Joseph Epstein

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Readings — From the December 2011 issue

The decline of gossip

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Article — From the March 1984 issue

The rise of the verbal class

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Reviews — From the November 1982 issue

Other people’s mail

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The letters of famous people are most interesting if you read between the lines

American miscellany — From the November 1980 issue

Core curriculum

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Barber colleges go back to the basics

Article — From the October 1980 issue

The virtues of ambition

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Some kind words for money, fame, and power

Fiction — From the March 1979 issue

Race relations

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A short story

Article — From the November 1977 issue

A conspiracy of silence

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Article — From the July 1976 issue

Obsessed with sport

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Article — From the September 1970 issue

Homo/hetero

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The struggle for sexual identity

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Sarah Topol follows the trade routes used by arms smugglers, Eric Foner explores the hidden history of the Underground Railroad, Karl Ove Knausgaard recounts a humiliating episode from grade school, and more
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“The best coming-of-age stories have a hole in the middle. They pretend to be about knowledge, but they are usually about grasping, long after it could be of any use, one’s irretrievable ignorance.”
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“‘It’s open shopping,’ he said. ‘A warehouse. The whole of Libya.’”
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“The Vigilance Committee survived until the eve of the Civil War, and over the course of its several incarnations it propelled the plight of fugitives to the forefront of abolitionist consciousness.“
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Christmas in Prison·

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“Just so you motherfuckers know, I’ll be spending Christmas with my family, eating a good meal, and you’ll all be here, right where you belong.”
Photographer unknown. Artwork courtesy Alyse Emdur

Amount that President Obama has added to America’s “brand value” according to the Nation Brands Index:

$2,100,000,000,000

A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.

A former New York City police officer who had been arrested in 2012 for exchanging online messages about cooking women alive and eating them, and for illegally accessing data about potential victims in law-enforcement databases, was sentenced to time served.

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In Praise of Idleness

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I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

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