May 1956

In This Issue

Explore the May 1956 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.


  • Great Britain

  • The French Left Wing

  • The Last Happy Days of H. L. Mencken

    A graduate of Cambridge University, ALISTAIR COOKE first came to the United States for two years in the early 1930s on a Commonwealth Fellowship to Yale and Harvard; in 1937 he returned, and became a U.S. citizen in 1941. Since 1948 he has been Chief American Correspondent of the Manchester Guardian and a voice conveying our doings, and our foibles, to Britain via a weekly BBC broadcast. His book, One Man’s America, is as perceptive as it is delightful. One of his earliest friends and saltiest advisers was H. L. Mencken, and his recent The Vintage Mencken, a pocket anthology which he edited for Alfred Knopf, is a wise and amusing choice. Of late he has been welcomed into millions of American homes on Sunday afternoon as master of ceremonies on Omnibus.

  • The Encroachments on Freedom

    A Rhode Islander who was educated at Brown University and Harvard Law School, ZECHARIAH CHAFEE, JR., was appointed to the law faculty at Harvard in 1916. Since 1950 he has been one of Harvard’s University Professors. He is a most trenchant defender of civil rights,and in the paper which follows he shows where and to what extent we have lost ground in recent years. This will appear as a chapter in his forthcoming book, The Blessings of liberty, which Lippincott will publish this month.

  • The Atlantic Report on the World Today: Washington

  • Home Life of the American Stallion

    In the spring a Kentuckian’s fancy naturally turns to thoughts of the Derby. And so it was that GRANT CANNON, who lives just across the line in Ohio, began to think of some of the famous American Thoroughbreds and of what their colts have meant to the American imaginationand pocketbook. Mr. Cannon is Managing Editor of the Farm Quarterly and a frequent contributor to the Atlantic.

  • The Dying Man

  • The Frogmen Attack

    The exploits of midget assault craft in World War II provided what is unquestionably the brightest chapter in Italy’s naval annals. Slow-speed torpedoes nicknamedpigs,each operated by a crew of two men, sank the British battleship H.M.S. Valiant and blew up the British battleship Queen Elizabeth inside the port of Alexandria. Despite all precautions of the British Mediterranean Fleet, the Italian frogmen sank or damaged, all told, four warships and twenty-six merchant ships. COMMANDER LUIGI DURAND DE LA PENNE participated in a successful assault on Gibraltar before engaging in the sinking of the Valiant. His personal recollections he confided to a good friend, Captain Virgilio Spigai, an Italian submarine skipper. The following article is taken from his account as it appeared in the February issue of the United States Naval Institute Proceedings.

  • Before Your Third

  • Moonshine

    I graduate of Smith College and a Yankee on both sides of the family, RUTH M. GOLDSMITH worked in publishing and for the Government on its economic warfare program in Spain and Washington before moving to Florida, where she now lives and does her writing. “Beyond the end of our road,she says,lies the rather wild land with the tall pines and palmettos, such a place as might be good for setting up a still, for those so inclined.

  • The Crisis of French Colonialism

    A native of Switzerland and a political observer of growing reputation, HERBERT LUETHY has lived since the end of the war in Paris, where he has served as special correspondent for the Swiss newspaper, Die Tat, and the Berlin magazine, Der Monat. He is the author of Frankreichs Uhren Gehen Anders, which appeared in an American translation last year under the title France Against Herself (Frederick Praeger). It is considered be the best book written about France in the last ten years.

  • The Weeds and the Wilderness

  • From Bayreuth to Salzburg

    Playwright and former New York newspaperman,HERBERT kUBLY lived in Europe for two Years. His book, American in Italy, published by Simon & Schuster, recently won him the National Book Award for non-fiction. Mr. Kubly was born in New Glarus. Wisconsin, and has served as Associate Professor of Speech at the University of Illinois. Atlantic readers will recall in our July, 1955, issue his brilliant account of his travels in Sardinia.

  • What Shall We Do With the Dullards?

    Few high schools in the country today have been exempted from the lowering of the level of classroom work forced upon the teachers by the deluge of new students, many of them of low aptitude. This situation was brought home to CASPAR D. GREEN when he returned to teaching after thirteen years in the American Foreign Service. Since the beginning of 1954 Mr. Green has taught mathematics. English, and civics in two small high schools in Ohio.

  • The Peripatetic Reviewer

  • Reader's Choice

  • Accent on Living

  • A Change of Outlook

    SHEVAWN LYNAM is a young Irishwoman whose first novel, The Spirit and the Clay, was published in 1954 by Little, Brown.

  • House for Sale

    ROBERT W. WELLS commutes from Cold Spring on Hudson to New York City, where he covers news and features as correspondent of the Milwaukee Journal.

  • Life From a Goldfish Bowl

  • Record Reviews

  • Canada in 1956

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