The Therapy Of Distance

Daniel J. Boorstin, recently appointed Librarian of Congress, and one of the most distinguished of American historians and social critics, recently gave a series of lectures in England, to be published later this month by Random House, Inc., under the title The Exploring Spirit . “The Therapy of Distance” is one chapter of the new book. —The Editors

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The Man Who Named America

How America got its name is a slightly fantastic tale involving an obscure German scholar who happened to think more highly of Vespucci than he did of Columbus. George R. Stewart tells the story in this excerpt from his new book, Names on the Globe, which will be published by Oxford University Press next month.

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Esprit De Corporation

In the booming 1920’s, when business was nearly America’s national religion and advertising its Holy Writ, the Mather Poster Company of Chicago designed a set of texts to inspire greater peaks of productivity from the workingman. These posters, recently shown in New York’s Hundred Acres Gallery, now rate as Nostalgia, possibly even Art; but a half century ago they represented a dead-serious campaign employing an early version of the power of positive thinking. Read more »

Melville Meets Hawthorne

HOW A CHAMPAGNE PICNIC ON MONUMENT MOUNTAIN LED TO A PROFOUND REVISION OF Moby Dick —AND DISENCHANTMENT

A little group of American men of affairs and letters met along with their ladies on the morning of August 5, 1850, to hike up Monument Mountain, one of the more prominent features of the landscape surrounding Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The intention was purely social, and socially the day proved a smashing success, leading five of the ten hikers to record the event in letters, journals, articles, and books. For two of them, however, the climb was the beginning of one of the strangest episodes in the history of American literature.Read more »

Scott & Zelda

HOW TWO FAMOUS FIGURES OF THE TWENTIES GREW UP, MET, AND FELL IN LOVE

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. …” It was an odd way for a rich and world-famous young writer to end his third novel— The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Yet looking back now, now that he is even more famous than he was in his short lifetime, with Gatsby made into a multimillion-dollar movie amidst enormous fanfare, we can see how touchingly appropriate that ending was.Read more »

The Ordeal Of Thomas Hutchinson

BETWEEN KING AND COUNTRY

The paradoxical and find tragic story of America’s most prominent Loyalist—a man caught between king and country— is the subject of a new book by Professor Bernard Bailyn of Harvard, who won both the Pulitizer and Bankcroft awards in 1868 for an earlier work on the American Revulotion. The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinsion has just been published by Harvard University Press. Our article is made up of excerpts from the first two chapters subtle and fascinating study. Read more »