is a monthly magazine of literature, politics, culture, finance, and the arts. Launched in New York City
in June 1850, it is the second-oldest continuously published monthly magazine in the U.S. (Scientific American
is the oldest, although it did not become monthly until 1921). Harper's Magazine
has won 22 National Magazine Awards
In the 19th and 20th centuries the magazine published works of authors such as Herman Melville
, Woodrow Wilson
, and Winston Churchill
. Willie Morris
's resignation as editor in 1971 was considered a major event, and many other employees of the magazine resigned with him. The magazine has developed into the 21st century, adding several blogs. Harper's
has been the subject of several controversies.
An issue of Harper's from 1905
The early issues reprinted material pirated from English authors such as Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray, and the Brontë sisters.
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
. Portions of Herman Melville
's novel Moby Dick
were first published in the October 1851 issue of Harper's
under the title, "The Town-Ho's Story" (titled after Chapter 54 of Moby Dick
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 hired to replace Morris as Harper's
ninth editor, serving in that position from 1971 until 1976.
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" (statistics arranged for thoughtful effect), "Readings", and the "Annotation" departments to complement its fiction, essays, reportage, and reviews. As of the December 2019 issue, Julian Lucas writes the print edition's "New Books" column.
Under the Lapham-MacArthur leadership, Harper's Magazine
continued publishing literary fiction by 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. Since 2003, the magazine has concentrated on reportage about U.S. war in Iraq, with long articles about the battle for Fallujah
, and the cronyism of the American reconstruction of Iraq. Other reporting has covered abortion issues, cloning, and global warming.
In 2007, Harper's
added the No Comment
blog, by attorney Scott Horton
, about legal controversies, Central Asian politics, and German studies. In April 2006, Harper's
began publishing the Washington Babylon
blog on its website,
written by Washington Editor Ken Silverstein
about American politics; and in 2008, Harper's
added the Sentences
blog, by contributing editor Wyatt Mason
, about literature and belles lettres.
Since that time these two blogs have ceased publication. Another website feature, composed by a rotating set of authors, is the "Weekly Review", single-sentence summaries of political, scientific, and bizarre news; like the "Harper's Index" and "Findings" in the print edition of the magazine, the "Weekly Review" items are arranged for ironic contrast.
Editor Lewis H. Lapham
was criticized for his reportage of the 2004 Republican National Convention
, which had yet to occur, in his essay "Tentacles of Rage: The Republican Propaganda Mill, a Brief History", published in the September 2004 issue which implied that he had attended the convention. He apologized in a note.
Lapham left two years later, after 28 years as Harper's
editor in chief, and launched Lapham's Quarterly
The August 2004 issue contained a photo essay by noted photojournalist Peter Turnley
, who had been hired to do a series of photo essays for the magazine. The eight-page spread in August 2004 showed images of death, grieving and funerals from both sides of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. On the U.S. side, Turnley visited the funeral of an Oklahoma National Guard member, Spc. Kyle Brinlee, 21, who was killed when his vehicle ran over an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan. During his funeral, Turnley shot the open casket as it lay in the back of the high school auditorium where the funeral was held to accommodate 1,200 mourners, and this photo was used in the photo essay. Subsequently, the family sued the magazine in federal court. The case ended in 2007 when the U.S. Supreme Court, although saying the unauthorized publication was in "poor taste", upheld the ruling of the Tenth Circuit that the magazine had not violated the privacy rights of the family, as the family had invited the press, and thus "opened up the funeral scene to the public eye".
Lewis Lapham was succeeded as Harper's
editor by Roger Hodge
Since that time, the magazine has had a number of shorter-termed editors in chief, several of whom were fired amid various controversies.
On January 25, 2010, the firing of the magazine's editor, Roger Hodge
, by publisher John R. MacArthur
was met with criticism among the magazine's subscribers and staff.
MacArthur initially claimed Hodge was stepping down for "personal reasons", but later disclosed that he fired Hodge.
served from 2010 to 2015. She returned in January 2016, when MacArthur fired Christopher Cox, who had been named editor only three months prior in October 2015.
James Marcus assumed the post of editor in 2016.
In March 2018, an essay by Katie Roiphe
on the #MeToo
movement excited controversy both online and inside Harper's
. Marcus had complained about the piece, suggesting the critique of #MeToo was inappropriate in light of Harper's
"longtime reputation as a gentleman's smoking club"; he attributed this disagreement as a primary cause of his firing in 2018.
In April 2018, Ellen Rosenbush assumed the title of editorial director. In October 2019, the magazine announced that novelist and essayist Christopher Beha would be taking over as editor, with Rosenbush remaining as editor-at-large.
In July 2020, Harper's
published an open letter
called "A Letter on Justice and Open Debate
" criticizing "illiberalism" and promoting a tolerance of different viewpoints. The letter received a mixed response on Twitter
, with some remarking that the prominent signatories had "bigger platforms and more resources than most other humans" and were unlikely to face repercussions for anything they said, and others taking umbrage at particular signatories such as J. K. Rowling
, who faced recent criticism for her comments on transgender issues
- ^ "Awards and Honors" (PDF). Harpers.org. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- ^ "History of Harper's" (PDF). Harpers.org. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- ^ "Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. History: Publishing Industry". answers.com. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
- ^ "JiffyNotes: Moby Dick: Summary: Chapters 51 – 55". Jiffynotes.com. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- ^ Scott, Sherman (Nov–Dec 2007). "The Unvanquished". Cjr.org. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
- ^ ""The Press: New Head at Harper's," TIME magazine, June 28, 1971". Time.com. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
- ^ "Harper's Magazine, "About This Issue," September 1971". Harpers.org. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
- ^ Facts on File 1980 Yearbook, pp.501, 582
- ^ Woo, Elaine (December 5, 2007). "Arco founder led firm into major civic philanthropy". Los Angeles Times. p. B6.
- ^ "NY Times Makes Harper's Publisher Look Ineffective". Mediaite.com. February 1, 2010. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- ^ An American Album: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Harper's Magazine, a 712-page illustrated anthology, with an introduction by Lewis H. Lapham and a foreword by Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
- ^ Harpers.org Archived April 24, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- ^ Shafer, Jack. "Lewis Lapham Phones It In: Figuring out what's wrong with Harper's magazine." Slate 15 September 2004.
- ^ Lapham, Lewis H. "Tentacles of rage: The Republican propaganda mill, a brief history." Harper's September 2004. pp. 43–53.
- ^ Reporter's Committee for Freedom of the Press, Dismissal upheld in magazine's open-casket photo case, March 28, 2007.
- ^ Farber, Celia (March 1, 2006). "Out Of Control, AIDS and the corruption of medical science". Harper's Magazine. Retrieved 2006-03-13.
- ^ Miller, Lia (March 13, 2006). "An Article in Harper's Ignites a Controversy Over H.I.V." The New York Times. Retrieved 2006-03-13.
- ^ Farber Feedback. POZ Magazine. 2006-02-27. Retrieved 2006-03-13.
- ^ Letters from scientists and physicians criticizing Harper's for poor fact-checking of Celia Farber's article on AIDS. Accessed 21 Oct 2006. Archived August 12, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- ^ 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.
- ^ Kim, Richard (March 2, 2006). Harper's Publishes AIDS Denialist. Retrieved 2006-03-13.
- ^ Gallo, Robert; Nathan Geffen; Gregg Gonsalves; Richard Jeffreys; Daniel R. Kuritzkes; Bruce Mirken; John P. Moore; Jeffrey T. Safrit (March 4, 2006). Errors in Celia Farber's March 2006 article in Harper's Magazine (PDF). Treatment Action Campaign. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-06-16. Retrieved 2006-03-13.
- ^ a b c d e Jaclyn Peiser, "Harper's Editor Insists He Was Fired Over Katie Roiphe Essay", The New York Times, April 18, 2018.
- ^ Clifford, Stephanie (January 31, 2010). "Editorial Shake-Up as Harper's Tries to Stabilize in a Downturn". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- ^ "Harper's Publisher Backlash Grows After Firing Beloved Editor". Mediaite.com. February 3, 2010. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- ^ John Koblin (2010-02-02). "Listening in on the Harper's Meltdown". The New York Observer. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- ^ Clifford, Stephanie (January 26, 2010). "Update: Harper's Magazine Editor Hodge Fired; Didn't Quit". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- ^ Alexandra Alter (2016-02-02). "Harper's Magazine Publisher Fires Christopher Cox as Editor". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
- ^ Tracy, Marc (2019-10-21). "A New Top Editor Takes the Hot Seat at Harper's Magazine". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-10-24.
- ^ Schuessler, Jennifer; Harris, Elizabeth A. (7 July 2020). "Artists and Writers Warn of an 'Intolerant Climate.' Reaction Is Swift". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
- ^ Chiu, Allyson (8 July 2020). "Letter signed by J.K. Rowling, Noam Chomsky warning of stifled free speech draws mixed reviews". The Washington Post. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
Lilly, Thomas. "The National Archive: Harper's New Monthly Magazine
and the Civic Responsibilities of a Commercial Literary Periodical, 1850–1853." American Periodicals
, vol. 15, no. 2 (2005), pp. 142–162. JSTOR 20771182
Last edited on 19 June 2021, at 21:31
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