December 1959

In This Issue

Explore the December 1959 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.


  • The Cave Temples

    Scholar and author, BASIL GRAY has been in charge of oriental antiquities in the British Museum since 1938. His illustrations are from unpublished negatives belonging to the Tun-huang Institute and from the book about Mai Chi Shan which he mentions in his article.

  • Do Not Spit at Random

    This street play, which has been performed many times on the street corners of Hangchow and Shanghai, was written by the Hangchow Stage Group in support of the patriotic health movement. It is typical of the purpose which informs almost all contemporary writing in Communist China, and it stresses in particular the vigilance of the Young Pioneers, children of nine to thirteen, prototypes of the Maoists to come.

  • Writers in China Today

    PEGGY DURDIN was born in China, the daughter of Southern Presbyterian missionaries. After her graduation from Agnes Scott College in Georgia, she returned to China to teach English in the Shanghai American School. She married Tillman Durdin of the New York TIMES staff in 1938, and during the war years was herself an accredited correspondent in Burma, Chungking, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

  • China's Railways Network

  • Cuba

  • The Battersea Miracle

    A Cockney whose father was a dealer trading in anything. WOLF MANKOWITZ, on his graduation from Cambridge University, came up to London to score a double triumph: as a dealer he all but cornered the Wedgewood market, and his shop in the Piccadilly Arcade is a honeypot for collectors; as a writer he scored repeated hits on the stage, in films, and with his short novels, A KID FOR TWO FARTHINGS and OLD SOLDIERS NEVER DIE.

  • O Little Town

  • The Assassins

    Playwright and actor, master mimic and monologist, PETER USTINOV embarked a year ago on a series of extraordinary tales which appeared in seven successive issues of the ATLANTIC. With some additional material, they have recently been published in book form under the title ADD A DASH OF PITY. Now, in this issue, he begins a new sequence, exclusive and certainly unpredictable.

  • The Wine of the Tetrarch

    This story by ISAK DINESEN, Denmark’s leading writer and in private life the Baronesse Karen Blixen, is a revision and elaboration of an episode which originally appeared in her famous book, SEVEN GOTHIC TALES. Readers who were fortunate will remember how effectively she read this aloud on her visit to this country earlier this year.

  • Stories of Childhood

    Twenty years ago, GEORGE H. FREITAG first broke into print in the ATLANTIC with his story “Uncle Horace.” Since then his work has appeared in our pages from time to time, and his book, THE LOST LAND, was pub lished by Coward-McCann. A sign painter by profession, Mr. Freitag devotes part of each week to, writing.

  • The Frozen Lake

  • Dick Straightup

  • Accent on Living

  • The One-Person Discussion

    C. S. JENNISON, who lives with her husband and three daughters in Shelburne, Vermont, writes light verse and prose with equal facility for the ATLANTIC and other magazines.

  • Mother Hubbard's Cupboard

  • The Cat Hotel

    PAUL JACOBS is staff director of the Fund for the Republic Trade Union Project and has written articles and books about labor. He is a staff writer for the REPORTER and a correspondent for the ECONOMIST.

  • Degrees of Charity

  • Candleholder

    After her graduation from the University of Maryland, JUNE WILCOXON BROWN did promotional and publicity work in Washington. She now keeps house for her family in Madison, Wisconsin.

  • Record Reviews

  • All About Freighters

  • Isak Dinesen

    A member of the ATLANTIC’S editorial staff now representing us in Europe, CURTIS CATE was born in France and received his education at Harvard and at Oxford. He recently visited Isak Dinesen, the Baronesse Blixen, in Copenhagen to secure the source material for the following appraisal of one of the world’s most skillful craftsmen in the field of the short story.

  • The Peripatetic Reviewer

  • Books: The Editors Like

  • Reader's Choice

  • Books for Children: A Christmas List

    CHARLOTTE JACKSON, who is the author of seven juveniles, is childrens book editor for the San Francisco CHRONICLE.

  • The Atlantic Report on the World Today: Washington

  • Laos

  • The Communist Record

    A Texan born in Elkhart in 1907 and educated at Texas Christian University, TILLMAN DURDIN first went to the Orient in 1930 as a reporter on the staff of the Shanghai EVENING POST. He joined the staff of the New York TIMES in 1937, rose to be its chief Southeast Asia correspondent, and today has his headquarters in Hong Kong.

  • Science and Industry

  • Chinese Journey

    A constant contributor to LE MONDE, ALFRED FABRELUCE is a French historian and man of letters who was in China thirty years ago and again this year. His observations filled four notebooks, from which these excerpts have been selected.

  • Red China's Impact on Asia

    A. DOAK BARNETT, who was born and brought up in China, has spent most of his professional life studying Chinese affairs. A former member of the State Department, Mr. Barnett is now program associate at the Ford Foundation. This article is drawn from his new book, COMMUNIST CHINA AND ASIA: CHALLENGE TO AMERICAN POLICY, to be published by Harper for the Council on Foreign Relations early next year.

  • Loushan Pass

    These poems, written between 1928 and 1956, appeared in the first number of the Chinese monthly, POETRY, in January, 1957. It is impossible to preserve in translation the distinctive rhythm and rhyme of the originals, yet these certainly reveal the skill of the poet Premier.

  • The Long March

  • Kunlun

  • Peitaiho

  • To Mr. Liu Ya-Tzu

  • Mao Tse-Tung

    MICHAEL LINDSAY is an Australian who lived in China for many years. During part of World War II he was with the Communist guerrillas and came to know Mao Tse-tung personally. Since 1951, Mr. Lindsay has been Senior Fellow of the Department of International Relations at the Australian National University of Canberra.

  • Art Under the Communists

  • Thought Reform: Ideological Remolding in China

    HARRIET C. MILLS, who teaches Chinese at Columbia, has spent twenty-five years of her life in China. The daughter of Presbyterian missionaries, she graduated from the Shanghai American School, went to Wellesley College, and took an M.A. at Columbia. She returned to Peking in 1947 and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship. She was arrested in July of 1951, confined in the prison for counterrevolutionaries, and not released until October, 1955.

  • A Pair of Shoes

    JU I is a 25-year-old amateur writer of peasant origin, who since his graduation from junior middle school eight years ago has been employed as a teacher. This story originally appeared in the Communist periodical CHINA RECONSTRUCTS.

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