Magazine Issue
June 1 2016
Mother Jones2 min read
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist CHARLIE LEDUFF is the author of the New York Times bestseller Detroit and the host of an investigative TV series, The Americans, which he describes as “a little 60 Minutes, a little Charles Kuralt, and a little Jacka
Mother Jones3 min read
40 More Years!
FORTY YEARS AGO, operating out of a dingy office over a McDonald’s on San Francisco’s Market Street, a group of writers and editors inspired by Watergate decided to launch the equivalent of a crowd-funded media startup—a spiffy-looking new magazine,
Mother Jones5 min read
Corroded Trust
TEXT BY CHARLIE LEDUFF IT’S BEEN THE subject of protests and debates, but if anything is improving in Flint, Michigan, it’s hard for any of us on the ground to see. One of the city’s lead pipes has been replaced for the benefit of the press, but mo
Mother Jones2 min readPolitics
Black Votes Matter
Brandon Ellington Patterson CHICAGO: In March, Kim Foxx beat her former boss, Cook County Prosecutor Anita Alvarez, in a landslide to become the Democratic nominee for state’s attorney. Alvarez had been under fire for her lackadaisical handling of t
Mother Jones5 min read
Bobbing For Bad Apples
Jaeah Lee ONE MORNING IN April 2015, Rayid Ghani was sitting among more than a dozen big-city police chiefs and officials in a fourth-floor conference room across the street from the White House. It was the latest in a series of meetings about curbi
Mother Jones3 min read
Pema Levy In 2012, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback launched a “real live experiment” in conservative governance. He slashed income taxes for top earners and eliminated them for more than 330,000 small businesses, promising the cuts would be “a shot of adr
Mother Jones4 min readPolitics
Crossing The Line
Bryan Schatz THE COUPLE WHO had panicked the nation’s right-wing politicians and pundits sits on a couch in a spartan ground-level apartment on the outskirts of San Bernardino, California. Thirty-two-year-old Samer is in a blue sweatshirt and jeans,
Mother Jones2 min readPolitics
Make America Self-Donate Again!
Dave Gilson “I’m self-funding my own campaign,” Donald Trump boasted in February. At the time, it was largely true: 70 percent of his campaign’s funds came from loans he’d made to himself. (And the biggest recipients of his campaign spending were hi
Mother Jones18 min read
Fully Loaded
They are all white, all middle-aged, and all men. A few live openly lavish lifestyles, but the majority fly under the radar. Rarely is there news about them in the mainstream media or even the trade press. Their obscurity would seem unremarkable if w
Mother Jones2 min read
Money Shots
Smith & Wesson Model 29: This giant revolver was on the verge of being discontinued until Clint Eastwood immortalized it as “the most powerful handgun in the world” while pointing it at a cowering “punk” in 1971’s Dirty Harry. The gun used in the fil
Mother Jones3 min read
Arming America
1980 1980: American gun companies manufacture 5.6 million firearms. 1981: The Glock, the first pistol with a plastic receiver, is introduced. After fears subside that it could go undetected by X-ray machines, it becomes one of the hottest handguns
Mother Jones1 min read
Do You Own Part Of A Gun Company?
Following the Newtown massacre, in early 2013 the board of California’s public pension plan announced it would yank its investments in Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger. The $5 million divestment was a symbolic gesture for the $254 billion fund, but it
Mother Jones20 min read
Some Kind Of Wonderful
Lynda and Stewart Resnick built their billion-dollar feel-good empire on nuts, slick marketing—and a staggering amount of California’s water.
Mother Jones17 min read
Playing Chicken
The ag industry has known for 40 years that antibiotics are creating dangerous superbugs. So why did only one company take the science seriously?
Mother Jones19 min read
Mr. Right
Mother Jones2 min read
Believe Her Or Not
S.M. Confirmation, HBO’s new film about Justice Clarence Thomas’ 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings, stars Kerry Washington as Anita Hill and Wendell Pierce as Thomas. But the real players are the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The
Mother Jones5 min read
Wax Dolls
ONE NIGHT not long ago while coming home late from a dinner with friends, I passed frat row near the University of California-Berkeley campus. Groups of girls were clacking along the street in their party uniforms: short skirts, bare midriffs, five-i
Mother Jones2 min read
A Brief History Of Prom
Grace Wilson 1920s: The “democratic debutante ball” makes its high school debut. In theory, any student can attend a “promenade”— but teens of color are excluded thanks to Jim Crow and unequal access to education. 1930s: With the Depression in full
Mother Jones5 min read
Roots: The Next Generation
NO TELEVISION “event” today has a prayer of matching Roots, the eight-part 1977 miniseries based on Alex Haley’s autobiographical slavery saga. Those broadcasts attracted some 85 percent of American TV households. Comedian W. Kamau Bell, whose lates
Mother Jones3 min readPsychology
Lessons From The Master
Yo-Yo Ma, whose multinational Silk Road Ensemble just released a new album, has sound advice for politicians, parents, and jittery performers.
Mother Jones2 min read
Dude, Where’s My Strad?
J.L. The Gibson ex-Huberman Stradivarius EST. VALUE: $10-$15 million The 1713 violin, one of Antonio Stradivari’s best, disappears from Bronislaw Huberman’s dressing room during a 1936 concert. Five decades later, an ailing musician named Julian A
Mother Jones4 min read
The Tipping Point
FRESH OUT of college and working as an unpaid intern for a San Francisco nonprofit, I paid the bills by moonlighting at an Indian restaurant in the Pacific Heights neighborhood. My hostess job entailed long stretches of boredom punctuated by a cacoph
Mother Jones3 min readFood & Wine
Boxed Out
LET ME GUESS: You don’t cook as much as you wish you did. The whole rigmarole, from menu planning to navigating the store to chopping and cleaning everything up, seems like a time-sucking ordeal. Yet you’ve heard the messages: Home-cooked meals engen