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September/October 2010

In This Issue
September/October 2010


The Ubiquitous Book

The rise of America's culture of print.

By David Skinner

Volume 31, Issue 5

Dona Bagley

  • Features

    David Livingstone, circa 1865.

    Livingstone in a New Light

    Long indecipherable letters, written in ink made from crushed seeds, are now readable through spectral imaging.

    By Anna Maria Gillis
    East African slaves aboard the Daphne, a British Royal Navy vessel

    Gross Injustice

    The slave trade by the numbers.

    By James Williford
    One of Odysseus’ sailors victimized by Scylla

    “My Sejanus”

    Rome's ruthless upstart was really a savvy insider, until fortune turned her back on him.

    By Edward Champlin
    La Virgen de Guadalupe

    The United States of Mestizo

    A term of conquest and miscegenation now describes a cosmopolitan identity and worldview.

    By Ilan Stavans
    Elise Lemire, author of Black Walden:Slavery and Its Aftermath in Concord, Mass

    Black Walden

    The neighborhood where Henry David Thoreau took shelter was home to Concord's "abandoned" slaves.

    By Craig Lambert
    Martha Hill improvises on Bennington’s tennis courts, 1936.

    Grassroots Modern

    New York dancers take to the country.

    By Janet Mansfield Soares
  • Departments


    A Battle over Books

    West Virginians battled over their school books in 1974.

    By David Skinner

    Mile High Station

    Denver's Union Station made the city take off.

    By Pamela Carter-Birken

    Happy Camp

    Happy Campers convene in Oregon.

    By Amy Lifson

    Minnesota Originals

    The Twin Cities host a six-mile-long art gallery.

    By Laura Wolff Scanlan


    Name-Dropping in Rhode Island

    Familiarly known as the “Ocean State,” Rhode Island’s full official name includes “and Providence Plantations,” words the state legislature has resolved to drop.

    By Steve Moyer

    Fast Track To Sainthood

    St. Francis has gone in and out of style.

    By Amy Lifson

    Confederate Cattle Call

    There is pleasure to be had in looking to the past for examples of the familiar or near familiar. But one can also look to it for a good blast of the freaky, the strange, and the unrecognizable.

    By David Skinner

    Wagner Free Institute of Science

    The Exhibition Hall at the Wagner Free Institute of Science in Philadelphia, with its original systematic scheme of cherry-wood cabinets dating from the 1880s, provides a rare view of a Victorian scie

    By Steve Moyer

    Impertinent Questions

    Impertinent Questions with Laura Claridge

    On the private life of Emily Post.

    By Meredith Hindley (Edited by)

    Executive Function

    West Virginia's Ken Sullivan

    Ken Sullivan stresses the role of the Civil War in the formation of his state.

    By James E. Casto


    Editor's Note, September/October 2010

    The great fear of those in the business of promoting the humanities is that people will realize we have nothing new to say.

    By David Skinner