November 2004 issue
|Categories||Art, culture, literature, politics|
|Company||Harper's Magazine Foundation|
|Based in||New York City|
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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. It was strongly criticized by AIDS activists, scientists, the Columbia Journalism Review, and others, as inaccurate and for promoting a scientifically-discredited theory. 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.
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.
|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|
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|February 1872||Explosion of Gun-Cotton at Stowmarket||HNMM|
|February 1872||Cure of Flatulence||HNMM|
|February 1872||Acridine, a New Anthracene Derivative||HNMM|
|January 1873||Christmas Throughout Christendom||HNMM, by O. M. Spencer|
|March 1876||The Principalities of the Danube||HNMM|
|April 1876||The Tulip Mania||HNMM|
|June 1877||The Mohawk Valley During the Revolution||HNMM, by Harold Frederic|
|March 1884||With Husky-Haughty Lips, O Sea!||HNMM, by Walt Whitman|
|September 1884||A Run Ashore at Queenstown||HNMM|
|October 1893||“Manifest Destiny”||HNMM, by Carl Schurz|
|November 1897||Daniel Webster||HNMM, by Carl Schurz|
|March 1898||Stirring Times in Austria||HNMM, by Mark Twain|
|September 1899||Concerning the Jews||HW, by Mark Twain|
|December 1899||The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg||HNMM, by Mark Twain|
|May 1900||The Trail, Execution, and Burial of Homer Phelps||HNMM, by Stephen Crane|
|November 1900||A Desertion||HNMM, by Stephen Crane|
|April 8, 1905||A Humane Word from Satan||HW, by Mark Twain|
|May 26, 1906||Carl Schurz, Pilot||HW, by Mark Twain|
|May 26, 1906||Carl Schurz 1829-1906||HW, by W. D. Howells|
|October 29, 1910||Halloween Failure||HW, by Carlyle Smith|
|November 1916||The War Prayer||HNMM, by Mark Twain|