The Vanity of "Vanity Fair"
March 21, 1983
Once upon a time—between September 1913 and February 1936—there was Vanity Fair. A quarter of a century after it folded, Cleveland Amory called it “America’s most memorable magazine,” and only a curmudgeon would quarrel with that accolade. It inspired an unusual fondness in both its contributors and its readers when it was alive, and amazingly its reputation still inspires much the same fondness in those who have never turned its pages. It is understandable that Condé Nast Publications Inc., the firm descended from the original publisher, should have been tempted to revive it.
The Real Life of Women
August 26, 1978
I must be clear about the terms that I will use. By female I mean the biological, what is given with the gender. The dictionary leaves no doubt about this. The female is the bearer of the young, of which the male is the begetter. No definition of the female will bear scrutiny if it does not center on the biological function of carrying the young or the egg. By feminine I mean, not what is given, but what is acquired: What is cultivated, not what is biological.
Washington Diarist: Power and Money
July 09, 1977
It is hard to remind people who do not know Washington that it is also just a city, which carries on its own life even as “the elect and the elected” come here, stay for a time, and mostly then depart. “The smell of power hangs over the city like cordite,” says Harry McPherson, one of the most intelligent and literate of the assistants to Lyndon Johnson; and now we are told that the scent of money clings round the city, as it never has before, like the heavy fragrance of the tulip trees in bloom. Both no doubt are true.
Profit Without Honor
May 07, 1977
One of the roots of the confusion of the American press about its proper role lies in the kind of privileges it now thinks it can claim. There is and there can be, for example, no "right to know," the most ludicrous of claims for the press to make.
Press Against Politics
November 12, 1976
From The Editors: This week, our historical piece is “Press Against Politics,” Henry Fairlie’s 1976 call to arms for more passion and more conviction from the listless class of political journalists covering the Carter-Ford election. (He was clearly upset: “The fact is that James Reston writes now like a sports columnist on the slope of Olympus.