Slate on Lewis Lapham's Tentacles


With a nod to Jacob Sullum's outing of Harper's resident Dr. Who-like time traveler, editor Lewis Lapham, Jack Shafer asks how a good magazine editor went so bad.

In his "Tentacles of Rage" essay in the current issue–in which Lapham pretended to have attended the Republican National Convention before it occurred–Lapham assails "right-wing" ideas and laments their rise to the status of supposedly conventional wisdom in many policy debates.

Queries Shafer, "If Lapham finds right-wing ideas so uniformly bankrupt, 'both archaic and bizarre,' as he writes, why did he spend so much intellectual energy advancing them during his first tenure (1975-1981) as editor of Harper's?" The answer is here.