An anthropological dispatch from the landfill dig to unearth Atari’s E.T.

“From the nerd squabbles of Internet discussion threads rose an urban legend that culminated in a film that hinges on digging through my town’s trash.”
Illustration (detail) by Timothy Taranto
Return of the Strongman·

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How did Egypt revert to dictatorship?
“If Tunisia is where the Arab Spring began, Egypt seems poised to become its burial ground.”
Photograph (detail) © Ahmed Ismail / Getty Images

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The Seductive Catastrophe·

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Why the world went to war in 1914
“The world’s leaders were moved by a populace fused into a forward phalanx, were shaken by a tidal wave of militancy jubilantly united.”
Photograph courtesy Mary Evans Picture Library

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Me, Myself, and Id·

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The invention of the narcissist
“The one defining trait of the narcissist is that it’s always someone else.
Painting (detail) by Gianni Dagli Orti

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Against a current of extremist violence, Northern Nigeria struggles to modernise Koranic schools

“People want education. Open a school and they will rush.”
Photograph © The author

Average number of sitcom laughs an American hears during a prime-time season:


Czech and German deer still do not cross the Iron Curtain.

British economists correlated the happiness of a country’s population with its genetic resemblance to Danes.

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Art — July 25, 2014, 8:00 am

Trappers, a painting by David Salle

Trappers, a painting by David Salle, whose work was on view in June at Maureen Paley, in London. © The artist. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London. This image appears in the Readings section of the August 2014 issue of Harper’s Magazine.

Special Feature — July 23, 2014, 2:42 pm

The Glitch in the Video-Game Graveyard

An anthropological dispatch from the landfill dig to unearth Atari’s E.T.

Illustration by Timothy Taranto

Weekly Review — July 22, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The “mystery” of who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17; the theater of war in Gaza; and ritual crime in Iceland

“His Majesty Frank Penguin, King of the Brutes” (January 1857)

Art — July 18, 2014, 8:00 am

Untitled Polaroids by Tom Bianchi

Untitled Polaroids by Tom Bianchi, whose work was on view last month at Fahey/Klein Gallery, in Los Angeles. Bianchi’s monograph Fire Island Pines, Polaroids 1975–1983 was published last year by Damiani Editore. © The artist. These images appear in the Readings section of the August 2014 issue of Harper’s Magazine.

Publisher's Note — July 17, 2014, 12:36 pm

A Jerusalem Education

“It gradually dawned on me that since 1967, I had made very little progress in seeing Arabs or empathizing with their plight.”

Writing a Book

Art — July 16, 2014, 7:12 pm

“Dennis Rhodes, Hawesville, Kentucky, 2013” © Lisa Elmaleh, 2013

“Dennis Rhodes, Hawesville, Kentucky, 2013,” by Lisa Elmaleh. Elmaleh, a Harper’s Magazine contributing artist, will show her new series of tintype photographs of old-time musicians at an exhibition called American Folk, opening Thursday, July 17, at Foley Gallery in New York City. For more, please visit the Foley Gallery’s website.

Mentions — July 16, 2014, 7:00 pm

“The End of Retirement” on MSNBC

Watch Jessica Bruder on MSNBC’s The Cycle

Jessica Bruder on MSNBC

Postcard — July 16, 2014, 11:59 am

The Many Faces of Boko

Against a current of extremist violenceNorthern Nigeria struggles to modernise Koranic schools

Sai’d Abdulrakman © Caelainn Hogan

Weekly Review — July 15, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The United States prepares to return thousands of minors to Central America; Israel launches an offensive in Gaza; and a wildfire traces back to Freddie Smoke

Harper’s Magazine, March 1876

Art — July 11, 2014, 8:00 am

Furthur!, by William Monk

Furthur!, an oil and copper painting on canvas by William Monk, whose work was on view last month at Grimm Gallery, in Amsterdam. Courtesy the artist and De Nederlandsche Bank Art Collection. This image appears in the Readings section of the August 2014 issue of Harper’s Magazine.

Editor's Note — July 10, 2014, 1:05 pm

Introducing the August 2014 Issue

Jessica Bruder on the end of retirement, Mary Gordon on the new Vatican, Laura Kipnis on narcissism, and more

Harper's Magazine, August 2014

Personal and Otherwise — July 10, 2014, 12:15 pm

God Lives on Lemon Street

An ex–Jehovah’s Witness visits Watchtower headquarters

Jehovah’s Witnesses Watchtower building, Brooklyn. ©© Clemens v. Vogelsang (Flickr)

Postcard — July 8, 2014, 1:40 pm

World Cup Boom and Bust

Will a four-game stint as a World Cup host city improve life in Manaus?

Rua 3, barrio Alvorada, Manaus © Chris Feliciano Arnold

Weekly Review — July 8, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Tensions rise over murders in Israel and Palestine, the VA schedules an appointment for a deceased veteran, and the Vatican legitimizes Catholic exorcists


Conversation — July 7, 2014, 8:00 am

Ken Silverstein’s The Secret World of Oil

On the endemic corruption of the global oil industry

Ken Silverstein © Gabriel Silverstein-Rivera

Art — July 4, 2014, 8:00 am

Photograph by Francine Fleischer from her series Swim: The Water in Between.

From Swim: The Water in Between, a photographic series by Francine FleischerCourtesy the artist. This photograph accompanies the Findings section of the July 2014 issue of Harper’s Magazine.

Browsings — July 2, 2014, 12:55 pm

Brussels Spleen

“Belgium is a sniveling little ragamuffin . . .”

From “Vagabondizing in Belgium” (Harper’s Magazine, August 1858)

Six Questions — July 1, 2014, 2:02 pm

Christopher Beha on Arts and Entertainments

Christopher Beha discusses sex tapes as literary vehicle, the celebrity impulse, and the problematic absence of religion in American literature

Christopher Beha © Ira Lipkke

Weekly Review — July 1, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The U.S. Supreme Court weakens the ACA’s contraception mandate; ISIL attempts to legitimize its territorial gains in the Middle East; and Facebook gives you feelings 

Babylonian Lion (thumb)

Six Questions — June 30, 2014, 11:00 am

Jeff Sharlet on Radiant Truths

Jeff Sharlet on his collection of essential dispatches, reports, confessions, and other essays on American belief

Jeff Sharlet


August 2014

The End of Retirement

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The Octopus and Its Grandchildren

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Francis and the Nuns

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Return of the Strongman

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In Praise of Idleness


I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

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