Design for a House for a Cosmopolite, by Antoine-Laurent-Thomas Vaudoyer, 1783. Private Collection / Archives Charmet / Bridgeman Images.

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Volume X, Number 1 | winter 2017

Preamble

Castles in Air

By Lewis H. Lapham

The American democracy and dream are the building of castles in air. Whither goeth the one so goeth the other, these days up in smoke and the spout.

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Map

Home Loans

A history of seven homes—now for rent on Airbnb.

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Miscellany

Before Inuit tribes in southeastern Alaska would offer hospitality, anthropologist Franz Boas noted, a stranger would have to exchange blows to the head with a tribesman until one combatant was “vanquished.” In other areas, men would strip down and arm wrestle, sometimes to the death. The Inuit understanding: “The two men in meeting wish to know which of them is the better man.” 

God walks among the pots and pans.

—Saint Teresa of Ávila, c. 1582

Lapham’sDaily

Man and Woman Being Chased by Bees (detail), by Honoré Daumier. The New York Public Library, Art and Picture Collection.

DÉjÀ Vu

The Perfect Swarm

2018:

The NYPD beekeeper vacuums up a swarm of bees on a hot dog stand in Times Square.

1906:

Bees take over a Los Angeles street as spectators watch.

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The World in Time

Jill Lepore

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Jill Lepore, author of These Truths: A History of the United States. More