Skip to main content

In This Issue

March 2023
1min read

John H. White, Jr., the author of our story on steam railroads, has written several huge and engrossing illustrated histories. The American Railroad Freight Car: From the Wood-Car Era to the Coming of Steel (Johns Hopkins, 656 pages) and The American Railroad Passenger Car (Johns Hopkins, two volumes, 704 pages) elegantly cover design and construction. White and his brother, Robert, have just honored the Cincinnati river steamer that helped ignite his lifelong interest in steam with a book all its own: The Island Queen: Cincinnati’s Excursion Steamer (University of Akron Press, 115 pages).

For a coast-to-coast tour of steam railways, John White recommends The 30th Annual Passenger Service Directory (Great Eastern Publishing, 356 pages, $11.95 ), a guidebook to 346 steam and vintage diesel lines, train museums, trolleys, and interurbans, from the fifteen-inch-gauge line at Scottsdale’s McCormick Railroad Park to the Old Wakarusa’s annual pumpkin-patch excursions in Indiana and the Cumbres & Toltec’s sixty-four-mile route between Colorado and New Mexico that reaches ten thousand feet over Cumbres Pass. The steam era also inspired one of last fall’s most beautiful books, The Last Steam Railroad in America ( Abrams, 144 pages, an oversize collection of the 1950s photographs of O. Winston Link. Link memorialized the Norfolk & Western line in its last days before the change to diesel, often using an elaborate synchronized-flash system to capture the darkly gleaming locomotives as they wheeled through small towns in the night. Thomas H. Carver’s text tells the full story surrounding Link’s magnificent pictures.

Mary Colter, the subject of Michael S. Durham’s story on the architecture of the Grand Canyon’s rim, owes much of her rediscovery to Virginia L. Grattan’s fine biography, Mary Colter: Builder Upon the Red Earth (Grand Canyon Natural History Association, 131 pages).

The displaced Lakota Sioux Lost Bird, the subject of Gene Smith’s “American Characters” column, has finally got her own full biography, Lost Bird of Wounded Knee , by Renée Sansom Flood (Scribner, 384 pages).

We hope you enjoy our work.

Please support this 72-year tradition of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.


Stories published from "April 1996"

Authored by: The Editors

A rare personal account of the classic immigrant experience

Authored by: Ezra Goldstein

AN OHIO UNDERTAKER’S LIFELONG obsession has left a mysterious outdoor gallery of American folk art

Authored by: John H. White, Jr.

They are thirty years gone from our main lines, but all across the country steam locomotives are pulling trainloads of passengers into the past. A lifelong studenj of the great age of American railroadj reveals some of the most impressive.

Authored by: Michael S. Durham

People visit the Grand Canyon for scenery, not architecture. But an assortment of buildings there, infused with history and the sensibility of one strong woman, are worth a long look.

Authored by: The Editors

The Pennsylvania Railroad Calendar
Art of Grif Teller

Authored by: The Editors


Authored by: The Editors


Authored by: The Editors

His Life and Times

Authored by: The Editors

Motels in America

Authored by: The Editors

Multimedia Encyclopedia of the 20th Century

Featured Articles

Rarely has the full story been told how a famed botanist, a pioneering female journalist, and First Lady Helen Taft battled reluctant bureaucrats to bring Japanese cherry trees to Washington. 

Often thought to have been a weak president, Carter was strong-willed in doing what he thought was right, regardless of expediency or the political fallout.

Why have thousands of U.S. banks failed over the years? The answers are in our history and politics.

In his Second Inaugural Address, Abraham Lincoln embodied leading in a time of polarization, political disagreement, and differing understandings of reality.

Native American peoples and the lands they possessed loomed large for Washington, from his first trips westward as a surveyor to his years as President.

A hundred years ago, America was rocked by riots, repression, and racial violence.

During Pres. Washington’s first term, an epidemic killed one tenth of all the inhabitants of Philadelphia, then the capital of the young United States.

Now a popular state park, the unassuming geological feature along the Illinois River has served as the site of centuries of human habitation and discovery.  

The recent discovery of the hull of the battleship Nevada recalls her dramatic action at Pearl Harbor and ultimate revenge on D-Day as the first ship to fire on the Nazis.

Our research reveals that 19 artworks in the U.S. Capitol honor men who were Confederate officers or officials. What many of them said, and did, is truly despicable.

Here is probably the most wide-ranging look at Presidential misbehavior ever published in a magazine.

When Germany unleashed its blitzkreig in 1939, the U.S. Army was only the 17th largest in the world. FDR and Marshall had to build a fighting force able to take on the Nazis, against the wishes of many in Congress.