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1945 / February | View All Issues |

February 1945

Personal and otherwise

5, 8, 10, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 PDF

[various]·

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The new books

15-16, 18, 21 PDF

The new books·

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Books in brief

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Article

193-202 PDF

Shall we guarantee full employment?·

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Fiction

208 PDF

Fairy tale?·

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Article

209-217 PDF

Nimitz and his admirals·

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Poetry

218 PDF

The preacher·

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Ruminates behind the sermon

Poetry

218 PDF

Southeast corner·

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Collection

218-219 PDF

Five poems·

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Poetry

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Soldier sonnets·

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Love note

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220-224 PDF

The war party·

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A story from the life

The easy chair

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The easy chair·

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Article

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The great salmon experiment·

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Article

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Old homes made new·

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Article

241-249 PDF

F.D.R. as a politician·

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Poetry

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Sonnet to a scientist·

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Another man’s poison

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Another man’s poison

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Fiction

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Mr. Pryde and Mr. Mann·

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Face·

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The new insect-killers·

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Poetry

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Psychiatric case·

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Article

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Alexander Woollcott, town crier·

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How an army fell apart·

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Marshall, Arnold, King·

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I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:

The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.

leadership
service
integrity
creativity

Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.

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“It is disappointing that parts of Purity read as though Franzen urgently wanted to telegraph a message to anyone who would defend his fiction from charges of chauvinism: ‘No, you’ve got me wrong. I really am sexist.’”
Illustration by Shonagh Rae
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“In Karachi, sometimes only the thinnest of polite fictions separates the politicians from the men who kill and extort on their behalf.”
Photograph © Asim Rafiqui/NOOR Images
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“Defining 'native' and 'invasive' in an ever-shifting natural world poses some problems. The camel, after all, is native to North America, though it went extinct here 8,000 years ago, while the sacrosanct redwood tree is invasive, having snuck in at some point in the past 65 million years.”
Photograph by Chad Ress
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“College is seldom about thinking or learning anymore. Everyone is running around trying to figure out what it is about. So far, they have come up with buzzwords, mainly those three.”
Artwork by Julie Cockburn

Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:

65

An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.

A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.

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