December 1949

In This Issue

Explore the December 1949 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.


  • Tell Me a Story!

  • The Happy Day

  • The Sitter Who Didn't Sit

  • The Little Whistler

  • Miss Flora McFlimsey's Christmas Eve

  • The Blue Cat of Castle Town

  • Flossie and Bossie

  • The Fabulous Flight

  • Wishing Water Gate

  • Kildee House

  • The Door in the Wall

  • Sarah

  • Punt Formation

  • Storm of Dancerwood

  • Sword in Sheath

  • Your Young Life

  • Toby on the Sheep Drive

  • This Month

  • Elixir of the Grape

    A San Francisco doctor by vocation. SALVATORE P. LUCIA is a mil-known amateur of fine wines. Ur served on the Judges Committer, Red Table Wines, California State Fair, for the past three years and is a member of the Board of Governors, San Francisco Branch of the Wine and Food Society.

  • Notes of an Unnaturalist

  • Postludium

    JOHN V. HICKS in “an organist who married an organist, a singer who married his accompanist.”Hr lives in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

  • No Vain Imaginings

  • Savory Seeds

  • Challenge

  • India

  • Pickwick Lives Forever

    The Pickwick Papers, that book of perennial Christmas laughter, has been reissued this autumn in a handsome new edition by Simon and Schuster. For the volume, CLIFTON FADIMAN, for many years the literary critic of the New Yorker, has written a foreword from which we have drawn the following essay. The characters in Pickwick have come down to us in the famous drawings by Phiz; now they reappear in the creative interpretation of a British artist. Frederick Banbery, who has contributed the black and whites and the cover panel for this issue.

  • Truman Reshapes the Supreme Court

    Editor of the editorial page of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who served as a staff officer under General Patton and General Eisenhower, IRVING DILLIARDis a layman who for twenty years has followed closely the decisions and philosophy of our Supreme Court. More than a dozen years ago he published a survey and statistical study showing that although the minimum-wage lams had been held unconstitutional by Supreme Court decisions, a majority of the Justices who passed on those measures actually voted to uphold them. A graduate of the University of Illinois and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, Mr. Dilliard has been with the Post-Dispatch since 1923.

  • Justice in a Democracy

    MARK DE WOLFE HOWE was first concerned with the traditions of the Supreme Court in 1933-1934 when he was secretary to Justice Holmes. That same year he was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar. After four years of practice, he was appointed Professor of Law at the University of Buffalo Law School, of which he became the Dean in 1941. There followed four years in the Army, two of which he spent overseas in Military Government. In 1945 he teas discharged with the rank of Colonel and accepted his present post as Professor of Law at Harvard. He is the editor of the Holmes-Pollock Letters and is now engaged in writing the biography of Mr. Justice Holmes.

  • The Fear of Dying

  • Maud

    Born on Long Island in 1917, and educated at Groton, Yale, and Universify of Virginia Law School, LOUIS AUIIINCUOSS now enjoys the disciplines of tiro professions, law and fiction, He is an associate of Sullivan & Cromwell and his week-ends he devotes to his writing. His first novel, The Indifferent Children, was published in 1917 under a pseudonym. This story, which will be concluded next month, is the first of a group of his short stories which the Atlantic looks forward to publishing.

  • Atomic Energy

  • Song

  • Losing the War in Germany: The Educational Front

    A member of the editorial staff of the Boston Globe for the past ten years, OTTO ZAUSMER served as head of the Intelligence Department of the Office of war Information in London. After the war, he covered the Nuremberg Trials and the Trial of Pétain for his paper, and made firsthand reports on the reconstruction going on in Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Italy, and France. This past summer, he again returned to Europe, and in our zone in Germany detected a development which is of concern to every thinking American.

  • Honey and Dave

    A Bostonian and a famous shot who knows by heart many of the best coverts for woodcock and partridge in New England, W. GORDON MEANS has spent countless happy hours training and working his bird dogs. In a reminiscent mood, he has made pen portraits of some of his favorites, and from his collection we have selected these two as being especially endearing. In 1941, Mr. Means published a private edition of his first book, M y Guns.

  • Hymn for the Feast of Duns Scotus

  • The Reader

  • The Grass Roots Revolution in Japan

    Japan with her ancient heritage so different from ours is now poised on the threshold of democracy. Will she turn our way or Russia’s? NORA WALN, author of The House of Exile and Reaching for the Stars, has been living in Japan for the past two years. With her disarming Quaker spirit, she has penetrated farther than most Americans in her understanding of the uncertainty and the aspiration of the Japanese people. Her findings will come to us in the form of a regular monthly article. Last month she described the indoctrination and hostility with which the Japanese prisoners returned from Russia: next month she will speak of the schools and the young refugees from Communism to whom Japan has given sanctuary.

  • When Shakespeare Wrote the Sonnets

    As a Sheldon Traveling Fellow, LESLIE HOTSON in 1924 visited the Record Office in London, and in a matter of weeks tracked down the murderer of Christopher Marlowe and the eyewitness account of the stabbing. Five years laterthis time on a Guggenheim Fellowshiphe brought to light “Shelley’s Lost Letters to Harriet.” In 1931, as Professor of English at Haverford, he published “Shakespeare versus Shallow,his discovery of Shakespeare’s quarrel and arrest. Now he has completed a fourth and most important detective case, the dating of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. The paper which follows is drawn from his new book, Shakespeare’s Sonnets Dated and Other Essays, to be published by the Oxford University Press.

  • Young John Adams: The Second Continental Congress

    In Yankee from Olympus, CATHERINE DRINKER BOWEN showed us the decisiveness of that Great Dissenter, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. For the past three years she has been working on a comparable portrait of young John Adams, who was brought up to believe in British rights and British freedom and who in his thirties, from 1765 to 1775, worked to effect a new freedom on this side of the Atlantic. Those ten years were the most im portant, the most dynamic, of John Adams’s life. From the final section of Miss Bowen’s book, the Atlantic has made a five-part abridgment, depicting the action and deliberation which led to independence.

  • Relics

    Horace Walpole was one of the greatest connoisseurs and certainly one of the greatest collectors in the eighteenth century. The supreme collection of his books and of the relics which surrounded him at Strawberry Hill now reposes in the home of WILMARTH SHELDON LEWIS in Farmington, Connecticut. A graduate and trustee of Yale University, Mr. Lewis is the editor of the Yale edition of Horace Walpole’s Correspondence and the author of other delightful volumes on the eighteenth century. He is now writing an account of his experiences as collector, editor, and bibliophile.

Get the digital edition of this issue.

Subscribers can access PDF versions of every issue in The Atlantic archive. When you subscribe, you’ll not only enjoy all of The Atlantic’s writing, past and present; you’ll also be supporting a bright future for our journalism.