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From the Archive


Starting in May 2014, Harper’s Magazine is dedicating a page of each issue to an excerpt of a selection from our archive. Links to the full pieces are below. Most stories will require a subscription to read. To subscribe, please visit

For more great stories, subscribe to “From the Archive,” a weekly email that selects articles from our 170-year archive to put the week’s events into greater context.


• January: “Friendship and the Lifeboat,” by Herbert Gold (March 1973)


• December: “This Maternal Instinct,” by Dorothy Dunbar Bromley (September 1929)

• November: “When Did You Stop Wanting to Be President?,” by William S. Burroughs (March 1975)

• October: “He Runs a Hotel,” by Enid Griffis (November 1943)

• September: “Why the Police Fail,” by Herbert Best (January 1933)

• August: “Wisconsin Is Different,” by Elmer Holmes Davis (October 1932)

• July: “Courage for To-morrow,” by Avis D. Carlson (April 1939)

• June: “The Influenza Epidemic,” by David D. Rutstein (August 1957)

• May: “Why Should the Majority Rule?,” by Walter Lippmann (March 1926)

• April: “The Traffic in Guns,” by Carl Bakal (December 1964)

• March: “San Francisco Looks West,” by John Dos Passos (March 1944)

• February: “The American Conservatives,” by John Lukacs (January 1984)

• January: “The Assassin as Celebrity,” by Lewis H. Lapham (November 1975)


• December: “San Francisco—Our Other Metropolis,” Lillian Symes (April 1932)

• November:“Take My Saddle from the Wall,” by Larry McMurtry (September 1968)

• October: “Webster and the Constitution,” by Henry W. Hilliard (March 1877)

• September: George Plimpton, “The Final Season” (January 1977)

• August: Gertrude A. Zerr, “Trails to Tiny Towns” (published serially in 1923)

• July: Earl Shorris, “Borderline Cases” (August 1990)

• June: Sally Helgesen, “Disco” (October 1977)

• May: Hubert H. Humphrey, “A Plan to Save Trees, Land, and Boys” (January 1959)

• April: Elizabeth Hardwick, “The Decline of Book Reviewing” (October 1959)

• March: Steven Brill, “Jimmy Carter’s Pathetic Lies” (March 1976)

• February: George Steiner, “A Better Way to Deal with China” (June 1957)

• January: Robert E. Peary, “Nearest the North Pole” (February 1907)


• December: Henry Louis Gates Jr., “Portraits in Black” (June 1976)

• November: Edmund G. Brown, “How to Put the States Back in Business” (September 1964)

• October: William H. Gass, “In Defense of the Book” (November 1999)

• September: Richard Halworth Rovere, “Labor’s Political Machine” (June 1945)

• August: Peter M. Leschak, “Hellroaring” (July 1989)

• July: Almena Lomax, “In the Faraway Country of Montgomery, Alabama” (September 1968)

• June: Louis Aston Marantz Simpson, “The Making of a Soldier USA” (February 1966)

• May: Susan Sontag, “Man with a Pain” (April 1964)

• April: Michael Pollen, “Flowers of Evil” (April 1997)

• March: Pearl S. Buck, “American Women” (August 1938)

• February: Adolus Huxley, “Modern Despots” (December 1936)

• January: Richard Rodriguez, “The Castro” (October 1990)


• December: Henry Lewis Stimson, “Terms of Surrender” (February 1947)

• November: Thomas Hardy, “Two and Two” (March 1891)

• October: Samuel Kaplan, “Political Wilderness” (October 1971)

• September: Russell Lynes, “School Survival Guide” (January 1948)

• August: A.R. Ammons, “Delight” (December 1973)

• July: Emma Goldman, “Was My Life Worth Living?” (December 1934)

• June: William Faulkner, “On Fear” (June 1956)

• May: Daniel Ellsberg and Studs Terkel, “Servants of the State” (February 1972)

• April: Mary Gaitskill, “On Not Being a Victim” (March 1994)

• March: Calvin G. Reid, “The Phone Call” (April 1964)

• February: David Halberstam, “The Second Coming of Martin Luther King” (August 1967)

• January: Gerald W. Johnson, “Bryan, Thou Shouldst Be Living” (September 1931)


• December: Frederic Franklyn Van de Water, “Fishing Is a Vice” (October 1938)

• November: Kathy Dobie, “Crimes Against Nature” (July 2008)

• October: Grace Irwin, “The Teacher and the Taught” (March 1922)

• September: Samuel Osgood, “Garden Philosophy” (July 1865)

• August: John Roberts Tunis, “The Olympic Games” (August 1928)

• July: Joe Nicholson Jr., “Inside Cuba” (April 1973)

• June: Edward Sandford Martin, “Other People’s Children” (December 1901)

• May: Dorothy Thompson, “Good-by to Germany” (December 1934)

• April: Alicia O’Reardon Overbeck, “Drinking in Sweden” (December 1933)

• March: Thomas Bangs Thorpe, “About the Fox and Fox-Hunters” (November 1861)

• February: Mary Heaton Vorse, “Rebellion in the Cornbelt: American Farmers Beat Their Plowshares Into Swords” (December 1932)

• January: Fred Hoyle, “The Expanding Universe: The Nature of the Universe, Part V” (April 1951)


• December: John Masefield, “The Harvest of the Night” (May 1917)

• November: E. B. Leonard, “Pigeon Voyagers” (April 1873)

• October: Theodore Dreiser, “The Country Doctor” (July 1918)

• September: Charles Dickens, “A Sleep to Startle Us” (May 1852)

• August: A school teacher, “Parents as Children See Them” (December 1931)

• July: Lorna Jean King, “The Work Cure for Women” (April 1958)

• June: Fletcher Pratt, “Emily Post and the Marmosets” (June 1949)

• May: Tillie Olsen, “Silences” (October 1965)

• April: Henry Mills Alden, “Voyage Alone in the Rob Roy” (May 1868)

• March: Samuel C. Florman, “The Job-Enrichment Mistake” (May 1976)

• February: Edward Abbey, “Even the Bad Guys Wear White Hats” (January 1986)

• January: George W. Gray, “The Problem of Influenza” (January 1940)


• December: Edith Wharton, “A Little Girl’s New York” (March 1938)

• November: Henry Fairlie, “Camelot Revisited” (January 1973)

• October: Walter Hale, “My Two Visits to Verdun” (February 1917)

• September: I. F. Stone, “The Other Zionism” (September 1978)

• August: Ralph Ellison, “Harlem Is Nowhere” (August 1964)

• July: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, “The Gulag Archipelago” (July 1974)

• June: Vernon Bartlett, “Invasion Diary” (August 1944)

• May: Mark Twain“Humor” (December 1958). Find all of Twain’s work for the magazine here.