History

A recent presidential edict will make it harder for historians to practice their trade.

When “the unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America” was distributed on July 4, 1776, its fourth complaint against the King of Great Britain read: “He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.”

 
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The Temper Thing

How bad is it when Presidents get really sore?

The rumor first began to spread around Washington last year: Sen. John McCain had a skeleton in his closet. Was it something to do with his past as a war hero in Vietnam? His voting record in the Senate? The role he had played as one of the Keating Five in the savings and loan scandal? Read more »

The American Century

The English journalist has spent more than a decade preparing a book on this country’s role in the most eventful hundred years since the race began. He liked what he found enough to become an American himself.

Evans likes to refer to The American Century as “history for browsers.” There are searching essays at the start of each chapter, but most of the book consists of tiropage spreads concerning particular people or events. Read more »

How The Seventies Changed America

The “loser decade” that at first seemed nothing more than a breathing space between the high drama of the 1960s and whatever was coming next is beginning to reveal itself as a bigger time than we thought

That’s it,” Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then U.S. ambassador to India, wrote to a colleague on the White House staff in 1973 on the subject of some issue of the moment. “Nothing will happen. But then nothing much is going to happen in the 1970s anyway.” Read more »

Just Plain Folks

What strange vehicle could accommodate a crew as disparate as this? Hint: In any election year they’re all

Within the last year or so the New York Times correspondent C. L.Read more »

Letter From The Editor

Much of the history we present in this magazine seems, as a child might say, “all over.” The stories are concluded, the dead buried. The settings tend to become variously “shrines” or restorations —although, as the venturers on our new American Heritage Society tours have been noticing, in privileged peeks beyond the velvet ropes, these monuments also change, along with our views of history.

 
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“We Are All Descended From Grandfathers!”

and… …a glimpse at the grandfathers of the candidates exhibits the wonderful diversity of American life

In this country there are no classes in the British sense of that word, no impassable barriers of caste.… Our society resembles rather the waves of the ocean, whose every drop may move freely among its fellows, and may rise toward the light until it flashes on the crest of the highest wave.

—James A. Garfield, 1873

 
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