Talk:Harper's Magazine

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Neither the awards and honors nor the history of harpers link currently lead to their respective PDFs. Unfortunately I couldn't find them in a brief search either. Would be great if someone could change the links to wherever the PDFs have been relocated. (talk) 10:09, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Question: Is Harper's the oldest continuously published magazine? Was there an interruption in the publication of the Saturday Evening Post, which boasts of its founding in 1722 by Benjamin Franklin? Alba 00:51, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Yes, there was an interruption: "By the late 1890s the Saturday Evening Post was in serious financial difficulties. In October, 1897, the newspaper was purchased for $1,000 by Cyrus H. Curtis, the owner of the Ladies' Home Journal. The Saturday Evening Post was redesigned and on January, 1898, reappeared as a journal." (source: and can be backed up by 06:53, 10 Mar 2004 (UTC)


The introductory sentence should be expanded a bit:

Harper's Magazine (or simply Harper's) is a ????????????? monthly magazine, published in the United States.

I am not very familiar with the mag, having read only a few random articles linked from various sites, so I don't have a good image of what HM is, but users more familiar with Harper's should be able to summarize in 1-3 words what is important/notable about it and add it instead of the question marks above. Paranoid 12:53, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I think it's important to mention the class component of the magazine and it's audience explicitly as it is characteristic of the publication.

Interesting I put neo-liberal as a description to harper's mag. and was blocked. What kind of sensorship is this? Weekly standard is neoconservative, understandably, national review is conservative but harper's nothing. Am I to assume neutrality, or is this just the slanted point of view of wikipedia?

I suspect the reversion was in error. Nrets 01:45, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
"Neoliberalism" is not the same thing as "leftist" or "progressive" or even just plain old "liberal". Harper's definitely does not take a neoliberal perspective. (The edit wasn't vandalism though.) --Birdmessenger 10:02, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
You are entirey correct, neoliberalism is something entirely different, somehow I missed the "neo" part completely. I think simply "liberal" or "progessive left" as you suggest are fine. Nrets 13:51, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Of course, it should possibly be noted that while today Harpers may have a liberal viewpoint - it's not clear that it had such a viewpoint throughout its history. Indeed, during its heyday in the mid to late 19th century, it was quite middle-of-the-road. jmdeur 20:00, 7 March 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Since the above debate is about "neoliberal", I tried to just mention that it is left-leaning. This was reverted twice. Will whoever is doing that please stop and discuss it here? Why do you object to characterizing Harper's as left-leaning? This is not at all a controversial claim, by any stretch of the imagination!! Xezlec (talk) 04:22, 10 August 2010 (UTC)


I'm not going to post a copyvio on this, though I am going to post an RfC, as I think this could be salvaged by a rewrite by someone familiar with this publication. The current text borrows a tad too directly from [1]. == Cecropia | explains it all ® 00:47, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

You seem to be asking for a legal opinion. RfC is not the appropriate place for that -- you'll get plenty of armchair lawyers, but probably not anyone with actual legal experience. --Carnildo 04:14, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Well, actually no. IANAL but I've been involved in intellectual property issues in my work for years. The problem is that parts of the article are clearly copyvios, quoting big parts of the original verbatim and apparently without permission or attribution. But there is significant added material, and I'm trying to see if we can get agreement on a rewrite rather than throw the whole thing out. -- Cecropia | explains it all ® 05:03, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)
You still seem to be asking for a legal opinion, on whether or not everything since the edit that added the copyvio material is considered a "derivative work" of the copyvio. --Carnildo 06:19, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I have rewritten the text in response to the concerns Cecropia raised. -- Viajero 13:29, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

March 2006 issue as Lapham's last-is this correct?[edit]

Lapham is leaving in April, so I believe that it is actually the April issue that will be his last. --Birdmessenger 00:17, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Nevermind, I just saw the NYT piece (jeez, Wikipedia beat them to the story!) that says March 2006 was his last.--Birdmessenger 00:24, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
The April 2006 issue is out now; Lewis Lapham's name is still atop the masthead as editor and his "Notebook" column is still in its usual place. I'm therefore removing the info about March 2006 being his final issue as editor. --Birdmessenger 20:53, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

AIDS Denialism Article[edit]

Is it really relevant that a blog favoured the article? Is there any reason to mention the support of this particular blog, other than its official-sounding name? Thes entinel 17:13, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Not really. I think it was put in there in the spirit of balance, but I wouldn't objet to removing the mention of the blog. Nrets 19:26, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

I think this section should be removed. Is it the type of paragraph that would be found in Britannica? The paragraph is more focused on other people's/organizations reactions than on Harper's magazine itself. Though not entirely unjustified, I don't think this paragraph suits the tone or spirit of a general information article about a magazine. Surely one can't include every objectionable article that a journal has included in its entire history. Once the current outrage at this inflammatory article passes, it will seem much ado about nothing. Infantsamuelatprayer 22:55, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

I strongly disagree. Harper's decision to publish that article was and will remain quite notable. While it may or may not be a good idea to include a description of every poorly received publishing decision, surely the ones that generate the most controversy warrant mention in a general article about the publication. I wouldn't object to trimming the discussion of other reactions though, perhaps by deleting the last sentence of that paragraph.--Birdmessenger 23:19, 6 May 2006 (UTC)


Somewhere the article should explain the relationship between this magazine, the former [[Harper's Weekly], and the fashion magazine Harper's Bazaar. I would do so if I knew enough, but really don't. Rlquall 15:43, 15 April 2006 (UTC)


Here is the grand total of Celia slamming:

"Farber's favorable presentation of virologist Peter Duesberg's argument that there is no direct link between HIV and AIDS garnered mostly criticism among AIDS activists[5] and others[6]. As a result, the Treatment Action Campaign Web site, a South African group campaigning for greater access to HIV treatment, posted a 37-page rebuttal written by eight prominent AIDS researchers documenting over 50 errors in Farber's article, claiming it contains misleading implications, false statements, and implications without evidence of sinister motives.[7] [8]."

After all this, apparently, one simple solitary link is just too much for "Nrets" to tolerate in this article:

"A partial rebuttal to Gallo's response can be found here."

Give me a break. Revolver 03:44, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Four freaking references for the apologists:

  1. ^ Farber Feedback. POZ Magazine. URL accessed 13 March 2006.
  2. ^ Kim, Richard (2006-03-02). Harper's Publishes AIDS Denialist. URL accessed 13 March 2006.
  3. ^ (2006-03-04) Errors in Celia Farber's March 2006 article in Harper's Magazine. Treatment Action Campaign. URL accessed 13 March 2006.
  4. ^ Miller, Lia (2006-03-13). An Article in Harper's Ignites a Controversy Over H.I.V.. The New York Times. URL accessed 13 March 2006.

But no, one solitary reference in opposition would violate NPOV accoring to Nrets. Revolver 03:46, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm amazed at the level of censorship Nrets seems to advocate. He seems to want to delete opposing viewpoints represented at a ratio of approximately 5:1 or worse, not because they don't exist, but because they have been "responded to ad nauseaum". Such attitude is amazing, even if such viewpoints WERE pure hokum. The viewpoint is clearly presented as a viewpoint. There's no excuse for taking out a single opposing link. Revolver 03:49, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Revolver that as the paragraph stands now, a single opposing link from an authoritative source is appropriate, given that multiple links are provided to sources that argue against AIDS reappraisal. However, I'd like to see the entire paragraph focus less on a back and forth of AIDS reappraisal and more on the controversy generated by the publication of that article (if there's a difference).--Birdmessenger 12:48, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
That's my point, the link provided by Revolver basically is a link to an article which basically restates the content of the Farber article. I do agree with User:Birdmessenger that this pargraph should really focus on reaction to the article, not a rehash of the AIDS-rebuttal "debate". It seems like Revolver uses every excuse as a plattform to espouse his viewpoints about AIDS reappraisal. Then, when he is called on it, accuses everyone of censorship. My goodness! Nrets 13:43, 9 May 2006 (UTC)


There is a difference between magazines publishing articles on controversial subjects and a magazine or an article itself actually being the subject of a controversy. For example, the third example given, Lapham's fictionalized account of the RNC, resulted in Lapham writing a latter of apology, so it makes sense for that example to be in a "Controversies" section, because the article was the subject of a controversy.

Controversies being the subject of an article, however, are different. I see no reason for Milgram's research to be in this section, anymore than the fact that Harpers publishes articles on abortion. Likewise Velikovsky's book should not be listed, unless it was Larrabee's article itself that was the subject of the controversy.

I'm being bold and removing these two examples, and anhy new examples should be similarly examined. — Asbestos 19:02, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

The article discusses only Harper's Monthly, but the illustration, Chicago in Flames, is from Harper's Weekly, a different, defunct magazine. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:35, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

"The Witch of Westport"[edit]

Someone claiming to be Norman Mailer's archivist says that, despite what this article asserts, Mailer did not write a 1963 story for Harper's called "The Witch of Westport".[2] There may be something to this. The assertion that Mailer did write such a story rests only on an unsourced anonymous edit. A number of other web sites cite an A&E biography as the source for Mailer's authorship of the story -- but they may be following the samed unsourced assertion in the Bewitched article. Considering that Harper's offers the complete table of contents for all of its 1963 issues, and "The Witch of Westport" is nowhere to be found, I don't think this rumor is credible.

"The Witch of Westport" does seem to have been the original name given to the scripts which were produced as the Betwitched television show[3][4], but I can't find a basis for asserting either Mailer's authorship or publication in Harper's. -- Shunpiker (talk) 23:46, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Left-wing or far left[edit]

I think we can agree the magazine today is left leaning. Some of the articles to me seem more extreme than your average Labour party or whathaveyou platform. Wouldn't that be far left? What source might we use or this characterisation? I don't think it is overly important but equally well I don't think the label of far left would be unfair, misleading or make anyone uncomfortable. From what I've seen the articles cover a wide range of topics and perspectives, from centrist to Marxist. Obotlig (talk) 23:43, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Cover Gallery[edit]

I like the addition of the cover gallery. Does anyone have any interesting covers they could scan? Filling it out with 4 or 8 notable ones would be nice, or with art from inside. Thanks. Obotlig (talk) 23:43, 27 October 2011 (UTC)


This article jumps from the 1850's to the 1960's (I believe) and leaves out huge hunks of history of this magazine. For instance Harper's was one of the most important magazines during the Civil War in the United States. Nothing is mentioned of this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Residentfan (talkcontribs) 01:23, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Sounds like a good project. Feel free to fill in the gap. Obotlig (talk) 01:34, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Second oldest continually publishing magazine-?[edit]

More like THIRD! Town and Country is second, since it began publishing in 1846. See their article for verification. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:48, 1 October 2012 (UTC)