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March 2023
1min read

The world’s toughest flying …

“The Hump” was the GI name for the Himalayas, and during World War II American pilots flogged balky cargo planes across them from India to supply the Chinese armies fighting Japan. Hump pilots bucked some of the world’s worst weather, faced being eaten by tigers when they survived being shot down by Zeroes, and never forgot any of it. Richard Rhodes attended one of their reunions and gathered a pack of terrifying, hilarious, astonishing tales that are the collective memory of the Hump.

Yankee opium traders …

We tend to think of the opium trade as being a British outrage, when English merchants, protected by English bayonets, made vast profits by turning China into a nation of drug addicts. But in fact, Americans were very much a part of the odious traffic, and in a surprising article, Geoffrey C. Ward charts the course of the American opium trade through the career of an eager young merchant named Warren Delano. Delano never talked about it afterward, of course; and neither did his grandson, Franklin Roosevelt.

The best game …

Never mind that there may be more money in pro football—baseball is the national pastime, and always will be. Why? Because it is mirror and beacon to every aspect of our civilization. Elting E. Morison’s at bat.

Global crisis …

Today, when our economic fortunes are so clearly entwined with the world’s, it is useful to remember that the worst economic catastrophe of the century didn’t just happen to America. John A. Garraty shows how the rest of the world coped with the disaster that rolled over us in 1929.

Plus …

a superb and tormented architect nobody remembers … the indefatigable Fuller Brush Man turns eighty … newly discovered facts about the American Indian … and, with imperial largesse, even more.

We hope you enjoy our work.

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Stories published from "June/July 1986"

Authored by: David M. Ludlum

We talk about it constantly and we arrange our lives around it. So did our parents; and so did the very first colonists. But it took Americans a long time to understand their weather—and we still have trouble getting it right.

Authored by: William B. Meyer

For more than two hundred years, Americans have tried to change the weather by starting fires, setting off explosions, cutting trees, even planning to divert the Gulf Stream. The question now is not how to do it, but whether to do it at all.

Authored by: Edward Sorel

William Auerbach-Levy’s genius as a caricaturist lay in what he chose to leave out.

Authored by: Hiller B. Zobel

Oliver Wendell Holmes was wounded three times in some of the worst fighting of the Civil War. But for him, the most terrible battles were the ones he had missed.

Authored by: Julie V. Iovine

Beatrix Farrand’s exactingly beautiful designs changed the American landscape

Authored by: Gay Wilson Allen

Many Americans, Hemingway among them, thought him a solemn prig. But Emerson’s biographer discovers a man who found strength and music in the language of the streets.

Authored by: Elting E. Morison

Chaos and farce and catastrophe played a big part. But so did a few men of vision.

Authored by: Betty Mussell Lundy

Seventy-one years ago, a designer working frantically to meet a deadline for the Coca-Cola Company produced a form that today is recognized on sight by 90 percent of the people on earth

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