= Subscribers only. Sign in here. Subscribe here.

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

1978 / May | View All Issues |

May 1978

illustration

Front cover PDF

Untitled·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.


Letters

4-5, 8 PDF

Letters·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The easy chair

10, 14, 17-18 PDF

The Arabian oil bubble·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Exploiting the belief in perfidious Araby

Poetry

18 PDF

The women of New Guinea·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Poetry

21 PDF

The link·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

23-24, 27 PDF

Virtue rewarded·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Government in the role of Mr. Right

Washington

32-35 PDF

A long row to hoe·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

At war with history

Washington

32-35 PDF

Washington·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Article

Front cover, 37-38, 41-47 PDF

The Balkanization of America·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

As loyalties narrow, society itself dissolves

Article

48-52, 54-56 PDF

Cutting the ties that bind·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The matter of sex reassignment

Fiction

59-64, 66-67 PDF

I want you I need you I love you·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Books

68-70 PDF

Catholicism berserk in the Holy Land·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Books

70, 73-74 PDF

Two passions·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Books

74-75 PDF

Spaces for the weary and glad·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Books in brief

75-77 PDF

Books in brief·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Poetry

77 PDF

At home·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In our time

78 PDF

And that’s the way it is·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In our time

78 PDF

In our time·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Theater

79-80, 83-87 PDF

The great gray way·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The period pieces of the future

Theater

79-80, 83-87 PDF

Theater·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Poetry

84 PDF

Elm·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Movies

88-89 PDF

Polyester dreams·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Youth gropes for an answer

Movies

88-89 PDF

Movies·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

American miscellany

90-92 PDF

American miscellany·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Puzzle

96 PDF

Diametricode·

= 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

October 2019

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Good Bad Bad Good·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

Article
Life after Life·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

Article
Constitution in Crisis·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

Article
Power of Attorney·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.’ ”

Article
Secrets and Lies·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

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.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Happiness Is a Worn Gun

By

“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.”

Subscribe Today