The American Scholar Autumn 2011 cover


Dubya and Me

Over the course of a quarter-century, a journalist witnessed the transformation of George W. Bush

by Walt Harrington

LBJ’s Wild Ride

Hanging on for dear life during the 1960 campaign

by Ernest B. Furgurson

Secret Sharers

In an age of leaks, forgeries, and Internet hoaxes, archivists must guard our information while keeping hackers at bay

by Elena S. Danielson

The Psychologist

Vladimir Nabokov's understanding of human nature anticipated the advances in psychology since his day

by Brian Boyd

Scar Tissue

When I was stabbed 17 years ago in a New Haven coffee shop, the wounds did not only come from the knife

by Emily Bernard

A Mother’s Secret

The images in a treasured photo album preserve an idealized past, while leaving out the painful story of a family torn apart by the Holocaust

by Werner Gundersheimer

Out in the West

The Mormon Church is going mainstream—and leaving its gay members behind

by Jennifer Sinor


Book Essay

Ken Kesey's bus

When Kerouac Met Kesey

The two counterculture heroes, one representing the Beat ’50s and one the psychedelic ’60s, had a lot less in common than you might expect

Sterling Lord

Book Reviews

Getting Better All the Time

Getting Better All the Time

Although you wouldn't know it by watching the local news, humankind is becoming ever more civilized

Michael Shermer

A Chesterton With No Flab

A new anthology often obscures the writer’s best work

Garry Wills
Leningraders, summer 1942

The Worst of Times

A Soviet city barely survives

Gary Saul Morson
John Brown’s Folly

John Brown’s Folly

The mythology of a madman

Brenda Wineapple

Power Crazy

Do lunatics make better leaders?

George Vaillant

From Eternity to Here

Ingrid D. Rowland