Harper's Magazine: Wikis


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November 2004 issue
Editor Ellen Rosenbush
Categories Art, culture, literature, politics
Frequency Monthly
Circulation 220,000
First issue 1850
Company Harper's Magazine Foundation
Country United States
Based in New York City
Language English
Website www.harpers.org
ISSN 0017-789X
An issue of Harper's from 1905

Harper's Magazine (also called Harper's) is a monthly, general-interest magazine of literature, politics, culture, finance, and the arts. It is the second-oldest, continuously-published monthly magazine (Scientific American is the oldest) in the U.S.; current circulation is more than 220,000 issues. The current editor is Ellen Rosenbush, who replaced Roger Hodge in January 2010. Harper's Magazine has won many National Magazine Awards.[1]



Harper's Magazine was launched as Harper's New Monthly Magazine in June 1850, by the New York City publisher Harper & Brothers; who also founded Harper's Bazaar magazine, later growing to become HarperCollins Publishing. The first press run, of 7,500 copies, sold out almost immediately; circulation was some 50,000 issues six months later.[2]

The early issues reprinted material already published in England, but the magazine soon was publishing the work of American artists and writers, and in time commentary by the likes of Winston Churchill and Woodrow Wilson.

In 1962, Harper & Brothers merged with Row, Peterson & Company, becoming Harper & Row (now HarperCollins). In 1965, the magazine was separately incorporated, and became a division of the Minneapolis Star and Tribune Company, owned by the Cowles Media Company.

In the 1970s, Harper's published Seymour Hersh's reporting of the My Lai massacre. In 1971, editor Willie Morris resigned under pressure from owner John Cowles, Jr., prompting resignations from many of the magazine’s star contributors and staffers, including Norman Mailer, David Halberstam, Robert Kotlowitz, Marshall Frady and Larry L. King:

Morris’s departure jolted the literary world. Mailer, William Styron, Gay Talese, Bill Moyers, and Tom Wicker declared that they would boycott Harper’s as long as the Cowles family owned it, and the four staff writers hired by Morris—Frady among them—resigned in solidarity with him.”

Robert Shnayerson, a senior editor at TIME magazine, was subsequently hired to replace Morris as Harper's ninth editor, serving in that position from 1971 until 1976.[4][5]

John R Chapin's rendering of the Great Chicago Fire, printed in Harper's Weekly

Lewis H. Lapham served as managing editor from 1976 until 1981; he returned to the position again from 1983 until 2006. On June 17, 1980, the Star Tribune announced it would cease publishing Harper's Magazine after the August 1980 issue; however, on July 9, 1980, John R. MacArthur and his father, Roderick, obtained pledges from the directorial boards of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Atlantic Richfield Company, and CEO Robert Orville Anderson to amass the one-and-a-half million dollars needed to establish the Harper's Magazine Foundation that currently publishes the magazine.[6][7]

In 1984, Lapham and MacArthur — now publisher and president of the foundation — along with new executive editor Michael Pollan, redesigned Harper's and introduced the "Harper's Index" (ironic statistics arranged for thoughtful effect), "Readings", and the "Annotation" departments to complement its fiction, essays, and reportage.

Under the Lapham-MacArthur leadership, Harper's magazine continued publishing literary fiction by the likes of John Updike, George Saunders, and others. Politically, Harper's was an especially vocal critic of U.S. domestic and foreign policies. Editor Lapham's monthly "Notebook" columns have lambasted the Clinton and the George W. Bush administrations, and, since 2003, the magazine has concentrated on reportage about U.S. war against Iraq, with long articles about the battle for Fallujah, and the cronyism of the American "reconstruction" of Iraq. Moreover, other stories have covered abortion, cloning, and global warming.[8]

In April 2006, Harper's began publishing the Washington Babylon blog in its site, wherein Washington Editor Ken Silverstein writes about corrupt American politics. In 2007, Harper's added the No Comment blog, by Scott Horton, about legal controversies, Central Asian politics, and German studies. In 2008, Harper's added the "Sentences" blog, by contributing editor Wyatt Mason, about literature and belle lettres. Contributing editor Benjamin Moser writes the New Books column. Also, writers compose the Weekly Review, single-sentence summaries of political, scientific, and bizarre news; like the Harper's Index, the Weekly Review items are humorously and ironically arranged.


In his essay "Tentacles of rage: The Republican propaganda mill, a brief history," published in the September 2004 issue, Lewis H. Lapham fictionalized his reportage of the 2004 Republican National Convention, which had yet to occur. He apologized in a note.[9][10]

The March 2006 issue contained the Celia Farber reportage, Out of Control: AIDS and the Corruption of Medical Science, presenting Peter Duesberg's theory that HIV does not cause AIDS.[11][12] It was strongly criticized by AIDS activists,[13] scientists,[14] the Columbia Journalism Review,[15] and others, as inaccurate and for promoting a scientifically-discredited theory.[16] The Treatment Action Campaign, a South African organization working for greater popular access to HIV treatments, posted a response by eight researchers documenting more than fifty errors in the article.[17]

In summer of 2006, Harper's serially published John Robert Lennon's novel Happyland when its original publisher, W. W. Norton, decided not to publish it, fearing a libel lawsuit. The protagonist is doll magnate Happy Masters, whose story parallels the life of Pleasant Rowland, the creator of the American Girl doll business.[18]

Notable contributors


  1. ^ Awards and Honors (PDF) at Harper's site
  2. ^ History of Harper's (PDF) on Harper's site
  3. ^ Sherman, Scott. "The Unvanquished," Nov/Dec, 2007. Columbia Journalism Review
  4. ^ "The Press: New Head at Harper’s," TIME magazine, June 28, 1971.
  5. ^ Harper's Magazine, "About This Issue," September 1971
  6. ^ Facts on File 1980 Yearbook, pp.501, 582
  7. ^ Woo, Elaine (2007-12-05), "Arco founder led firm into major civic philanthropy", Los Angeles Times: B6, http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-anderson5dec05,1,3067816.story?coll=la-news-obituaries&ctrack=3&cset=true 
  8. ^ An American Album: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Harper's Magazine, a seven hundred twelve-page illustrated anthology, with an introduction by Lewis H. Lapham and a foreword by Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
  9. ^ Shafer, Jack. "Lewis Lapham Phones It In: Figuring out what's wrong with Harper's magazine." Slate 15 September 2004.
  10. ^ Lapham, Lewis H. "Tentacles of rage: The Republican propaganda mill, a brief history." Harper's September 2004. p. 43-53.
  11. ^ Farber, Celia (2006-03-01). Out Of Control, AIDS and the corruption of medical science. Harper's Magazine. http://harpers.org/OutOfControl.html. Retrieved 2006-03-13. 
  12. ^ Miller, Lia (2006-03-13). An Article in Harper's Ignites a Controversy Over H.I.V.. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/13/business/media/13harpers.html. Retrieved 2006-03-13. 
  13. ^ Farber Feedback. POZ Magazine. http://www.poz.com/articles/401_2710.shtml. Retrieved 2006-03-13. 
  14. ^ Letters from scientists and physicians criticizing Harper's for poor fact-checking of Celia Farber's article on AIDS. Accessed 21 Oct 2006.
  15. ^ Harper's Races Right over the Edge of a Cliff, by Gal Beckerman. Published in the Columbia Journalism Review on March 8, 2006. Accessed June 14, 2007.
  16. ^ Kim, Richard (2006-03-02). Harper's Publishes AIDS Denialist. http://www.thenation.com/blogs/notion?pid=65330. Retrieved 2006-03-13. 
  17. ^ Gallo, Robert; Nathan Geffen, Gregg Gonsalves, Richard Jeffreys, Daniel R. Kuritzkes, Bruce Mirken, John P. Moore, Jeffrey T. Safrit (2006-03-04) (PDF). Errors in Celia Farber's March 2006 article in Harper's Magazine. Treatment Action Campaign. http://www.tac.org.za/Documents/ErrorsInFarberArticle.pdf. Retrieved 2006-03-13. 
  18. ^ NYT Book Review

External links


Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010
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From Wikisource

Harper's Magazine
Harpers New Monthly Magazine was a general-interest periodical covering literature, politics, culture, finance, and the arts from a progressive, leftist perspective. It is the second oldest continuously-published monthly magazine in the United States, ranking only behind Scientific American. Today it is simply known as Harper's
Harpers Magazine 1905.jpg
Sort by date, title, or other
Date Title Commments
1864-07-02July 2, 1864 General Robert Edmund Lee HW cover article
1872-01-02January, 1872 Holland and the Hollanders HNMM, by Junius Henri Browne
1872-02-13February 1872 Explosion of Gun-Cotton at Stowmarket HNMM
1872-02-26February 1872 Cure of Flatulence HNMM
1872-02-28February 1872 Acridine, a New Anthracene Derivative HNMM
1873-01-28January 1873 Christmas Throughout Christendom HNMM, by O. M. Spencer
1876-03-28March 1876 The Principalities of the Danube HNMM
1876-04-28April 1876 The Tulip Mania HNMM
1877June 1877 The Mohawk Valley During the Revolution HNMM, by Harold Frederic
1884-03-28March 1884 With Husky-Haughty Lips, O Sea! HNMM, by Walt Whitman
1884-09-01September 1884 A Run Ashore at Queenstown HNMM
1893-10-01October 1893 “Manifest Destiny” HNMM, by Carl Schurz
1897-11-01November 1897 Daniel Webster HNMM, by Carl Schurz
1898-03-01March 1898 Stirring Times in Austria HNMM, by Mark Twain
1899-09-01September 1899 Concerning the Jews HW, by Mark Twain
1899-12-28December 1899 The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg HNMM, by Mark Twain
1900-05-01May 1900 The Trail, Execution, and Burial of Homer Phelps HNMM, by Stephen Crane
1900-11-01November 1900 A Desertion HNMM, by Stephen Crane
1905-04-08April 8, 1905 A Humane Word from Satan HW, by Mark Twain
1906-05-26May 26, 1906 Carl Schurz, Pilot HW, by Mark Twain
1906-05-26May 26, 1906 Carl Schurz 1829-1906 HW, by W. D. Howells
1910-10-29October 29, 1910 Halloween Failure HW, by Carlyle Smith
1916-11-28November 1916 The War Prayer HNMM, by Mark Twain




  • HNMM = Harper's New Monthly Magazine
  • HW = Harper's Weekly
  • HB = Harper's Bazaar

See also

External links


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