The bombs that fell on Pearl Harbor did more than destroy America’s battleship navy; they put an end to an era of American history and blew open a new one. Richard Ketchum’s fascinating survey of what happened on December 7, 1941, begins not in Hawaii but in a sleeping Washington, D.C., and follows the long day as it unfolded for a score of Americans whose lives it would forever change, from college students to President Roosevelt.
A year ago Americans were watching a presidential campaign in which two perfectly sturdy contenders—one a war hero—had to go through increasingly grotesque postures to show they were tough as hell. When did Americans get the idea that their Chief Executive had to be as macho as John Wayne? Bruce Curtis goes to the historical record and finds that the posturing began at least a century before the Duke was born.
Justin Kaplan looks at the book that many regard as Mark Twain’s lighthearted historical fable and finds it a tormented indictment of the Industrial Revolution in particular and the human race in general.
Humble tintypes provide an eloquent portrait of working America a century ago … the latest in our series on American house styles: the Gothic Revival … and, in keeping with the bounty of the Thanksgiving season, more.