May 2012

Subscribe magazine covers


Wineglass Bay

Tasmania's New Devil

With one big bet, an art-loving professional gambler has made the Australian island into the world’s most surprising new cultural destination

Tasmanian Devil

Sympathy for the Devil

The island’s most famous inhabitant is under attack by a diabolical disease

The narrow-gauge Durango & Silverton train steams through history above the Animas River.

The 10 Best Small Towns in America

From the Berkshires to the Cascades, we've crunched the numbers and pulled a list some of the most interesting spots around the country

Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, Maui and the Big Island

A Man and His Islands

For this renowned travel writer, no place has proved harder to decipher than his home for the past 22 years

Mark Strand

Dreams of Kenya

The dusty village where Barack Obama’s father was raised had high hopes after his son was elected president. What has happened since then?

John Hatch

Mexican Mission

Mitt Romney’s father was born in a small Mormon enclave where family members still live, surrounded by rugged beauty and violent drug cartels

Kelly Slater surfboard

Chairman of the Board

An ode to surfing’s fiercest, most successful competitor – who now has a place in the Smithsonian collections

African penguins

Make Way for Penguins

Few places let you get as close to the raffish birds—many of which are endangered—as South Africa’s Robben Island

Nelson Mandela in prison looking out window

A Monument To Courage

To visit the brutal prison that held Mandela is haunting, yet inspiring




From the Editor

Going Places

Travel pushes us. Home pulls

Letters to the Editor

The Conversation

Readers Respond to the April Issue

From the Castle

The Green Museum



Be it ever so humble, it's more than just a place. It’s also an idea—one where the heart is

Where They Lived

A photographer's images of domestic tranquility pay tribute to U.S. service members


What a Slide!

Last year major-leaguers scored the fewest runs per game in 19 seasons. A top statistician says that’s something to root, root, root for


Housing Index

An index to houses great and small over the centuries


Land of the Free

Compare documents filed by the first and last homesteaders in the United States


Flight Plan

Birds must be geniuses because they use quantum mechanics to navigate


Home Sweet Homer

Twenty-five years after The Simpsons made their TV debut, the show's creator talks about Homer's odyssey—and his own


Onward, Voyagers

With the spacecraft poised to leave our solar system, the writer who helped compile the time capsules they carry reflects on our foray into outer space


The Conscience of the King

Robert Caro, the esteemed biographer of Lyndon Baines Johnson, talks on the Shakespearean life of the 36th president


Fruit Punch

The man who helped make the banana an American favorite also mercilessly used his company’s power to topple foreign governments

Around the Mall

Out of the Flames

A new addition to the Smithsonian collections tells a new story about the legendary disaster

Around the Mall

Playlist: Kings of Romance

Around the Mall

Ask Smithsonian

You ask, we answer – our Smithsonian experts fill you in on the truths behind your burning questions

Around the Mall


Fast Forward

Shot In the Dark

Get a sneak peak at the new project that will search for mysterious cosmic energies that drive our universe