May 1950

In This Issue

Explore the May 1950 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.


  • Miracle at Kitty Hawk: Unpublished Letters of the Wright Brothers (Part I)

    “It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill. This I conceive to be fortunate, for man, by reason of his greater intellect, can more reasonably hope to equal birds in knowledge than to equal nature in the perfection of her machinery.”

  • The Atlantic Report on the World Today: Israel

  • The Atlantic Report on the World Today: Latin America

  • Deadlock in Britain

    The British elections settled no great national questions, and they left altogether untouched the larger issues of world politics. Neither party gave the British voter any guidance on how to create the flexible, prosperous, and expanding world economy on which the cold war against Russia must depend. Among the ablest spokesmen for post-war Britain, BARBARA WARD has been the foreign editor of the London Economist since 1940. She is also a governor of the Old Vic and the youngest governor of the BBC.

  • Black Water Blues

    Each year the Atlantic awards prizes for the best short story, essay, and poem which have been produced in those college classes using the Atlantic in their English composition. Ihe prize-winning short story for 1949 is by MONTY CULVER, who wrote it in his senior year at the University of Pittsburgh and under the friendly stimulus of his teacher, Mr. Edwin L. Peterson. It pleases us that Ada McCormick, without knowing of the Atlantic prize, recognized the merit of “Black Water Blues.”She bought it, released it to be an Atlantic “First,”and will publish it in Letter, her magazine of research and recognition in Tucson.

  • El Greco Paints the Cape

  • How to Admire Writers

    American novelist, sportsman, and critic, PHILIP WYLIE writes prose that cracks like a whip, as anyone knows who has read his Generation of Vipers. He left Princeton at the end of three years to work as a press agent and then as one of the editors of the New Yorker and as a film writer. Today, as a free lance. he does most of his writing in Florida, and between books he travels to New York or Europe to recharge his batteries.

  • The Atlantic Report on the World Today: Washington

  • Art Must Be Modern

    Artist and author, WALTER PACH was born in Now Yorh City in 1883, studied at the New York School of Art and at the Académic Ranson in Paris, and in addition to his one-man shows has exhibited with the Independent Artists yearly since 1917. The biographer of Georges Seurat, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Van Gogh, and Ingres, and the author of widely read studies on modern art, Mr. Pach continues for Atlantic readers the argument initiated by Francis Henry Taylor, Director of the Metropolitan Museum, in “Modern Art and the Dignity of Man.”

  • Why Boys Fail

    Stupid and lazy are two adjectives which J. ROSWELL GALLAGHER does not like to see applied to the growing boy. As the school doctor at Phillips Academy in Andover for the past sixteen years, he knows by experience that there are a good many not-so-visible reasons which explain scholastic failure. Some of these he has defined in his earlier Allantic articles“Can’t Spell, Cant Read” (June, 1948) and “ There Is No Average Boy(March, 1949). Now, in this new paper, he pleads for an understanding of a boy’s personality and implies his strong belief in the individuala point of view Tom Paine would find perfectly proper.

  • Bird Language

    On the ponds and marshes of the inland side of Nauset Beach, and in the river estuaries in the neighborhood of Ipswich, DR. WYMAN RICHARDSON has observed the bird life as he has paddled, fished for stripers, or with his son Fred watched in concealment, with his glasses rather than his gun at hand. Dr. Richardson has long been aware that birds communicate, for reasons he explains in this, the sixth of his series of Atlantic essays.

  • King Lear

    In The Canticle of the Rose, Poems: 1917 to 1949, we see the development of EDITH SITWKLL, England’s foremost woman poet. We feel the excitement of her early poems with their strange compelling rhythm, and we feel the power and penetration of her later work with its splendid sweep and color. On her visit to America last year, Dr. Sitwell showed the Atlantic her Notebook on William Shakespeare, from which we have drawn two papers, the first on Macbeth, the second on King Lear — each remarkable for its interpretation and scholarship.

  • Young Van Schuyler's Greatest Romance

    AL CAPP’S drawings were first syndicated in 1934, and since then he has risen to be one of the most popular and articulate of our comic artists. He does not know, nor does anyone else, how many copies of his books of Li’l Abner cartoons have been distributed; the number is astronomical. His book The Life and Times of the Shmoo was a best-seller, and he is now writing his first extended work of prose, Inside Al Capp, which Simon and Schuster are to publish in the autumn and from which we shall publish a series of chapters in preview.

  • The Lost Traveler

  • My Fellow Republicans

    What public affairs mean to the private citizen. ROBERT MOSEShas learned by thirty years of participation in New York s city and state governments. An authority on parks, highways, and municipal and state planning, he has served every governor since . Al Smith and both Guardia and O’ Dwyer, In the Hoover Commission on the Organization of the Federal Government he was the head of the task force on public works. His warning to “Republican BourbonsandDemcratic Socialists” is that the United States is ripe neither for revolution nor for reaction, and that both parties should mind their language accordingly.

  • If I Were a Priest

    Because of his forebodings based on the belief that the solar system would in time be engulfed by an icecap, the Very Reverend W . R. Inge, Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral. became identified in Britain’s press as “the Gloomy Dean.”That he far from deserved the title has often been shown; but if further proof were required, it is given by himself in Diary of a Dean, recently published in England and here commented upon by one of his famous contemporaries, GEORGE BERNARD SHAW.

  • Admiral Leahy Was There

    Admiral William D. Leahy served this country in series of exacting commands at an age alien most shippers are in retirement. As our Ambassador at Vichy, as Chief of Staff to President Roosevelt and later to President Truman, and as a member of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, he participated in many a crucial decision during the momentous years. For an appraisal of his new book, we turn to RICHARD E, DANIELSON, who screed in Military Intelligence in both wars.

  • The Peripatetic Reviewer

  • Reader's Choice

  • Potpourri

    Three brief book reviews

  • This Month

  • What Every Woman Knows by Now

    MARGHANITA LASKI is the author of Toasted English and Little Boy Lost. Accent on Living readers will recall her “Cheap Clothes for Fat Oid Women,”in the July, l949, Atlantic.

  • Life in a Paris Suburb

  • Garden Verses

  • Duel Without End

    After some years of newspapering in New York HYMAN GOLDBERG served in the army during the war and is now a writer for King Features.

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