Though Americans see upward mobility as their birthright, that assumption faces growing challenges, with consequences not just for the size of our wallets but for the tenor of our politics.

They’re long, exhausting, and sometimes appalling, but America’s raucous presidential campaigns are also testimony to the success of its continually evolving democracy.


Take some favorable demographics, add a generous shot of American ingenuity, and stir in a very large quantity of natural gas, and you have the beginning of a bright new American future.

Liberals and conservatives alike wrap groupthink in the cloak of science whenever convenient. The results are seldom good.

Friendships that were once maintained with the rudimentary technology of pen and paper are now reinforced 24/7 with the stroke of a few keys. A longtime letter writer reflects on what has been gained... and lost.

Today we worry about the social effects of the Internet. A century ago, it was the telephone that threatened to reinvent society.

Solitary confinement, once regarded as a humane method of rehabilitation, unravels the mind. Yet today, more than 25,000 U.S. prisoners languish in isolated cells.

Many nations have aging populations, but none can quite match Japan. Its experience holds lessons for other countries as well as insights into the distinctiveness of Japanese society.

The Port Huron Statement launched America’s New Left in 1962. Today it seems naive and in some ways misguided—yet it raised questions that still agitate Americans today.

The Internet has changed many things, but not the insular habits of mind that keep the world from becoming truly connected.