American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 57, No. 4, August-September

1831: Nat Turner's Rebellion
175 YEARS AGO AROUND TWO IN the morning on August 22, 1831, a group of seven slaves emerged from the woods in Southampton County, Virginia, armed with axes, hatchets, and knives. They stopped at a farmhouse, hacked its four white occupants to death,...
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Book $Ale: The Top 10 Treasures from Abe's First 10 Years
This June marked the tenth anniversary of Abebooks.com, an Internet operation that has made things much easier for American Heritage editors along with countless thousands of other people. The Canada-based company--Advanced Book Exchange--sells...
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Flying Coach to Cairo: How Three Wary Presidents Became Friends on the Way to a Funeral: A Serious Comedy
JIMMY CARTER WAS AT HOME IN HIS STUDY IN Plains, Georgia, on October 6, 1981, when the call came in a little after daybreak. A reporter was on the line asking for his response to the attempted assassination of Anwar Sadat. The Egyptian president had...
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Our 10 Greatest Natural Disasters
THERE IS SOMETHING UNIQUELY CHILLING ABOUT A NATURAL disaster, the uncontrolled, unpreventable fury of normally benign elements: a blue sky now black exploding in water and electricity; the air around us suddenly quick, weaponized; a resort lake bewitched...
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Second-Term Blues: Why Have Our Presidents Almost Always Stumbled after Their First Four Years?
PITY POOR GEORGE W. BUSH, STUCK in the morass of those second-term blues! As of this writing, Mr. Bush's poll numbers--those now ubiquitous barometers of presidential popularity--are barely creeping up after hitting record lows earlier this year. The...
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Secret Season: Colorado before the Snow Flies
N A BRILLIANT SEPTEMBER afternoon Crested Butte, deep in the Colorado Rockies, is crowded with young people wearing flowing velvets and silks, their faces daubed with fierce streaks of color. Among the cries and drumbeats that float into the crystalline...
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The War at Home: News Filed 60 Years Later
HE WAS, TO AMERICANS OF A CERTAIN AGE, THE URBANE, well-bred, well-read, well-connected Englishman who hosted "Omnibus," a cultural lighthouse that shone over the wasteland of network television in the 1950s. Later, from 1971 to 1992, he presented...
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Tiki: How Sex, Rum, World War II, and the Brand-New State of Hawaii Ignited a Fad That Has Never Quite Ended
IN DECEMBER 1931 A SOMEWHAT ADRIFT 24-YEAR-OLD WASHED up in Southern California, looking for something to do. A native of New Orleans, he was named Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt. Curious by nature and something of a protobeatnik by choice, he had spent...
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Why Do We Say ...?
ROOSTER IS THE COMMON TERM TODAY FOR A male chicken, and most people utter it without realizing that it is a euphemism, a "good" word employed in place of a "bad" one. The word rooster is an Americanism, and its appearance in the written record...
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