The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, October 16, 1834, by Joseph Mallord William Turner, c. 1835. © The Philadelphia Museum of Art/Art Resource.


Volume IX, Number 2 | spring 2016


The first known legal use of the phrase act of God was in a 1581 English case concerning property inheritance. It referred, in that instance, to death, declared by the judge to be among “those things which are inevitable by the act of God, which no industry can avoid, nor policy prevent.”

It would be impossible to live for a year without disaster unless one practiced character-reading.

—Virginia Woolf, 1924


The World in Time

Holger Hoock

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Holger Hoock, author of Scars of Independence: America’s Violent Birth, at a New York Public Library event.  More