Books We Think You’ll Like

Ernest Hemingway and His World

by Anthony Burgess Charles Scribner’s Sons, 144 pages, photographs, $10.95 Read more »

The Terror of the Wilderness

Why have Americans perceived nature as something to be conquered?

Most people who have reflected at all upon the known history of the Americas, particularly North America, have been impressed one way or another with its dominant quality of fierceness. After that early, first blush of paradisial imaginings, stained by the lush colors of the tropic islands and the defenseless peoples found thereon, a somber mood of misgiving settled over the questing Europeans, filtered their perceptions, filtered at last into the bleached bones of their accounts of exploration.Read more »

To The Manor Born

In 1639 an Englishman named Lion Gardiner singled out a piece of the New World and removed his family thereto—his very own island off the Connecticut coast. And despite invasions of pirates, treasure hunters, and British soldiers, Gardiners Island has remained in the hands of that family ever since. Because of Lion’s shrewd investment his descendants have indeed been

Robert David Lion Gardiner is a large landowner on Long Island, a successful developer and an impassioned preservationist. What makes Mr. Gardiner exceptional is that he also represents the eleventh generation of a family which has continuously owned the same land since 1639, making the Gardiners the oldest nonaboriginal landowners in America as well as the first American family to found a still-flourishing fortune based primarily on land. Were Long Island still a province of Great Britain, as it was for nearly a hundred and twenty years, Mr.Read more »

Before Urban Renewal

A visit to New York when it was little, not very old, and rather more attractive

New York during the Revolution was, a loyalist wrote, “a most dirty, desolate and wretched place.” And indeed it was. No other American city suffered as much from the war. It had been dug up by Americans for defense, shelled by British warships, ravaged by two severe fires, looted by enemy soldiers, even denuded of its trees for firewood. More than half its citizens had fled when the British began their seven-year occupation in the fall of 1776. Yet, astonishingly, by the turn of the century New York was on the threshold of becoming the largest city in the new Republic.Read more »

The Debacle At Fort Carillon

It started with jaunty confidence and skirling bagpipes. Five days later it had turned into

At Ticonderoga, Lake George spills its waters northward into Lake Champlain, and for over a century whoever controlled the narrows there controlled the gateway to a continent. Travel through the dense American forests was arduous at best, impossible when supplies and trade goods needed to be taken along. If smugglers, traders, or armies wished to pass between the domains of Britain and France, between New York and Montreal, they had to go by water. Read more »

Dress Parade

A PORTFOLIO OF AMERICAN FIGHTING MEN

T he American provincials looked ridiculous. They had no military bearing. Their formations were ragged, and they argued with their officers. Sometimes they were so clumsy they made the regulars of the British army highly nervous—and with good cause. Like the time in 1758 when some of the Massachusetts men with General James Abercromby’s army in the campaign against Fort Ticonderoga were given permission to clear the charges from their muzzle-loading muskets by firing them off.Read more »

Our Last King

Cursed by ancestry,bedeviled by his posterity, beset by forces he could not grasp, George III is usually remembered as the ogre of Jefferson’s Declaration. An eminent English historian reassesses that strange and pathetic personality

Poor George III still gets a bad press. In their famous television talk in London, the Prime Minister of Great Britain suggested to the President of the United States that the kind of colonial policy associated with the name of George III still distorted the American view of the nature and function of the British Empire, and Mr. Eisenhower smilingly agreed. It is not surprising. Since Jefferson’s great philippic in the Declaration of Independence, few historians, English or American, have had many good words to say for him.Read more »