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Harper's MagazineHarper's Magazine

Harper's Magazine

February 2019

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.

United States
Harper's Magazine Foundation
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12 Issues


access_time4 min.

A Question of IdentityMychal Denzel Smith’s essay about black public intellectuals is a nuanced examination of a complex dilemma [“The Gatekeepers,” Essay, December]. At one point, Smith expresses guilt at “monetizing” black pain by writing for white editors about the black experience. He assuages some of his angst by the end of the essay, but I’d like to relieve his burden even further. How would a white guy like me, living in the rural heart of Trump-ish Idaho, be able to benefit from the deep insights of black intellectuals if it were not for his work and that of others cited in his essay?Reading James Baldwin as a young man enhanced my worldview in a way no Hollywood movie or TV sitcom ever could, and Smith’s essay has enhanced it…

access_time13 min.
easy chair

I have a new fear. And this one’s a doozy.I write a fortnightly column for the British barely right-of-center magazine (that’s left-of-center, in the United States) The Spectator. Having weathered more than one social-media shit storm, I’m one column away from the round of mob opprobrium that sinks my career for good. As Roseanne Barr and Megyn Kelly can testify, it doesn’t take a thousand words, either. A single unacceptable sentiment, a word usage misconstrued, a sentence taken out of context suffices these days to implode a reputation decades in the making and to trigger McCarthyite blacklisting. When I’ve floated this anxiety past the odd friend and colleague, their universal response has been a sorrowful shake of the head. Repeatedly I hear, “You’re exactly the sort of person this happens…

access_time3 min.
harper’s index

Percentage of pending cases at the European Court of Human Rights that were filed against the Russian government : 19That were filed against the UK government : 0.5Portion of Americans who believe another world war is likely : 2/3Percentage of Americans who say they would be “not at all” willing to volunteer to fight in another world war : 42Who say they would be “very” or “somewhat” willing : 31Number of the ten deadliest heat waves in recorded history that have occurred since 2000 : 9Estimated percentage chance that the UN’s “worst-case scenario” for global warming is too optimistic : 35Factor by which more energy is required to mine a dollar’s worth of bitcoin than a dollar’s worth of copper : 4.25Year in which Alberta, Canada, launched a campaign to…

access_time34 min.

[Essay]OPPORTUNITY COSTBy Mitchell S. Jackson, from Survival Math, which will be published in March by Scribner. Jackson is an associate professor of writing at New York University and the author of The Residue Years. He won a 2016 Whiting Award in fiction.What the fuck we gon’ do now? That was the question top of mind that summer of ’93, a summer we—the “we” being me and the brother who out of love I’m calling Brother A—were the newest alumni of Jefferson High School, known as the School of Champions and, so it seemed at that time, a school of fledgling dope dealers. What we gonna do? The most attractive answer was make some loot, make some major loot if we could, and with that goal in mind we’d gotten our…

access_time1 min.
a thousand times yeses

Yes, the Truth Still MattersYes, the News Can Survive the NewspaperYes, There Have Been AliensYes, We Are Still Writing About PokémonYes, We Stuck With “American Idol”Yes, Those Are My TonsilsYes, I Really Am in This Beauty PageantYes, Houses Are Bigger in TexasYes, I’m an American NationalistYes, the President Can Obstruct JusticeYes, the President Bears Blame for the Terror from the RightYes, You Can Indict the PresidentYes, This Is a Witch Hunt. I’m a Witch and I’m Hunting You.Yes, Britain, You Can Have More Women on Corporate BoardsYes, Breitbart News Has a Fashion CriticYes, Progressive Activism Is Helping DemocratsYes, John Bolton Really Is That DangerousYes, Medicine Can Use Virtual Reality, Emphasis on RealityYes, More Facebook Friends Are Asking You for MoneyYes, Another Windows 10 Update Is HereYes, the Octopus Is Smart…

access_time1 min.
red tape

Behaving badly in social lifeAssociating with countercultureUsing profanity in lyricsWearing a sunflower dress onstage in TaiwanScheduling to appear at and then pulling out of a Free Tibet concertShouting “Tibet, Tibet” at a concert in ShanghaiVoicing support for the Dalai LamaMeeting with the Dalai LamaTaking a picture with the Dalai LamaSending the Dalai Lama a birthday tweetFilming oneself holding a Buddha-shaped cookie to one’s face while squintingPulling slant eyes while posing for a photographAttributing a 2008 earthquake in China to bad karmaAppearing in Seven Years in Tibet ■…