Cover Story

Instant Gratification

As the economy gets ever better at satisfying our immediate, self-serving needs, who is minding the future?

by Paul Roberts


Why Science Is Not Enough

Only through our imagination can we know the world

by John Lukacs

Going Haywire

Delusions can occur in perfectly “normal” people

by Richard Restak

Frankfurt, Farewell

A family escaped the Nazis in 1939, finding refuge in America, but its hardships were far from over

by Werner Gundersheimer


A South African family of privilege kept its secrets

by Sheila Kohler

A Tale of War and Forgetting

Rescuing the memory of a cataclysm

by Neil Shea


Editor's Note

The Violent Bear It Away

Robert Wilson

Letter From …

Letter From Mumbai: Intolerance

Murzban F. Shroff

Tuning Up

In the Courtyard

Vicki Valosik

Commonplace Book


Anne Matthews


The Way of the World

Craig Nova

Works in Progress

Taken by Storm

Allen Freeman


Vicki Valosik

Lend Me Your (3-D Printed) Ear

Diane Ackerman

Where’s Miguel?

Emily Ochoa

Garbage In, Garbage Out

Vicki Valosik

New Hope from Dope

Tom Bentley

The Day of the Luthier

Chloe Taft

Back Talk

E Pluribus Unum

Ralph Keyes


Carnival of the Animals

The Italian artist Carpaccio cast a careful, loving eye on his many nonhuman subjects

Jan Morris

Rebuilding The Mack

Is the Glasgow School of Art truly irreplaceable?

Witold Rybczynski

Song of the Earth

On Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven

Pico Iyer

Boy Wonder

Remembering Lorin Maazel

Sudip Bose

Book Essay

Last Works

Every writer eventually faces the question: Is there anything left to say?

Roger Grenier

Book Reviews

Sound and Fury

The flawed, tragic hero whose music defined an age

Matthew Guerrieri

The Big Uneasy

A city’s seamy side

Wayne Curtis

Solar Complexus

We may be alone after all

Owen Gingerich

Anything Goes

Prose for the people

Rachel Hadas

Our Beastly Friends

A literary walk on the wild side

Miranda Weiss

Frozen Hell

An expedition gone wrong

John Vaillant

The Deciders

Two presidents and their war

William S. McFeely

Taking Shots

A powerful plea for vaccination

Harriet A. Washington