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1979 / December | View All Issues |

December 1979

Cartoon

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Letters

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Now and hereafter·

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Catholicism fails the people of Ecuador

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Too few good men·

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The volunteer (mercenary) army

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Going down with Great Britain·

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Thatcher against the inevitable

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Edward Kennedy and the romance of death·

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The making of a minotaur

Lines of sight

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Automotive genius·

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Lines of sight

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Lines of sight·

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Article

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The silo busters·

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Misguided missiles

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Observation and scholarship examination·

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Fiction

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The stove man·

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A short story

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Lucky·

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Poetry

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The seaweed·

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Collection

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Four poems·

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Poetry

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The rose·

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Poetry

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The shirt·

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Books

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Vulgar, coarse, and grotesque·

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Books

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In print

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Women who write·

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Of enclosure and escape

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Other things being equal

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Final solution·

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Other things being equal

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The death of “The Paper Chase”

The fourth estate

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Flacks vobiscum

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American miscellany

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Living the life of the harbor

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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 amount of time a child spends in Santa Claus’s lap at Macy’s (in seconds):

37

Beer does not cause beer bellies.

Following the arrest of at least 10 clowns in Kentucky and Alabama, Tennesseans were warned that clowns could be “predators” and Pennsylvanians were advised not to interact with what one police chief described as “knuckleheads with clown-like clothes on.”

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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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