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May/June 2010

In This Issue
May/June 2010

An Ancient Chinese Poet, facsimile of original Chinese scroll, Chinese School.

The Making of Jonathan Spence

From Winchester College to The Search for Modern China.

By Frederic E. Wakeman Jr.

Volume 31, Issue 3

Jonathan Spence, 2010 Jefferson Lecturer

Nancy Crampton

  • Features

    P. F. Kluge encourages aspiring writers to use island life in their fiction.

    Talking to Saipan

    American lit in a Pacific outpost.

    Jack Russell Weinstein

    Philosophy on the Radio

    A call-in show in North Dakota broadcasts under the motto that philosophy is for everyone.

    By Paulette Tobin
    Moliere dining with Louis XIV

    Burying Molière

    How the French Revolution reappropriated the favored playwright of Louis XIV.

    By Steve Moyer
  • Departments


    Anne Frank: In Family Photos

    Texas views the life of Anne Frank through her father's photos.

    By Laura Wolff Scanlan

    Black Mozart

    A Pennsylvania scholar brings new interest to the composer known as the Black Mozart.

    By James Williford

    Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird

    Alabama marks fifty years of To Kill a Mockingbird.

    By Laura Wolff Scanlan

    Conflict of Interest

    South Dakota remembers the Great War in a collection of one family's letters.

    By Amy Lifson


    Four Acrobats

    Four Acrobats, the mid nineteenth-century Indian miniature, was once part of an ordered series of paintings, each of which corresponded to one of the melodic modes—or rāga—of classical Indian music.

    By James Williford

    The "Etheric Force Machine"

    John Ernst Worrell Keely was, in his own words, “the greatest humbug of the nineteenth century.” The perpetrator of a long-running and remarkably elaborate pseudoscientific scam, Keely convinced numer

    By James Williford

    The SL Puffin

    This diminutive steamer, christened the SL Puffin, began life in 1906 as a 5-horsepower gasoline-powered launch.

    By James Williford

    Tenor of the Times

    In an otherworldly black-and-white photo taken in midtown Manhattan by renowned jazz photographer William Gottlieb on a rainy night in July 1948, jam-packed neon signs shine brightly along both sides

    By Steve Moyer

    Survival of the Luckless

    Captain Bernardo de Vargas Machuca’s 1599 Indian Militia was called by historian Geoffrey Parker the “first manual of guerrilla warfare ever published.” Thomas Jefferson kept a copy on his bo

    By Amy Lifson


    The China Scholar

    Jonathan Spence and NEH Chairman Leach discuss key moments in four hundred years of Chinese history.

    Executive Function

    Georgia’s Jamil Zainaldin

    Through Georgia's online encyclopedia, Jamil Zainaldin helps disseminate the state's historical gems.

    By Mary J. Loftus


    Editor's Note, May/June 2010

    I become uneasy whenever someone mentions the “lessons of history.” Not that history doesn’t offer lessons, it’s just that many of the lessons, I find, are hardly the kind of rules for living that can

    By David Skinner