American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 46, No. 2, April

Bringing the President Home
In the late afternoon of Thursday, April 12, 1945, my wife and I were relaxing on the front terrace of our West Point quarters. Such a mild, sunny day seldom came to the Hudson Valley so early in the spring. Suddenly from an open second-story window...
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Gangster City
During a single decade Chicago invented modern organized crime and saw John Dillinger, the most famous of the hit-and-run freelancers, die in front of one of its movie houses. For those who know where to look, quiet streets and sad buildings still tell...
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Genes, Brains and Bunk
Late in 1994, The Bell Curve, by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, made the news in a big-time way--and the controversy still hasn't died down. The book's basic thesis--surrounded by many hedgings, and with a plethora of charts and other trappings...
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Going Back on the Water
You don't naturally associate white-water rafting with stepping back into the past, but I discovered you can do both at once. That is, you can float down the New River through a lovely unsullied West Virginia gorge, bounce through furious rapids, and...
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Ives: Piano Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2
Nina Deutsch, Piano, VoxBox CDX S089 (two CDs), $15.98. CODE: BAT-29 * Charles Ives worked on and off for most of his life on a magnum opus he called the Universe Symphony. He never expected, or even intended, to finish it. It was to be "a presentation...
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Ives: Symphony No. 4, "The Unanswered Question"; Varese: Ameriques
The Cleveland Orchestra, Christoph von Dohnanyi, conductor, London 443 172-2 (one CD), $15.98. CODE: BAT-28 * Charles Ives worked on and off for most of his life on a magnum opus he called the Universe Symphony. He never expected, or even intended,...
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Ives: Universe Symphony, Orchestral Set No. 2, "The Unanswered Question"
Cincinnati Philharmonia Orchestra, Gerhard Samuel, conductor, C.C.M. Percussion Ensemble and Chamber Choir, Centaur CRC 2205 (one CD), $16.98. CODE: BAT-27 * Charles Ives worked on and off for most of his life on a magnum opus he called the Universe...
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Jefferson's Paris
PARIS IS EVERY DAY enlarging and beautifying," Thomas Jefferson noted with satisfaction during his residence there as minister to France. The city under construction was a delight to Jefferson, the art patron and amateur architect. He had arrived in...
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Mound Country
Robert Maslowski and I made our way carefully across the tobacco field, trying not to disturb the neat rows of freshly plowed furrows. On the other side of the flat valley, a tractor moved slowly across the horizon "settin' tobacco," as they call planting...
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Preserving Preservation
More and more these days, Americans are choosing vacation destinations on the basis of the history they can find there; and to think about traveling with a sense of history inevitably leads to thinking about historic preservation. In fact, everything...
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Re-Examining Roosevelt
Over the course of the eight years it took me to write two books on Franklin Roosevelt's first fortysix, I had a recurring dream. in it, FDR and I played endless games of cards across his big presidental desk. He was, as you might imagine, a genial,...
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The Alamo Recaptured
You can tell the difference with a single touch. The stone wall of the actual Alamo, in the center of downtown San Antonio, has a cool, clammy feel, due mostly to the surrounding skyscrapers and tourist attractions casting mountainous shadows over their...
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The Greatest Book Sale
As it does with bowerbirds and pack rats, the urge to collect things lies deep within the human soul, and its endless manifestations can reveal that soul in startling ways. Sometimes the results of collecting are positive to the point of revolution....
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The Lonigan Curse
A special notice on the jacket of the 1932 first edition of Young Lonigan informed the public that the book was directed solely at "physicians, surgeons, psychologists, psychiatrists, sociologists, social workers, teachers and other persons having a...
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The Old West Trail: Five States of Frontier History
How The Old West Trail Country Came To Be It was, in a sense, the last frontier: the part of the United States that lies below Canada along the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains, the region now known as the Old West Trail country. This area that...
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The Retreat at Kommando 64/VI
The heavy cannonading in the east told the American POWs in Kommando 64/VI that the war was almost over. We had survived the brutally cold Baltic winter in this satellite labor camp of a German stalag and were now enjoying the first tenuous rays of the...
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Westward on the Old Lincoln Highway
I HAD BEEN DRIVING ACROSS PENNSYLVANIA'S hills and valleys for five hours when suddenly my destination for the evening appeared ahead. On a high, level clearing in the state's mountainous southwest quarter, just beyond the immaculate little town of Bedford,...
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