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1980 / December | View All Issues |

December 1980

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Letters

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The easy chair

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Eskimo economics·

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Variations on a conservative theme

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Cures that kill·

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Medicine’s deadly experiments

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Wheelbarrow currency·

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When money loses its meaning

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State vs. academe·

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Nationalizing the universities

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Coming to terms with Vietnam·

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Settling our moral debts

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A veteran writes·

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Article

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The public record·

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The public record

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The public record

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Fiction

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Papa takes a bride·

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A short story

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Two-penny opera·

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Notes from a campaign journal

In our time

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In our time·

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In our time

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American Guernica·

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Picasso, Inc.·

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The greatest show on earth

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A time for giants·

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The year in poetry

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The view from the mirror·

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A taste for autobiography

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The literary politician·

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Washington’s world of books

The fourth estate

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A handful of mud·

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Auberon Waugh’s war on manners

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American miscellany

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The birdmen cometh

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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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"'We don’t know where the money went!' a woman cried out. 'They looted it! They stole our money!'"
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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.

Photograph by Joshua Lutz
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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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Mississippi Drift

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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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