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1979 / May | View All Issues |

May 1979

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Letters

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The easy chair

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The early afternoon of the gods

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Arms bazaar·

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SALT was never intended to disarm

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Collection

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Dr. Kissinger goes to war·

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Dr. Kissinger goes to war·

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Lewis Carroll’s letters to little girls·

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Fiction

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Women in a Roman courtyard·

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A short story

Other things being equal

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Eyes only·

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Other things being equal

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The mistresses of Singer·

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A fantasy

In our time

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The national pastime·

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In our time

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Books

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Goodness incarnate·

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Sheltering Jews in Vichy France

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Biological imperative·

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Writing about science for laymen

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The fourth estate

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An encounter with Islamic justice

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Poetry

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This ego in the wilderness·

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Reflections on equality

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Thirty childbirths·

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American miscellany

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15, rue du Sommerard·

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Puzzle

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"The past is complicated, and explaining it is not just a trick, but a gamble."
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"Perfectly sane people lose access to housing every day, though the resultant ordeal may undermine some of that sanity, as it might yours and mine."
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Flor Arely Sánchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San Julián region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases — first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.

Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didn’t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.

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"The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didn’t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion."
Photograph © Nadia Shira Cohen

Average number of new microwave food products introduced every day In 1987:

2

Cocaine addicts prefer $500 in cash now to $1,000 worth of cocaine later.

Scientists in the Galápagos Islands credited an endangered giant tortoise named Diego with saving his species by fathering more than 800 offspring.

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Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'

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