Hottentot Venus

The Curious in Ecstasy or Shoelaces, by Louis François Charon, 1815. Satire of English fascination with South African-born Saartjie Baartman who was exhibited under the name Hottentot Venus. The British Museum, London.


Volume VIII, Number 1 | winter 2015



By Lewis H. Lapham

When we talk about the foreign, the question becomes one of us versus them. But in the end, is one just the opposite side of the other?




Means of Inclusion



In July 1947, a U.S. Army spokesman in Roswell, New Mexico, issued a press release to announce that the military had found a “flying disc” that had landed at a ranch near an air base. “It was inspected at the Roswell Army Air Field,” according to the army, “and subsequently loaned to higher headquarters.” There were no further public statements about the matter.

By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.

—Confucius, c. 500 BC


The World in Time

Richard White

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Richard White, author of The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865–1896. More