American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 43, No. 7, November

Electoral Headaches
When Ross Perot dropped like a stone out of the presidential race last JUly, he gave as his ostensible reason the fear that the contest would end up in the House of Representatives because no candidate could win a majority in the Electoral College....
Into the Face of History
I had waited six months to see it. A long-time collector I loved to roam the monthly swap meet in Long Beach, California near my home. Half a year before, I'd stopped at the booth of a dealer in old photographs and asked if he had anything related...
Lost in Space: What Went Wrong with NASA?
When a rocket lifts off, it lights up the launch area with a brillant burst of flame and then trails a fiery streak across the sky as it soars toward orbit. But without careful guidance all the pyrotechnics will have been for naught. That is, in short,...
Presidents on Presidents
John Adams said Thomas Jefferson's mind was "eaten to a honeycomb with ambition, yet weak, confused, uninformed, and ignorant." Ulysses S. Grant said James Garfield did not have "the backbone of an angleworm." Theodore Roosevelt called Woodrow Wilson...
Search and Destroy
98 The United States Army has always been secretive about its defense installations. In the summer of 1864 a breach of security took place on the tiny island fortress of Alcatraz that reverberated all the way back to the War Department in Washington....
The Best Part of the Hunt
In the fail of 1961 I was an English major at the University of Virginia and William Faulkner was writer-inresidence there. Mr. Faulkner was at that time finishing The Reivers, his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that would be published the following...
The Big Game
It is best to arrive in Washington on a weekend, when the official part of town seems empty. This way the high-minded architecture speaks for itself; the neat lawns, the fountain of Zeus and the maidens, the Cap- itol and its deserted steps belong...
The Forty-Year Run
In 1935 Fortune magazine published a profile of the Hearst empire, which said that William Randolph Hearst's assets-twenty-eight newspapers, thirteen magazines, eight radio stations, two movie companies, inestimable art treasures, real estate, fourteen...
The Lost City
We used to have rubber-band fights sometimes. A Saturdayafternoon visit to his office was one of my favorite treats. Irving Browning's office was like no one else's. He was the founder and owner of Camera Mart, a motion-picture-equipment rental and...
The Polaroid SX-70
I feel strangely rejuvenated," said the aging photographer Walker Evans after he began shooting pictures with Polaroid's SX-70 camera. The instant color camera, he argued, meant that for the first time "you can put a machine in an artist's hand and...
The Scene of the Crime
Two weeks after completing a film, in 1989, on the Johnstown Flood, I received word from a woman in New London, New Hampshire, that she had some photographs I might like to see. Since it was too late to revise or change the film, my call to Virginia...
To a Speculator Dying Young
Imagine the media sensation that would result if, say, Donald Trump .were to be gunned down in the Oak Room of the Plaza Hotel by a Rockefeller who had taken up with Maria Maples. That, I hope, will give you some idea of what gripped New York on the...

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