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"...though we may have our differences, we are one people, and we are one nation, united by a common creed."
February 8, 2012 10:34 AM   Subscribe

Founded in 1857, The Atlantic is one of the oldest publications still being produced in the US. They have created a commemorative issue for the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War that includes articles published in the magazine over a century ago, an extensive gallery of images, as well as a few essays and analyses by modern writers, including President Obama. Editor's note. (Via: James Fallows' Reddit AMA)

Table of Contents (Just in case anyone missed it above.)

Some essays, poems and stories by notable authors: Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Nathanial Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass and W.E. B. Du Bois.
posted by zarq (22 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is pretty impressive.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:41 AM on February 8, 2012


I was just going through their latest In Focus, which is post 1 of 3 about the Civil War.
posted by mrzarquon at 10:48 AM on February 8, 2012


A thoughtful and well-presented reminder that The Atlantic's best days are behind it.
posted by notyou at 10:49 AM on February 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


A thoughtful and well-presented reminder that The Atlantic's best days are behind it.

I'd disagree, notyou. The Atlantic is one of the few publications still doing consistently impressive narrative work, including reporting and essays. At the risk of a shameless self-link, here's a sample of some of the award-winning stuff they've done recently (and also earlier).
posted by Scoop at 10:57 AM on February 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


notyou: "A thoughtful and well-presented reminder that The Atlantic's best days are behind it."

Interestingly enough, there were apparently 162 previous MeFi posts that included a link to their main page. The URL checker found them when I previewed while putting this post together.

That's not necessarily an indication of quality, but their stuff does get linked here a lot.
posted by zarq at 11:00 AM on February 8, 2012


At the risk of threadshitting, I absolutely hate what the Atlantic has become. It's now the New Yorker for people who want to appear cultured and worldly at parties, but don't care for things like the arts or literature. It's for hand-wringing liberals who are outwardly concerned about the plight of the working poor, but defend preferential tax rates for capital gains because they think their investor prowess will let them retire at 55. It's for people who bemoan the state of the environment, but at the same time are worried that a carbon tax might mean they would have to give up driving the Lincoln Navigator to the lake every weekend from May to September. It's for people who claim to want to do something about the state of education, but put their kids in waspy private schools and vote down property tax increases. It's for people who claim to support the cause of world peace, but are secretly afraid of a future where American military power can't be projected anywhere on the globe at a whim.

When the jagoff editor decided to move the main office from Boston to DC a few years back, most of the writers refused to relocate and were replaced. That's when they jettisoned most of their literary writers and hired "opinion leaders" like Jeffery Goldberg and Andrew Sullivan: neocon gasbags whose entire careers have been characterized by being wrong about everything, yet continue to fail upwards because they flatter the powerful. That's when the Atlantic finally purged what made it fundamentally different from Time or Newsweek. That's when the Atlantic of Harriet Beacher Stowe and Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. and Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost and Mark Twain and Vladimir Nabokov finally laid down and died.

Fuck the Atlantic.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 11:01 AM on February 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Gah.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 11:03 AM on February 8, 2012


I ended my subscription to The Atlantic a few months ago, Scoop, after 15 years or so. Fallows was the only reason I hung on the last few years.

Your Byline list is interesting in a couple of ways:

1) The most recent award is from 2010 and it appears as though winning happened much more frequently before that;

2) Langewiesche appears to have won an awful lot of those awards in the Oughts. Where's he publishing today?
posted by notyou at 11:18 AM on February 8, 2012


And now at the risk of flooding the thread: thanks for the post Zarq; this is all good stuff that I plan on returning to and reading. Seeing a reminder of what the Atlantic once was just gave me the irresistable urge to rant.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 11:21 AM on February 8, 2012


notyou: "Where's he publishing today?"

Vanity Fair. They created a position for him (International Correspondent) when he switched publications. His last article there was posted 1/11. Don't know if he's moved on since.

[expletive deleted], thanks.
posted by zarq at 11:23 AM on February 8, 2012


If you had been a reader of the Atlantic 15 yrs ago you would understand why there is so much hate for the Atlantic now. They may still produce a readable product that is better in some respects than the pablum on the newsstands (those still exist, right?) but it is crap, utter crap compared to what it was.
I put up with it even after Bradley took over because Michael Kelly was a presence worth acknowledging, but once they moved to D.C. and any gave up any pretense of being a cultural or literary publication I gave up.
posted by OHenryPacey at 11:39 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love me some James Fallows but every time I hit those interview pages at reddit I just get stumped and walk away. I don't like having to invest energy into working out how to read something.
posted by peacay at 11:40 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


On the one hand, I'm inclined to agree with the above posters about the Atlantic's precipitous decline. On the other hand: Ta-Nehisi Coates. Dude is a national treasure and I don't know why the magazine doesn't give him the cover story every month.
posted by Rangeboy at 11:43 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


i love In Focus. thanks for this post, zarq.
posted by nadawi at 12:32 PM on February 8, 2012


I still subscribe, to help keep them afloat, though I also recognize that Langeweische & Mike Kelley are long gone. I wish they would find some new blood to replace them -- the FPP yesterday with two great pieces about the Ohio suicide/megafauna break-out really should have included links to stries in the Atlantic, because they shuld be cultivating writers like that.

And I also like the fact that they have a lot of people writing a lot of interesting stuff every day online, and they offer those giant pictures. :7)

Still, hope abides: Adam Davidson of "Planet Money" has a piece in the current (or last?) issue, and sometimes Kaplan has a rather long article. Plus, Caitlin Flanagan doesn't always have a piece for me to flip past, which saves paper.

That inside-the-back-cover "comic advice column" has GOT to go.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:42 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Reddit AMA is a scream. Somebody asked him what it's like to be a real journalist and have to be listed with Megan McArdle and Andrew Sullivan.

He hasn't answered that one yet that I can see. I wonder if they will go off on him like they did on Woody Harrelson the other day. [expletive deleted] you ought to go over there and sign up.
posted by bukvich at 12:49 PM on February 8, 2012


I've been reading The Atlantic for about 25 years now, and while I think it's had some ups and downs, it's still pretty strong compared to most publications which one can get these days. They're not afraid to publish 25 page articles if they feel the length is necessary to the piece, and they have a lot of content which is discussion worthy and even groundbreaking journalism.

I knew this thread would be full of "The Atlantic sucks" comments, but it's sad really. There's not much else out there like it anymore. Even if it isn't what it once was (what is?), it's better than most.

Also...

Fuck the Atlantic.
posted by [expletive deleted]

I nearly snorted beer out my nose.
posted by hippybear at 2:37 PM on February 8, 2012


Somebody asked him what it's like to be a real journalist and have to be listed with Megan McArdle and Andrew Sullivan.

Andrew Sullivan hasn't been with The Atlantic since last April.
posted by hippybear at 2:39 PM on February 8, 2012


.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:11 PM on February 8, 2012


nadawi: "i love In Focus. thanks for this post, zarq."

Me too. You're very welcome!
posted by zarq at 9:52 PM on February 8, 2012


the small liberal arts college that I attended back in the 80's had the complete run of several magazines dating back to the 1860's including The Atlantic, just sitting there in the stacks.

it was great in my history classes to be able to state "this IS what was being thought and said during the Civil War" and then be able to cite an article from 1863.

today, what with the internet and datbases, more of this information is easily available, but at the time, it was pretty rare and awesome to be able to use.

I still subscribe to The Atlantic, at least partially to support the type of magazine it used to be - but i have to admit that it often takes me several months to finally pick up an issue to look through - there's no real sense of urgency.

But supporting Coates is worth every penny, even if most of what I read from him comes from his RSS feed.
posted by jkosmicki at 7:13 AM on February 9, 2012


I absolutely hate what the Atlantic has become. It's now the New Yorker for people who want to appear cultured and worldly at parties, but don't care for things like the arts or literature.

What about those of us who want to appear cultured and worldly at parties, but don't want to pay for a subscription to the New Yorker?
posted by grouse at 11:37 AM on February 27, 2012


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