Merry Company on a Terrace, by Jan Steen, c. 1670. © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fletcher Fund, 1958.


Volume X, Number 4 | fall 2017


“Please send me something I can set to music, only don’t make it the history of the world, the Thirty Years’ War, the era of the popes, or the island of Australia,” wrote Fanny Hensel to her brother Felix Mendelssohn in 1834. “Instead, find me something really useful and solid.”

Dance tunes are always right.

—Dylan Thomas, 1936


U.S. secretary of agriculture Sonny Perdue meets with German minister of food and agriculture Christian Schmidt, 2017.


Equal Climates


U.S. Department of Agriculture bans words related to climate change.

350 BC:

Aristotle denies that the climate is changing.


The World in Time

Roger D. Hodge

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Roger D. Hodge, author of Texas Blood: Seven Generations Among the Outlaws, Ranchers, Indians, Missionaries, Soldiers, and Smugglers of the Borderlands. More