February 1955

In This Issue

Explore the February 1955 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.


  • The Atlantic Report on the World Today: Washington and Rio

  • Australia

  • Table of Contents

  • Letters to and From the Editors

  • The Decline of Western Democracy

    In his new book, The Public Philosophy, which will he published this month, WALTER LIPPMAN has made a forceful analysis of the gravest issue of our time, the steady impairment of the power to govern which has imperiled the western democracies during the past Jour decades, He shows that this deterioration began before 1914, that Lord Bryce saw the warning signs in 1920: and he shows how deep-seated the disorder has become since 1938. The great question to which he addresses himself in the later chapters is whether this decline can be checked and to what extent Democracy can renew its strength. The deep seriousness with which Mr. Lippmann writes will be seen in this, the first of three excerpts we shall draw from his book.

  • The Portrait

    A Londoner who cherishes every vestige of the cockney, WOLF MANKOWITZ graduated from Cambridge University and within six years established himself as one of the leading dealers in wedgwood. Now in his late twenties, he writes as he pleases, dividing his time between authoritative studies of the Cortland vase, plays for the London theater, and fiction. His two latest novels. Make Me an Offer and A kid lor Two Farthings, are being filmed. Atlantic readers will recall his story, ’"The Finest Pipe Maker in Russia.’ in the November issue. We look forward to publishing a number of his other stories in the months ahead.

  • Indonesia

  • Textbooks Under Fire

    Dean of the School of Education at Syracuse University, VIRGIL M. ROGERScame to his position after more than thirty years of service in the public schools. As teacher, principal, and superintcndent he constonily had to evaluate the textbooks used in the schools, lie is therefore eminently qualified to discuss for Atlantic readers the problems which school administrators must face in the selection oj textbooks.

  • The Poet as Playwright

    Poet and lawyer and public servant, ARCHIBALD MACLEISH has answered many callings in his distinctive career, He has twice been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry—first in 1932, and again in 1953 on the publication of his Collected Poems. He has given considerable thought to the use of poetry on the stage; he has written four verse plays for radio, all of which have had stage as well as radio production, and in the essay which follows he examines the critical dictum of his friend, the poet and playwright, T. S. Eliot.

  • By Slow Degrees

    Biographer, musician, and a writing member of the famous Drinker clan of Philadelphia, CATHERINE DRINKER BOWEN has scored a Progressive success with her interpretive biographies, three of which have been chosen by the Book-of-the-Month Club. She has been increasingly attracted by law and lawyers as part of history, as was evident in her study of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. Yankee from Olympus, and again in its successor, John Adams and the American Revolution. She interrupted her work on her new book, the biography of Sir Edward Coke, the eminent Elizabethan jurist, to deliver this talk before the American Law Institute in Washington.

  • Flemish Artists, Fifteenth Century

    The Atlantic receives on an average as many as 1500 poems a month. They come as frequently from men as from women, and are evidence of an interest in poetry which never slackens. Is an incentive for those writers yet unestablished, we shall from time to time devote a number of pages to the work of young poets.

  • The Apotheosis of Alexander

  • Winter Leaves

  • After Evening Milking

  • In Memory of Dylan Thomas

  • Be It Ever So Drafty

    Architects, builders, and air-conditioners have eliminated the draft from the modern dwelling place. In so doing, they have deprived the householder of the chance to pit his cunning against nature in many a minorbut victoriousskirmish. H. F. ELLIS, who is remembered for his book, The Vexations of A. J. Wentworth, tells how a London family, in more rigorous times, defended itself against a winter evening at home.

  • Explosion on the "Princeton": Chance or Destiny?

    “Pondering the degree to which accident could overturn the schemes of wise men, Prince Bismarck once concluded that there was a special providence for drunkards. fools, and the United Stales. Indeed there is much to be said for the argument that America has survived and grown strong by a miraculous streak of luck that, at one turning point after another, has directed fortune its way.”So writes OSCAR HANDLIN, Professor of History at Harvard and author of The Uprooted, which won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1951. This is the third of a series of five articles, each focused on a major event in American history.

  • Alberto Moravia

    CHARLES J. ROLO,who writes “Reader’s Choicein the Atlantic Bookshelf each month, is the author of two war books and the editor of the collected works of Aldous Huxley. A gifted essayist, he has written for us in times past on André Gide, Aldous Huxley, and Thomas Mann. His article on Evelyn Waugh in the November Atlantic started a new series; now he gives us his appraisal of an Italian novelist who has acquired an enormous following in this country.

  • The Peripatetic Reviewer

  • Books: The Editors Like

  • Reader's Choice

  • Reflections at Fifty

  • Faith and Freedom

  • The Light of Distant Skies

  • Accent on Living

  • Europe Instantly!

  • Record Reviews

  • The Brown-Baggers

  • German Hotel

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