September/October 2012 Cover

September/October 2012

This issue’s cover story, “America’s Painful Divide,” examines how our country is politically polarized, now more than ever. How do we heal the rift and bring our nation—left, right, and center—back together?

To learn about how we choose our cover illustration, watch this video from Editorial Director Steven Slon and Art Director Amanda Bixler.

Also, relish in Joyce Carol Oates’ personal essay “Quilts”; an in-depth feature on America’s healthcare mess; new fiction from Valerie Trueblood; and a story all about great American mobster flicks and why they’re so hard to resist.


America's Painful Divide

America’s Painful Divide

By: Jonathan Haidt

The country is polarized and embattled to the point of dysfunction. What will it take to bring us back together? ... More

Sean Penn stars as real-life gangster Mickey Cohen in Gangster Squad, which hits theaters in January 2012.

Mob Love

By: Lewis Beale

The classic toughs of the silver screen are ultimate individualists, who know no boundaries. It’s a formula impossible to resist. ... More

Illustration by Brian Stauffer

Post Perspective on Healthcare

By: Post Editors

“Just about every American can cite a personal example of the staggering benefits—and equally staggering costs—of today’s medicine. Here’s mine …” writes Frederick Allen in our September/October 2012 issue. But were the staggering costs always there? Is today’s medicine better than it was 50 or even 60 years ago? After reading our archival pieces below, […] ... More

By: Post Editors

... More

Illustration by James Yang

Attack of the Killer Fees

By: Sid Kirchheimer

Last year banks started charging fees for previously free transactions. Learn how to spot and avoid the newest, most hidden banking charges. ... More

The Witch’s Hat sits atop Killiney Hill, which commands a view of the Irish Sea. (Photo courtesy Sally Shivnan)

Ireland’s Follies

By: Sally Shivnan

Touring the whimsical, intentionally pointless structures known as follies that dot the Irish landscape. ... More

Hopeless Heritage

Hopeless Heritage

By: Valerie Trueblood

An emergency-room crisis brings up echoes of the past in this contemporary work of fiction. ... More


Danville, Indiana Baker's Hardware
A Perfect Childhood

By: Philip Gulley

Growing up in a small American town where, through the sweet haze of memory, time forever stands still. ... More

Sole, Zucchini, and Tomato Napoleon with Tomato-Caper Crudo. Photo by Ben Fink. © 2012.
Sole, Zucchini, and Tomato Napoleon with Tomato-Caper Crudo

By: Patrick Perry

Trim your food budget and still eat well. Try this delicious recipe from celebrity chef Melissa d’Arabian’s Ten Dollar Dinners. ... More

Ultrabooks Slideshow
Meet the Ultrabooks

By: Jeff Bertolucci

The dull, six-pound laptop is giving way to a new wave of stylish thin-and-light models. ... More

Europe and You

By: Russell Wild, MBA

Stay the course or flee to safety? How the overseas debt crisis is likely to impact your portfolio in coming months and years. ... More

Virginia Jacko
Out of the Dark

By: Julie A. Evans

Virginia Jacko lost her vision at the peak of her career, then turned her blindness into a stunning asset. ... More

Going it Alone

By: Ann Kim

After a diagnosis of breast cancer at 39, this mother of two was devastated to learn that doctors expected her to make all key treatment decisions. ... More

A Dream Come True

By: Robert Berridge

Rockwell’s rural fantasies take flight in a 1935 painting that would later come to define him. ... More