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

Letters From …

Letter From Mumbai: Intolerance

Murzban F. Shroff

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

Commonplace Book


Anne Matthews

Book Essay

Last Works

Roger Grenier

Book Reviews

Sound and Fury

Matthew Guerrieri

The Big Uneasy

Wayne Curtis

Solar Complexus

Owen Gingerich

Anything Goes

Rachel Hadas

Our Beastly Friends

Miranda Weiss

Frozen Hell

John Vaillant

The Deciders

William S. McFeely

Taking Shots

Harriet A. Washington

Back Talk

E Pluribus Unum

Ralph Keyes


The Way of the World

Craig Nova


Four Poems

Adventures of the Double-Headed Girl, The Girl with Antlers, Thou Shalt Not, Monogamy

Ansel Elkins

Why Does a Tall Man Write Poetry?

Dick Allen

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Langdon Hammer


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

Tuning Up

In the Courtyard

The smell of jasmine and the murmur of family life in prewar Damascus

Vicki Valosik