Summer 2005


Accidental Elegance

How chance authors the universe

by Mary Beth Saffo

Genome Tome

Twenty-three ways of looking at our ancestors

by Priscilla Long

Turning the Tide

How Rachel Carson became a woman of letters

by William Howarth

Not So Fast with the DDT

Rachel Carson's warnings still apply

by Reed Karaim

Roosevelt Redux: Part Two

Robert M. Ball and the battle for Social Security

by Thomas N. Bethell

Summer Visitors

Buy a house in Maine and they will come. And come.

by Ann Beattie

Hearing Is Believing

Ivory-billed sightings leave field biologists wanting to hear more

by Apurva Narechania

The Man Who Loved Cemeteries

Ted Ashton Phillips, Jr., 1959-2005

by Allan Gurganus


Editor's Note

Reason in the Sun

Robert Wilson


Response to Our Spring Issue

Our Readers

Letter From …

Rome: The Keys to St. Peter's

Ingrid D. Rowland


Two Poems

John Updike

Commonplace Book


André Bernard

Book Reviews

Words into Ploughshares

The Georgics in English just American enough

A. E. Stallings

Universal Truths

The stories we've told ourselves about the heavens and the Earth

Jennifer Michael Hecht

Moral Exemptions

Should the law give special rights to the religious?

R. Laurence Moore

Canon Fodder

Works that Need Some Explanation

John Seelye

An Epitapher of Literary Ghosts

William Dean Howells secured the reputations of others, but not his own

William P. Kelly

Drinking in the Past

Six beverages that changed the world

Gary Cross

Telltale Hearts

Sarah L. Courteau

Sisyphus at Oxford

Caroline Preston

Just Looking

Andrew Starner