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1959 / September | View All Issues |

September 1959

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Letters

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The easy chair

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Why handle criminals with kid gloves?·

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[Coming in Harper’s]

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Coming in Harper’s·

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Personal and otherwise

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Among our contributors·

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Short, bright, costly

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Our ambassadors·

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An intimate appraisal of the men and the system

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The explorer·

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Come back Detroit, all is forgiven·

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The counter-revolution in architecture·

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Our language right or wrong

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The virtues of male novelists·

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Poetry

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He speaks a critic speaks·

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Thoreau and the Harvard libureaucracy·

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Fiction

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Darwinian man, though well-behaved . . .·

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Cole Porter·

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An affectionate memoir

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The mathematics of sex, gambling, and insurance·

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Surgery helps the hard of hearing·

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The expectation·

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After hours

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After hours

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The new books

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And also . . .·

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Discussed in this essay:

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Henry Holt. 352 pages. $28.

The extinction symbol is a spare graphic that began to appear on London walls and sidewalks a couple of years ago. It has since become popular enough as an emblem of protest that people display it at environmental rallies. Others tattoo it on their arms. The symbol consists of two triangles inscribed within a circle, like so:

“The triangles represent an hourglass; the circle represents Earth; the symbol as a whole represents, according to a popular Twitter feed devoted to its dissemination (@extinctsymbol, 19.2K followers), “the rapidly accelerating collapse of global biodiversity” — what scientists refer to alternately as the Holocene extinction, the Anthropocene extinction, and (with somewhat more circumspection) the sixth mass extinction.

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“Now may be the unlikeliest time for us to grow a conscience about how our rapacity is endangering other species, since we’re now aware of how frightfully our rapacity is endangering us.”
Collage (detail) by David McLimans

Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:

2:1

Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.

Indian prime-ministerial contender Narendra Modi, who advertises his bachelorhood as a mark of his incorruptibility, confessed to having a wife.

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