Lewis Lapham’s Gala Guests Are on the Right Side of History

  • Actress Anne Hathaway debuted a new pixie haircut at the inaugural Lapham’s Quarterly Decades Ball Monday night (to say nothing of her Les Mis-starved bod), but the most talked-about attendee was former chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker.

    Though less inherently glamorous, the economic adviser, whom we hear came with Jackie and Nick Drexel, is enjoying a moment of political celebrity after making JPMorgan chief Jamie Dimon eat his anti-regulatory words.    

    Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel tweeted that it was “a trip” to introduce him to Ralph Nader at the party, held at the old Christian Science church on Park Ave.

    Former Harper’s editor Lewis Lapham launched the Quarterly in 2007 to amplify historical voices with contemporary relevance, so it was fitting that the guests assembled were the recipients of recent historical validation.

    For example, Mr. Nader’s 2009 satire Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us suddenly seems more like policy, in light of the (Warren) Buffett Rule.

    The Observer asked what the former Green Party presidential candidate made of comedienne Roseanne Barr’s bid for his party’s nomination.

    “I don’t think she’s serious,” he said. “I think she’s having a good time.”

    Had running for president been a “good time” for him?

    “No,” he said. “Being sued twenty-four times by Democrats who wanted me off the ballot was not fun.”

    (Something to consider, Ms. Barr!)

    Fellow partygoer and Nation editor emeritus Victor Navasky made a highly aestheticized version of history this month, when his 1966 New York Times Magazine piece on hipster advertising firms was a plot point on Mad Men.

    He was chatting with New Yorker writer Calvin Trillin, who said his preppy personal style had withstood the test of time.

    “It’s like not bothering to change my AOL e-mail address,” he explained, “It might as well say ‘Old Fart’—OF.com.”

    Before dinner, we picked up pink champagne alongside fashion maven Mary McFadden, whose ensemble adhered not only to the party’s 1920s theme but also the theme of the most recent issue of Lapham’s, “Means of Communication.”

    “It’s from the Book of Kells,” she said, fingering the gold embroidery on her jacket.

    Walking away, we were surprised to see VICE founder Gavin McInnes seated at a table, his suspenders doing double duty as a hipster badge and an on-theme accessory. He told us his second career as a capitalist ad man bought him entry to such circles.

    “I create jobs,” he euphemized.

    As we sat down to eat, Benjamin Walker—soon to be known for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in the hotly anticipated Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter—gave a rousing reading of the section of A Moveable Feast beloved by all high schoolers in which Ernest Hemingway assures F. Scott Fitzgerald his penis isn’t too small, but it was Ms. Hathaway who earned the loudest applause, channeling Dorothy Parker.

    “Never trust a round garter or a Wall Street man,” she read. “That’s what life has taught me.”

  • Actress Anne Hathaway debuted a new pixie haircut at the inaugural Lapham’s Quarterly Decades Ball Monday night (to say nothing of her Les Mis-starved bod), but the most talked-about attendee was former chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker. Though less inherently glamorous, the economic adviser, whom we hear came with Jackie and Nick Drexel, is enjoying a moment of political celebrity after making JPMorgan chief Jamie Dimon eat his anti-regulatory words.     Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel tweeted that it was "a trip" to introduce him to Ralph Nader at the party, held at the old Christian Science church on Park Ave. Former Harper’s editor Lewis Lapham launched the Quarterly in 2007 to amplify historical voices with contemporary relevance, so it was fitting that the guests assembled were the recipients of recent historical validation. For example, Mr. Nader’s 2009 satire Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us suddenly seems more like policy, in light of the (Warren) Buffett Rule. The Observer asked what the former Green Party presidential candidate made of comedienne Roseanne Barr’s bid for his party’s nomination. “I don’t think she’s serious,” he said. “I think she’s having a good time.” Had running for president been a “good time” for him? “No,” he said. “Being sued twenty-four times by Democrats who wanted me off the ballot was not fun.” (Something to consider, Ms. Barr!) Fellow partygoer and Nation editor emeritus Victor Navasky made a highly aestheticized version of history this month, when his 1966 New York Times Magazine piece on hipster advertising firms was a plot point on Mad Men. He was chatting with New Yorker writer Calvin Trillin, who said his preppy personal style had withstood the test of time. “It’s like not bothering to change my AOL e-mail address,” he explained, “It might as well say ‘Old Fart’—OF.com.” Before dinner, we picked up pink champagne alongside fashion maven Mary McFadden, whose ensemble adhered not only to the party’s 1920s theme but also the theme of the most recent issue of Lapham’s, “Means of Communication.” “It’s from the Book of Kells,” she said, fingering the gold embroidery on her jacket. Walking away, we were surprised to see VICE founder Gavin McInnes seated at a table, his suspenders doing double duty as a hipster badge and an on-theme accessory. He told us his second career as a capitalist ad man bought him entry to such circles. “I create jobs,” he euphemized. As we sat down to eat, Benjamin Walker—soon to be known for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in the hotly anticipated Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter—gave a rousing reading of the section of A Moveable Feast beloved by all high schoolers in which Ernest Hemingway assures F. Scott Fitzgerald his penis isn’t too small, but it was Ms. Hathaway who earned the loudest applause, channeling Dorothy Parker. “Never trust a round garter or a Wall Street man,” she read. “That’s what life has taught me.” [gallery columns="1"]