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Volume VIII, Number 1 | winter 2015



By Lewis H. Lapham

When we talk about the foreign, the question becomes one of us versus them. But in the end, is one just the opposite side of the other? 



In 1923 Jewish composer Arnold Schoenberg declined painter Wassily Kandinsky’s offer to join the Bauhaus, having heard that other members of the school were anti-Semitic. “For I have at last learned the lesson that has been forced upon me during this year,” Schoenberg wrote to Kandinsky, “and I shall not ever forget it. It is that I am not a German, not a European, indeed perhaps scarcely a human being (at least, the Europeans prefer the worst of their race to me), but I am a Jew.”

The almost insoluble task is to let neither the power of others, nor our own powerlessness, stupefy us.

- Theodor Adorno, 1951

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#56 Doris Kearns Goodwin

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“Foreigners” in Oakland

To celebrate the winter issue of Lapham's Quarterly, and inaugurate the magazine’s first west coast event—we have invited four of the Bay Area’s most prolific, interesting, and illuminating guests to read from “Foreigners” and present thoughts, stories and compelling commentary.


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