Return to Amsterdam of the Second Expedition to the East Indies, by Hendrik Cornelisz Vroom, 1599. Rijksmuseum.


Volume XII, Number 2 | spring 2019


A Byzantine general of “ignoble descent” oversaw the building of Petra, on the Colchian coast, and set up an import monopoly. “They are robbing us of all our gold as well as of the necessities of life, using the fair name of trade,” locals complained, according to Procopius. “There has been set over us as ruler a huckster who has made our destitution a kind of business.”

Give us the luxuries of life, and we will dispense with the necessities.

—John Lothrop Motley, 1858


The World in Time

Olivier Zunz

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of The Man Who Understood Democracy: The Life of Alexis de Tocqueville. More