Charles Homans

Charles Homans is the executive editor of The Atavist. He previously worked as a features editor at Foreign Policy. His work has also appeared in The New Republic and The Economist, and on several National Public Radio programs. He was an editor of the Washington Monthly from 2008 to 2010. Previously, he worked as a newspaper and public radio reporter in Washington, Wyoming, and Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. He was born and raised in Minnesota.

The Wealth of Constellations

Marine Major General Charles F. Bolden has made a career of taking on daunting assignments. After growing up black in segregated South Carolina, Bolden spent his teenage years badgering congressmen into helping him gain admittance to the nearly all-white U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. Shipped out to Southeast Asia in 1972, he flew more than… Read more »

The Party of Obama

n David Plouffes campaign memoir, The Audacity to Win, Barack Obamas victory happens the way explosions happen in the more lyrical action movies: there is a moment of silent suspended animation, and then the roar. Plouffe, Obamas campaign manager, meets the new president in his suite at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago, just as… Read more »

Bottom of the Barrel

he worlds first oil well was drilled 150 years ago on a farm two miles outside the wooded hamlet of Titusville, Pennsylvania, by a man named Edwin L. Drake. Drake was forty years old, an erstwhile railroad conductor and a gifted huckster; he arrived in Pennsylvanias logging country with a bogus titleColonel E. L. Draketo… Read more »

Better Living Through Chemistry

n an early scene in Nick Redings Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town, a former meatpacker turned small-time methamphetamine cook in Oelwein, Iowa, named Roland Jarvis, inspired by a paranoid hallucination involving black helicopters, pours the hazardous chemicals comprising his home meth lab down the drain and then lights a cigarette,… Read more »