In This Issue
Explore the July 1950 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.
This article by Orville and Wilbur Wright's official biographer, Fred C. Kelly, includes a number of letters written by the Wrights during the years leading up to and just after their first flight.
Ever since the founding of the Atlantic it has been customary for the Editor to visit England, there to encourage Atlantic contributors, to scout for new material, and to enlarge his understanding of English policy, domestic and international. EDWARD WEEKS, who held a scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge, after his graduation from Harvard, has made repeated trips to Britain during his twenty-five years on the Atlantic staff. In this article he notes the changes which have taken place since 1948, and gives his impressions of British reaction to the Government, austerity, Russia, and the H-bomb.
We have all heard of the extraordinary daring of the American submarine commanders in their raids against Japanese shipping. But the actual box score was not disclosed, and not until recently has the public begun to realize that the performance of American torpedoes in the Pacific must stand as one of the great all-time failures of American ordinance. Why this was so and how it was remedied is now recounted by FLETCHER PRATT, widely known as a commentator and author of many military and naval histories dealing with the two world wars.
The college graduates and the young intellectuals of China are faced today with some terribly difficult decisions. No one knows this better than NORA WALN, author of The House of Exile and Reaching for the Stars, who has been living and writing in the Orient for the past two years. In her third Atlantic article she wrote of An-kuo, the young Chinese scholar who for a time took refuge in Japan but went home because he felt he was needed. In the following article Miss Waln reports the reaction of the Chinese people to the Communist conquest.
The rubber rafts flew up like kites in the gale; 30-foot waves battered the heavy motor lifeboat until it sank. How, under these conditions, to save the lives of sixty-nine men, women, and children in a foundering flying boat was the problem confronting CAPTAIN PAUL B. CRONK of the U.S. Coast Guard weather ship Bibb. It called for seamanship, instinct, courage, and luck. The Atlantic is proud to publish Captain Cronk’s own account of the minute-to-minute derisions which had to be made in a situation that was all but hopeless.
WILLIAM L. COPITHORNE taught English in a Havana preparatory school after his graduation from Harvard, and more recently at the University of Havana. He spent most of the war in Newfoundland in cryptographic work for the United States Army, and he is now on the faculty of Kenyon College, where he teaches Creative Writing. His “Morning Musicale” appeared in the Accent on Living pages of the April, 1946, Atlantic.
A mathematician and philosopher of science whose ideas played a significant part in the development of communication and control which were essential in winning the war, NORBERT WIENER of Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been outspoken in the discussions of atomic energy and of the responsibilities of the scientist. He is the author of Cybernetics, and his new book, The Human Use of Human Beings, is to be published by Houghton Mifflin this August.
By underlining the right answer in a multiple-choice test the student can show “scholastic aptitude” and a capacity for college work. But how shall the college judge his common sense and what the student can bring to bear from his own experience, both academic and practical? FRANK D. ASHBURN is headmaster of Brooks School, North Andover, Massachusetts, has served in various capacities on the College Entrance Examination Board, and is at present chairman of its committee studying the current achievement testing program of the Board.
“When I was a kid,”writes RICHARD BISSELL, “I floated down the river twice and bummed the freights home.” Then, after graduating from Phillips Exeter and Harvard, he returned to Iowa and again went on the river. He worked on the Monongahela, on the Ohio, the Missouri, and the Upper and Lower Mississippi, first as deckhand and then as mate and pilot. The story which follows is taken from his first novel, A Stretch on the River, which will appear as an Atlantic-Little, Brown book. The Atlantic, which published Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi, is happy to find a worthy successor in Dick Bissell.
JACK RUSSELL is a Canadian who, as the export manager for various automobile companies, put in fifteen years of strenuous, successful work in Europe. While in London, he fell in love with Jill Gilfillan of the London Ballet, but before they could be married his health failed, and under doctor’s orders he retired to his camp in the Maine woods. He and Jill were married in 1927; his health was steadily improving, but the question was, Where, at the age of forty-eight, could he find a new lease on life? The article which follows is drawn from his book Jill and I — and the Salmon, published this summer.
For four centuries the English have produced a special race of soldieradventurers, men of singular penetration and force who established their authority in other countries — Clive in India, Gordon in China, T. E. Lawrence in Arabia, and Wingate in Burma. Brigadier Maclean and Colonel Chapman made their names in the last war and are here appraised by RICHARD E. DANIELSON, editor and author, who served in our Military Intelligence in both wars.
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.
Three brief book reviews
FRANK SCHOONMAKER is the author of many books on wines and the pleasures of the table, and of several European travel guides as well. This is his first appearance in the Atlantic.
Foreign correspondent and later editor of the Chicago Daily News, PAUL. SCOTT MOWRER describes the problems peculiar to news reporting when the home office is an ocean or two distant. He is now carrying on with his writing in Chocorua, New Hampshire.
RENÉ MACCOLL Paris correspondent of the London Daily Express, was formerly with the British Information Services in New York.
“Writing is my seventh career, and the one I’m going to stick to,” ANN GRIFFITH tells us. She has been at it a little over a year, and has already had several articles published.