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July 2024
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.

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