Daily Archives: June 3, 2022

The Press Once Attacked Established Authority; Now They Support the Government’s Autocracy (1985)

Jun 3, 2022

Lapham’s Money and Class in America: https://amzn.to/3Neil8R

Lewis Henry Lapham (born January 8, 1935) is an American writer. He was the editor of the American monthly Harper’s Magazine from 1976 until 1981, and from 1983 until 2006. He is the founder of Lapham’s Quarterly, a quarterly publication about history and literature, and has written numerous books on politics and current affairs.


Walter Bernard Karp (May 14, 1934 – July 19, 1989) was an American journalist, historian, and writer who published in magazines such as American Heritage and Horizon, and was also a contributing editor for Harper’s Magazine (edited by friend Lewis H. Lapham), which re-published some of his political history books in 2003.[1] As an historian, he emphasized the close relationship between domestic and international politics, and the shallowness of the modern two-party system of the US, proposing power and militarism, not money, as the corrupting influences upon politics.

The Politics of War: The Story of Two Wars Which Altered Forever the Political Life of the American Republic 1890–1920 (1979) reports how William McKinley impelled the United States to fight the Spanish–American War (April to August 1898) and how Woodrow Wilson compelled intervention to the First World War (1914–18) and how they determined the emergence of the US as an imperial world power.

What impelled the US to fight Spain was not a war-crazed public infected with yellow journalism, as most historians have for conventional wisdom, but the collusion of an ambitious political party pair seeking to again make the US a country “safe for oligarchy.” That was their response to the Populist movement of the 1890s, a destabilising threat to the “Republican–Democrat” two-party system. Moreover, despite the US defeating Imperial Spain, within the Republican Party, the Populist movement soon yielded to a Progressive movement led by Senator Robert La Follette, which culminated in the presidential election of 1912 in which more than 70 per cent of the votes were against the incumbent US president, William Howard Taft (1909–1913), who came third: “The privileged interests… seemed about to receive their death blow. Government of, by, and for the people was about to be restored to the American Republic.”

However, the man elected president in 1912, Woodrow Wilson, was “a man driven by vaunting ambition” with very different plans for the republic. Originally very conservative with a strong belief in laissez-faire capitalism, he believed himself a “man of destiny” and altered his political beliefs to seek elected office. As an historian, Wilson dreamed of negotiating a treaty among the warring European imperial powers but knew that as president, he would have to compel the US into the Great War to fulfil his statesman’s ambition of setting Imperial Europe aright. Hence his presidential favoritism towards the Allies and inflexible antagonism towards the Germans and the Central Powers, despite every belligerent having violated international law in prosecuting the war. To suit his political, man-of-destiny ambitions, Wilson embroiled the US in a European war.

Most noteworthy is the First Red Scare (1917–1920), the Wilson administration’s extended wartime suppression of the civil liberties of antiwar critics. He compared the wartime behaviors of Lincoln and Wilson: “Americans under Lincoln enjoyed every liberty that could possibly be spared; in a war safely fought 3,000 miles from our own shores, Americans under Wilson lost every liberty they could possibly be deprived of.” The wartime suppression of liberty “struck the American Republic a blow from which it has never recovered.”

In 2003, Harper’s Magazine editor Lewis Lapham compared The Politics of War to the works of Henry Brooks Adams by emphasising its contemporary relevance: “Karp offers a clearer understanding of our current political circumstance than can be found in any two or twenty of the volumes published over the last ten years by the herd of Washington journalists grazing on the White House lawn.”

Liberty Under Siege: American Politics 1976–1988 (1989) develops the thematic line of articles written for Harper’s Magazine, proposing that the Republican and the Democratic Parties colluded to undermine the presidency of the “feeble Democrat” Jimmy Carter (1976–80), and replace him with the “liar and tyrant” Ronald Reagan (1980–84, 84–88). Despite the harshly-accurate assessment of the time chronicled, Liberty Under Siege concludes reiterating the historian’s trust in Jeffersonian democracy.

“The Two Americas” article presents his perspectives of democracy and patriotism; citing the Pledge of Allegiance, he proposes that the United States of America is two countries, a republic and a nation; the republic “exists for its own sake” but the nation exists only relative to other nations and so is most alive when at war.


African Arts Initiative | Harvard University Center for African Studies

Several recent, high-profile developments have focused international attention on African art, both historic and contemporary, including its collecting, curation, and status in museums, with an intensity that has not been seen before. In the case of current dialogues about African art, this desire is further motivated by Harvard’s world-class museums–the Harvard Art Museums and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology–each of which engage with art from the African continent, though in markedly different ways.

The Center for African Studies has identified a natural synergy among our faculty and our community to deepen and broaden our engagement with African arts. We envision this African Arts Initiative around four main activities:

  • Moderated conversations and interviews with artists;
  • Online art exhibitions to be hosted by the CAS Africa Office;
  • Occasional workshops like the forthcoming “Future of African Curatorial Practice”; and
  • Residencies for artists and curators at Harvard.

See related:

Africa’s Water Opportunity: Science, Sustainability, and Solutions | Harvard University Center for African Studies

The theme of Climate Change, Agriculture, and Health in Africa is a key research focus for the Harvard Center for African Studies. A changing climate will have adverse impact on crop yields and quality, resulting in reduced availability of food or food of poorer nutritional quality, and that a lack of nutritious food puts a population at greater risk for communicable and non-communicable diseases.

On April 21 – 22, 2021, the Harvard Center for African Studies will reconvene our Climate Change, Agriculture, and Health in Africa initiative around the theme of water for a two-day virtual conference on Africa’s Water Opportunity: Science, Sustainability, and Solutions. Water has been a central and defining theme of Africa’s development agenda for decades. Climate change across the African continent will result in altered rainfall patterns, with some areas becoming drier and others seeing increased levels of precipitation. Agricultural crop yields are greatly impacted by the availability of water or the occurrence of drought, as demonstrated by a growing body of research. And, water remains central to our livelihoods: for hydration and cooking, for healthcare, and for industry and manufacturing. Indeed, it was in recognition of water’s essentiality to human life that in “July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realization of all human rights.”

As implied by the title of the conference, each panel and keynote will focus on science, sustainability, and solutions. What does the latest research reveal about each theme for discussion, and what novel or innovate research is taking place? How can national governments, local communities, and the private sector in Africa develop sustainable water solutions? And, what best practices should be held up as models for addressing the water question in Africa? To address Africa’s water opportunity, panels will feature a diverse mix of faculty and researchers,private sector representatives, NGOs, and non-profits working on 21st century solutions to water. We will identify participants from across Africa (ensuring regional diversity including North Africa) as well as the international community.




 Wednesday, April 21

9:00AM Welcome and Introductions

Professor Wafaie Fawzi, Harvard Center for African Studies Interim Oppenheimer Faculty Director, Richard Saltonstall Professor of Population Sciences, and Professor of Nutrition, Epidemiology, and Global Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Provost Alan Garber, Harvard University

9:15AM Panel: Water and Health

The panel will explore the connection between water and health, including sanitation and hygiene. Cholera remains endemic in most of Central and East Africa, with more cases than any other region in the world. Drinking contaminated water can spread diseases including diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid, and polio. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic presented a new challenge as water scarce communities are encouraged to practice increased levels of hand washing. Waste water and sewage treatment are also pertinent to the discussion and an area where novel methods can reutilize waste water for commercial use. This panel will discuss novel and innovative approaches for accessing clean, potable water for communities and the related implications for health and healthcare systems.

Moderator: Professor John Macomber, Senior Lecturer, Harvard Business School

  • Dr. Richard Cash, Senior Lecturer on Global Health, Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health
  • Dr. Guéladio Cissé, Professor of Sanitary Engineering & Environmental Epidemiology, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
  • Dr. Guy Hutton, Senior Adviser, WASH Section, UNICEF
  • Dr. Cush Ngonzo Luwesi, Focal Regional Manager for the Volta and Niger, CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems
  • Ms. Jennifer Sara, Global Director, Water Global Practice, World Bank

10:15AM Keynote Address: Annual Joseph S. Agyepong Distinguished Lecture on Public Health in Africa

Water for health in Africa – A rights-based approach to development”
Keynote by: Dr. Martin Fregene, Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industry, African Development Bank Group (AfDB)
Moderated by Professor Robert Paarlberg, Associate, Sustainability Science Program, Harvard Kennedy School

11:15AM Panel: Water, Climate, and Agriculture

With a changing climate, some areas of Africa will have decreased levels of precipitation while others will be more susceptible to flooding. Temperature change in Africa is projected to be more extreme than anywhere else in the world. As droughts become more frequent and sustained, crop production will be threatened, resulting in diminished food security. Lakes that are shrinking due to climate change impact the food source and livelihoods of surrounding communities. These challenges present not only a threat to food security but also economic security. This panel will explore how a changing climate might impact agriculture, the solutions that government and farmers might adopt, as well as the implications of the Paris Agreement for Africa.

Moderator: Professor Rob Paarlberg, Associate, Sustainability Science Program, Harvard Kennedy School


  • Professor Peter Huybers, Professor of Health and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University
  • Dr. Paul Orengoh, Director of Programs, African Ministers’ Council on Water
  • Dr. Claudia Ringler, Deputy Division Director, Environment and Production Technology Division, International Food Policy Research Institute
  • Dr. Karen Villholth, Principal Researcher and Coordinator, International Water Management Institute

12:15PM Day One Closing Remarks

Thursday, April 22

9:00AM Welcome and Recognition of Earth Day 2021

Dean Douglas Elmendorf, Harvard Kennedy School

Professor Rainer Sauerborn, Senior Professor, Heidelberg University

9:15AM Panel: Water, Migration, and Human Rights

Access to water for drinking, agriculture, and fishing has driven human migration patterns for centuries. As changes to climate impact the availability of water or lead to more extreme weather events, migration for water-related reasons is anticipated to increase. With migration can come conflicts over land territory, water rights, and cross-national borders. It is important however that water as a cause of migration not be over simplified and offered as a single explanation for complex migratory patterns, or that water-driven migration be viewed as a net negative. This panel will explore the role of water as a cause of migration as well as the question of water as a human right.

Moderator: Professor Jacqueline Bhabha, FXB Director of Research, Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Jeremiah Smith Jr. Lecturer in Law at Harvard Law School, and Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School


  • Ms. Hind Aïssaoui Bennani, Migration, Environment, and Climate Change Regional Specialist, International Organization for Migration
  • Professor Reshmaan N. Hussam, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
  • Ms. Aimée-Noël Mbiyozo,Senior Research Consultant, Institute for Security Studies, Africa
  • Dr. Kira Vinke, Project Lead, East Africa Peru India Climate Capacities (EPICC), Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

10:15AM “Africa’s water opportunities: Policy actions for driving economic growth and strengthening resilience” Keynote Address by Dr. Apollos Nwafor, Vice President, Policy and State Capability, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)

11:15AM Panel: Africa’s Water Opportunity

We will take a holistic look at water—linking the themes of health, agriculture, and migration—with an eye towards Africa’s Water Opportunity. We will ask a multidisciplinary panel to synthesize a way forward with solutions-oriented recommendations about next steps and policy outcomes. We may explore these themes through innovations in water management, climate-smart food systems using circular agriculture and sustainable fishery, and the involvement of humanitarian organizations in applied research.

Moderator: Professor Ina Danquah, Robert Bosch Junior Professor for Sustainable Nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa, Heidelberg University


  • Mr. Kitchinme Bawa, Sanitation Project Manager, African Ministers’ Council on Water
  • Mr. Jorge Alvarez-Sala, WASH Specialist – Systems Strengthening for Sustainable WASH Services, WASH, UNICEF
  • Mr. Sylvain Usher, Executive Director, African Water Association (AfWA)

12:15PM Day Two Closing Remarks

Dr. Joseph S. Agyepong, Founder and Executive Chairman, JOSPONG Group of Companies

Professor Wafaie Fawzi, Harvard Center for African Studies Interim Oppenheimer Faculty Director, Richard Saltonstall Professor of Population Sciences, and Professor of Nutrition, Epidemiology, and Global Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

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See related resources:

Future of Africa-based Curatorial Practice Workshop | Harvard University Center for African Studies


During this workshop, we will explore the state of curatorial practice in Africa and identify trends and areas for growth. The objective is to examine key themes in curatorial practice from an African perspective, survey the landscape of curatorial enterprise review models that have emerged over the past two decades, and to inquire how institutions like Harvard – with world-class museums and galleries and a leading Center for African Studies – can be partners in the research and study of African artistic and curatorial thought and practice.

We hope you will join us in this timely discussion on how to invest in African art curators intellectually by incorporating them into the academic environment of the university and its teaching and research mission, and technically by working through museums and galleries at Harvard to expand their curatorial capacity and professional networks.

COLLABORATORS: Harvard Center for African Studies, Harvard Art Museums, the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art, and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and will be held at the Harvard Art Museums.

The workshop will be guided by two keynote speakers:






See related:




as well as:


Summary video about “Footprints…”


and summary description of exhibit –  Harvard Design Studio exhibit on West African historical material.


Maps, Stones & Plants: Agents of Empire and the Ecology of the Atlantic Trade

Written in Stone: The Silent and Eerie Eloquence of Stone Structures in the Atlantic Trade

as well as:

African Historical Maps and African Art
(at the Pallazo Pitti, Uffizi Gallery,
Florence, Italy)

La storia del Regno del Congo a Palazzo Pitti attraverso le installazioni di Sammy Baloji | Le Gallerie degli Uffizi


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