Looking For The Good Germans

The victors divided the Germans into three groups: black (Nazi), white (innocent), and gray—that vast, vast area in between

I was one of these moralists in khaki. A newspaperman and radio writer in civil life, only a few days after the German surrender in May, 1945,1 took my place behind a battered pine desk in a bomb-cracked building in Munich that originally had served as an old-folks home and later as headquarters for the German army service of supply. Read more »

Southern Women & The Indispensable Myth

How the mistress of the plantation became a slave

“WE’RE USED to living around ‘em. You Northerners aren’t. You don’t know anything about ‘em.” This is or was the allpurpose utterance of white Southerners about blacks. Everybody from Jefferson Davis to Strom Thurmond has said it, in some version, at one time or another. Turned on its obverse, the old saw means, “You can’t know how bad they are.Read more »

Winter Of The Yalu

A soldier remembers the freezing, fearful retreat down the Korean Peninsula after the Chinese armies smashed across the border

THERE ARE places on this globe to which history can point and say of a people, a nation, or an empire: “This was their high-water mark. Thus far they went and no farther.” The three legions that reached the Elbe in A.D. 9 only to be destroyed in the Teutoburg Forest were at such a point, for no Roman in arms ever saw the Elbe again. Both the Mongols and the Turks saw the walls of Vienna but never passed them. The British took Kabul more than once, but that was their outermost limit.Read more »

"The Woods Were Tossing With Jewels”

A Childhood in the Florida Wilderness

In 1899 when I was five years old and living in Palmetto, Florida, my father decided to take his family through the wilds of the Everglades and stake a claim on an offshore island. His purpose was to farm this island but behind this was his wish to give us a taste of the way he grew up. He had been a cowboy in the Myakka area when he was fifteen years old. These ranchlands overlapped the north end of the Everglades at a time when it was unexplored.Read more »

Remembering Mrs. Roosevelt

An Intimate Memoir

My husband, David Gurewitsch, was the personal physician of Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt from the White House years until her death in 1962. On a 1947 flight to Switzerland, when Mrs. Roosevelt was en route to Geneva as chairman of the United States Commission on Human Rights and Dr. Gurewitsch was going as a patient to a tuberculosis sanitarium in Davos, the professional relationship between doctor and patient changed into a unique friendship. Fog and engine trouble caused days of delay in Newfoundland and Shannon.Read more »

“rocked In The Cradle Of Consternation”

A black chaplain in the Union Army reports on the struggle to take Fort Fisher, North Carolina, in the winter of 1864–65

Hold Fort Fisher or I cannot subsist my army.” So wrote General Robert E. Lee in the waning days of 1864 as he watched one Confederate seaport after another fall to the Union armies. Fort Fisher, the strongest fortification yet built in North America, guarded the approach to Wilmington, Norht Carolina, the last haven of blockade-running supply ships and Lee’s major supply depot. As the noose closed around Lee’s army in Virginia, General Ulysses S.Read more »

“turn Back The Universe And Give Me Yesterday”

Memories of Fresno

If it is true that any man’s past cannot be restored—“Turn back the universe and give me yesterday,” Ernest R. Ball sang at the turn of the century— it is even more true that nobody’s past can be obliterated, effaced, or wiped out, short of the grave. Read more »

“…suddenly We Didn’t Want, To Die”

A Marine Remembers the Bat for Belleau Wood

On the first day of June, 1918, the third great German offensive of the year drove into a tangled old hunting preserve called Belleau Wood. General James Harbord, commanding the Marine Brigade, received an order from the rattled commander of the French 6th Army: “Have your men prepare entrenchments some hundreds of yards to rearward in case of need.” Harbord answered tartly, “We dig no trenches to fall back on. The Marines will hold where they stand.” Read more »

Forbidden Diary

During three harrowing years as a prisoner of the Japanese, an American woman secretly kept an extraordinary journal of suffering, hope, ingenuity, and human endurance

On December 5, 1941, Natalie Crouler, an American housewife living in the Philippines, started a chatty letter to her mother in Boston: the children ‘s cat had died, and she described the tearful funeral. But the letter was never mailed. Within three chaotic weeks, the Crouter family were prisoners of the Japanese, trying to adjust to an internment that was to last more than three years. Read more »

The White Plague

A young girl’s memories of life in a community haunted by

The mothers of my childhood friends paid special attention to me, and I never understood why. I was dimly aware that something about me made them pat my shoulder and murmur sympathetically or, on the other hand, quite as inscrutably, bar me from their homes and keep their children from visiting me. Grown-up behavior was difficult to fathom, and I did not question it.

I never connected it with the fact that my mother suffered from tuberculosis. Read more »