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

Thomas Jefferson tried to avoid using servants at dinner parties by placing a dumbwaiter near each seat. According to one society chronicler, he feared “much of the domestic and even public discord was produced by the mutilated and misconstructed repetition of free conversation by these mute but not inattentive listeners.” 

Many a man who thinks to found a home discovers that he has merely opened a tavern for his friends.

—Norman Douglas, 1917

Lapham’sDaily