The Wreck

On the eve of the Civil War, a nightmare at sea turned into one of the greatest rescues in maritime history. More than a century later, a rookie treasure hunter went looking for the lost ship—and found a different kind of ruin.

Train to the Roof of the World

On riding China’s Qinghai-Tibet Railway just before it opened:

Staring out at the shimmering tracks and concrete-reinforced embankment extending to the horizon, I can’t help but think of the senior Chinese scientist who confessed to me that the rail line he helped build might not be safe for long.