900 to 2005.
The Lullaby of Taxis
European blackbirds can give pitch-perfect renditions of urban noises, even copying the annoying sound of a golf cart backing up at a golf course.
A stream of archaeological discoveries is dramatically pushing back the dates of objects that were surely shaped by the hand of early man.
The Bulging Brain
The shape of the brain may be critical to the causes of such mental disorders as schizophrenia and autism.
The Barbarous Black Skeleton
The Eiffel Tower, now the iconic symbol of Paris, was despised at first for being too American.
Brazil's Bold Experiment
The Bolsa Família program is helping impoverished Brazilians improve their lives.
Catch and Release
Stamping out piracy in the Gulf of Aden is not as simple as sending in more warships.
Breaking the Chinese Mold
Americans think the Chinese are nationalistic, authoritarian, conformist, and deferential. All of those presumptions are wrong.