In This Issue
Explore the June 1947 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.
Nineteen civilizations have had their turn upon this planet during the 6000 years of recorded history. Today five of them survive — all in different states of development — and our lives depend upon their striking a balance. With Olympian discernment ARNOLD J. TOYNBEE,one of the most eminent living historians,examines these five contending civilizations in an effort to foretell which will survive if man elects to live in peace,and which will survive if the most civilized of us run amok.
Can our young educated American women find full satisfaction in running a home, in rearing their youngsters, and in attending to those endless lists of details which consume each day? In this struggle, what happens to the child and what happens to the hard-driven housewife? Does this situation contribute directly to our ever mounting divorce rate? These were the questions pressed home by Della D. Cyrus in her two challenging Atlantic articles, “What’s Wrong with the Family?" (November, 1946) and “Why Mothers Fail” (March, 1947). Nearly four hundred readers, most of them women and most of them furious with Mrs. Cyrus, have risen to reply. The four rejoinders which follow are representative.
Ever since the Revolution, Americans have been contending against monopoly, the Bigness of Business, a fight which has been carried on by Jefferson and Jackson, by Lincoln and Cleveland, by T.R., Woodrow Wilson, and F.D. R. Yet “the Biggest in the World” has become our national boast, and we have emerged from the Second World War with American corporations and American labor unions more powerful than ever in our history. Bigness is often inefficient and usually unnecessary, argues this nationally known engineer, the author of Brass Tacks and The American Way.