03/28/2008 02:43 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Lewis Lapham Retiring From Harper's, Not Quitting...

Lewis H. Lapham flips up the top of his Zippo lighter, ignites another Parliament and inhales deeply.

At 71, he's about to step down after 28 years as the editor of Harper's magazine, but he's not talking about that right now.

Instead, he's telling the story of his aborted job interview at the CIA back in 1957, when Lapham, after matriculating at Hotchkiss and Yale and Cambridge, hoped for a career as a Cold Warrior.

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