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Lapham's Quarterly
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Founded and edited by Lewis H. Lapham, Lapham’s Quarterly is a New York-based journal of history that seeks to revitalize both our excitement and familiarity with the past. History, as Mark Twain supposedly said, may not repeat itself—but it does rhyme.

Blog Entries by Lapham's Quarterly

Of Apprentices and Interns

(1) Comments | Posted April 19, 2011 | 5:00 PM

After all the talk about amputating ears and public whippings, the Code of Hammurabi pauses to consider the plight of the intern. Well, not exactly -- but that ancient litany of 282 laws, inscribed on diorite some 3,700 years ago, did enjoin the master craftsmen of Babylon to pass on...

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The Fine Art of Losing the World Cup

(3) Comments | Posted July 7, 2010 | 3:44 PM

The glory of seeing one’s team lift the World Cup in triumph may be the dream of all fans, but as all true fans know, it is the experience of losing that more crucially nurtures their relationship to soccer teams as symbols of their nations. This isn’t merely because of...

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Why Fascist Countries Are Historically Better at Soccer

(13) Comments | Posted July 7, 2010 | 2:38 PM

In his 2006 book How Soccer Explains the World, author and editor Franklin Foer examined the role that a given nation’s government plays in its World Cup success. As it turns out, the correlations between repression and good soccer seem to be closely related. With the exception of 1998...

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World Cup Soccer Players Can Learn a Thing or Two From Method Acting

(2) Comments | Posted June 21, 2010 | 3:35 PM

For more on poor sportsmanship, please visit our Déjà Vu blog at www.laphamsquarterly.org

2010: In the last minutes of Sunday's match between Brazil and Côte d’Ivoire, a suspicious incident of playacting went down, earning Brazil’s star player Kaká a red card and ejection from the game.

...
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Before the Upset, It Was a Swiss Accountant Who Brought Soccer to Spain

(1) Comments | Posted June 18, 2010 | 10:10 AM

The result of Switzerland's 1-0 win over Spain on Wednesday -- the first major upset of this World Cup -- was a surprise, but the match's general course was not. The Spanish dominated throughout, pinging the ball about the field with the same precision and verve that had...

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Win, Lose, Or Draw: How to Spin Your World Cup Tie

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2010 | 4:59 PM

For more on sports history, please visit our Déjà Vu blog at www.laphamsquarterly.org

2010: As the non-elimination group stage of the World Cup barrels along, it's not the wins or losses that are adding up, but instead the ties, an equalizing a stalemate whose fortunes depend entirely on...

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Will the Hummer Be Remembered As the Ford Edsel of the Twenty-First Century?

(20) Comments | Posted February 25, 2010 | 2:50 PM

For more conspicuous consumption, please visit our Déjà Vu blog at www.laphamsquarterly.org

2010: The Hummer died this week, not because of an American backlash that has been growing increasingly wrathful over the past eighteen years, but because of a failed deal with China, who determined the monster truck...

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Esprit de Mort: When Funeral Workers Behave Badly

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2010 | 2:27 PM

For more tales from the crypt, please visit our Déjà Vu blog at www.laphamsquarterly.org

2010: A series of photos taken at Brooklyn morgue were published this week in the New York Post, revealing less than deferential treatment of the city’s dead.

Grinning mortuary technicians use corpses...
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A Heart-Shaped History: How Our Most Essential Organ Became a Saccharine Commodity

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2010 | 9:11 AM

Iain Gately is the author most recently of Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol. Raised in Hong Kong, he studied law at Cambridge University and worked in the financial markets of London, where he currently lives. For more anti-Valentine's sentiment, take a look through the infamous Lapham's Quarterly

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From Slave to 'Negro': A Brief History of Getting Counted by the U.S. Census

(2) Comments | Posted January 12, 2010 | 3:46 PM

2010: There was a small uproar last week as the U.S. Census Bureau began to publicize the country's 2010 headcount when it was pointed out that the very box that the president of the United States would fill out actually read: "Black, African Am., or Negro." The news...

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Determining a "Just War" in 2009, 1906, and 412 AD

(1) Comments | Posted December 14, 2009 | 9:57 AM

For more on war and peace prizes, please visit our Déjà Vu blog at www.laphamsquarterly.org.

2009: From President Obama’s speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize.

War, in one form or another, appeared with the first man. At the dawn of history, its morality was not questioned; it...
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1895: When Smoke was a "Healthy Disinfectant" for Cities

(1) Comments | Posted December 11, 2009 | 1:09 PM

For more on climate change, please visit our Déjà Vu blog at www.laphamsquarterly.org

2009: The world's climate and energy experts are gathered this week in Copenhagen to debate the righteousness of an international deal that would cap carbon dioxide emissions. The idea is to make carbon-intensive industrial processes...

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A Call to Arms (and Legs) in the Civil War and in the Iraq War

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2009 | 2:05 PM

Kate Daloz received an MFA from Columbia where she also taught undergraduate composition. Her most recent essay, "The Dowser Dilemma," was published in the Spring 2009 issue of The American Scholar. For more on medicine and war, please visit www.laphamsquarterly.org.

War drives innovation, in medicine as in weaponry....

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When Historical Partnerships End Before the Work Is Finished

(0) Comments | Posted December 2, 2009 | 10:25 AM

2009: Born on the same day near the same hour on June 13, 1935, conceptual artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude never flew in a plane together. For two people seemingly fused together and yet fiercely independent, one of the great misconceptions about their art was that the artist was solely Christo....

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The Darkest Days: Black Friday, Saturday, Sunday, And The Rest

(3) Comments | Posted November 27, 2009 | 5:21 PM

Despite the popularity of Black Friday among retailers and the local news media, every day of the week has at some point or another been described as "black." In fact, an entire week can be cobbled together out of the darkness. For more dark days, visit www.laphamsquarterly.org. Our Deja...

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Of Water and Winged Men: Living on the Moon in 2009 and 1835

(4) Comments | Posted November 23, 2009 | 1:16 PM

For more winged moon-men and other historical misfits, please visit www.laphamsquarterly.org.

2009: Last month, NASA scientists crashed a bus-sized satellite into the surface of the moon. On November 13th, they announced that they had found water. As the New York Times reported, "The confirmation of scientists' suspicions is...

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Call-Girls and Courtesans: Getting An Education in 2009 and 1570

(1) Comments | Posted November 18, 2009 | 8:04 PM

For more on historical whores, please visit www.laphamsquarterly.org.

2009: Bestselling author and call-girl Belle du Jour, whose web diary about the fourteen months she lived as a high class prostitute was collected into popular book and a television show, revealed in this Sunday's Guardian that she is Dr....

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1784: When Universal Health Care Was as Simple as Donating Your Body to Science

(7) Comments | Posted November 15, 2009 | 9:24 PM

Colin Dickey is the author of Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius and the co-editor (with Nicole Antebi and Robby Herbst) of Failure! Experiments in Aesthetic and Social Practices. He lives in Los Angeles. For more from Lapham's Quarterly, please visit www.laphamsquarterly.org.

One of the earliest...

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1989: A Slip of the Tongue on the Night the Berlin Wall Fell

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2009 | 10:21 AM

Peter Foges worked for the BBC in London for fifteen years as a correspondent, anchor, producer, and director, before moving to the U.S. to serve as BBC-TV's Bureau Chief. He later became Director of News and Public Affairs Programming for WNET/Thirteen in New York City. For more from Lapham's Quarterly,...

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Perfecting the Paranoid Style in 500 BC and 2009

(5) Comments | Posted November 6, 2009 | 5:28 PM

Peter Struck is an associate professor of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Birth of the Symbol: Ancient Readers at the Limits of their Texts. Professor Stuck is a member of the Lapham's Quarterly editorial board.

From Buckley to Beck

Back...

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