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Harper's Magazine

Harper's Magazine January 2020

HARPER’S MAGAZINE, the oldest general interest monthly in America, explores the issues that drive our national conversation through such celebrated features as Readings, Annotation, and Findings, as well as the iconic Harper’s Index.

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United States
Harper's Magazine Foundation
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12 Issues

in this issue

8 min.

The Fall of Men Barrett Swanson’s take on Evryman retreats and the “new men’s groups” [“Men at Work,” Report, November] is understandably skeptical. As a veteran of several of these groups—having, in fact, started one in college with one of the Evryman founders—I thought Swanson’s ambivalence was illuminating. In my experience, what men need most aren’t opportunities to engage with their ids or reinforcement of their anguish; they need to be engaged in a rigorous practice of learning how to listen. Jonathan Gold Providence, R.I. Barrett Swanson rightly draws parallels between men’s groups like Evryman and the irritating bounty of life-hack companies sprouting in Silicon Valley and related cure-all services advertised in New York City subways. A sense of nostrum abounds in the Evryman ethos, with its blind appropriation of various healing practices…

12 min.
easy chair

As of this writing, we are still about three months away from the first vote of the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination—and already “our side” seems set to tear itself apart. Tempers are frayed, charges are flying, and there is much talk about how none of the declared candidates will do. Part of this is life under Trump. The president is like a low-pressure system that never lifts. The sheer weight of his presence hanging over us—tweeting out ignorant pronouncements, denying reality, subjecting us to his bottomless insecurities—is enough to make us rub our temples and flex our jaws for relief. The intraparty tension is due to a candidate selection process that is headsmackingly stupid even for the Democrats. Massive debates put the four or five serious contenders onstage with some…

3 min.
harper’s index

Number of different forms of torture the Syrian government is suspected of having used during the country’s civil war : 72 Factor by which women are more likely than men to develop P.T.S.D. over the course of their lives : 2.5 Average penalty, in lost vacation days, for N.Y.P.D. officers the department finds to have committed domestic violence : 30 For officers the department finds to have been discourteous to a supervisor : 60 Rank of 2018 among the deadliest years since 1990 for cyclists in the United States : 1 For pedestrians : 1 Percentage of Uber riders who never tip : 60 Who always tip : 1 Percentage by which male riders give higher tips to female drivers than to male drivers : 12 Value of the personal possessions that the average American lost while drinking alcohol…

1 min.
dorothy, a publishing project

TEN YEARS AGO, we set out to create a press that would celebrate the smart, tough, hilarious, daring, innovative writing by women that we knew was out there but was being passed over. We would focus on fiction (and what we call “near fiction”) and would stay small and slow (we publish only two books each year), but would work hard to get our books into as many hands as possible. Since 2010, we have been honored to debut award-winning writers like Nell Zink, Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, and Jen George; to bring back into print feminist masters like Leonora Carrington and Barbara Comyns; to publish translations of major international writers like Marguerite Duras, Cristina Rivera Garza, and Nathalie Léger; and to create a home for many other boundary-breaking…

7 min.

[Essay] MINOR THREATS By Jean Genet, from The Criminal Child: Selected Essays, published this month by NYRB Classics. This text is an abridged version of the essay “The Criminal Child,” which was commissioned in 1947 by the national French radio program Carte Blanche. The show’s producers requested that Genet write on the topic of criminal justice. Genet submitted, in his own words, “not a criminal’s complaint, but rather his exaltation.” The text was rejected. Translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman. Scattered throughout the French countryside, often in the most elegant locales, there are several places that have never ceased to fascinate me. These are correctional facilities that now bear the official and officious titles Moral Rehabilitation Facility, Reeducation Center, Home for the Rectification of Delinquent Youths. One time, a director at one…

1 min.
kindergarten cops

From records of alleged behavior by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers, as reported by unaccompanied minors, dating from 2009 to 2014. The A.C.L.U. Foundation of San Diego and Imperial Counties obtained the complaints from the Department of Homeland Security through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Called a child a pigCalled a child an idiotCalled a child a she-maleTold a child that girls came to the United States to contaminate the country with their babiesTold a child to strip to his underwearThreatened a child with rapeLocked a child in a freezing room in just his boxersFed a child frozen hamThrew a child’s frozen bologna on the groundThrew a child’s Bible in the garbageKneed a child in the stomachHit a child in the head with a flashlightPulled a child to a…