Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Conversations with History Blog

See a webcast of this interview:
 Lapham

An Editor's Odyssey: Conversation with
Lewis Lapham, Editor Harper's Magazine (1976-2006); October 7, 2006, by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

This interview with Lewis Lapham was conducted by Harry Kreisler as a public event entitled, "Criminal Folly of the Bush Administration: A Case for Impeachment." This event was cosponsored by KPFA Listener-Sponsored Radio in Berkeley, California, and by Global Exchange.

  1. Background ... growing up in San Francisco ... civic-minded family ... patrician upbringing ... honoring American principles
  2. Choosing Journalism ... love for words ... the SF Examiner ... learning economy of language ... shipping business background ... learning about capitalism ... interview at the CIA
  3. Journalism Career ... coming to Harper's ... editor ... history of Harper's ... writing vs. editing
  4. On Writing ... slow process ... keeping a journal of reading ... sarcasm and irony ... learning from history ... new quarterly journal ... understanding McLuhan ... new media
  5. On Political Discourse ... media manipulation ... understanding new media ... Veblen ... myth of Red and Blue states ... viable political debate of the seventies ... decay of language ... writing skills ... losing language in images ... political communication in the new medium
  6. Democracy ... discourse as advertising ... struggle to convey meaning ... thoughts on Bush ... the case for impeachment ... attack on constitutional order ... loss of civil rights ... muzzling of Congress ... disrespect for treaties ...remove the tumor ... loss of faith in democracy ... enduring American spirit of civic service ... escaping the prison of the self

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