January 30, 1982, marks the centennial of the birth of an American colossus. Possessed of limitless energy and indefatigable charm, Franklin Delano Roosevelt seemed to his countrymen the most accessible of Presidents. But in fact he was so closed and private that even his closest aides admitted he remained an enigma to them, and one wrote that FDR played his cards so close to his vest that he “put every possible obstacle” in the way of future biographers. Fortunately, this was only partly correct, and in our next issue we draw upon a hitherto unknown cache of material to present a uniquely intimate .portrait of FDR, the chief executive—jaunty, shrewd, passionate, amused and amusing, and always in command.
Ever since the age of Marco Polo, one of the basic dreams of Western civilization has been to tap into the immense market of the Chinese mainland. America is trying it today—for the second time. Oscar V. Armstrong tells us how it all began when the Empress of China dropped anchor in the waters off Canton in 1784.
Behind the Civil War lines, soldiers, North and South, struggled to bring some semblance of a normal existence to the crude incivilities of military life. They succeeded admirably, and in a fascinating portfolio of photographs from an important new book, we present the evidence.
Religious historian Martin E. Marty puts the Moral Majority into historical perspective; Frederick Turner seeks out the exotic origins of jazz; a color portfolio of the elegant combat art of Albert Murray; and much more, all of it richly illustrated.