= Subscribers only. Sign in here. Subscribe here.

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

1985 / December | View All Issues |

December 1985

Photography

Front cover PDF

Untitled·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.


Letters

4-8, 75-76 PDF

Letters·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Notebook

9-10 PDF

Powdered roses·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Harper’s Index

13 PDF

Harper’s index·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Readings

15-37 PDF

[Article]

Body politic·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

[illustration]

Readings·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

[Article]

Twisted Sister and the senators·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

[Cartoon]

Readings·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

[Article]

Detroit·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Heavy traffic ahead

[Article]

Reflections of a rivethead·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

[Article]

How to talk small·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

[Article]

Pro-life ‘abortion clinics’·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

[Photography]

Deer in a Black Car·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

[Article]

Ethics on the nuclear battlefield·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

[Article]

The vanishing nuclear firebreak·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

[Article]

The writer and unfreedom·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

[Cartoon]

Readings·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

[Article]

Mobil’s amusement and concern·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

[Poetry]

The humble administrator’s garden·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

[Fiction]

Murder in the academy·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

[Fiction]

Eighteen minutes·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

[Article]

One man’s meat·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Collection

Front cover, 39-46, 48-51 PDF

What is our drug problem?·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Quotation

43 PDF

Why do people use drugs?·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Fiction

63-66 PDF

The compleat Xmas story·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

68-70 PDF

Nakedness veiled with paint·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Renoir’s sweet chastity

Article

73-74 PDF

Machine attendant·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The progress of progress

Double acrostic

77 PDF

No. 36·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Puzzle

80 PDF

And one to grow on·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

THE CURRENT ISSUE

September 2015

A Goose in a Dress

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Genealogy of Orals

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Neoliberal Arts

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Gangs of Karachi

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Romancing Kano·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:

The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.

leadership
service
integrity
creativity

Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.

Article
The Prisoner of Sex·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“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.’”
Illustration by Shonagh Rae
Article
Gangs of Karachi·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“In Karachi, sometimes only the thinnest of polite fictions separates the politicians from the men who kill and extort on their behalf.”
Photograph © Asim Rafiqui/NOOR Images
Article
Weed Whackers·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“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
Article
The Neoliberal Arts·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“College is seldom about thinking or learning anymore. Everyone is running around trying to figure out what it is about. So far, they have come up with buzzwords, mainly those three.”
Artwork by Julie Cockburn

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 naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Subways Are for Sleeping

By

“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”

Subscribe Today