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1920 / August | View All Issues |

August 1920

Fiction

281-293 PDF

An Old Chester secret·

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A story in three parts (part I)


Poetry

293 PDF

Old trees·

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Article

Frontispiece, 294, f294, 295-304 PDF

Marseilles, the bridgehead of the Levant·

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Article

312-319 PDF

Tradition·

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Fiction

320-322, f322, 323-326, f326, 327-330 PDF

The man who knew too much·

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II.–The vanishing prince

Article

331-345 PDF

America goes back to work·

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IV.–The great Southwest

Article

346-350 PDF

Mr. Howells·

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Fiction

351-362 PDF

The pessimist rewarded·

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Poetry

362 PDF

Matinal·

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Article

363-374 PDF

The church of to-day and to-morrow·

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Collection

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The church of to-day and to-morrow·

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Article

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A rejoinder·

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Article

378-381 PDF

A midsummer idyl·

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Poetry

381 PDF

The adventurers·

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Fiction

382-393 PDF

The liver bank·

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Article

394-400 PDF

The shadow side·

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The lion’s mouth

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A revelation·

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The lion’s mouth

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The classic hypocrisy·

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The lion’s mouth

405-406 PDF

A nursery tale·

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The lion’s mouth

406-408 PDF

Cheerio, collegians!·

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Editor’s drawer

409-413 PDF

Three on an island·

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Editor’s drawer

409-416 PDF

Editor’s drawer·

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Editor’s drawer

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The usual thing·

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Not enthusiastic·

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Rather apt·

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Editor’s drawer

414 PDF

Night-light saving·

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Editor’s drawer

414 PDF

Unequal losses·

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414 PDF

A new exchange·

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Editor’s drawer

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Thrift·

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A diplomat·

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Her reason·

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Editor’s drawer

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It promised well·

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How to identify him·

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Why dinner was delayed·

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Editor’s drawer

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“The pot at the end of the rainbow–1920”·

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Coughs·

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The one she got·

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Wished to know the worst·

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October 2019

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Article
Good Bad Bad Good·

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About fifteen years ago, my roommate and I developed a classification system for TV and movies. Each title was slotted into one of four categories: Good-Good; Bad-Good; Good-Bad; Bad-Bad. The first qualifier was qualitative, while the second represented a high-low binary, the title’s aspiration toward capital-A Art or lack thereof.

Some taxonomies were inarguable. The O.C., a Fox series about California rich kids and their beautiful swimming pools, was delightfully Good-Bad. Paul Haggis’s heavy-handed morality play, Crash, which won the Oscar for Best Picture, was gallingly Bad-Good. The films of Francois Truffaut, Good-Good; the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men, Bad-Bad.

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For time ylost, this know ye,
By no way may recovered be.
—Chaucer

I spent thirty-eight years in prison and have been a free man for just under two. After killing a man named Thomas Allen Fellowes in a drunken, drugged-up fistfight in 1980, when I was nineteen years old, I was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Former California governor Jerry Brown commuted my sentence and I was released in 2017, five days before Christmas. The law in California, like in most states, grants the governor the right to alter sentences. After many years of advocating for the reformation of the prison system into one that encourages rehabilitation, I had my life restored to me.

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Constitution in Crisis·

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America’s Constitution was once celebrated as a radical and successful blueprint for democratic governance, a model for fledgling republics across the world. But decades of political gridlock, electoral corruption, and dysfunction in our system of government have forced scholars, activists, and citizens to question the document’s ability to address the thorniest issues of modern ­political life.

Does the path out of our current era of stalemate, minority rule, and executive abuse require amending the Constitution? Do we need a new constitutional convention to rewrite the document and update it for the twenty-­first century? Should we abolish it entirely?

This spring, Harper’s Magazine invited five lawmakers and scholars to New York University’s law school to consider the constitutional crisis of the twenty-­first century. The event was moderated by Rosa Brooks, a law professor at Georgetown and the author of How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon.

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Secrets and Lies·

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In 1973, when Barry Singer was a fifteen-year-old student at New York’s Yeshiva University High School for Boys, the vice principal, Rabbi George Finkelstein, stopped him in a stairwell. Claiming he wanted to check his tzitzit—the strings attached to Singer’s prayer shawl—Finkelstein, Singer says, pushed the boy over the third-floor banister, in full view of his classmates, and reached down his pants. “If he’s not wearing tzitzit,” Finkelstein told the surrounding children, “he’s going over the stairs!”

“He played it as a joke, but I was completely at his mercy,” Singer recalled. For the rest of his time at Yeshiva, Singer would often wear his tzitzit on the outside of his shirt—though this was regarded as rebellious—for fear that Finkelstein might find an excuse to assault him again.

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Power of Attorney·

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In a Walmart parking lot in Portsmouth, Virginia, in 2015, a white police officer named Stephen Rankin shot and killed an unarmed, eighteen-­year-­old black man named William Chapman. “This is my second one,” he told a bystander seconds after firing the fatal shots, seemingly in reference to an incident four years earlier, when he had shot and killed another unarmed man, an immigrant from Kazakhstan. Rankin, a Navy veteran, had been arresting Chapman for shoplifting when, he claimed, Chapman charged him in a manner so threatening that he feared for his life, leaving him no option but to shoot to kill—­the standard and almost invariably successful defense for officers when called to account for shooting civilians. Rankin had faced no charges for his earlier killing, but this time, something unexpected happened: Rankin was indicted on a charge of first-­degree murder by Portsmouth’s newly elected chief prosecutor, thirty-­one-year-­old Stephanie Morales. Furthermore, she announced that she would try the case herself, the first time she had ever prosecuted a homicide. “No one could remember us having an actual prosecution for the killing of an unarmed person by the police,” Morales told me. “I got a lot of feedback, a lot of people saying, ‘You shouldn’t try this case. If you don’t win, it may affect your reelection. Let someone else do it.’ ”

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:

$1,500

A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

A federal judge authored a 69-page ruling preventing New York City from enforcing zoning laws pertaining to adult bookstores and strip clubs.

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“Nowadays, most states let just about anybody who wants a concealed-handgun permit have one; in seventeen states, you don’t even have to be a resident. Nobody knows exactly how many Americans carry guns, because not all states release their numbers, and even if they did, not all permit holders carry all the time. But it’s safe to assume that as many as 6 million Americans are walking around with firearms under their clothes.”

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