Good Reading

Crisis at Central High

by Elizabeth Huckaby

Louisiana State University Press

14 pages of photographs

222 pages, $12.95 Read more »

History and The Imagination

Films like Sidney Lumet's Prince of the City add a human dimension to the sense of the past.

Every man is the prisoner of his own experience; and no artistic production can escape the impress of its time. That is why works of art, properly utilized, can be valuable historical sources—as, oddly enough, Marx and Engels were more prepared than academic historians to recognize.Read more »

“Half Song-thrush, Half Alligator,”

An exasperated Ralph Waldo Emerson said of his rudest, most rebellious—and most brilliant—protégé. Their turbulent relationship survived what one newspaper called “the grossest violation of literary comity and courtesy that ever passed under our notice.”

One Saturday evening early in March, 1842, a twenty-two-year-old journalist named Walter Whitman came to the reading room of the New-York Society Library on Broadway, a few blocks north of City Hall, to hear a public lecture on “The Poet.” He had just been appointed chief editor of the Aurora , a daily paper that aspired to be the court circular of the beau monde, and he dressed the part of a man about town—he wore a flower in the lapel of his frock coat and carried a polished walking stick.Read more »



The Shattered Silents: How the Talkies Came to Stay

by Alexander Walker William Morrow and Co., Inc. 65 photographs, 218 pages, $10.95 Read more »

A Hessian Visits The Victors: 1783

While waiting for passage home after the American Revolution had ended, Captain Johann Ewald, a Hessian mercenary who had been fighting in America since 1776, traveled to West Point, then still just a fort. Ewald’s account of his visit gives us an unusual, oblique view of how a professional soldier regarded the tattered crew who had somehow managed to defeat the well-trained, well-equipped British and Hessian forces with whom he had served. Read more »

A Summer’s Wait

A young poet’s memories of the old rural America in whose fields he worked for two sunny months while awaiting the call to service in the First World War

Mark Van Doren, who died in 1972, was one of America’s most distinguished poets, critics, and educators. He was born on a farm at Hope, Illinois, in 1894, and upon graduation from the University of Illinois in 1914 went to Columbia University (where he later was to teach literature for many years) to pursue graduate study. In the spring of 1917, with America finally involved in the Great War, he returned to his family home in Urbana, Illinois, and registered for the draft.Read more »

The Longest Walk: David Ingram’s Amazing Journey

He was the first Englishman to give a detailed description of the North American wilderness. Was it a pack of lies?

“Does the name David Ingram mean anything to you?” I have been going around asking. The answer is almost always no. Yet if Ingram is to be believed, he and two others with him accomplished perhaps the outstanding walk in recorded history. It seems undeniable that they were the first Englishmen to see anything of North America behind the coast, as certainly Ingram was the first to report on it. David B.Read more »

Good Reading

The Plains Acrossi The Overland Emigrants and the Trans-Mississippi West, 1840-60

by John D. Unruh, Jr. University of Illinois Press Illustrations, tables, maps 565 pages, $20.00 Read more »

The Cyclone Assemblyman

When Theodore Roosevelt—Harvard-educated, dandified, and just twenty-three—arrived in Albany as an assemblyman in 1882, the oldpols dismissed him as a “Punkin-Lily,”and worse. They were in for a shock.

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