150 Years, 9 Lives: Stories from The Harvard Crimson

In truth, the legacy of The Crimson is not contained in books; it’s in the people who have sustained it. Here are just nine of them.

Volume XXXIV, Issue X

Dear Reader, As we hurtle toward the end of the school year, days and weeks start to blur together. Each day becomes animated by simply completing the next assignment, studying for the next test, or making the next deadline. All hope rests on summer break, which is just around the corner. But for this issue, instead of looking forward, our writers are taking a moment to look back. This year, our themed issue centers around nostalgia, a longing for the past. The stories untangle complicated legacies, make sense of old decisions, and uncover histories and stories that are still relevant to us now. The Crimson celebrated its 150th birthday this year. In honor of this anniversary, MJH, AEP, and AZW’s scrutiny tells a history of The Crimson through stories shared by nine former Crimson editors. These alumni wrote for The Crimson from the 1950s to the aughts, and they witnessed and reported on a variety of historical events, from apartheid South Africa to the Vietnam War (did you know that Daniel Ellsberg almost printed the Pentagon Papers using The Crimson’s own printing press?). But ultimately, what our alumni spent most of their time reminiscing on wasn’t the reporting — it was the people. MEE writes about Elsa Dorfman, a Cambridge resident and Mather tutor whose photos captured Beatnik America, or rather, Beatnik Cambridge, and the Harvard students she befriended. YAK looks back on her childhood obsession with Rookie Magazine, reflecting on how the adolescence its content promised was never quite realized — but perhaps, that is part of its appeal. STB writes about his connection, or lack thereof, to his hometown of Johannesburg. TS visits Cambridge’s Old Burying Ground to report on efforts to preserve and uncover new histories in the historic graveyard. MG writes a letter to her sophomore year, committing a hard, but full, year to the page. KT writes about trying and failing (and, eventually, succeeding) in reaccessing the joy from her childhood. This semester's last 15 Questions is with Susannah Tobin, a former Crimson editor and current professor at the Law School. Be sure to check out the crossword tab to do BWF's crossword "In My Tradwife Era." During the chaos of the semester, it is hard to create the distance necessary to start feeling nostalgic. But as summer begins, perspective will come. We find ourselves already looking back at a semester that has gone by so fast, awed by the amazing work so many people put into this magazine, and treasuring the beauty of the process. Thank you to SS, SET, SCS, MHS, MQ, JH, and JJG for being our go-to multi and design specialists. Special thanks to SET for always going above and beyond, helping us even with all the work you have with preparing the newspaper. You are an absolute legend. Thank you to the FM execs for making us look forward to our endless Monday meetings. You guys are truly the heart of the magazine. Special thanks to JL and THK for managing social media; BWF, KT, and JKW for helping our writers inquire and introspect; and to the lovely MG and DRZ for being the vibes curators. A big thank you to BWF for doing all that I can’t and teaching me how to use InDesign; thanks for also being our head (only) crossword editor. Thank you to MGB and JL, our amazing comp directors. Thank you to KT and MG for alllll that you do and for being incredible editors and friends. My favorite time of the week is 10:30 p.m. on Monday nights. Thank you to CVL for backing our pricey magazine and for making it less pricey. Thank you to CJC for being the stalwart president that you are, tucking our execs in during our meetings, and answering our questions at 5 a.m. Thank you to BLK and MX for spending hours and hours on top of hours to make this magazine what it is! And thank you to all our wonderful writers for making it all worth it. Thank you to IYG for keeping me sane. Sincerely, AHL & IYG

Delawala Castle

Delawala poses for a photo in the Lampoon Castle. (“You will notice that Imti is not wearing jeans and appears to be the same 35-year old as he looks today,” Graff wrote in an email.)

Podcast: The Unabomber: The Man, the Myth, and the Manifesto

The Unabomber, caught in the 1990s, continues to remain a fixture in the imaginations of countless podcast hosts, documentary makers, and journalists — why? In this podcast, Fifteen Minutes Magazine breaks down the common stories used to explain his path to violence and examines the aftershocks of the publication of his manifesto.

Volume XXXIV, Issue IX

Dear Reader, April showers, May flowers. Or so they say. Well, I’ve violently sneezed myself awake every morning this month, so I’m praying that the flowering will be over soon. But it’s too easy to wish for something to be over and miss it as soon as it’s gone. I know I’ll miss looking at the pink buds on the apple tree just outside my window almost as much as I’ll miss joining our writers, editors, designers, and photographers every week to produce our little magazine. But hey, at least we’ll get some sleep soon enough. This issue’s long-awaited scrutiny is a podcast! JKW and MMFW examine the Unabomber, or rather, the stories we tell about the Unabomber. The Unabomber — or should we say, Ted Kaczynski — entered Harvard College at the tender age of 16. There has been a multitude of “origin stories” that point to his participation in a psychological study at Harvard as the reason for his crimes — some point even earlier, to when he was hospitalized at just nine months old. Regardless, Ted’s manifesto, and the violence he used to back it up, has become fodder for dark corners of the internet — like Amazon. Give it a listen to hear JKW and MMFW interview Ted’s brother, next-door neighbor, and a plethora of experts on the subject all puzzling over the mystery of Ted’s many narratives. RCA and KIS deliver a scrutling about the impact of Harvard rolling back its Covid restrictions and how it has led to confusion and disruption in students’ lives. They cite medical research, illustrating how the pandemic is still alive and well and how it continues to have major health impacts, even on the young and healthy. Moreover, they examine how the University, by distancing itself from pandemic-era Covid prevention measures, has contributed to the rhetoric that diminishes the danger of getting Covid. SSL writes about Embedded Ethics in Computer Science, which hopes to encourage Harvard CS students to think more ethically, but may fall short of its goal. YSG and KZS write about Cambridge’s 35-year friendship with one of its sister cities, Yerevan, Armenia. MEW and MTB revisit Tasty Diner (you know, that diner that Matt Damon takes Minnie Driver to in “Good Will Hunting?) and talk to old diner-goers eager to share their colorful memories about the Harvard Square staple. RCG and CJK provide captions for a photo essay, shot by AE and LT, about the Universal Design playground in Danehy Park, built intentionally for children and visitors of all ages and abilities. RHDN, RR, and YSG write about the jewel of Harvard’s Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments: the Grand Orrery. It has just recently been reassembled after being taken apart for study, and it has a lot to teach us, and not just about lunar phases. JEK and SG write about Bow & Arrow Press and the community that has gathered around it in both celebration and sadness as the press’ operations come to a close after 45 years of working out of the Adams basement. SD provides a 15 Questions interview with Orlando Patterson about his experience advising the Jamaican Prime Minister, his research on the sociology of slavery, and his childhood. OGP brings us a trio of levities. Your least favorite person in your social studies tutorial — aka The Harvard Man — might be having some trouble adjusting socially, so he goes to see a therapist. Cookie Monster visits HBS to give a lecture: “C is for Capitalism.” And a Harvard student bravely takes off their headphones and confronts the sounds of Harvard, totally unfiltered. NHS and RYZ round off the levities for this issue with a look into a rather unusual game of assassins, where the animals around campus are participating. SS draws a comic capturing the ordeal that is traveling by T. Be sure to check out this week’s crossword by MEG! TS brings us a fantastic endpaper about how she is always late, whether it be going to lecture or deciding on her career plans. Ultimately, she finds, there may be some upshots to the lateness. Thank you to FSZ for the amazing podcast production, diligent editing, and kindness! Thanks to JH for the podcasting help and JJG for the long long hours of transcript proofing — you guys work too hard. Thank you to SS, SET, SCS, MHS, MQ, JH and JJG for the maestro fun this semester. Special thanks to SET for answering our frantic texts about glossy layout and for your endless patience. Thank you to BLK and MX for proofing magic and staying with us through this protracted podcasting process (and protracted proofing semester). IYG — what would I do without you? Thank you for proofing, editing, and Googling Indesign tips in the wee hours with me. Let’s go Warriors!* *I do not follow basketball, no one follow up on this with me. FM Love, AHL & IYG

Deforestation Picture Brazil

Deforestation at an industrial farm near Santa Filomena. “What are we going to do – wait another 100 years and have ‘Harvard's Legacy of Environmental Destruction.’ Is that the title of the report in 100 years?" Chalhoub asks.

HMC Brazil Cover Image

Although the full extent of HMC’s former landholdings remain concealed behind a complex web of private equity firms, associated subsidiary companies and investment partners, what is clear is that HMC’s purchases contributed to a climate of anxiety, fear, and strain on Brazilian subsistence farmers.

Insolo sign

Harvard Management Company owned Fazenda Fortaleza through its subsidiary company, Insolo. As large-scale farms like Fazenda Fortaleza arrived in Piauí, locals like Alves Pessoa have lost significant parts of their land and access to critical resources. Some people have been moved off their land by these large farms.

Burning Trees

Burning trees to deforest the land is a common practice in the Cerrado. When that happens, all the carbon already captured in those trees is released into the atmosphere.

Assets to Axes: How Harvard’s Land Investments Inspired Fear in Brazil’s Cerrado

Although the full extent of HMC’s former landholdings remain concealed behind a complex web of private equity firms, associated subsidiary companies and investment partners, what is clear is that HMC’s purchases contributed to a climate of anxiety, fear, and strain on Brazilian subsistence farmers.

Volume XXXIV, Issue VIII

Dear Reader, The first truly hot days of the year have come, teasing us with the promise of the summer to come. But for now, we are still in the thick of the semester, and we have another issue for you… In this week’s scrut, JL and STB write about the Harvard Management Company’s purchases of Brazilian farmland. They talk to two people who live near Harvard-owned land — Ariomara “Mara” Alves Pessoa and João Henrique Pereira Mendes. Alves Pessoa and Pereira Mendes explain that large-scale farmers that come to their regions displace people and contaminate the water and soil. Harvard made these purchases to grow its endowment, raising questions about whether the University can continue to justify its massive endowment. Kudos to them for being so diligent in analyzing complex foreign land policy, handling complicated fact-checking, and doing interviews in a foreign language — and a big thank you to JPRF for all the hours spent translating those interviews. SG and CJK talk to Aliyah S. Collins about the Eco-Healing project, which she started to help students at HBCUs mentally recover from climate disasters. RCG and CSE go to a talk by Tommy Orange, author of “There There,” where they get to hear about his next book, “Wandering Stars,” and how his background as a musician influences his writing. ASG learns about Conflux, a new student group interested in art tech. Beloved Math 22 professor, Dusty E. Grundmeier is leaving next year; CL and RHDN went to talk to him about teaching and his next steps after Harvard. CSE writes about learning to overcome the competition and jealousy in her relationship with her twin sister, reflecting on how, ultimately, they are each other’s biggest supporters. Venn diagrams are back! This time, iconic duo HD and MG take on another iconic duo: Cascada’s “Everytime We Touch” and your dhall crush. SJ covers the death of Let’s Go, a travel guide book series that used to be produced by students working for Harvard Student Agencies. MMFW asks Ian J. Miller 15 questions about his work as a history professor, Cabot’s faculty dean, and Cabot historian. JGH graces the new crossword tab (thank you JYY and KL!) with our first online crossword — "Timber!" Go complete it! KSG delivers a beautiful endpaper about her experience joining ultimate frisbee at Harvard and the joys of learning something new. Thank you to GRW for tackling the longest CQs ever while scrut proofing, and to EY for lending us HMC expertise. Thank you to SS, SET, SCS, MHS, MQ, JH, and JJG for a lovely maestro as always, and, especially, for dealing with our last-minute graphic and photo requests. Thank you to BLK for nostalgia and scrut proofing and helping with comment requests, and to SX (that is, Slaymei Xu) for being so slay, and as always, for proofing. And, of course, thank you AHL — for golden and regular Oreos, fantastic scrut edits, and for putting so much into this magazine, day in, day out. FM Love, IYG & AHL

Volume XXXIV, Issue VII

Dear Reader, Another day, another dollar; another issue, another closeout. As the academic year is coming quickly to a close, it’s hard not to feel excited as well as sad (and a little scared … the finals season scaries are fast upon us). But change is inevitable, and it’s something we should be excited about. With that, we introduce FM’s first (!) scrutling cover story: "Lena Chen’s Intimate Internet." The ever-remarkable YAK profiles Lena Chen ’09 on her performance art, which examines the intersections between the internet, sex work, and intimacy. Chen shares how she got her start as the writer of Sex and the Ivy, a blog that documented her sex life while at Harvard. Yet, her relationship with the internet is complicated; as a victim of revenge porn, Chen knows well the dark side of internet-mediated intimacy. In her conversations with Chen, YAK is set on exploring the question of how we can navigate desire in an increasingly-online world. RYZ reports on the Boston Lung Cancer Study’s innovative use of AI to diagnose and analyze cancer cells. CL heads to Adams to attend TransQuinceañera, an event hosted by the GSAS Latinx Student Association and the LGBTQ@GSAS Association in collaboration with Lía García, an artist, activist, and educator who performs at quinceañeras to spread awareness of trans issues and explore the intersections of gender and heritage. NDC and MMN talk to Harvard epidemiologist Tamarra James-Todd about her work studying the effects of chemical exposures from hair products used by Black women, and, more generally, about the intersections of health equity, environmental health, and reproductive justice. YSG writes a levity bringing us to the depths of health-guru-hell: Life Alive (luckily, she does escape, in fact, alive). STB and YAK ask author Valeria Luiselli 15 Questions, touching on topics from the best novel that has ever been written to her friend crush to the perils of the MFA. In this issue’s endpaper, YAK (for the third time!) shares her love-hate relationship with Los Angeles Apparel’s tennis skirts. Folded into her criticism of the implicit misogyny of the indie sleaze aesthetic, she asks: Why is desirability so desirable? A big thank you to SET, SS, MHS, and SCS for the amazing designs and beautiful layouts for glossy number two, coming soon to a dhall near you! (Thank you also to CVL for budgeting and being so accommodating of our mistakes …) And, as always, thank you MQ, JJG, JH for the lovely photos. Thank you to BLK for always being available to answer burning questions and for the pitches! Thank you to MX for being the queen you always are and for proofing at hours no one should ever be proofing. And, of course, thank you to editor-proofer-chair-assassin extraordinaire IYG. Even in the darkest of times, even when we are “holding on for dear life” as you put so eloquently, you handle it all as deftly as if it was all just the X-Step level of Geometry Dash. FM Love, AHL & IYG

Daedalus House 5 Brattle Street

The proposed EA office was at 5 Brattle Street. Open Philanthropy recommended an $8.9 million grant for the Center for Effective Altruism to lease an EA office space for five years in Harvard Square.

Jōsh Mysoré Portrait

Jōsh P. Mysoré ’26 completed the Arete fellowship last fall and is considering becoming a discussion leader at some point in the future. Mysoré loves poetry, but is planning on concentrating in Computer Science and Linguistics.

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