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February 2014

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Features

Eddies the Eagle

The Eagle Never Landed

Twenty-six years after he (sort of) took to the air at the Olympics, Michael Edwards soars

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Valentine’s Revenge

Historian Amanda Foreman explores the other side of love and marriage

Backbeard

The Last Days of Blackbeard

An exclusive account of the final raid and political maneuvers of history’s most notorious pirate

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Voles in Love

A relative of the mouse may hold the key to understanding why human beings are one of the few mammals that seek lifelong mates

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The Cave Dwellers

Once the “shame of Italy,” the ancient warren of natural caves in Matera may be Europe’s most dramatic story of rebirth

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The Mouth that Roared

In 1964, a 22-year-old Cassius Clay was largely untested as a pro. Then he stepped into the ring

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Blood in the Jungle

The brutal 2011 slayings of two local rainforest defenders in the Amazon underscore the risks of activism in Brazil and the rest of the world

Lincoln

Lincoln’s Boys

The slain president’s two personal secretaries battled mudslingers for a quarter-century to shape his image

Departments

From the Editor

From the Editor

Introducing our February 2014 issue

From the Castle

From the Castle

Letters to the Editor

Discussion

From our readers

Phenomena

Gold

Although scientists never could quite turn lead into gold, they did attempt some noteworthy experiments

Phenomena

All that Glitters

Flirting lightning bugs illuminate a dark forest with golden flight during mating season

Phenomena

Gold-Blooded Murder

But surely you don’t expect us to talk about it

Phenomena

A Golden Cure?

Can the precious metal hold the key to killing cancerous cells?

Phenomena

Royal Raptor

Rare photos of a golden eagle attack illustrate the predator’s legendary hunting techniques

Around the Mall

Sky High

A new fusion of camera and captor gives us a bird’s-eye view of America

Around the Mall

LISTEN: Five-Time Grammy Winner Flaco Jiménez Returns to his Tex-Mex Roots

Virtuoso 12-string bajo sexto player Max Baca talks about his long-time partner Flaco Jiménez

Around the Mall

Ask Smithsonian

You asked, we answered

Fast Forward

Fast Forward

The densely populated nation has found a new way to harness the power of the sun