Demons of Illness and Poverty Stalking the Lucky Gods, by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1884. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Herbert R. Cole Collection.


Volume XIII, Number 3 | summer 2020


The bark of Cinchona trees (from which quinine is obtained) was first described as a remedy for malaria by Jesuit missionaries in Peru. Protestant hostility toward Jesuits, however, led to a distrust of “Peruvian bark” in England. An apothecary’s apprentice named Robert Talbor warned patients to “beware of all palliative cures and especially that known by the name of Jesuits’ powder,” instead offering his own secret remedy. His treatment was highly effective, earning him a fortune.

Health care delivery is one of the tragedies still in America.

—Jewel Plummer Cobb, 1989



Alfresco Gender Reveals


An outdoor gender-reveal party in California sparks a wildfire.

1500 BC:

Ancient Egyptian women visit a field of grain daily to determine their babies’ gender.



The World in Time

Richard Kreitner

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of Break It Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union. More