Cover Story

The Fear Factor

Long-held predictions of economic chaos as baby boomers grow old are based on formulas that are just plain wrong

by Lincoln Caplan


4 Popes, 4 Saints, One New Guy

Perhaps you’ve heard the news from Rome. But what does it really have to do with the man from Assisi?

by Ingrid D. Rowland

Keep Smiling

An agnostic sermon

by Jan Morris

On Visitors

When the Bachelor Girl and the Red Death come calling, are they mirrors for our eccentricities?

by Ann Beattie

Proust Goes to the Country Club

At a largely forgettable class reunion, remembrances of things past

by Willard Spiegelman

A Prophet Without Honor

There’s no authoritative biography yet for Joseph Smith, the notorious founding figure in Mormonism

by Alex Beam


Editor's Note

The Aging Boom

Robert Wilson

Letters From …

Letter from Kaunas, Lithuania: Springtime for Putin

Leonidas Donskis

Works in Progress

The Art in Amusement

Chloe Taft

Cheap Microscope, Big Promise

Vicki Valosik

China, Up Close

Evan Osnos

Who’d Have Thunk It?

Jennifer Henderson

Achy Breaky Verdi

Sasha Ingber

Commonplace Book


Anne Matthews

Book Essay

The Autobiography of Biography

David Levering Lewis

Book Reviews

Man of the World

Annette Gordon-Reed

The Skeptic

Steven Lagerfeld

Numbers Game

Owen Gingerich

Dangerous Liaison

Steven Simon

We, Not Me

Gary Greenberg

Beyond the Colonies

Andrew Graybill

Back Talk

Things Not Quite Said

Ralph Keyes



Hannah Pittard



Jill Bialosky


The Music of Painting

Seventeenth-century debates over content and form, color and line, and artifice and reality are as relevant today as ever

Lincoln Perry

Tuning Up

Two Philosophers

What would Kierkegaard and Hegel do about the crises of our day?

David Lehman