The Destruction of Tyre, by John Martin, 1840. © Toledo Museum of Art, purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, gift of Edward Drummond Libbey.


Volume X, Number 3 | summer 2017


Engineers at the University of Illinois published a paper in 1960 predicting doomsday would occur November 13, 2026, based on calculations of human-population growth; they hoped “some time, somehow, something will happen that will stop this ever-faster race to self-destruction.” One idea was space travel. “It is only unfortunate,” they wrote, “that no reentry permit to earth can be given to these space trotters.”

Fear is the foundation of most governments. 

—John Adams, 1776


The World in Time

Olivier Zunz

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of The Man Who Understood Democracy: The Life of Alexis de Tocqueville. More