Cover Story

The Well Curve

Tropical diseases are undermining intellectual development in countries with poor health care—and they’re coming here next

by Harriet A. Washington


The Sweet Briar Opportunity

Small colleges with too few applicants and large universities with too many should work together

by Carol T. Christ

Hope Is the Enemy

Caring for a patient suffering from dementia means coming to terms with the frustrating paradoxes of memory and language

by Dasha Kiper

The Mysteries of Attraction

Its many splendors do not only include the carnal: animate, inanimate … love it all

by Edward Hoagland

Capital of Willows

On a trip to North Korea, a writer remembers his troubled father, a victim of the “Forgotten War”

by Eben Wood

Test of Faith

The Roman Catholic Church may forgive us our sins—but can it be forgiven for its own?

by Mark Edmundson


Editor's Note


Robert Wilson

Letter From …

Trinidad and Tobago: The Showman

Tom Zoellner

Tuning Up

The End of History?

Ernest B. Furgurson

Commonplace Book

Autumn 2015

Anne Matthews


Three Poems

John Koethe

Works in Progress

A Chronicle of Unrest

Chloe Taft

A Victorian Mystery No More

Stephanie Bastek

To Mars and Beyond

Stephen L. Petranek

Water Everywhere

Vicki Valosik

Mountain People

Darcy Courteau

A Bizarre Bazaar

Neil Shea

Back Talk

Uppers and Downers

Ralph Keyes


Reimagining Suburbia

What if the world’s greatest architects began looking beyond the city limits?

Amanda Kolson Hurley

When the Angry Lion Roared

Pierre Boulez and the piece that marked his breakthrough as a composer

Sudip Bose

Latitude for Error

The maps of the 18th century were beautiful works of art, but they sometimes led to disaster

David Hay

Fischer v. Spassky

A legendary chess match hits the screen

Our Editors

Book Essay

Book Reviews

A Lifetime Spent Bearing Witness

The literary giant who rose from the ashes of a people

Louis Begley

Cosmic Art

An inquiry into the scientific significance of elegance

Verlyn Klinkenborg

Anyone Home?

The centuries-long debate over what resides between our ears

T. M. Luhrmann

We Need to Chat

How technology has changed the way we relate to one another

Jessica Love

Living Like White People

The disorientation of growing up privileged and black

Thomas Chatterton Williams

The Wisdom of the Ages

Looking to the classics to steel yourself against life’s cruelties

Andrew J. Bacevich