In This Issue
Explore the August 1955 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.
"Do you know your mayor, your city council man, your state legislator, your governor, your congressman, your senator? Are they as good men in their field as your doctor, the teachers in your local school, or the officers of your bank?"
An Irish playwright who scored his initial success with the Abbey Theatre and whose unforgettable play, The Moon in the Yellow River, was a hit in London and Dublin, DENIS JOH NSTON served during the war as a BBC correspondent in the field. He reached the front at the time Rommel had the British Army on the run; he worked in the desert, then in Italy, finally with the Americans in Germany, ami out of his experiences has come a unujue, powerfully written book, Nine Rivers from Jordan. One cannot classify it, for it is autolnography, adventure, parody, mysticism, and farce. It will be published this month under the Atlantic-Little, Brown imprint; and from it we have drawn the arresting episode which follows.
August 6 of this year will mark the tenth anniversary of Hiroshima, and this seems an appropriate moment to hear from the dean of American scientists on the motivations which spur them on today. A graduate of Tufts College in the Class of 1913, VANNEVAR BUSH has the drive, the courage, and the insight which made him a leading spirit at Massachusetts Institute of Technology,where he was vice president from 1932 to 1938. It was his initiative and direction which guided the National Defense Research Committee, later the Office of Scientific Research and Development, from 1910 until after the war. In December he steps down as President of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, a position he has held for sixteen years. The trenchant paper which follows is drawn from an address he delivered before the American Philosophical Society.
Not since André Maurois created the legendary Colonel Bramble some thirty-seven years ago has a Frenchman written so entertainingly about the French and their British cousins as PIERRE D WINGS. Well known to readers of the Figaro os one of the wittiest of contemporary French journalists, he is the author of last years French best seller, Les Carnets du Major Thompson, which has already sold 400,000 copies and is due to be made into a film starring Alec Guinness. An American translation under the title The Notebooks of Major I hompson is to be published in September by Alfred Knopf, and from it the Atlantic is privileged to draiv this excerpt.
Son of New Bedford and heir of her best seafaring tradition, LLEWELLYN HOWLAND makes his anchorage at Padanararn, where, between cruises, he writes about skippers and ships, the islands off the rocky coast, and the fare which sailors thrive on. Atlantic readers who enjoyed his earlier stories — “Clambake,” “Journey Cakes,” and “Man of Iron,” which were eventually published in his book. Sou’west and By West of Cape Cod, and his latest volume. Triptych — will be glad to see him in the Atlantic again.
Philosopher, poet, and otic of the most beautiful stylists of our time, George Santayana resigned from the Harvard faculty in 1912 determined to live in Europe and to write the books which had been pressing for expression. His first work of philosophy, The Sense of Beauty, was published in 1896, and he continued to write until the year of his death, by which time some thirty volumes had appeared under his signature. His ties with America he maintained in a spirited and affectionate correspondence, and from his Collected Letters, edited by DANIEL CORY, we have selected these of particular beauty and significance.
In our tendency to regard the machine as all-sufficient, it is easy to lose sight of the indispensable human ingredient. LT. CDR. GERALD G. O’ROURKE entered the Naval Academy at sixteen and ivent on to a career in naval aviation. He served on a night fighter team on a carrier off Korea, and in Korea with Marine All-Weather Fighter Squadron 513. His account of a routine night mission shows what can happen when a pilot loses touch, even for a few seconds, with his mastery of his machine.
An engineer who studied at Harvard and the University of Tulsa, JOSEPH WHITEHILLtwo years ago turned to full-time short-story writing. Moved by his Navy memories and by his respect for the work of Joseph Conrad, Mr. Whitehill wrote a sea story called “Able Baker” which we published as an “Atlantic First.” The story’ below, he says, is his respectful bow “to the impossibly beautiful prose of Tsak Dinosen, the mistress of us all.”
The Atlantic receives on an average as manyr 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. As an incentive for those uriters yet unestablished, ue shall from time to time devote a number of pages to the work of young poets.
The son of a famous French physiologist. JEAN MAYER come to the United States before the war to pursue his studies; but the tear called him home, and as a Gaullist he fought for five years with the Free French forces. He got a Ph.D. at Yale Medical School in 1948, a D.Sc. from the Sorbonne, and in 1950 joined the faculty of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, where his studies on obesity have attracted wide attention. Last month we published his first article, entitled ”Exercise Does Keep the Weight Dawn.”
ClAUD COCKBURN is a friend and contemporary of Graham Greene, and for a time they both attended a school run by Graham Greene‘s father. After his graduation from Oxford, Mr. Cockburn became a foreign correspondent for the Times of London, serving in Berlin, then in Washington, and wherever else his assignments called. The Editor of Punch rates him the best journalist in London today f and on the strength of this praise the Atlantic asked him to scrutinize the success of Britain‘s most widely read weekly, the News of the World.
WILLIAM O’HALLAREN lives in Granada Hills, California, and is a neivswriter for the American Broadcasting Company in Hollywood, This is his first appearance in the Atlantic.