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.