What If?

Conjectural or speculative history can be a silly game, as in “What if the Roman legions had machine guns?” But this historian argues that to enlarge our knowledge and understanding it sometimes makes very good sense to ask …

What if any of the pre-Civil War Presidents had gone mad?

What if Andrew Johnson had been successfully impeached?

What if William McKinley had not been assassinated?

What if there had been no tape-recording system in Nixon’s White House? Read more »

“i Think Hiss Is Lying”

More than any other single event, Richard Nixon’s dogged pursuit of Alger Hiss made the young congressman from California a national figure. Nixon’s methods and motives in the explosive confrontation between Hiss, the alleged Soviet agent, and his accuser, Whittaker Chambers, foreshadowed Nixon’s actions throughout his career. Read more »

Presidents Emeritus

The ex-Presidency now carries perquisites and powers that would have amazed all but the last few who have held that office

What should be done with exPresidents? William Howard Taft once remarked that perhaps the best way to handle a former President was to chloroform and ceremonially cremate him when he left office, in order to “fix his place in history and enable the public to pass on to new men and new measures.” Taft did not insist on this ritual for himself, however, accepting instead a professorship at the Yale Law School when he finished his presidential term, and later serving as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

 
Read more »

Who Really Elects The Presidents?

In the aftermath of the 1972 election we believe professional politicians might find the thoughtful essay that follows worth a little study; it might save them time and money in 1976. The author, Mr. Marshman, a former journalist with Life and a sometime screenwriter, has been a successful advertising man for a good many years and is currently with the D’Arcy-MacManus & Masius agency. As good ad men must be, he is a student of people in the mass.Read more »

A Cycle Of Cathay

President Nixon’s visit to Peking starts one more surprising turn in an American-Chinese “affair” nearly two centuries old

Richard Nixon’s twenty-thousand-mile pilgrimage to the center of Chinese civilization—“the week that changed the world,” as he put it—may not actually have changed the world, though it quite probably did turn a new page in world history by making it unlikely that the international politics of East Asia, at least, will ever be the same again. Read more »

Here Comes Superplane

For a very long time it has been supposed that man could adjust himself to almost anything in the way of speed, noise, or financial outlay, just to get from one place to another in the least possible time.Read more »