Harper’s magazine is an American leftist journal of literature and politics, featuring the iconic Harper’s Index, an ironically arranged index of statistics intended to provoke debate. With commentary on issues affecting the global community but with the emphasis on American life, Harper’s magazine does not just deal with political and moral issues such as race, gender and war, but publishes new work from some of America’s best writers, previously featuring such names as Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe, Henry James, Sylvia Plath, Hunter S. Thompson, and others.
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With an often ironic, almost facetious tone, Harper’s magazine seeks to provoke independent thought rather than regurgitate expert opinion. It is the second longest continuously running magazine in the United States and has a considerable pedigree: featuring new and subversive work from some of the giants of leftist literature for more than 100 years, Harper’s magazine continues to challenge the status quo: changing the thought and preconceptions of every one who reads it. Harper’s magazine often courts controversy, and while often flippantly expressing views that differ from the mainstream, sometimes prints articles which are factually incorrect. A classic example of this is the HIV/AIDS story in which Harper’s magazine alleged that HIV did not cause AIDS. Other examples include a report of the Republican National Convention, written before the convention had actually occurred.
Harper’s magazine gets away with these controversies because it is consistently designed not to inform, but to provoke debate. It can print whatever it likes because it is consistently meant to be taken with a pinch of salt. While for the most part Harper’s magazine is informed, it is also unapologetically slanted towards whichever viewpoint it fancies taking, which provides something of a relief from an America media which is so slanted as to be horizontal, but firmly pretends that the trees and houses it can see are supposed to be pointing that way. Buy a single copy or subscribe and stock up on some creatively arranged facts and some gloriously subversive fiction to challenge conversations whoever you’re speaking to.