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Lewis Lapham

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Condoleezza Rice and Martin Scorsese Go Way Back, Didn't You Know?

FINANCE • Stephen Schwarzman, Lloyd Blankfein, and David Rubenstein got down with Bush, Condi, and friends (including Martin Scorsese?!) at this year's Kennedy Center Honors. [NYP] • Barron Hilton decided to donate almost his entire $2.3 billion fortune to the family foundation, including the proceeds from the recent sale of Hilton Hotels and Harrah's casinos. Does this mean we'll have to stop calling Paris an heiress? [NYT] • If private equity is the smart money on Wall Street, then why have Blackstone's shareholders lost so big? The Times gives the easy answer: "What Wall Street is about is smart guys thinking about ways to make money from dumb ones." Good work, Steve Schwarzman! [NYT]

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Gay Talese Shames Us at the Launch of ‘Lapham's Quarterly’

Talese
As expected, reproofs of modern American journalism were flying Wednesday night at the launch of Harper’s editor emeritus Lewis Lapham's new magazine, Lapham’s Quarterly, the first issue of which contains essays and correspondence on the topic of war from writers as diverse as Sun Tzu and Mark Twain. Needless to say, neither of them was at the party. But Gay Talese was!

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Ten Questions From a Non-Genius to Lewis Lapham

Lewis Lapham
Lewis Lapham is smarter than we are. See, he's just brought forth this new quarterly, which will deal with history through the words, images, and thoughts with which that history was recorded. Yeah, that much smarter. Each issue of Lapham's Quarterly will deal with a theme, and the first theme is "War." In this edition, he includes essays, poetry, speeches, photographs, diagrams, lists, quotes and timelines from all of recorded history. Hence, works by Shakespeare, Virgil, Tim O'Brien, Herodotus (duh), Pope Urban II, Jessica Lynch, and dozens of others appear. Yeah, it's like that, y'all. In Lapham's introductory note, he explains: "The method assumes that all writing, whether scientific treatise, tabloid headline, or minimalist novel, is an attempt to tell a true story." (FYI: That was about the shortest sentence in his essay, and therefore the only one we could include in a blog post.) In other words, Lapham's Quarterly is epic. It's historic. It's all-encompassing. But we have some questions. We are not historians, we are not experts in anything, we didn't even read War & Peace in college. But maybe that's why we can see the forest for the trees? After the jump, ten genuine questions a non-genius might ask Lewis Lapham about his new magnum opus….

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