Flacking for Big Pharma

Drugmakers don’t just compromise doctors; they also undermine top medical journals and skew medical research

by Harriet A. Washington

Making Sparks Fly

How occupational education can lead to a love of learning for its own sake

by Mike Rose

In the Orbit of Copernicus

A discovery of the great astronomer's bones, and their reburial in Poland

by Owen Gingerich

Plunging to Earth

Once the sport of daredevils, skydiving now offers it existential thrills to grandmothers, pudgy geeks, and even the occasional college professor

by Robert Zaretsky

The Forgotten Churchill

The man who stared down Hitler also helped create the modern welfare state

by George Watson

Plucked from the Grave

The first female missionary to cross the Continental Divide came to a gruesome end partly caused by her own zeal. What can we learn from her?

by Debra Gwartney


Editor's Note


Robert Wilson

Tuning Up

Why I Love You

David Lehman

Commonplace Book


Anne Matthews


Virgin Summer

John Rolfe Gardiner


Letting Go: Ellen Bryant Voigt

Langdon Hammer

Four Poems

Ellen Bryant Voigt


Annie Finch

Two Poems

Brian Doyle

An Opportunity

Erica McAlpine

Works in Progress

Where the Wild Things Are

Vanessa Schipani

Pieces of the Alzheimer's Puzzle

Jennifer Henderson

Feminism, Plus 50

Stephanie Coontz

Twain Abroad

Will Yandik

Sound Bites

Chloe Taft

The Love Song of J. Jacob Glessner

Allen Freeman

Mapping Microbes

Vanessa Schipani

Not Rocket Science

Jennifer Henderson

Point of Departure


Paula Marantz Cohen


A Speck of Showmanship

Is that Pulix irritans pulling that carriage, or is someone just pulling our leg?

Ernest B. Furgurson

Book Essay

Ardent Spirit, Generous Friend

Remembering the novelist Reynolds Price

David Guy

Book Reviews

The Inside Track

How those dim-witted robber barons built the railroads

Mark Hertsgaard

Full Bloom

A critic offers his final thoughts

Michael Dirda

Frozen Assets

A gritty tale of a grim landscape

Hampton Sides

Deep Trouble

How a natural disaster barreled into a historical one

Emily Bernard

Deep Trouble

We should be more afraid for sharks than of them

Richard Ellis


Is the search for truth compatible with the fight for justice?

James Gibney

A Survey and an Assertion

Twelve potted philosophers and a theory of human values

Carlin Romano

Beyond Nerves

Three women who helped engender modern psychiatry

Laure Murat