Kevin Baker

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Folio — From the July 2014 issue

21st Century Limited

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The lost glory of America’s railroads

Appreciation — June 26, 2014, 8:00 am

The Twenty-Three Best Train Songs Ever Written—Maybe

From Johnny Cash to “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”

“Ascending the Alleghanies,” Harper’s Magazine (June 1859)

New York Revisited — June 19, 2014, 8:00 am

The Near-Death of Grand Central Terminal

And how it foretold the 2008 financial crisis

Main concourse, Grand Central Terminal, New York City, photographed between 1903 and 1920. Detroit Publishing Company, courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Close Reading — June 16, 2014, 8:00 am

Ayn Rand’s Rapture of the Rails

The train deaths of Atlas Shrugged

Still from Atlas Shrugged: Part I © The Strike Productions

Political Asylum — November 9, 2012, 3:59 pm

Obama’s Bland Bargain

A dispassionate president disavows the liberal idea.

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Political Asylum — November 8, 2012, 6:03 pm

Angry White Men

Can the G.O.P. genuinely change its attitude toward minorities and women?

Political Asylum — November 5, 2012, 9:42 pm

The Withdrawal of the American Establishment

An election-eve elegy for the country???s former guardians of sanity

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Political Asylum — October 24, 2012, 5:40 pm

Welcome to Easter Island

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Political Asylum — October 17, 2012, 2:07 am

The Right Time

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Political Asylum — October 9, 2012, 12:25 pm

Yes. We. Can.

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"Weltschmertz"

Article — From the October 2012 issue

Why Vote?

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When your vote counts for nothing

Political Asylum — September 21, 2012, 11:22 am

Teatime With the Tea Party

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The End of Retirement

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 Jessica Bruder on the end of retirement, Mary Gordon on the new Vatican, Laura Kipnis on narcissism, and more
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“For those riding the economy’s outermost edge, adaptation may now mean giving up what full-time RV dwellers call ‘stick houses’ to hit the road and seek work.”
Photograph (detail) © Max Whittaker
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God Lives on Lemon Street·

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“Bethel was Oz-like for me. I mean that with all the awe, utter hopefulness, and mythic fear with which Dorothy and her friends had approached that magical city.”
Photograph (detail) ©© Clemens v. Vogelson (Flickr)
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On Stanford University’s origins and vision
“The pervasive fantasy that Silicon Valley doesn’t need the government obscures the role of that government in funding much of the research that built it.”
Photograph © Sallie Dean Shatz
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World Cup Boom and Bust·

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“I’m not giving a dime to FIFA. You know they’re not paying taxes on any of this?”
Photograph © The author

Chance that an American believes Ramadan is the Jewish day of atonement:

1 in 10

Mathematicians discovered the existence of a pseudoprime that is the sum of 10,333,229,505 known primes and contains roughly 295 billion digits but cannot be represented precisely because the mathematician who found it lacks sufficient RAM.

On the eve of Independence Day in Belarus, President Alexander Lukashenko delivered a speech in Belarusian instead of Russian for the first time in 20 years, disproving rumors that he can no longer speak the language.

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HARPER’S FINEST

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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