The Environment, More or Less
Where the River Runs Dry The Colorado and America's water crisis. The New Yorker, May 25, 2015.
Green Manhattan Everywhere should be more like New York. The New Yorker, December 18, 2004.
Bears Do It But pandas in captivity often won't. The New Yorker, September 2, 2013.
The Artificial Leaf Daniel Nocera's vision for sustainable energy. The New Yorker, May 14, 2012.
The Efficiency Dilemma If our machines use less energy, will we just use them more? The New Yorker, December 20-27, 2010.
The End of Sand It's one of our most widely used natural resources, but it's scarcer than you think. The New Yorker, May 29, 2017
The Psychology of Space Can a Norwegian firm solve the problems of Times Square? The New Yorker, January 21, 2013.
Life in the Green Gap The other kind of climate change denial. Beside, Winter, 2017.
The Dark Side Most Americans are no longer able to see the Milky Way in the sky above the place where they live. The New Yorker, August 20, 2007.
Notes From Underground Florida's sinkhole peril. The New Yorker, March 18, 2013.
Magic Beans The Hudson Valley Seed Library. The New Yorker, March 28, 2016.
Comment: Economy vs. Environment Why the world's financial and environmental crises are connected. The New Yorker, March 30, 2009.
Ask the Author: Questions for David Owen A conversation with readers about the ecology of recessions. newyorker.com, 3/23/2009.
Green Collars Ironworkers in Queens watch a documentary about a green buliding in Boston. The New Yorker, May 18, 2009.
Wheeling Circumnavigating Manhattan by bicycle. The New Yorker, 12/1/2008.
The Shrinking of Lake Mead (An Earth Day Photo) What's happening behind the Hoover Dam. newyorker.com, April 22, 2009.
The Inventor's Dilemma An eco-minded engineer discovers the limits of innovation: a profile of Saul Griffith. The New Yorker, May 17, 2010
Drying Out Why golf needs to shrink. Golf Digest Index, November 2009.
H2O + Golf In a world lacking water, golf must be smart about using it efficiently. Golf Digest, November 2013.
Call Me Loyd The power of nicknames. The New Yorker, February 10, 2008.
The Dime Store Floor What did childhood smell like? The New Yorker, January 14, 2010.
Scars A Life in Injuries. The New Yorker, March 19, 2012.
Home, Home on the Road A family obsession with recreational vehicles. The American Scholar, Summer 2018.
Getting Shot in Bogota
Survival of the Fitted The Rise of Bulletproof Couture. The New Yorker, September 26, 2011.
Our Farflung Correspondents
The Anti-Gravity Men Cecil Balmond and the structural engineers of Arup. The New Yorker, June 25, 2007.
Return of the Mogul John Calley is lured back to Hollywood. The New Yorker, March 21, 1994.
Going Solo Is Stella McCartney ready to launch her own label? The New Yorker, September 17, 2001.
Floating Feasts Gourmandism on the high seas. The New Yorker, November 3, 2014
Copies in Seconds The surprising history of xerography. The Atlantic Monthly, February 1986.
Making Copies At first, nobody bought Chester Carlson's strange idea. Smithsonian, August 2004.
Pardon? High-tech hope for the hard of hearing. The New Yorker, April 3, 2017.
Dirty Hands A cheating scandal in the world of professional bridge. The New Yorker, March 7, 2016.
Penny Dreadful They're horrid and useless. Why do pennies persist? The New Yorker, March 31, 2008.
One-Ring Mud Show Traveling through New Jersey with a small circus. The New Yorker, 4/20/1992.
Booth Country A profile of the cartoonist George Booth. The New Yorker, December 7-14, 1998.
The Happiness Button Customer satisfaction in the emoji era. The New Yorker, February 5, 2018.
The Walls Around Us The joy of Sheetrock. The Atlantic Monthly, May 1987.
The Pay Problem What's to be done about C.E.O. compensation? The New Yorker, October 12, 2009.
Game of Thrones How airlines woo the one per cent. The New Yorker, April 21, 2014.
Jim Copp and His Things Songs for children which are the quirky products of a real imagination. The Atlantic Monthly, November 1993.
Opening Windows A profile of the indescribable Kenny Schaffer. The New Yorker, December 2, 1991.
Are You a Difficult Person? Dealing with Turtle Syndrome, among other ills. The Atlantic Monthly, October 1989.
Hands Across America The rise of Purell. The New Yorker, March 4, 2013.
Taking Humor Seriously George Meyer, the funniest man behind the funniest show on TV. The New Yorker, May 13, 2000.
Satellite Television Good news for people who love TV. The Atlantic Monthly, June 1985.
Concrete Jungle Giant wrecking balls, Mob contracts, and the cement that holds the city together. The New Yorker, 11/10/2003.
Ephemeral States At the frontiers of geography. The Atlantic Monthly, January 1988.
The Evidence Store Stephen Appelbaum sells visual aids and other supplies to trial lawyers. The Atlantic Monthly, April 1988.
Stuff An introduction to Alex Shear. The New Yorker, April 20, 1992.
The Sultan of Stuff Is Alex Shear's odd collection just junk or the key to American culture? The New Yorker, July 19, 1999.
Seeing Red Finding out what happened to everyone's favorite M&M. The Atlantic Monthly, October 1988.
Turning Tricks The rise and fall of contract bridge. The New Yorker, September 17, 2007.
Betting on Broadway Rocco Landesman gambles on the theatre. The New Yorker, June 13, 1994.
Measure for Measure How the metric system conquered the world--almost. The New Yorker, October 14-21, 2002
The Museum of Failed Products The difference between a successful product and a failed one is sometimes hard to discern. The Atlantic Monthly, December 1985.
The Straddler Peter Norton breaks down barriers. The New Yorker, January 30, 1995.
Dreams and Downlines The world of multi-level marketing. The Atlantic Monthly, October 1987.
Looking Out for Kermit The remarkable children of Jim Hensen. The New Yorker, August 16, 1993.
Card Tricks Why laughter isn't enough for Hallmark. The New Yorker, April 19, 2004.
Octane and Knock Finding out about gasoline. The Atlantic Monthly, August 1987.
Across the Mississippi In search of ferries past. The Atlantic Monthly, April 1991.
Either a Borrower or a Lender Be Partying with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Vanity Fair, February 1984.
From Race to Chase Yale's Stephen L. Carter writes a thriller. The New Yorker, June 3, 2002.
The Soundtrack of Your Life Muzak in the realm of retail theatre. The New Yorker, April 10, 2006.
Where Toys Come From Selling fun to children is one of capitalism's least predictable pursuits. The Atlantic Monthly, October 1986.
The Fifth Estate Trade magazines: the other journalism. The Atlantic Monthly, July 1985.
The Ghost Course Links to the past on a Scottish Island. The New Yorker, April 20, 2009.
Playing Out of the Snow Where to tee off in the off-season. The New Yorker, March 28, 2005.
John Updike, Golfer 1932-2009. Golf Digest, April 2009.
The Yips What's behind the condition that every golfer dreads? The New Yorker, May 26, 2014.
Title IX Babies The golf-playing Lendl girls are part of a revolution in the sport. The New Yorker, May 15, 2006.
The Men Who Made the Masters Clifford Roberts, Bobby Jones, and the greatest tournament in golf. Vanity Fair, March 1999.
The Case for All-Male Golf Clubs Golf Digest, March 2003.
Merchandise Fooling around at a golf trade show in Orlando. The New Yorker, March 9, 1992.
Swinging Golf, it turns out, is a very risky business. The New Yorker, April 12, 1999.
Over the Top A golfer's journey to the strange, otherworldly land of Dubai. Golf Digest Index, Winter 2006-2007.
Thwack Simulator golf in Brooklyn. The New Yorker, September 23, 1991.
England's Golf Coast Links golf in Lancashire. Links, Summer, 2017.
Swinging in Morocco Golf diplomacy and the last North African kingdom. The New Yorker, May 21, 2001.
The Greenkeeper's Tale Golf Digest, February 2003.
What is Tom Watson Driving At? The world's best golfer, at 32. Esquire, September 1982.
The Chosen One Will golf ever be the same after Tiger Woods? The New Yorker, August 21-28, 2000.
Nobel Golfer A round with the economist Richard Thaler. Golf Digest, February 2018.
Inside the Lair Hanging around with Tiger Woods. Men's Vogue, Spring 2006.
I was a senior writer at Harper's in 1982 and 1983, during the brief editorship of Michael Kinsley and for a little while afterward. A selection of my articles:
The Secret Lives of Dentists Pity these busy monsters. Harper’s, March 1982.
State-of-the-Art Panhandling Forget about charity-extracting $350 million requires a well-oiled fund-raising machine. Harper's, August 1982.
Those Who Can't, Consult Why do experienced executives pay millions for the advice of young punks who've never run anything? Harper's, November 1982.
The Last Days of ETS Trouble at the nerve center of American meritocracy, where the grading machines run twenty-four hours a day. Harper's, May 1983.
Rest in Pieces Life was a feast. Now, how to dispose of the leftovers? Harper's, June 1983.
Good Intentions The relentless rise of Anne Wexler, Harper's, August 1983.
Meet Me in St. Louis The people people have a convention convention. Harper's, September 1983.
The Soul of a New Dessert On the cutting edge of pudding technology, Harper's, October 1983.
Ecstasy in Liverpool Shrine-hopping in the Holy Land of rock-and-roll. Harper's, December 1983.
For a year or two before I began writing for Harper's, I was a frequent contributor to Esquire, which was in the same building. Two of my contributions:
The Best-Kept Secret in American Journalism is Murray Kempton The great Kempton. Esquire, March 1982.
The Littlest Congressman John LeBoutillier wants to be the President of the United States. Esquire, April 1982.
The Talk of the Town
Lego The happiest worker in the history of employment. The New Yorker, January 14, 1991.
Worst-Case Scenario Handbook The book to have when the killer bees arrive. The New Yorker, February 21-28, 2000.
On Broadway Elise Engler draws all two hundred and fifty-odd blocks on Broadway. The New Yorker, June 8-15, 2015.
Mad Day Out Tom Murray's photographs of the Beatles. The New Yorker, June 4-11, 2018.
Back Together The fiftieth reunion of a Queens junior-high-school class. The New Yorker, August 29, 2011.
Jaded The special effects of Michael Geary. The New Yorker, December 9, 1991.
Mile-High Dinner Creating recipes for Singapore Airlines. The New Yorker, September 29, 2014.
Official Duties On becoming a notary public. The New Yorker, February 25, 1991.
Stuff An introduction to Alex Shear. The New Yorker, April 20, 1992.
Slouching Towards Nazareth's Cigars in L.A. The New Yorker, March 21, 1994.
Bits and Bobs Archaeology at Dead Horse Bay. The New Yorker, January 15, 2018.
Incentives At the Premium Incentive Show, in the Javits Center. The New Yorker, May 27, 1991.
Magic Beans The Hudson Valley Seed Library. The New Yorker, March 28, 2016.
Wheeling Circumnavigating Manhattan by bicycle. The New Yorker, December 21, 2008.
Secret Garden The Sailors' Snug Harbor. The New Yorker, September 2, 2013.
Seaman's Folly The Arc de Triomphe at Broadway and 216th Street. The New Yorker, January 22, 2018.
Space Mogul Richard Branson and his rocket. The New Yorker, January 9, 2012.
Your Move A young chess grand master takes on a crowd. The New Yorker, January 4, 2016.
Fore! An artificial putting green in Brooklyn, The New Yorker, October 23, 2017.
Bird A saxophone prodigy. The New Yorker, July 24, 2006.
Very Now Voyagers Aboard Malcolm Forbes's yacht, the Highlander. The New Yorker, November 29, 1993.
A Pirate's Life Treasure at the Explorers Club. The New Yorker, March 10, 2014.
Family Business Woodworking supplies in the Bronx. The New Yorker, April 29, 1991.
Comment A Generation Gloats. The New Yorker, April 24-May 1, 2000.
Self-Made Sean Tejaratchi and LiarTownUSA, The New Yorker, January 1, 2018
Tom Christopher Monet had his water lilies, and Tom Christopher has Times Square. The New Yorker, October 19, 1998.
Moonrocks The city's lunar samples. The New Yorker, February 11, 1991.
Honorifics Selecting a title from a pull-down menu. The New Yorker, April 10, 2006.
One Man's Trash Nelson Molina's remarkable collection. The New Yorker, September 12, 2016.
City Island Postcard A museum rebuilds. The New Yorker, May 5, 2009.
Pita The best bread in the city. The New Yorker, January 7, 1991.
Toys Are Them At the Toy Fair. The New Yorker, March 7, 1994.
Tornado Man Reed Timmer and the Dominator. The New Yorker, November 1, 2010.
Miracle Fibres Katarina Witt in the Pegasus Suite. The New Yorker, May 6, 1991.
The Hundred Club Century-old businesses in the city. The New Yorker, December 23-30, 2002.
Restoration A major remodeling project in the Dakota. The New Yorker, January 28, 1991.
This Old House A restoration in the Brooklyn Museum. The New Yorker, September 9, 2006.
Banner Day John R. Monsky's flag collection. The New Yorker, July 2, 2012.
What She Said The incomparable Ruth Draper. The New Yorker, January 2, 2017.
Partners The Victor Mitchell Pro-Am bridge tournament. The New Yorker, September 6, 2010.
Inventions Nineteenth-century patent models at the Cooper Union. The New Yorker, March 4, 1991.
Cabinet of Wonders Obscura Antiques & Oddities, Lower East Side. The New Yorker, May 7, 2012.
Say "Ahhh" Standardized patients. The New Yorker, January 8, 2018.
The Meat Doctor The women who buy the beef for Peter Luger. The New Yorker, June 30, 2003.
Green Collars Ironworkers in Queens watch a documentary about a green building in Boston. The New Yorker, May 18, 2009.
Gilt The meaning of Trump Tower. The New Yorker, April 17, 2017.
David Koepp is a Very Nice Screenwriter. Really The New Yorker, March 21, 1994.
Rocks on Ice Curling in Ardsley, New York. The New Yorker, March 12, 2018.
The S.A.T.'s Watchdog The National Center for Fair and Open Testing. The New Yorker, April 3, 2006.
Jack Handey, Real Deep The Saturday Night Live writer. The New Yorker, October 18, 1993.
Tiny Wheels How to fit more cars into Manhattan. The New Yorker, September 17, 2007.
Sculptor Lawrence Fane A life in tools. The New Yorker, March 8, 2010.
Comment Publishing Junior Journal. The New Yorker, June 10, 1991.
Exit Strategy The Rescue Reel. The New Yorker, August 30, 2010.
Miss Subways Reunion in the city. The New Yorker, June 10, 1991.
Very Unique A prize and a theatre named for Mark O'Donnell. The New Yorker, April 23, 2018.
Another Chinese Dynasty A Chinese moviemaker in New York. The New Yorker, November 22, 1993.
Mysteries Waiting for U.F.O.s. The New Yorker, May 20, 1991.
Shouts & Murmurs, etc.
What Happened to My Money? The New Yorker, May 15, 2000.
Work Marriage The Atlantic Monthly, February 1987.
Here's a Really Great Idea The New Yorker, November 1, 1999.
The Big Question The Atlantic Monthly, June 1989.
8 Simple Rules For Dating My Ex-Wife The New Yorker, 1/12/2004.
How I'm Doing The New Yorker, July 3, 2000.
Your Three Wishes: F.A.Q. The New Yorker, January 16, 2006.
The Afterlife: Cutting Back The New Yorker, January 7, 2008.
Into the Archives The Atlantic Monthly, October 1994.
No Thanks The New Yorker, December 18, 1995.
The Perfect Job The Atlantic Monthly, March 1990.
Popularity The New Yorker, July 8, 2002.
History The Atlantic Monthly, November 1986.
Remake The New Yorker, April 21-28, 2003.
My AirlineThe New Yorker, July 7-14, 2008.
How to Get Rich Quick The Atlantic Monthly, March 1989.
Ripoff! The New Yorker, February 22-April 1, 1999.
Passing The New Yorker, April 2, 2007.
Help for the TV Shy The Atlantic Monthly, September 1987.
A Naturalist's Notes The New Yorker, August 11, 2003.
Pfft The Atlantic Monthly, December 1986
Bringing Up Baby Bob Greene on maternity leave. The New Republic, October 1, 1984.
Twinkies Linda Ellerbee and Joan Lunden. The New Republic, March 30, 1987.
Riding the Trend Trend Just point the way—any way—and millions are sure to follow. Playboy, November 1985.
The Report Cards Tackling the crisis in education. The New Republic, January 23, 1984.
Testing, Testing Some tough questions for E.T.S. The New Republic, June 4, 1984.
My wife and I were regular contributors to the defunct humor magazine Spy. For a little while, I wrote the magazine's cheerfully mean-spirited Review of Reviewers column, under the pseudonym Ignatz Raztwikzwizki. The name comes from the great Preston Sturges movie "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek." The editors and I weren't sure how to spell it—the character who uses it in the movie isn't sure, either—so we spelled it a different way each month. Some samples:
Monkey Business Spy, September 1988.
Deadline Fever Spy, April 1989.
More is Less Spy, May 1989.