In This Issue
Explore the May 1955 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.
A graduate of Clark University who served as a navigator in air‑sea rescue during the war, Ben H. Bagdikian has been a reporter and columnist on one of New England's ablest newspapers, the Providence Journal, since 1947. With Louis Lyons, Curator of the Nieman Fellows at Harvard, he was one of the first to be alarmed by the policy of retreat disclosed in the article which follows.
In 1885 Owen Wister’s health broke down and that summer, on the advice of Dr. S. Weir Mitchell, he headed for Wyoming to stay on a friend’s ranch. He had graduated from Harvard, studied music in Paris, and was about to enter law school. This was the first time he had ever been west of Paoli, Pennsylvania, and the impressions which were made on him that summer determined his career. In the Journals which he kept then and on his subsequent visits to the West, he began to write down the adventures and descriptions which were eventually to provide the source material for his famous book, The Virginian, the first, romantic Western in American literature. From his unpublished journals, which have been carefully edited by his daughter, FANNY KEMBLE WISTER,the Atlantic is privileged to draw two articles, of which this is the first.
We know now that the steady depletion of Russia’s agriculture has been responsible for a series of sudden changes in the Politburo, and we turn to EDWARD CRANKSHAW,the English author and historian, for the down-to-earth elucidation of cause and effect. Mr. Crankshaw first visited Russia as a member of the British Military Mission to Moscow; he went back again in 1947 as a writer for the London Observer; and it was in the course of these tours of duty that he assembled the source material for his two readable and authoritative books, Russia and the Russians and Cracks in the Kremlin Wall.
A graduate of Annapolis, VICE ADMIRAL LESLIE C. STEVENS, USN (Ret.), combined two careers during his thirty-six years of active service — one in the development of naval aviation and our great carriers; the other in foreign intelligence. His memorable book, Russian Assignment, is told almost entirely in terms of the hundreds of vivid encounters which befell him in Moscow and the provinces while he was our Naval Attaché. Now he applies the same powerful observation and style to that road which runs for 1500 miles across India.
DONALD HEINEYpublished his first story in 1943 while he was in the Merchant Marine. For the next three years he served in the Navy in the European and South Pacific campaigns; then, after his honorable discharge, he resumed his studies at the University of Southern California, where he took his Ph.D. in literature in 1952. Mr. Heiney plans to do a novel based on Mr. Benturian, the hero of the story which follows; and if he succeeds, we hope to publish it under the Atlantic-Little, Brown imprint.
As a regular contributor to the Atlantic, SUMNER H. SLIGHTER has repeatedly pointed out the enormous potential of the American economy. We believe that his opinions have been consistently validated by subsequent events, and that prophets of gloom would do well to consider the facts with which he supports his quiet confidence in our ability to prosper. Born in Madison, Mr. Slichter took his A.B. degree at the University of Wisconsin and his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 1918, and is today Lamont University Professor at Harvard.
Distinguished for his poetry and fiction, ROBERT GRAVESis equally at home in the field of classical antiquity. The blending of the novelist’s art with the scholar’s fidelity is no better achieved than in I, Claudius, a remarkable reconstruction of Roman life, and in Homer’s Daughter, his new novel. In recent years his attention has turned to early Greek myths, and his interpretations have cast fresh light on accepted belief. Readers will recall that in October, 1953, the Atlantic published “What Happened to Atlantis,” Mr. Graves’s careful comparison of the different legends about the lost continent. Here he discusses the Oedipus story.
According to Professor ROBERT C. WILSON of Reed College, Oregon, the plight of the gifted child in our public schools is far more serious than that of the laggard, and he has figures to show that only about one half of the youngsters in the upper 10 per cent of ability enter college. Why this should be so and what can be done to correct it is the gist of the article which follows. Mr. Wilson is a Bostonian who took his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. at the University of Southern California. He went to Reed College in 1953 as Associate Professor of Psychology, and he is now on loan to the Portland Public Schools as Research Director of the Gifted Child Project.
Author of My Name Is Aram, My Heart’s in the Highlands, The Human Comedy, and The Bicycle Rider in Beverly Hills, WILLIAM SAROYAN has been writing since he was thirteen years old and has published more than thirty boohs and plays. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1939 for the Time of Your Life but refused the $1000 because he “already had $1000 at that time, and because commerce has no right to patronize art.”He accepted the Drama Critics’ Circle Award for the same play, “because there was no money involved, and because I knew some of the critics and wanted to meet the others at the free dinner.”
ROY COWDEN, who began teaching at his alma mater, the University of at mater, the University of Michigan, in 1909, was for almost twenty years Director of the Avery Hopwood Awards, a series of cash prizes which are conferred each spring in Ann Arbor on undergraduate and graduate students who have demonstrated their ability in poetry or fiction. His skill as a constructive critic and his lifelong interest in the “creative process" have made Professor Cowden a respected and beloved teacher; and under his encouragement more than sixty volumes in prose and verse have now been published.
RUTH CLAY PRICK was born in California and makes her home in Pasadena. This is her first appearance in the Atlantic.
RIXFORD KNIGHT, from his farm at Jamaica, Vermont, has snpplied many light subjects for Accent, on Living.
German-born GUNTHER L. EICHHORN was educated at the University of Louisville and took his doctorate at the University of Illinois. He is now on leave of absence as associate professor of chemistry at Louisiana State University for a stay with the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
After several summers spent in Europe, MEBIIOYD LAWRENCE finds in Styria a wealth of sights and traditions as gay as any on the Continent. She was graduated from Radcliffe in 1954, and lives in Cambridge.