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Coming Up In American Heritage

June 2024
1min read


Science fiction: the history

It is as old as the Book of Revelation, but its modern career in the United States began with a bunch of kids getting together in drugstores to talk about spaceships and Martians and time travel. Frederik Pohl was one of those kids, and he grew up to be a chief practitioner of the genre. Now he serves as its historian, tracing the phenomenal growth of sci-fi from the 1930s pulps with their lurid covers to a respected and powerful worldwide literary movement.

The Roosevelts’ honeymoon

Like so many of their era’s gentry, Franklin and Eleanor began married life with the grand tour. Geoffrey C. Ward follows the young couple through a tranquil Edwardian Europe—and shows how this sunny time in fact foreshadowed an increasingly strained and bitter marriage.

Getting the message—faster

From pony express to fax, Americans have always fretted at the amount of time it has taken to deliver a document. We’re doing better now, but we’re still not satisfied; Robert L. O’Connell illuminates the quest for speed by showing exactly how—and how. fast—a letter could move from New York to San Francisco at various specific moments in history between the 1840s and the 1980s.

Plus…

Juliana Force: first she invented herself, then she sold the idea of American art to the world … the unbelievable census war of 1890 … homage to the Pittsburgh Pirates … and, because our only freedom is in your service, more.

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