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July/August 2012

Smithsonian July/August 2012

Cover & Conents & Departments

Contributions, The Conversation “Chicken Confidentail”, From the Editor “Torch Song”, From the Castle “The Latest and the Greatest”, Around the Mall “American Idol”, Fast Forward “Facebook’s Frozen Asset”

Interview, My Kind of Town, Around the Mall, From the Castle, Behind the Scenes, The Object at Hand, Q&A, What's Up


The Mind

Beauty in the Brain, The Pluses of Aging, Kids and Play, Man or Machine?, Why We Choke, Paws for PTSD, Gray Matters


Profile “Speaking Truth to Power”, History “We’re Number 2!”, America “Going for the Gold”, Books “Lincoln on Trial”

By various authors

Featured Articles: The Olympic Issue

Britannia Rules the Games

Although it’s not well known, the modern Olympics owe their model and their success to England. As the Games return to London for the third time, let’s raise a toast to Dr. Penny Brookes, Lord Desborough and the glorious, and sometimes slapstick, history of the British Games

By Frank Deford

Heart and Solo

She holds the fate of the U.S. women’s soccer team in her hands, but as her controversial new memoir will show, Hope Solo has always defended her turf

By Nancy Hass

The Rings Cycle

A whimsical new opera celebrates the life and times of Albert White, Britain’s pioneering bicycle champ and the working-class hero of a hard-luck factory town that sure could use one

By Franz Lidz

The Science of Doping

Behind the scenes at the Games is a fierce competition between those top athletes who secretly use illicit substances to gain an edge and the scientists racing to catch them. This summer, the stakes are higher than ever

By Christie Aschwanden

The All-American

100 years ago, Jim Thorpe became the greatest American Olympian of all time. So why has he still not been given his due?

By Sally Jenkins

Let the Good Thames Roll

Float down England’s longest river, from its origin in the Cotswolds to its ramble through London, a journey across centuries of “liquid history” that leads right up to the razzle-dazzle of this summer’s Olympic Games

By Joshua Hammer

Wish You Were Here

Our editors pored over more than 67,000 photographs, each one a postcard from a unique time and place

By Jesse Rhodes