REVIEW: Lapham's Quarterly: Penny for your Thoughts

“The Sea”, Lapham’s Quarterly Vol. VI, 2013. Photo by Tim Hyde.

There aren't too many print publications that grab our attention, Lapham's Quarterly is one of those. Founded by Lewis Lapham in 2007, the former editor of Harper's Magazine, each issue is thematically focused, and culls from the greatest literary and scholarly minds writings on the particular theme. Recent issues have covered themes as diverse as "Revolutions." "Youth," "Death," and "The Sea." The contributors have range from Shakespeare and Aristotle, to Didion and Arendt. 

Lapham's explains:

The texts are drawn from authors on the order of Shakespeare, Aristotle, Tolstoy, Twain, Thucydides, Woolf, Dickens, Wharton, Gibbon, Keynes, Gandhi, Balzac, Austen, Thoreau, Didion, and De Gaulle. Abridged rather than paraphrased, none of the texts in the Quarterly runs to a length longer than seven pages, others no more that seven paragraphs. Together with the writing of the world’s great thinkers, each issue offers full-color reproductions of paintings by the world’s great painters. The connecting of the then with the now is augmented with the further evidence found in letters, speeches, diaries and photographs, in confessions voluntary and coerced, in five-act plays and three-part songs.

The "Revolutions" issue (Spring 2014) in particular is one of our favorites. In light of the Arab Spring, and event of the day, it is an important read. The magazine contain's some fantastic art and infographics, including one that charts every political revolution from 520BC to the present (here).

You can pick one up at your local Barnes & Noble, or subscribe directly.