July/August 2011

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Beer ingredients

Dig, Drink and Be Merry

By analyzing ancient pottery, Patrick McGovern is resurrecting the libations that fueled civilization


Dazzling Displays

Out of more than 50,000 photographs submitted, editors – and readers – picked seven showstoppers

Bull Run Battlefield

The End of Illusions

Both North and South expected victory to be glorious and quick, but the first major battle signaled the long and deadly war to come

Researcher checking bat wings

Crisis in the Caves

Can scientists stop white-nose syndrome, a new disease that is killing bats in catastrophic numbers?

The Red Astrachan apple

Cultivating Art

To protect the fruits of their labor and thwart "plant thieves," early American growers enlisted artists

Petting Luna the killer whale

A Whale to Watch

The true story of a lonely orca leaps from printed page to silver screen, with a boost from new technology

Orca underwater

Orca Culture

Researchers have found a variety of complex, learned behaviors that differ from pod to pod


From the Editor


Casualties mounting on two fronts



Readers Respond to the May Issue

Indelible Images

Big Wheels

This enigmatic 1970 portrait of a tricycle took photography down a whole new road


Andrea Wulf: Historian

In her new book, Andrea Wulf argues that the founding fathers' love of gardening shaped their vision of America

My Kind of Town

Town and Country

Author Rick Bass trades wilderness for city life, Montana style

From the Castle

A Better Space

Around the Mall

Seeking the Origins of Amber

By studying the chemical signatures of living trees, Smithsonian's Jorge Santiago-Blay intends to reconstruct ancient forests

The Object at Hand

Wernher von Braun's Launch

Although the Nazi "vengeance weapon" was a wartime failure, it ushered in the space age


Q&A: Judith Martin

The columnist talks about how her portraiture collection reflects culture’s stance on etiquette

What's Up

What's Up

This Month in History

July/August Anniversaries

Momentous or Merely Memorable

Presence of Mind

Leaks and the Law

The former NSA official reached a plea deal with the government, but the case still raises questions about the public’s right to know

The Last Page

On the Money

Advertisers discover the value of a dollar