Easy Chair — From the September 2014 issue

Page Turner

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The time is close at hand when the scattered members of the civilized communities will be as closely united, as far as instant telephonic communication is concerned, as the various members of the body are by the nervous system. —Scientific American, 1880 In the tumultuous year 1968, I was living in New York City in a world of hard-wired telephones, telephone booths, telephone books, and telephone exchanges — ORchard and MUrray Hill and BUtterfield and the rest. In the coin boxes of pay phones you found lost quarters and dimes, and in every booth the telephone book hung, like a Bible …

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is a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine. His Easy Chair essay will appear in every other issue of the magazine.

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