Winter 2016

Cover Story

Medication Nation

Our increasing reliance on drugs—prescribed, over-the-counter, illegal, and ordered online like pizza—suggests we have a deeper problem

by Philip Alcabes


How Chemistry Became Biology

And how LUCA, Earth’s first living cell, became Lucas, my adorable grandnephew

by Priscilla Long


The advent of new religions in the 1800s led to fierce debates that persist today

by Susan Jacoby

My Newfoundland

The sensations of landing on the island long ago haunted a writer’s final memories

by Paul West

A Life in Letters

A decades-long correspondence with the Italian writer Arturo Vivante covered it all: hardship, love, and the endurance of art

by Merrill Joan Gerber

Where the Heart Is

A grandmother’s life in five moves, from Hitler’s Europe to the American Midwest

by Leslie Berlin