In an exclusive interview, General Maxwell D. Taylor looks back on half a century of service to his country as soldier, diplomat, and presidential adviser. He ranges widely, from his tour of duty in pre-war Japan (where he secretly compiled a combat handbook that served us well in World War II), through the controversial airdrop at Arnhem (”it might have been even more disastrous had we been successful”), to the behind-the-scenes diplomatic struggle of the Vietnam years (”… since Vietnam was lost, as we allowed it to be lost, everything has gone downhill …”).
That’s what thirty-two-year-old James Bryce felt he had found when he visited the United States for the first time in 1870. He returned again and again during his long life, irresistibly drawn by “this new world.” As Louis Auchincloss, the well-known novelist, makes clear, this shrewd Englishman became one of the most engaging and perceptive of all the foreign visitors who have chronicled our dreams and foibles.
During and shortly after World War II, conventional wisdom held that Allied bombing raids against German industry had been largely responsible for bringing the Reich to its knees. But in a pungent and perceptive excerpt from his forthcoming autobiography, A Life in Our Times , John Kenneth Galbraith reveals the bitter truths he learned as a member of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey in 1945.
New York builds a park, in spite of everything; George Washington puts down a revolt; William Randolph Hearst buys a monastery; an erstwhile Tarzan takes to the Maine woods; the desert of Idaho is made to blossom; and much more, richly illustrated.