On my desk sits a two-inch stack of letters and emails from hundreds of subscribers who wrote us with words of encouragement after we agreed to rescue American Heritage . On behalf of my staff, thank you all very much for your support, which is critical for keeping this great American institution alive and thriving.
If the magazine seems revolutionary, it is—in the sense of turning back to an early state. While we will continue to publish cultural history and newsworthy pieces as in recent years, the magazine will focus on publishing thoughtful prose by the “best and brightest” historians and writers of the day. The founders of American Heritage said it best 54 years ago:
“We believe in good storytelling; that interesting writers can interpret history and restore it to the place it once occupied as the noblest branch of literature.”
You’ll notice this issue includes writing by some familiar friends. We first published historian John Lukacs (author of “Churchill Offers Toil and Tears to FDR” on page 30) in 1961. A search of our records produced 67 references to his essays or reviews of his books in American Heritage . Similarly, Richard Broohiser (“George Washington, Founding CEO” on page 22) has published over a dozen essays in the magazine, including a popular cover article on “What the Founding Fathers Would Do Now” in the June/July 2006 issue.
But a magazine is also about trying new things. From the beginning, American Heritage has been consciously apolitical. American history is the common heritage that all of us share, regardless of political leaning. However, we would also like to publish strongly expressed opinions about historic events from time to time, so we invited Newt Gingrich, historian as well as former Speaker of the House, to lay out in a “Viewpot” piece what we’ve learned in the 25 years since Ronald Reagan gave two of his most famous speeches (“The Evil Empire,” on page 18).
We finally completed the agreement to acquire and resurrect American Heritage on April 20, 2008. We could not publish again until the documentation was complete. That’s why this issue has the rather curious date of Spring/Summer 2008.
We will be returning to bi-monthly publication (six issues per year) as soon as possible; for this year we will be producting two more quarterly issues.
You can rest assured you will receive all of the reamining issues left when the magazine temporarily suspended publication last year. Your mailing label should now relect the correct subscription expiraton date.
Please continue to write us with your thoughts, concerns and suggestions. We cound on it.