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Coming Up In American Heritage

July 2024
1min read

The great age of advertising

was the 1920s and 1930s, when so much that is familiar to us today was invented. During those years, advertising became a vast, national industry, and its creators developed and refined such effective selling tools as guilt over how one’s child is being raised, fear of any number of brand new afflictions (halitosis chief among them), yearning for a color-coordinated bathroom where the towels match the toilet paper, and embarrassment over everything from soiled shirt collars to drooping socks. Accompanied by some classic magazine ads of the era.

The ten most important books

that have shaped the American character have been selected—and their impact explained—by the critic and biographer Jonathan Yardley. Of course, Huckleberry Finn is there (“the one book virtually every literate American is almost certain to have read”), but so, too, are some surprises, among them Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking School Cookbook (“the best American cookbook of all, not in the tarted-up revised edition, but in the masterly original”).

A century of cable cars

began in 1879 when a Scot named Andrew Hallidie developed a reliable means of moving omnibuses up and down San Francisco’s steep hills. He had the cars grab hold of a moving rope. The result is still beloved of San Franciscans, but most people do not remember that for a few years cities all across the country built these wildly elaborate, amazingly costly systems. William Middleton examines the cable car’s brief vogue, while impressive pictures show the complex machinery that made them go.

On the fortieth anniversary of the end of the war in Europe

Joseph Persico traces the dramatic and tangled negotiations that led to the signing of the peace treaty with Germany.… And a portfolio of personal photographs taken by a Signal Corps veteran records the invasion of Europe from the hedgerows of Normandy to the heart of Berlin.

Plus …

the newsboys strike of 1898… the luminous paintings of George Inness… the saga of Hoss Radbourn, baseball’s greatest pitcher… and, with our traditional largess, more.

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