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March 2023
1min read

Down to the sea …

Because the sea has always offered Americans both protection and peril, we devote a special section to four centuries of our maritime heritage. Among the features:

The saga of the Sea Venture

When this British ship carrying colonists to Virginia was driven aground in 1609, the survivors acted with courage and unusual resourcefulness. But their plight is only the beginning of the story. Out of this adventure came the inspiration for one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, and the first stirrings of democracy in the New World.

The Essex horror …

She was the only whaleship ever to be sunk by her massive prey. But that’s not the only reason why she’s remembered. Among those who have been gripped by the terrible ordeal that faced her survivors was Herman Melville, who found in it the germ of Moby Dick .

Masters of the merchant marine …

A narrative traces our long struggle for mercantile supremacy at sea. Our fleet first flourished despite all the pressure the Royal Navy could bring to bear against it; our clipper ships were the fastest and most beautiful of all sailing vessels; but have we now lost the knack of being a great seafearing nation?

The North Sea mine barrage …

A captain who helped do the job reveals the crucial but little-known operation to seal off the North Atlantic against German submarines in World War I. In a gripping memoir, Rear Adm. Daniel Mannix tells what it was like to battle Atlantic gales in an antiquated coastal steamer full of a particularly volatile new explosive.

The future of our navy …

In an outspoken interview, the submarine commander and nautical writer Edward Beach speaks of what our fleet has accomplished since the days of the Monitor , and where it is headed. Captain Beach, the author of Run Silent, Run Deep , thinks that the supremacy of airplanes over surface vessels is coming to an end.

Plus …

Walter Karp’s tale of how the shy and eccentric H. F. du Pont converted his “country place” into the great Winterthur Museum. … A surprising look at the history of retirement in our country (it was never seen primarily as a benefit to the elderly) … and much, much more.

We hope you enjoy our work.

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Stories published from "February/March 1983"

Authored by: Alfred Kazin

The city has been a lure for millions, but most of the great American minds have been appalled by its excesses. Here an eminent observer, who knows firsthand the city’s threat, surveys the subject.

Authored by: James P. Johnson

In 1913 the Ouija board dictated a novel. Twenty years later it commanded a murder. It is most popular in times of national catastrophe, and it’s selling pretty briskly just now.

Authored by: The Editors

An all-but-forgotten San Francisco photographer has left us a grand and terrible record of the destruction and rebirth of an American city

Authored by: Richard C. Wade

A noted historian argues that television, a relative newcomer, has nearly destroyed old—and valuable—political traditions

Authored by: Edward Sorel

The decline and fall of the lamppost

Authored by: Harold Holzer

…so Lincoln joked. Actually he was eager to pose for portraits.

Authored by: Warren P. Trimm

To get started as a prairie homesteader in the 1870s you needed uncommon reserves of strength, sanity, courage, and luck. Trimm had the first three.

Authored by: Lois Dinnerstein

As painting became a respectable profession in America, artists began to celebrate their workplaces

Fifty years ago this March, Roosevelt took the oath of office and inaugurated this century’s most profound national changes. One who was there recalls the President’s unique blend of ebullience and toughness.

Authored by: Jacques Barzun

One of America s truly great men—scientist, philosopher, and literary genius—forged his character in the throes of adversity

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