Summer 2020

Cover Story

Looking Back From the End of the World

What Thoreau can teach us about living life during—and after—the pandemic

by David Gessner


The Patriot Slave

The dangerous myth that blacks in bondage chose not to be free in revolutionary America

by Farah Peterson

Guardian of the Glaciers

As climate change threatens the future of the Himalayas, might the mountains’ salvation lie in endowing them with legal rights?

by Alex Basaraba

Adrift in Sunlit Night

When searching St. Petersburg for the shadows of Dostoyevsky, Gogol, and Pushkin, the best strategy may simply be to get lost

by André Aciman


Recalling a past of sound and silence, and secrets that could never be told

by Sheila Kohler

Stitches in Time

A meditation on needlepoint and mortality

by Lucy Ferriss


Book Essay

Words Preserved Against a Day of Fear

Words Preserved Against a Day of Fear

Remembering Joseph Brodsky

Peter Filkins

Book Reviews

How We Came Together

How We Came Together

America purchased its sense of itself at a high price

Jill Leovy
A Lifelong Habit of Being

A Lifelong Habit of Being

Exploring a fundamentally ambiguous attribute

Elizabeth D. Samet
Our Feathered Friends

Our Feathered Friends

They aren’t the intellectual lightweights we take them for

Sy Montgomery
The People’s Gallery

The People’s Gallery

A collection that is the brightest light in a city full of them

Anka Muhlstein
Mysterious Inheritance

Mysterious Inheritance

A new biography of the founder of population genetics

David Brown