December 1957

In This Issue

Explore the December 1957 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.


  • The Public and Smoking: Fear or Calm Deliberation?

    A biologist who graduated from Harvard in the famous class of 1910, Clarence C. Little served as president of the University of Maine and then of the University of Michigan before taking up a leading role in cancer research. He is presently scientific director and chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board to the Tobacco Industry Research Committee

  • Speaking of Music

    Composer and conductor, LEONARD BERNSTEIN is a Bostonian in whose artistry the town takes pride. A protégé of Serge Koussevitzky, he served a brilliant apprenticeship at Tanglewood, and New Yorkers recognized his genius when — without rehearsalhe substituted for Bruno Walter and conducted the New York Philharmonic in a superlative performance. Since then he has scored with the ballet FANCY FREE; his serious works are played each season by the leading symphonies; his current musical, WEST SIDE STORY, is a smash hit on Broadway.

  • Textbooks That Don’t Teach

    As a student, teacher, and historian, OSCAR HANDLIN has had more than his fill of textbooks. For the reasons which he sets forth in this scrutinizing paper, he dearly wishes that the contents of our American texts, particularly those in American history, could be revised for each succeeding generation instead of being handed down like sacred cows from age to age.

  • The Vanishing Comedian

    One of the most durable entertainers in TV comedy, STEVE ALLEN speaks with authority when he assesses supply and demand in a field all too precarious for those who enter it. Are today’s comedians a healthy continuation of the breed, or are they the last of their species?

  • Germany

  • Gunpowder of the Mind

    Teacher, social scientist, and author, DAVID RIESMAN is a graduate of Harvard College and of the Harvard Law School who in mid-career turned away from the practice of law to join the faculty of the University of Chicago. His interest in a research project on mass communications led to the publication in 1950 of THE LONELY CROWD and in 1952 of a subsequent volume, FACES IN THE CROWD.The paper which follows is an adaptation of the Founders Day address which he delivered at Antioch College at the dedication of the Olive Kettering Library.

  • Norman Rockwell’s America

    A serious and ambitious novelist who has published ten books since the war, WRIGHT MORRIS received the National Book Award this year for his volume, THE FIELD OF VISION. A Nebraskan by birth, he has lived at various times in California, at Wellfleet on Cape Cod, and on a mesa north of Gallup, and now resides in Wayne, Pennsylvania. An expert photographer and craftsman, he has made it his mission to see America first and as it is.

  • Telephones, People, and Machines

    A highly articulate electrical engineer, JOHN ROBINSON PIERCE took his B.S. from California Institute of Technology in 1933 and his Ph.D. three years later. He then joined the Bell Telephone Laboratories where he has risen to be director in research of electrical communications.

  • The Birth of Radio Drama

    English novelist and dramatist, RICHARD HUGHES is best known for the fiendish children in his widely read book, THE INNOCENT VOYAGE. But at the outset of his career, when he was fresh from Oxford, he had designs on the theater, and he was urged by Nigel Playfair to write for BBC what he believes to be the first radio play in the world. Incidentally, it is still being produced.

  • What a Journalist Needs

    A veteran newspaperman and curator of the Nieman Fellowships at Harvard University for the past eighteen years, LOUIS M. LYONS has worked at home and abroad with the foremost journalists of our time. He is widely known also for his news analysis, which is carried on many educational television stations. Whether the journalism school offers any advantages over learning on the job is a question on which few Americans could speak with more authority.

  • Book Publishing: The Changes I’ve Seen

    A New Yorker who graduated from Columbia, ALFRED A. KNOPF is the originator of the Borzoi imprint. His first catalogue of new books, published in 1915, represented a determined effort to present to Americans the works of great European writers, and from that day his standards in the selection and manufacture of books have been envied by many and equaled by few.

  • The Peripatetic Reviewer

  • Books the Editors Like

  • Reader's Choice

  • A Christmas List

  • Accent on Living

  • The Csimbalom

    ALFRED BENDINER is of Hungarian descent, a resident of Philadelphia, and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

  • Delayed Fuse

  • The Laying Away of Ornament

  • Red China

  • Ten Years of Hi-Fi

  • Colombia

  • One Viewpoint on Corporate Aid to Education

    At a time when the future of education is one of the most important problems facing the country, it is reassuring to find American industry assuming its responsibilities. Here General Electric tells how the development of a sound philosophy can lead to a broad program of aid to education that goes beyond philanthropy, and works to the advantage of both donor and recipient.

  • The Right to Vote

    Economist and author who is regarded as an authority on the theory of wages, PAUL H. DOUGLAS is today the senior Senator from Illinois. He began his political career after rigorous years of teaching, first on the West Coast at Reed College, then at the University of Washington, at Amherst, and at the University of Chicago. In 1942, at the age of fifty, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps as a private, was advanced to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and was wounded at the Battle of Okinawa. In the Senate he is respected for his literary versatility, for his prodigious homework, and for his leadership in the fight for civil rights.

  • The Atlantic Report on the World Today: Washington

  • Mid-Summer

  • The Years With Ross

    The extraordinary respect which writers and artists felt for the opinions of Harold Ross is the basis of Part II in JAMES THURBER’S extended series about the late editor of the NEW YORKER. With little or no formal education and a weirdly jumbled reading background, Ross became nevertheless the creator of entirely new standards in many aspects of literature and journalism.

  • The Guest

    Algerian-born, Nobel Prize winner ALBERT CAMUS is the author of THE STRANGER, THE PLAGUE, and THE FALL.

  • Hospital Ward: The Social Order

    In many of our large hospitals there is a special aristocracy among those who are seriously ill, as the author of this paper, a man in middle life, discovered in his convalescence from polio.

  • Our Isolation From the Arab World

    A graduate of Harvard and Oxford, where he specialized in Oriental languages. WILLIAM R. POLK is a member of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard. As a fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation, he lived for several years in the Middle East, and this provocative article he wrote on his return from a recent visit to countries he has known well. He is author of WHAT THE ARABS THINKand co-author of BACKDROP TO TRAGEDY.

  • The Basket Maker: (Market Place, Ireland, Present Day)

  • That Beautiful Shore

    An English major at Dartmouth College, class of 1942, JAMES M. IDEMA studied composition under the late Sidney Cox and in his senior year was awarded the Grimes Prize for one of his short stories. After three years as a patrol bomber pilot for the Navy, he returned to Michigan, his native state, where he sells life insurance and devotes a part of each week to writing.

  • Song for a Bad Night

  • Introduction

  • What Makes News

    American editor and author now residing in London, T. S. MATTHEWS is a most discerning and experienced journalist. He began his career as proofreader and make-up man for the NEW REPUBLIC. In 1929 he was offered the book editorship of TIME; he eventually became managing editor, and after twenty years retired to do free-lance writing. These findings of his will appear in his new book, THE SUGAR PILL, to be published by Victor Gollancz of London.

  • Motion Pictures and Pay TV

    A native of San Francisco, MERVYN LEROY took naturally to Hollywood, first as an actor, then as assistant cameraman to Cecil B. DeMille, and finally as producer-director of such smash hits as LITTLE CAESAR, RANDOM HARVEST, THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO, and THE BAD SEED.

  • Discipline and Reward: A Writer’s Life

    CATHERINE DRINKER BOWEN has been writing for close to four decades. She began with essays about music and musicians, and these formed her first book, FRIENDS AND FIDDLERS. Music led her on into biography, and with the publication of YANKEE FROM OLYMPUS she achieved national recognition. She speaks from experience in this paper, which was prepared for the Bread Loaf Writers Conference.

  • The Camera’s Eye

    YOUSUF KARSH was born in Mardin, Armenia-in-Turkey, two days before Christmas, 1908. His grandfather was an engraver, his father an importer, but after the massacre of 1915 young Yousuf was sent to the protection of his uncle, who had a photographic studio in Sherbrooke, Quebec. “In Canada,” wrote Mr. Karsh, “I discovered something I had never known before: freedom to be happy. At hand were my uncle’s art and studio, and photography seized my imagination.”

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