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1965 / January | View All Issues |

January 1965

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Letters

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The editor’s easy chair

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Jaime García Terrés and the lista negra·

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[Coming in Harper’s]

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Coming in Harper’s·

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Article

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Sex vs. the law·

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A study in hypocrisy

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Washington’s second banana politicians·

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Article

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The other kind of teaching·

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Article

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How to rebuild the two-party system·

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Poetry

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The market man·

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Fiction

64-66 PDF

Stalking the muse on publishers’ row·

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Article

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The Russians yearn for the managerial mind·

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Poetry

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A note she might have left·

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Collection

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Loves and rages·

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Poetry

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Massaccio’s Expulsion·

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Poetry

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Who said·

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Ripeness is all?

Poetry

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Dimensions·

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Article

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A fair deal for the Cold War soldier·

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Article

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A bell tolls·

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Washington insight

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Letdown at the UN·

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The new books

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Peering in with the outsiders·

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Ten million million million insects·

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Koestler’s kit·

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Less rural, more wistful America·

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Books in brief

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Music in the round

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Bernstein twice·

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Jazz notes

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Camouflage·

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And also . . .·

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Collection

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A notebook for the sophisticated traveler·

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Foreword·

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The case of the extravagant traveler·

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The sight of music·

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Quotation

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Nathaniel Hawthorne·

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Tourist in shock

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Packaged pilgrims·

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Le snob-snob à l’étranger·

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How to look at architecture·

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Traveling with young eyes·

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Tranquilized in Latin America·

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“In Season 5 of Louie (FX), Louie is a new kind of superhero. Like Wonder Woman, the canonical superhero he most resembles, Louie’s distinctive superpower is love.”
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On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.

In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.

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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.’”
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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.”
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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

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 tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.

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