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Coming Up In American Heritage

June 2024
1min read

Truth and fiction

Historical novels may be a lucrative genre for publishers of popular fiction—but are they of any use at all to people seriously interested in history? An important special section in the October issue examines what turns out to be a complex and intriguing question.

What Can You Learn from a Historical Novel? Daniel Aaron explores the strengths and weaknesses of historical fiction versus “real” history.

Raising Nat Turner . Twenty-five years ago next month William Styron published one of the most controversial and influential historical novels ever. Now the author of The Confessions of Nat Turner discusses what he was attempting to do and surveys the stillseething turmoil he ignited.

My Favorite Historical Novel . The editors have asked scores of writers, historians, and public figures to name their choicest example. The response is as broad-ranging and intriguing as the respondents.

Memories of the Ford Administration is the title of John Updike’s latest novel, and while it is indeed that, the book also encompasses the career of James Buchanan, who unhappily presided over the disintegration of the Federal union. Updike takes us back.


On the semimillennium of Columbus’s world-changing landfall, a look at Spain’s American legacy, which runs broader and deeper than many people think…Edward Sorel charts the melancholy decline of the taxicab … and, though it’s hard to conceive just how we’ll be able to fit it in, more.

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