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Coming Up In American Heritage

March 2023
1min read

146,000 tons of poison gas…

During World War II, America built a stockpile of chemical weapons twice the size of Germany’s and twenty times greater than Japan’s. As the war dragged on and old concepts of military morality eroded, more and more leaders began calling for chemical warfare against the Axis powers. But somehow it never happened. In an absorbing and newly documented study, the historian Barton J. Bernstein reveals why, in a conflict that gave rise to Auschwitz and the A-bomb, no nation could bring itself to use poison gas in the field.

Mailed from Tokyo Bay…

We mark the fortieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War with a most unusual pair of letters from a young Navy man to his wife back home. Vernon C. Squires was one of the first to sail into Tokyo Bay with the great flotilla that received the surrender of Imperial Japan, and his eloquent, perceptive account is as fresh now as when he wrote it.

Fighting in Nicaragua…

The Sandinistas take their name from Auguste César Sandino, who proved a canny and, ultimately, victorious foe of the United States in a vicious jungle war that began when Coolidge was President. David Haward Bain gives the background to a struggle that never really ended.

The battle for Grant’s Tomb…

It would seem a serene and benign task to build a proper repository for the ashes of a nationally revered captain. But, in fact, the choices involved triggered a series of increasingly bitter squabbles. Before the tomb was finally dedicated, it had set city against country and revealed in a unique perspective the forces that were straining turn-of-the-century America.

Silent-movie music…“

If I ever kill anyone,” D. W. Griffith once said, “it won’t be an actor but a musician.” He was inveighing against the people who, in the days before the talkies came in, had the curious power to make the director’s product either sublime or ridiculous. Paul F. Boiler, Jr., tells of the problems of playing in the ghostly light beneath the great screen, and a veteran silent-movie pianist recalls what it was like to pound away through a thousand matinées when Douglas Fairbanks was the biggest thing in pictures.

Utah vernacular…

For three-quarters of a century, LeConte Stewart has been painting his native state. His clear, unsentimental vision of such commonplace fixtures as freight yards and billboards set amid the thundering Western landscape has given us a moving record of human perseverance in a deeply inhospitable countryside. Our portfolio is introduced by Wallace Stegner.


the lost colony of Roanoke on the four hundredth anniversary of its founding … a gallery of surprising advertising photographs from over a century ago… and, though it strains credibility, even more.

We hope you enjoy our work.

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Stories published from "June/july 1985"

Authored by: Geoffrey C. Ward

Have historians underestimated the importance of Roosevelt’s twenty-four-year struggle with the disease that made him a paraplegic?

Authored by: The Editors

In 1983 our country went to war and left the press behind. The outcry that followed raised issues that first came up when Abraham Lincoln was President and still remain with us.

Authored by: Stephen W. Sears

The Civil War ignited the basic conflict between a free press and the need for military security. By war’s end, the hard-won compromises between soldiers and newspapermen may not have provided all the answers, but they had raised all the modern questions.

Authored by: John Chancellor

A veteran reporter looks back to a time when the stakes were really high — and yet military men actually trusted newsmen.

Authored by: Joseph H. Cooper

Westmoreland and Sharon embarked on costly lawsuits to justify their battlefield judgments. They might have done much better to listen to Mrs. William Tecumseh Sherman.

Authored by: Brian Dunning

The curious story of Milford Haven

Authored by: Brian Dunning

The curious story of Milford Haven

Authored by: Ruth Mehrtens Calvin

His works ranged from intimate cameos to heroic public monuments. America has produced no greater sculptor.

Authored by: Elting E. Morison

A lot of people still remember how great it was to ride in the old Pullmans, how curiously regal to have a simple, well-cooked meal in the dining car. Those memories are perfectly accurate—and that lost pleasure holds a lesson for us that extends beyond mere nostalgia.

Authored by: Peggy Robbins

Slovenly, impulsive, impoverished, and grotesque, Constantine Samuel Rafinesque was the greatest naturalist of his age. But nobody knew it.

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