CURRENT ISSUE

October 2013

Subscribe magazine covers

Features

civil-war-slave-cabin-631.jpg

Cabin Fever

Joseph McGill, a descendant of slaves, has devoted his life to ensuring the preservation of these historic sites

Albert-Camus-631.jpg

Existential Hero

On the 100th anniversary of the birth of the famed novelist, our reporter searches the north African nation for signs of his legacy

One frame of the Zapruder film has long been considered too graphic for public view.

Seeing Zapruder

Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris deconstructs the most famous 26 seconds in film history

the-new-lincoln-photo-631.jpg

The New Lincoln

A former Disney animator makes a provocative discovery by studying photos taken during the Gettysburg Address

mole-hunt-fbi-631.jpg

Mole Hunt

A tip provided by a double-agent for the KGB set off one of the most self-destructive mole hunts in FBI history

Secure Speech Cipher System

A new poem by Linda Bierds

national-treasure-star-spangled-banner-631.jpg

Glory, Glory

New research may settle a family feud over the origins of an American icon

animal-intelligence-631.jpg

Animal Intelligence

As a former trainer reveals, the U.S. government deployed nonhuman operatives—ravens, pigeons, even cats—to spy on cold war adversaries

norman-rockwell-631.jpg

American Enigma

A new biography of the artist reveals the complex inner life of our greatest and most controversial illustrator

Departments

Contributors

Contributors

Letters to the Editor

Discussion

From the Castle

From the Castle

From the Editor

From the Editor

Phenomena

Conflict

The rare minerals used to build your cell phone are coming under scrutiny by federal regulators

Vendetta Nation

In Albania, the revival of a 15th-century code has trapped families in multigenerational blood feuds

Phenomena

Global Food Fight

Pittsburgh’s Conflict Kitchen has a global menu, with dishes from countries that have diplomatic problems with the U.S.

Phenomena

Hush!

The infant brain is even more impressionable than previously thought

Phenomena

Top Gun

Bertholdia trigona, a moth native to the Arizona desert, emits ultrasonic clicks at a rate of 4,500 times per second to blur bats' acoustic vision

Around the Mall

The Muppets Take the Mall

Elmo, Fozzie Bear, the Count, Miss Piggy and 17 other Jim Henson puppets are coming to the American History Museum

Around the Mall

Playlist

The new Coen brothers film is based in part on the life and times of real-life folk musician Dave Van Ronk, the Mayor of MacDougal Street

Around the Mall

Ask Smithsonian

You asked our experts, we got the answers

Books

Books

Our book reviewer looks at Red Cloud’s feat and the romance of hot air

Fast Forward

A new NASA spacecraft, MAVEN, will explore the geologic history of our planetary neighbor