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.” 

A crust of bread and a corner to sleep in / A minute to smile and an hour to weep in.

—Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1895

Lapham’sDaily

DÉjÀ Vu

Love Is Dead

2018:

Woman announces she is divorcing her pirate ghost husband.

1926:

Man sues wife for adultery with a ghost.

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The World in Time

Alan Rusbridger

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Alan Rusbridger, author of Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now. More