American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 56, No. 5, October

1855: American Conquistador
150 YEARS AGO ON OCTOBER 15 William Walker, a 31-year-old adventurer from Tennessee, became the ruler of Nicaragua after capturing the capital city of Granada with a force of several hundred soldiers. It was the latest in a long series of schemes...
"An Adventure in Prosperity": What Gave the Baby Boomers Plenty of Room to Play In
THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES is usually invoked to explain political disasters. Take Prohibition. Its millions of advocates thought that it would free the country from the scourge of drink, inducing fathers to spend time with their children instead...
An Age of Security? What Do All These Baby Boomers Really Have in Common?
IT'S EASY TO GET SILLY WHEN you start generalizing about generations. Witness the recent mania regarding Tom Brokaw's beloved "Greatest Generation." Yes, those individuals who came of age during the Great Depression and World War II were certainly...
Boomer Century: What's Going to Happen When the Most Prosperous, Best-Educated Generation in History Finally Grows Up? (and Just How Special Are the Baby Boomers?)
JUST A MATTER OF WEEKS FROM NOW, ON DECEMBER 31, AS millions of Americans don party hats and pop champagne corks to usher in the New Year, Kathleen Casey, the Philadelphia-born daughter of a Navy machinist and his wife, will likely find her phone once...
"Gringo"
WHEN PRESIDENT BUSH VISITED CHILE LAST November, a state dinner at the presidential palace in Santiago was canceled at the last minute because of the U.S. Secret Service's insistence that guests pass through metal detectors. This is standard practice...
History's Homepage
IT'S BEEN A BUSY FEW MONTHS. EARLY THIS YEAR Scott Masterson, my friend and colleague of a quarter-century, took the helm as president of American Heritage. Scott is a person of formidable energies, and he immediately directed them toward strengthening...
Is It Really "The Worst Generation"? A Novelist Defends Himself and 76 Million Other Baby Boomers
"WITH THE CONVERTIBLE AND YOUR long hair," the girl had said, "you must really think you're something." And so the next time I got drunk--which was that night--I shaved my head. This was in 1967, immediately before the arrest. "March on Cincinnati,...
Little Rock
It was part Southern backwoods, part Western frontier in its first decades; in the mid-1980s the newly arrived author found "a rawboned burg that had seen better days." Since then it has reclaimed its past, bringing new life to a downtown of old warehouses...
Overrated Underrated
Is the great Orson Welles possibly not all that great? Is there something coarse and generic about one of our most beloved war memorials? Which of our Founding Fathers deserves better of us? Which of our painters? For the eighth year in a row historians...
Shining Legends & Mirrors to the Past
From the legendary to the little-known, there are special places worthy of leisurely strolls, quiet contemplation and exuberant celebration. Every visit, whether a planned stay or a "let's see where the road goes" detour, serves to connect past and...
The Buyable Past
IN JONATHAN VALIN'S MYSTERY novel The Music Lovers, a character named Leon Tubin visits the detective Harry Stoner after he finds 35 of his most valuable record albums missing. One is worth $1,500, another $2,000, Tubin laments, and he tutors Stoner...
The Cars They Drove
OF ALL THE MARKETING departments that helped raise the postwar generation, none were as cunning in the art of manipulation as those of the automaking companies. Any vehicle of the era could, after all, transport a person from one place to another....
The Movies That Mattered; 10 Films That Helped Shape a Generation
* REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955)--This is the mother of all baby boomer movies, the one that gave definition to the angst of an entire generation of suburban white teenagers. The high school students portrayed in Nicholas Ray's film were born before...