Hello, friends. “The None and the Many,” our silver jubilee issue, starts off with a proverbial bang with “Pistols for Two,” an exchange between David Graeber and Thomas Piketty on capital, debt, and the future. Thomas Frank looks the Masons and Rotarians in the eye, and Natasha Vargas-Cooper considers the meaning of a president’s posterior. Nicholson Baker provides us with a meta-review of more than a dozen JFK-assassination books, and emerges from all his reading with his own arresting theory intact. Jacob Silverman travels back in time to visit some like-minded subversives from the cusp of the Information Revolution, and Jason Linkins does us the favor of immersing himself in countless hours of cable TV news, so we don’t have to, thank heavens. Tom Gogola reports from Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s segregation movement, and Astra Taylor from a worker-owned manufacturing plant in Chicago, while Helaine Olen sends updates from Venice, California’s “coolest block in America,” and Daniel Brook experiences the gospel of wealth from the perspective of the direst slums of India.
There are also salvos on politics, economics, and education policy from the formidable brains of Todd VanDerWerff, Chris Bray, Chris Lehmann, Lee Fang, and Jennifer C. Berkshire. Plus excerpts, interviews, and archival treats from Barbara Ehrenreich, Matt Roth, and Hugh McGraw; fiction by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya and Melina Kamerić; and poetry by Peter Payack, Edwin Frank, Joshua Moses, Melissa Monroe, and Elise Partridge. Wait, that’s not all: there are full-color photographs and original illustrations by Michael Northrup, Lewis Koch, Henrik Drescher, Katherine Streeter, and more. Finally, we pay tribute to the dear, departed, and prolific genius that was Baffler artist David McLimans. It’s our friendship issue, believe it or not, and we invite you to join us.