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July 2024
1min read

The man who invented the modern age …

For half his life, Henry Ford was a great man. He developed the means to produce a car every ten seconds and to put it in the hands of farmers and workingmen, and thereby changed the nature of America. Then, having built a great industrial empire, he set about destroying it—and the son who was going to take it over. In a sweeping and richly anecdotal portrait, David Halberstam-traces^the career of Henry Ford from farm boy to titan.

The most dangerous summer …

On the calm, lovely morning of May 10, 1940, Hitler flung his armies forward across Europe. Those invincible legions “were the winged carriers of an astonishing drama,” says the historian John Lukacs, and in a stirring essay he recalls the confusion and high courage of those terrible months: the fall of France; Churchill rising “like a spectral monument out of the historical mist” and, behind Churchill, the massive shadow of Franklin Roosevelt, moving to marshal his nation’s strength against Hitler.

Our greatest portraitist …

John Singer Sargent re-created on canvas the late Victorian world of the Anglo-American upper classes in an age when it seemed that the world would never change. Small wonder, then, that his reputation fared badly during the grim years of war and depression that followed. Now, of course, he is seen as far more than a worshipful chronicler of lapdogs and Yankee millionairesses. Louis Auchincloss conducts a tour of some of Sargent’s finest portraits and explains why the painter today is considered the equal of Holbein and Van Dyck.

Naval aviation …

In January of 1911 a Curtiss biplane came teetering out across San Francisco Bay to land on a wooden platform knocked together on the deck of the cruiser Pennsylvania . Everyone thought it was a good trick, but few there that day could have had the vision to predict that in a generation what they had just seen would transform the nature of warfare. Now, on the seventy-fifth anniversary of naval aviation, Capt. Edward L. Beach tells its story from the hapless experiments with dirigibles to the Dauntless dive bombers dropping out of the sky at Midway to change the course of World War II.

Plus …

The work of a superb black photographer … the battle against Dutch elm disease … amazing facts about the candy bar … a fresh look at that anathema to Puritans, Morton of Merrymount … Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan on history … and, with the editorial generosity our audience has come to expect, more.

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