American’s middle class was a great story. We built it ourselves, using our own hard work and the tools of government to open up more opportunities for millions of people. But now, in a new century and a different time, that great middle class is on the ropes. All across the country, people are worried — worried and angry.


At the National Press Club, Ford challenged New York’s network of municipal hospitals and its free public university as lavish, unnecessary extravagances. Why should other Americans “support advantages in New York that they have not been able to afford for their own communities?”


The New Koreans

by Michael Breen

When foreign protesters are stomping over your flag but are otherwise nonviolent, the mature reaction is to put your fingertips together like a literature professor and ask what they’re upset about. But that’s hard.


Dig if You Will the Picture

by Ben Greenman

I was stunned into something more than silence: I was stunned into clamor. All at once, I heard Prince’s music, not snatches of a few songs in medley but all of them, brutally overlaid.


My Mother’s Kitchen

by Peter Gethers

I wondered: How did she get to be who she is? What is it to make her so accepting? What actually holds a family together or splits it apart? I decided to find it out through cooking all of my mother’s favorite foods and meals.


Mercies in Disguise

by Gina Kolata

If your family carried a mutated gene that foretold a brutal illness and you were offered the chance to find out if you’d inherited it, would you do it?


Lenin on the Train

by Catherine Merridale

In April 1917, at the height of the First World War, the exiled leader of the Bolsheviks, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, travelled back to Russia by train. Before the year was out he had become the master of a revolutionary new state. Lenin’s ultimate achievement was to turn ideas that Karl Marx had outlined on paper forty years before into an ideology of government.