Cover Story

Paying to Be Locked Up

Private prison companies treat immigrant detainees like convicted criminals—and reap huge profits from the people they hold

by Keramet Reiter

Articles

Black Lives and the Boston Massacre

John Adams’s famous defense of the British may not be, as we’ve always understood it, the ultimate expression of principle and the rule of law

by Farah Peterson

No Harmony in the Heartland

Two small towns in northeast Iowa are caught up in the national struggle over immigration

by Tom Zoellner

The Sleeper

In a rural hospital, a patient passes the night without knowing how lucky he is to have avoided death

by Frank Huyler

Whiskey Foxtrot One-One

My father was training to fight a war, but his real battle was with himself

by Jon Zobenica

Launching the Greatest Fleet

How American war surplus helped build the world’s most successful merchant marine

by John Psaropoulos

This Side of Paradise

Aging has its rewards until it doesn’t. I am ready to contemplate the end but not, yet, to give in to it

by Paula Marantz Cohen

Departments

Editor's Note

Illegals

Robert Wilson

Letter From …

New Zealand: Beauty and the Beef

Gwyneth Kelly

Tuning Up

Made for You and Me

Edward Hoagland

Commonplace Book

Winter 2019

Anne Matthews

American Places

Montana Sky

Erin Hanson

Fiction

Voyages

Edward Hower

Poetry

Seven New Poems by Walt Whitman

Joseph Harrison

Two Poems

Jeffrey Harrison

Works in Progress

The Delta Blues

Naomi Shavin

Fighting the Endless War

Andrew J. Bacevich

License to Thrive?

Rachel Adams

Ancient Sites Beneath the Sea

Brad Edmondson

Screened at Birth

Marcus Banks

Descent Into the Underworld

Andrew Motion

Arts

Come to the Cabaret

Remembering Mabel Mercer, whose voice was intimate and wise

Willard Spiegelman

Book Essay

A Pleasure to Read You

Shouldn’t literature enchant, surprise, and teach us? And to make this happen, shouldn’t we be the most expert readers we can be?

Arthur Krystal

Book Reviews

Where the Sun Finally Set

A new look at the island empire’s prize possession

Nisid Hajari

Of Faith and Tragedy

A scholar of early Christianity on how her work informed her life

B. D. McClay

Enigma From the East

A Soviet émigré’s never-ending battle to be understood

Gary Saul Morson

The Guru of Athens

Can age-old philosophy lead the way to happiness?

Caroline Alexander

Making Himself at Home

A German-born composer and his English oratorios

Sudip Bose

The Portrait Master

Known for rendering others, a writer turns his attention inward

Stephen Goodwin