College Longreads Pick: 'A Canine in a Cummerbund,' Peter Kaplan (1977)

Every week, Syracuse University professor Aileen Gallagher helps Longreads highlight the best of college journalism. Here’s this week’s pick:

The New York media world grieves for editor Peter Kaplan, who died last week. Kaplan worked at several publications during his career, and he’s best known as the longtime editor of the New York Observer, but The Harvard Crimson’s archives also contain 29 of Kaplan’s student bylines, mostly reviews. One, about a 1977 Hasty Pudding production, has the seeds of the voice Kaplan would perfect at the Observer: “So much confidence in the sameness of the future do the Pudding participants have that, more interested in the project than the theater, they can put on this elaborate celebration of the way things are, were and will be.” Kaplan’s voice, bequeathed to a generation of writers, became the root editorial language of the Internet. His influence spread across platforms and mastheads across the city.

A Canine in a Cummerbund

Peter Kaplan | The Harvard Crimson | February 28, 1977 | 7 minutes (1,542 words)

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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