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1980 / November | View All Issues |

November 1980

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Letters

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The easy chair

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The lost American empire·

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Explaining it to Sally

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An American parliament·

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Overcoming the separation of powers

Washington

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Washington·

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Washington

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Nation of lobbyists·

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The conventioners’ convention

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Through history with Henry A. Kissinger·

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A campaign biography

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The wreck of the auto industry·

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Fiction

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The piano recital·

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In our time

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In our time·

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In our time

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Esperanto·

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Poetry

70 PDF

Visiting Emily Dickinson’s grave·

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Poetry

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Lack of seed power·

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Poetry

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This night·

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Article

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An empire’s last stand·

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Imperial obligations

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Collection

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Eclipsed in the age of sociology

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The common scold·

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Unlisted numbers

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The resting place·

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In print

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Unanswered questions

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Puzzle

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The Force Awakens criticizes American imperialism while also celebrating the revolutionary spirit that founded this country. When the movie needs to bridge the two points of view, it shifts to aerial combat, a default setting that mirrors the war on terror all too well.”
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“He had paid for much of her schooling, something he cannot help but mention, since the aftermath of any failed relationship brings an ungenerous and impossible impulse to claw back one’s misspent resources.”
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“It seems to defy reason that this anachronistic farm state — a demographic outlier, with no major cities and just 3 million people, nine out of ten of them white — should play such an outsized role in American politics.”
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“This is the strange magic of an arrangement of all the world’s knowledge in alphabetical order: any search for anything passes through things that have nothing in common with it but an initial letter.”
Artwork by Brian Dettmer. Courtesy the artist and P.P.O.W., New York City.
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“Buckingham Palace is a theater in need of renovation. There is something pathetic about a fiercely vacuumed throne room. The plants are tired. Plastic is nailed to walls and mirrors. The ballroom is set for a ghostly banquet. Everyone is whispering, for we are in a mad kind of church. A child weeps.”
Photograph (detail) © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

Estimated percentage of New Hampshire’s bat population that died in 2010:

65

The brown bears of Greece continued chewing through telephone poles.

In Peru, a 51-year-old activist became the first former sex worker to run for the national legislature. “I’m going to put order,” she said, “in that big brothel which is Congress.”

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Civilization masks us with a screen, from ourselves and from one another, with thin depth of unreality. We habitually live — do we not? — in a world self-created, half established, of false values arbitrarily upheld, largely inspired by misconception, misapprehension, wrong perspective, and defective proportion, misapplication.

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