July/August 2020

Subscribe magazine covers


Bonobo opener_SM

The Divide

A famed researcher's daring investigation into ape communication—and the backlash it has caused

Thomas Jefferson & Shannon LaNier

American Descendants

Photographer Drew Gardner painstakingly recreates the images with the notable figures' descendants

social Virus Hunter in bat cave with a red eyed bat

The Virus Hunters

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers were searching for potential human pathogens in wild animals. They’ve found thousands

SOCIAL MEDIA - When I felt strong enough to go out for a walk, out of desperation from being locked up in the flat, I would walk along the Thames on the large promenade that borders the river. It was a cool night in April, and the sun had left a searing p

English Gothic

A quarantined photographer makes the most of the harsh materials at hand to create a fragile portrait of life in a pandemic

Shinkyo Bridge - social

The Way of the Shogun

Looking for the soul of modern Japan on an ancient road once traveled by poets and samurai

Social Media Opener -  The valiant Inez Milholland, standard-bearer in the nation’s struggle for female enfranchisement, is portrayed here by Isabella Serrano.

Freedom Fighter

Inez Milholland Boissevain's campaign to win the vote for women inspires a dramatic homage a century later

SOCIAL Joe McCarthy and a German solider

Senator McCarthy's Nazi Problem

In a nearly forgotten episode, the Wisconsin firebrand sided with the Germany military in a war crimes trial, raising questions about his anti-Semitism



Your feedback on home brewing, Alexander the Great and Kangaroo Island

Recovery and Resilience

Looking to history can help find healing and hope


Just Desserts

As innovations go, the Good Humor vehicle is as sweet as it gets


Post-Colonial Custard

The co-author of the Declaration of Independence also drafted a radical recipe


Free Time

The magic of a young artist's carefree trip across the country four decades ago


Beyond the Ballot

Winning the vote for women was a mighty struggle. Securing full liberation for women of color was no less daunting


Tick, Tick, Boom

Sometimes, technology has more impact after it's obsolete


Post Haste

More than a century ago, David Kenyon of Chicago discovered the fastest way to the ground floor


Modesty Isn't Weakness

Her humble Quaker upbringing taught her how to stand up for her beliefs

Fill ’er Up

Test your mettle with this puzzle created exclusively for 'Smithsonian' readers

Ask Smithsonian

You’ve got questions. We’ve got experts