For years many have held that France had the real revolution, and that ours was mild by comparison. But now the historian Gordon Wood has challenged this in a major new book, and in an interview he tells us why he thinks that the American revolution was the most sweeping in all history, the only one that really remade the world. A companion article offers a remarkable grunt’s-eye view of the struggle’s last campaign, the newly discovered memoir of a private who marched with the Army that took Yorktown, and left not only a vivid account of it all but a superb folk-art record of what he saw.
The American army that soldiered on in boredom and obscurity between the two great wars of this century was surpassed in power by—among others—the forces of Turkey, Spain, and Yugoslavia. This was the old Regular Army, and Gene Smith retrieves its lost world of the China Station and cavalry drill. Part fairy tale, part dirty joke, the old army was held in disdain by almost everyone—until the world needed saving.
Edward Sorel on the checkered hundred-year saga of the American taxicab … the secret history of the cigarette … the latest installment in our American House Styles series: Richardson Romanesque … and, because this is the season of reckless generosity, more.