The Atlantic magazine was founded in the years leading up to the Civil War, so it’s worth noting when it produces a special new issue on the theme, “How to stop a Civil War.”
The issue went to newsstands and its articles were posted online Tuesday, the day before the House begins public impeachment hearings on President Donald Trump, timing both fortuitous and coincidental.
“It seemed fairly obvious that a magazine of the American idea should look hard at the question of whether the country is coming apart,” said Jeffrey Goldberg, Atlantic’s editor.
He’s not comparing the current era to November 1857, when the first Atlantic issue was published, “but it does feel that something has come off the rails a little bit,” Goldberg said.
Among the pieces in the new issue are Yoni Appelbaum’s look at the impact of demographic changes, where nonwhites will soon become a majority; Jonathan Haidt and Tobias Rose-Stockwell’s report on the destabilizing effect of social media; and Jonathan Rauch and Ray La Raja’s examination of a political system that increasingly punishes moderate viewpoints.