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July/August 2015

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The Fall and Rise and Fall of Pompeii

The famous archaeological treasure is falling into scandalous decline, even as its sister city Herculaneum is rising from the ashes

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Return of the Mockingbird

Traveling back in time to visit Harper Lee's hometown, the setting of her 1960 masterpiece and the controversial sequel hitting bookstores soon

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The Mad King & Magna Carta

How did a peace treaty signed — and broken — more than 800 years ago become one of the world's most influential documents?

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Flashes of Genius

An outspoken Harvard neuroscientist is tackling the wondrous challenge of understanding the workings of the brain

Photo collage -past and presence

Past and Presence

The shattering nature of violence. The resilience of the human spirit. The power of photographs. A Smithsonian special project

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Past and Presence: American Requiem

Walking far-flung battlefields to picture the nation's defining tragedy in a modern light

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Past and Presence: The Endless Exile

As children, they escaped ruthless state-sponsored violence. Now, these Armenian women and men visit the aching memory of what they left behind

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Past and Presence: The Vigil

The events sparked by the killing of young Michael Brown gave rise to a new civil rights movement that's still growing

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Following in the Inca's Giant Steps

A rocky rollicking journey to Machu Picchu along one of the greatest engineering feats in the Americas

Departments

Letters to the Editor

Discussion

Phenomena

The Young Man and the Sea

This salty memoir by Richard Henry Dana Jr. was one of America's first literary classics

Phenomena

Breaking Away

A centuries-old pastime in the United Arab Emirates gets a reboot

Phenomena

The First Flight Plan

A fossil found in China may offer new clues about avian evolution

Phenomena

Vintage Viral

Digital scholars are zeroing in on stories that were trending way back in the 19th century

Phenomena

Ask Smithsonian

You asked, we answered

The Next Pipe Dream

The idea of using pneumatics to send objects has been around for ages. But people?