= Subscribers only. Sign in here. Subscribe here.

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

1950 / October | View All Issues |

October 1950

illustration

Front cover PDF

Untitled·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.


Notice

4 PDF

To our readers·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

7 PDF

Untitled·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Personal and otherwise

8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 PDF

Personal and otherwise·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

23-24, 26, 28, 30, 32-36 PDF

One hundred years of Harper’s·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

37-40 PDF

Hardy centennials·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

41-48 PDF

Look at the school from the inside·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

49-58 PDF

The century·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Poetry

58-59 PDF

Precious five·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

60-73 PDF

The age of taste·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

74-76 PDF

Women have come a long way·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

77-87 PDF

Reader, transatlantic·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Poetry

87 PDF

To be sung·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Fiction

88-96 PDF

The prisoner·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

96 PDF

Railroads before hymns·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Collection

97-144 PDF

America on the move·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

98 PDF

Steam balloons and bomb carriages·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

99 PDF

Gold!·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

100 PDF

San Francisco saloon·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

100 PDF

“How will it pay?”·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

101 PDF

Soledad·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

101 PDF

No obstacles impeded the westward move·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

102 PDF

Charleston mansion·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

102 PDF

North Carolina cabin·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

103 PDF

Fashions for January 1855·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

103 PDF

Wise men and true patriots·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

104 PDF

A soldier’s tent·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

104 PDF

Sherman’s March·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

105 PDF

Flogging coolies·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

106 PDF

Hanging Apaches·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

106 PDF

Overland Express·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

109 PDF

Oil–A new industry·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

110 PDF

Oil cooking·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

110 PDF

There she blows·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

111 PDF

The try-works on a whaler·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

112 PDF

First class stateroom·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

112 PDF

Immigrant depot·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

113 PDF

Wash-day on a canal boat·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

113 PDF

To California by Pullman·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

114 PDF

Child labor·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

114 PDF

Soda water·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

115 PDF

Studying at Vassar·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

116 PDF

Newport cottage·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

116 PDF

The beach at Newport·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

117 PDF

Coney Island on the bay·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

118 PDF

Atlanta rebuilt·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

118 PDF

Dallas a-building·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

119 PDF

A Colorado sheep ranch·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

120 PDF

Plowing two-mile furrows·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

121 PDF

Milwaukee grain elevator·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

121 PDF

Cowboy riding the fence-line·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

122 PDF

Dakota sod house·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

122 PDF

Hereditary beauty·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

123 PDF

New York shop girls·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

124 PDF

The artistic young lady·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

125 PDF

Look out for the locomotive!·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

126 PDF

The levee at New Orleans·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

127 PDF

The machine takes over·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

127 PDF

Scientific research·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

128 PDF

C.S. Reinhart’s “bourgeois epic”·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

130 PDF

Gentlemanly sport . . .·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

131 PDF

. . . and manly sport·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

132 PDF

The rise of the country club and the suburban home·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

133 PDF

Homestead–1894·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

134 PDF

War·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

135 PDF

The rural trolley·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

135 PDF

The electric kitchen–1896·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

136 PDF

Speed on wheels·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

136-137 PDF

Almost flying·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

138 PDF

Pioneer of the pathless air·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

139 PDF

Americans–abroad and at home·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

140 PDF

Wife vs. secretary·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

141 PDF

Skyscrapers·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

141 PDF

. . . and slums·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

142 PDF

Work . . .·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

142 PDF

. . . and play·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

143 PDF

. . . and Hollywood·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

144 PDF

The age of flight arrives·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

160 PDF

In defense of “post office”·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

161-167, 170, 172 PDF

Constant reader·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Illustrations from earlier issues of Harper’s

Article

172 PDF

But the West has a future·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

176, 180, 184, 188, 190, 192-193, 196, 198 PDF

The U.S.A. from the air·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

198 PDF

Paging M. Sartre·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Fiction

200-202, 204, 206, 208, 210, 212-214 PDF

A name for the city·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The easy chair

214 PDF

Cooler in the suburbs·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The easy chair

215-220 PDF

The constant function·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

221-228 PDF

The villains·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

228 PDF

Our own exposed deformity·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

229-231, 234, 238, 242, 244, 246 PDF

Mountains of paper·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

246 PDF

1984 and all that·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Collection

248 PDF

Coming events cast their shadows·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

248 PDF

Psychiatry, 1876·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

248 PDF

New Deal, fair deal, 1897·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

248 PDF

Pearl Harbor, 1893·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

250, 252, 254, 256, 258, 260, 262, 264 PDF

The years of my life·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

266 PDF

When the end justified the means·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

268, 270, 272-275, 277 PDF

A century of books·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

New books

278, 280-287 PDF

The writer’s lot·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

287 PDF

The Russian danger·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

288 PDF

The pardonable ballet·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

288 PDF

Come and get it·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

Front cover, 277 PDF

The centennial cover·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Get access to 169 years of
Harper’s for only $23.99

United States Canada

THE CURRENT ISSUE

December 2019

Gimme Shelter

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Body Language

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Trash, Rock, Destroy

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Make Way for Tomorrow

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Red Dot

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Gimme Shelter·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I.

That year, the year of the Ghost Ship fire, I lived in a shack. I’d found the place just as September’s Indian summer was giving way to a wet October. There was no plumbing or running water to wash my hands or brush my teeth before sleep. Electricity came from an extension cord that snaked through a yard of coyote mint and monkey flower and up into a hole I’d drilled in my floorboards. The structure was smaller than a cell at San Quentin—a tiny house or a huge coffin, depending on how you looked at it—four by eight and ten feet tall, so cramped it fit little but a mattress, my suit jackets and ties, a space heater, some novels, and the mason jar I peed in.

The exterior of my hermitage was washed the color of runny egg yolk. Two redwood French doors with plexiglass windows hung cockeyed from creaky hinges at the entrance, and a combination lock provided meager security against intruders. White beadboard capped the roof, its brim shading a front porch set on cinder blocks.

After living on the East Coast for eight years, I’d recently left New York City to take a job at an investigative reporting magazine in San Francisco. If it seems odd that I was a fully employed editor who lived in a thirty-two-square-foot shack, that’s precisely the point: my situation was evidence of how distorted the Bay Area housing market had become, the brutality inflicted upon the poor now trickling up to everyone but the super-rich. The problem was nationwide, although, as Californians tend to do, they’d taken this trend to an extreme. Across the state, a quarter of all apartment dwellers spent half of their incomes on rent. Nearly half of the country’s unsheltered homeless population lived in California, even while the state had the highest concentration of billionaires in the nation. In the Bay Area, including West Oakland, where my shack was located, the crisis was most acute. Tent cities had sprung up along the sidewalks, swarming with capitalism’s refugees. Telegraph, Mission, Market, Grant: every bridge and overpass had become someone’s roof.

Article
Body Language·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I am eight years old, sitting in my childhood kitchen, ready to watch one of the home videos my father has made. The videotape still exists somewhere, so somewhere she still is, that girl on the screen: hair that tangles, freckles across her nose that in time will spread across one side of her forehead. A body that can throw a baseball the way her father has shown her. A body in which bones and hormones lie in wait, ready to bloom into the wide hips her mother has given her. A body that has scars: the scars over her lungs and heart from the scalpel that saved her when she was a baby, the invisible scars left by a man who touched her when she was young. A body is a record or a body is freedom or a body is a battleground. Already, at eight, she knows it to be all three.

But somebody has slipped. The school is putting on the musical South Pacific, and there are not enough roles for the girls, and she is as tall as or taller than the boys, and so they have done what is unthinkable in this striving 1980s town, in this place where the men do the driving and the women make their mouths into perfect Os to apply lipstick in the rearview. For the musical, they have made her a boy.

No, she thinks. They have allowed her to be a boy.

Article
Trash, Rock, Destroy·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The writer and filmmaker Virginie Despentes lives in a nondescript modern building in the Belleville neighborhood of Paris. I know it well: it has a Bricorama—like a French Home Depot—on the ground floor, where we sometimes had cause to shop back when we lived in the neighborhood. The people who work there seemed to hate their jobs more than most; they were often absent from the sales floor. In the elevator to Despentes’s apartment, I marvel that while I was trying to get someone to help me find bathroom grout she was right upstairs, with her partner, Tania, a Spanish tattoo artist who goes by the name La Rata, like someone out of one of Despentes’s novels.

In an email before our meeting, Despentes asked that we not do a photo shoot. “There are so many images available already,” she explained. Much had been written about her, too. A Google search yielded page after page: profiles, interviews, reviews, bits and bobs—she read from Pasolini at a concert with Béatrice Dalle; someone accused her of plagiarizing a translation; a teacher in Switzerland was fired for teaching her work. The week I met her, she appeared in the culture magazine Les Inrockuptibles in conversation with the rapper-turned-actor JoeyStarr. The woman is simply always in the news.

Article
Burning Down the House·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Discussed in this essay:

Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright, by Paul Hendrickson. Knopf. 624 pages. $35.

Frank Lloyd Wright isn’t just the greatest of all American architects. He has so eclipsed the competition that he can sometimes seem the only one. Who are his potential rivals? Henry Hobson Richardson, that Gilded Age starchitect in monumental stone? Louis Sullivan, lyric poet of the office building and Wright’s own Chicago mentor, best known for his dictum that form follows function? “Yes,” Wright corrected him with typical one-upmanship, “but more important now, form and function are one.” For architects with the misfortune to follow him, Wright is seen as having created the standards by which they are judged. If we know the name Frank Gehry, it’s probably because he designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, in 1997. And Gehry’s deconstructed ship of titanium and glass would be unimaginable if Wright hadn’t built his own astonishing Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue some forty years earlier.

Article
The Red Dot·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

That night at the window, looking out at the street full of snow, big flakes falling through the streetlight, I listened to what Anna was saying. She was speaking of a man named Karl. We both knew him as a casual acquaintance—thin and lanky like Ichabod Crane, with long hair—operating a restaurant down in the village whimsically called the Gist Mill, with wood paneling, a large painting of an old gristmill on a river on one wall, tin ceilings, and a row of teller cages from its previous life as a bank. Karl used to run along the river, starting at his apartment in town and turning back about two miles down the path. He had been going through the divorce—this was a couple of years ago, of course, Anna said—and was trying to run through his pain.

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.

Sebastian Gorka, the former deputy assistant to the president who now hosts a radio show called America First, was banned from YouTube for repeatedly uploading audio from the rock band Imagine Dragons without copyright permission.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Jesus Plus Nothing

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

At Ivanwald, men learn to be leaders by loving their leaders. “They’re so busy loving us,” a brother once explained to me, “but who’s loving them?” We were. The brothers each paid $400 per month for room and board, but we were also the caretakers of The Cedars, cleaning its gutters, mowing its lawns, whacking weeds and blowing leaves and sanding. And we were called to serve on Tuesday mornings, when The Cedars hosted a regular prayer breakfast typically presided over by Ed Meese, the former attorney general. Each week the breakfast brought together a rotating group of ambassadors, businessmen, and American politicians. Three of Ivanwald’s brothers also attended, wearing crisp shirts starched just for the occasion; one would sit at the table while the other two poured coffee. 

Subscribe Today