Official Business

Official Business — December 12, 2017, 10:37 am

A Conversation with Olive Ayhens

Please join us Saturday, December 16th, at Bookstein Projects in Manhattan, for a conversation between Harper's Magazine's art director, Stacey Clarkson James, and the artist Olive Ayhens, whose solo exhibition Lettuce Lake is on view at the gallery until January 6, 2018.

Official Business — June 5, 2017, 5:56 am

The Living Journalism Festival

“Les Rendezvous in July” will bring together a hundred participants from print, radio, and television journalism, documentary filmmakers, authors of graphic reportage, photojournalists, monologists, and stage actors.

Official Business — July 19, 2016, 12:46 pm

International Festival of the Living Press

See Harper's Magazine contributors Art Spiegelman and Tomas van Houtryve at the International Festival of the Living Press in Couthures, France. Click here to download the program.

Official Business — October 1, 2015, 12:45 pm

Succession at Harper’s

Christopher Cox named editor of Harper's Magazine

Official Business — September 9, 2015, 2:43 pm

Authors of Note

Harper’s Magazine contributors to be honored at the White House

Official Business — March 17, 2015, 4:01 am

Radio Hustle

Listen to the broadcast version of “American Hustle,” Alexandra Starr’s story, for the April 2015 issue of Harper’s Magazine, about how elite youth basketball exploits African athletes.

Official Business — March 7, 2015, 8:00 am

Talking Secrets

Join Scott Horton and Andrew Sullivan for a discussion about the U.S. intelligence community.

Official Business — January 20, 2015, 4:33 pm

Talking Torture

Join Scott Horton, a Harper’s Magazine contributing editor, and Mark Krotov, a senior editor at Melville House, for a discussion of the CIA torture report

Official Business — January 8, 2015, 3:57 pm

The Art of Outrage

We defend Charlie Hebdo’s right to publish its cartoons—and our right to critique them.

Official Business — December 2, 2014, 12:13 pm

Harper’s Magazine Partners With an Independent Bookstore on Manhattan’s Upper West Side

“Our common cause is to protect the integrity and freedom of thought,” said Harper’s publisher John MacArthur.

Official Business — June 25, 2014, 8:00 am

Garry Winogrand at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

A retrospective exhibition from June 27 to September 21 in New York City

Official Business — May 23, 2014, 2:57 pm

The Harper’s Magazine Android App Is Here

Introducing the Harper’s Android app

Official Business — November 15, 2013, 11:53 am

Harper’s Magazine Now Available for iOS (and Soon for Android!)

Introducing the Harper’s app

Official Business — October 23, 2013, 3:00 pm

Steve Mumford and Lawrence Douglas at Postmasters Gallery in New York City

Join us Saturday, October 26, at 6:30 p.m.

Official Business — July 31, 2013, 1:25 pm

Sleeping with Harper’s Magazine: An Event at McNally Jackson in Manhattan

Please join us at McNally Jackson Books on Wednesday, July 31, at 7 p.m. for Sleeping With Harper’s Magazine: Authors in search of a good night’s rest.

Official Business — May 10, 2013, 3:00 pm

Lydia Davis at the Frieze Art Fair

New York–area readers, please join Readings editor Emily Stokes and author Lydia Davis on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Frieze New York art fair on Randall's Island.

Official Business — April 3, 2013, 2:14 pm

Harper’s Shortlisted for Four 2013 National Magazine Awards

Our thanks and congratulations to the contributors honored for their work for Harper's Magazine in 2012.

Official Business — March 21, 2013, 9:00 am

Susan Wides at Kim Foster Gallery in NYC

The exhibition Susan Wides: All the Worlds, which includes photography that accompanied "Some Assembly Required" (Harper's Magazine, February 2012), opens tonight at Kim Foster Gallery.

Official Business — March 18, 2013, 11:04 am

The Middlebrow: A Panel Discussion at the New School

A discussion with critics Ruth Franklin, Christine Smallwood, and Jennifer Szalai on Wednesday, March 20, at 6:30 p.m.

Official Business — March 15, 2013, 9:18 pm

New Puzzles Page on Harpers.org

Puzzlers are invited to visit harpers.org/puzzles

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Trumpism After Trump·

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The city was not beautiful; no one made that claim for it. At the height of summer, people in suits, shellacked by the sun, moved like harassed insects to avoid the concentrated light. There was a civil war–like fracture in America—the president had said so—but little of it showed in the capital. Everyone was polite and smooth in their exchanges. The corridor between Dupont Circle and Georgetown was like the dream of Yugoslav planners: long blocks of uniform earth-toned buildings that made the classical edifices of the Hill seem the residue of ancestors straining for pedigree. Bunting, starched and perfectly ruffled in red-white-and-blue fans, hung everywhere—from air conditioners, from gutters, from statues of dead revolutionaries. Coming from Berlin, where the manual laborers are white, I felt as though I was entering the heart of a caste civilization. Untouchables in hard hats drilled into sidewalks, carried pylons, and ate lunch from metal boxes, while waiters in restaurants complimented old respectable bobbing heads on how well they were progressing with their rib eyes and iceberg wedges.

I had come to Washington to witness either the birth of an ideology or what may turn out to be the passing of a kidney stone through the Republican Party. There was a new movement afoot: National Conservatives, they called themselves, and they were gathering here, at the Ritz-Carlton, at 22nd Street and M. Disparate tribes had posted up for the potlatch: reformacons, blood-and-soilers, curious liberal nationalists, “Austrians,” repentant neocons, evangelical Christians, corporate raiders, cattle ranchers, Silicon Valley dissidents, Buckleyites, Straussians, Orthodox Jews, Catholics, Mormons, Tories, dark-web spiders, tradcons, Lone Conservatives, Fed-Socs, Young Republicans, Reaganites in amber. Most straddled more than one category.

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The Cancer Chair·

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The second-worst thing about cancer chairs is that they are attached to televisions. Someone somewhere is always at war with silence. It’s impossible to read, so I answer email, or watch some cop drama on my computer, or, if it seems unavoidable, explore the lives of my nurses. A trip to Cozumel with old girlfriends, a costume party with political overtones, an advanced degree on the internet: they’re all the same, these lives, which is to say that the nurses tell me nothing, perhaps because amid the din and pain it’s impossible to say anything of substance, or perhaps because they know that nothing is precisely what we both expect. It’s the very currency of the place. Perhaps they are being excruciatingly candid.

There is a cancer camaraderie I’ve never felt. That I find inimical, in fact. Along with the official optimism that percolates out of pamphlets, the milestone celebrations that seem aimed at children, the lemonade people squeeze out of their tumors. My stoniness has not always served me well. Among the cancer staff, there is special affection for the jocular sufferer, the one who makes light of lousy bowel movements and extols the spiritual tonic of neuropathy. And why not? Spend your waking life in hell, and you too might cherish the soul who’d learned to praise the flames. I can’t do it. I’m not chipper by nature, and just hearing the word cancer makes me feel like I’m wearing a welder’s mask.

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“My Gang Is Jesus”·

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When Demétrio Martins was ready to preach, he pushed a joystick that angled the seat of his wheelchair forward, slowly lifting him to a standing position. Restraints held his body upright. His atrophied right arm lay on an armrest, and with his left hand, he put a microphone to his lips. “Proverbs, chapter fourteen, verse twelve,” he said. “ ‘There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is . . .’ ”

The congregation finished: “ ‘Death.’ ”

The Assembly of God True Grapevine was little more than a fluorescent-lit room wedged between a bar and an empty lot in Jacaré, a poor neighborhood on Rio de Janeiro’s north side. A few dozen people sat in the rows of plastic lawn chairs that served as pews, while shuddering wall fans circulated hot air. The congregation was largely female; of the few men in attendance, most wore collared shirts and old leather shoes. Now and then, Martins veered from Portuguese into celestial tongues. People rose from their seats, thrust their hands into the air, and shouted, “Hallelujah!”

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The Birds·

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On December 7, 2016, a drone departed from an Amazon warehouse in the United Kingdom, ascended to an altitude of four hundred feet, and flew to a nearby farm. There it glided down to the front lawn and released from its clutches a small box containing an Amazon streaming device and a bag of popcorn. This was the first successful flight of Prime Air, Amazon’s drone delivery program. If instituted as a regular service, it would slash the costs of “last-mile delivery,” the shortest and most expensive leg of a package’s journey from warehouse to doorstep. Drones don’t get into fender benders, don’t hit rush-hour traffic, and don’t need humans to accompany them, all of which, Amazon says, could enable it to offer thirty-minute delivery for up to 90 percent of domestic shipments while also reducing carbon emissions. After years of testing, Amazon wrote to the Federal Aviation Administration last summer to ask for permission to conduct limited commercial deliveries with its drones, attaching this diagram to show how the system would work. (Amazon insisted that we note that the diagram is not to scale.) Amazon is not the only company working toward such an automated future—­UPS, FedEx, Uber, and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, have similar programs—­but its plans offer the most detailed vision of what seems to be an impending reality, one in which parce­l-toting drones are a constant presence in the sky, doing much more than just delivering popcorn.

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The Skinning Tree·

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Every year in Lusk, Wyoming, during the second week of July, locals gather to reenact a day in 1849 when members of a nearby band of Sioux are said to have skinned a white man alive. None of the actors are Native American. The white participants dress up like Indians and redden their skin with body paint made from iron ore.

The town prepares all year, and the performance, The Legend of Rawhide, has a cast and crew of hundreds, almost all local volunteers, including elementary school children. There are six generations of Rawhide actors in one family; three or four generations seems to be the average. The show is performed twice, on Friday and Saturday night.

The plot is based on an event that, as local legend has it, occurred fifteen miles south of Lusk, in Rawhide Buttes. It goes like this: Clyde Pickett is traveling with a wagon train to California. He tells the other Pioneers: “The only good Injun’s a dead Injun.” Clyde loves Kate Farley, and to impress her, he shoots the first Indian he sees, who happens to be an Indian Princess. The Indians approach the Pioneers and ask that the murderer give himself up. Clyde won’t admit he did it. The Indians attack the wagon train and, eventually, Clyde surrenders. The Indians tie Clyde to the Skinning Tree and flay him alive. Later, Kate retrieves her dead lover’s body and the wagon train continues west.

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.

Americans evacuated from Wuhan did Zumba.

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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. 

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