American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 47, No. 5, September

Chicken Feed
"WHAT! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT! Chickens? What do they have to do with anything. Chickens!" This was Elisabeth Aulepp, whose job is to sell advertising for American Heritage, and who evidently didn't think our chicken feature would make it any easier. "I...
Driving a Soft Bargain
It is surely fortunate that only very seldom these days does the fate of a great nation lie in the hands of a single individual. Winston Churchill, in his history of the First World War, described Admiral Jellicoe, who had commanded the British Grand...
Iron Man Meets Mr. Clean
Most cities have some activity that's mandatory for out-of-towners. Every tourist in San Francisco has to ride a cable car; everyone who vacations in New York has to complain about the prices. And every visitor to Pittsburgh has to remark with wonder...
Is the Constitution Obsolete?
If you write a column called "In the News" long enough, some of your subjects eventually begin to catch up with one another. This space recently (November 1995) was occupied with the past history of the struggle for the item veto, and behold, in April...
Sex Death and Ronald McDonald: On the Road during the Era of Greatest Peril for the One Indispensable American Show
Last summer, while I was driving my daughter and son from Williamstown, Massachusetts, to Chatham, New York, we passed a billboard with an ad, Crayola red, blue, and yellow, announcing the arrival of a circus. My daughter, who is eighteen, has seen the...
The Actor's Revolt
1919. The first full year of peace after the World War was a restless one. It saw the advent of Prohibition and the Black Sox scandal. The Communist Labor party of America was founded, while the Socialist party leader Eugene Debs went to jail. The U.S....
The Chicken Story
A century ago you'd eat steak and lobster when you couldn't afford chicken. Today it can cost less than the potatoes you serve it with. What happened in the years between was an extraordinary marriage of technology and the market. King Henri IV of France...
The Handy Man
As has been said of pornography, great art is impossible of complete definition but we know it when we see it. And the greatest athletes, as with great generals and great violinists, are master artists. A million kids play baseball. One is Babe Ruth....
The Long Pass
Convened in January of 1961, the Eighty-seventh Congress was a gathering of contrasts. Less than a quarter of the people serving in the House of Representatives had been there during World War II, and 153 members had served fewer than five years. On...
The Omni-American
Albert Murrays sees American Culture as an incandescent fusion of European, Yankee, frontier, and black. And he sees what he calls the "blues idiom" as the highest expression of that culture. When he was seventy, Albert Murray scuttled around Manhattan...
The Time Machine
1796 Two Hundred Years Ago Washington Says Good-bye * At first glance the September 19 issue of Philadelphia's American Daily Advertiser looked no different from any other. Its front page was tiled with the usual assortment of notices from tradesmen...
Violence in America: What Human Nature and the California Gold Rush Tell Us about Crime in the Inner City
Violence is the primal problem of American history, the dark reverse of its coin of freedom and abundance. American society, or a conspicuous part of it, has been tumultuous since the beginnings of European colonization. But while seventeenth-century...
Wild West Show
I was born three months before the Wright brothers launched the first airplane at Kitty Hawk, and I stood transfixed with awe when Halley's comet stretched in eerie silence across the heavens above me. I heard Teddy Roosevelt make one of his Bull Moose...