Edward Bok & The Simple Life

At the turn of the century, a crusading magazine editor exhorted women to seek peace of mind and body through simplicity. For a generation, they listened.

FOR THE THIRTY YEARS between 1889 and 1919, Edward Bok and the magazine he edited—Ladies’ Home Journal—exerted a profound influence over middle-class American values. His message was direct: The Simple Life was joyous and good, and too many Americans, seduced by the clutter and false values of Victorian materialism, had drifted away from it. Read more »

The Miss Stone Affair

American citizens held hostage by nationalist terrorists in a distant land. An aroused public calls for action. A cautious President seeks to avert violence. In 1901.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when the United States was still a third-rate power, American diplomats, missionaries, and traders lived and worked abroad relatively free from the threat of revolutionary terrorism. By the turn of the century, however, the United States was actively seeking the international limelight.Read more »

Theodore Roosevelt, President

For TR, the nation s highest office was never a burden; he loved the job, and Americans loved him for loving it

If Theodore Roosevelt seems to push his way into our pages with extraordinary frequency, it is because the force and variety of this “giant,” “over-engined” man appear to be endless. The following study of TR’s personality—which so well illustrates this point—was written by Edmund Morris, who won the Pulitzer prize for The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt in 1980 and is now at work on a second volume.

 

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Making History

AN INTERVIEW WITH DAVID McCULLOUGH

David McCullough’s name will be familiar to long-time readers of this magazine, not only for his books, but because he was, for a time, one of its editors. He says, in fact, that what got him started “in the history business” was coming across a spectacular photograph of the official unveiling of the Statue of Liberty, showing it to the editors of AMERICAN HERITAGE , and being invited to write a short piece on the subject.Read more »

Lord Bryce

Few men—foreign or native born—have ever understood us better than this infinitely curious, inveterate Visitor from England

When James Bryce presented his credentials as ambassador from Great Britain to President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907, he probably knew more about the nation to which he had been sent than any foreign envoy in Washington before or since.Read more »

From Camelot To Abilene

To Owen Wister, the unlikely inventor of the cowboy myth, the trail rider was “the last cavalier,” the savior of the Anglo-Saxon race

We think of the cowboy and of the open range as part and parcel of the American legend that spread eastward from the West during the nineteenth century. Yet the legend had not become national until the early twentieth century, and its principal literary architect was an Easterner to the core. The crucial event in its popular dissemination was The Virginian , a novel written by Owen Wister and published in 1902. Its success was instantaneous, large-scale, and enduring.Read more »

The Cyclone Assemblyman

When Theodore Roosevelt—Harvard-educated, dandified, and just twenty-three—arrived in Albany as an assemblyman in 1882, the oldpols dismissed him as a “Punkin-Lily,”and worse. They were in for a shock.

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Theodore Roosevelt, Feminist

“Viewed purely in the abstract, I think there can be no question that women should have equal rights with men …I would have the word ‘obey’ used no more by the wife than by the husband.”

”I first saw her on October 18, 1878, and loved her as soon as I saw her sweet, fair young face. …” Thus Theodore Roosevelt wrote of Alice Hathaway Lee, the girl he married in 1880 when he was twenty-two and she nineteen—tall and lithe, with curly light hair and “dovegray” eyes; “beautiful in face and form,” he said, “and lovelier still in spirit.…” T.R. wooed her with all the impetuous gusto for which he was later famous, and the wedding took place soon after he graduated from Harvard. Read more »

Carving The American Colossus

The granite was tough—but so was Gutzon Borglum

In late August, 1970, a band of Sioux Indians entered the sacred precincts of a National Memorial in South Dakota and bivouacked on a mountaintop there for several weeks. The precincts were sacred to the Sioux because they are in the heart of the Black Hills, long regarded by their tribe as the dwelling place of Indian gods and spirits. And, as signaled by the apprehensive behavior of park rangers who monitored the Indians closely during their stay, the precincts are also precious to the United States Department of the Interior.Read more »

The Inspired Leak

The leak was known of old. It can afflict either a ship or a government, it invariably means that something invisible has gone wrong, and in certain cases it ends in disaster. It is instructive to reflect on the differences between the leak as known to mariners and the leak as known to politicians, political scientists, and newspaper correspondents. Read more »