Roundtable

Opinions and analysis from Lapham’s Quarterly writers and editors.

August 28, 2015

July 29, 2015

Words Without Borders

By Matthew Battles

Writing began in the marketplace, with the scribbling of merchants in the Greek agora. From there it became the translator of songs, of Homer’s epic tales and Hesiod’s tales of the muses. But it would take a thousand years and a leap across a continent to the medieval scriptorium of Anglo-Saxon monks before writing would be shaped, standardized, copied, and recopied, into what we know understand to be literature.

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July 16, 2015

Missionary, Go Home!

By Nathan Schneider

In the 1960s, affluent American volunteers lined up to serve the neediest abroad. But the radical Catholic priest Ivan Illich urged them to reconsider their missionary zeal—“you will not help anybody by your good intentions.”

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July 23, 2015

When Sharks Attack

2015:

A surfer encounters a shark. 

1916:

New Jersey beachgoers try to understand the psychology of sharks. 

July 08, 2015

Bikers Wanted

2015:

A bike-rental program courts female riders. 

1898:

Susan B. Anthony on cycling and feminism.