From very personal experience I can tell you it’s tough to sail against winds of change in publishing and the difficult economic times of recent years.
After surmounting many challenges, our publishing company must end its run of 61 years. In its place, a new organization—The American Heritage Society—rises to the occasion. As a nonprofit, the Society will be able to secure additional funding from donors, foundations, and government agencies.
Almost five years ago now, I read the obituary of American Heritage in The New York Times. It seemed impossible that this distinguished magazine would no longer tell the story of America’s spirit.
Our dedicated group of staff, directors, and supporters—especially the Forbes family, Albert Small, the late Robert H. Smith and his son, David Bruce Smith—stepped in to save American Heritage.
It has been daunting to try to live up to the standards set by the editors and writers who have graced these pages—brilliant men and women such as Bruce Catton (see page 72), Malcolm Cowley, John Dos Passos, Henry Steele Commager, Samuel Eliot Morrison, Barbara Tuchman, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., William Manchester, James McPherson, Geoffrey Ward, and David McCullough, to name only a few.
But it’s vital that this extraordinary tradition continue.
We are now inviting you, our subscribers, to join in the mission. With 220,000 members, the American Heritage Society will be the largest historical organization in the nation at the outset.
Now, you will be doing more than buying a magazine—you will be helping our team’s efforts to:
• support the teaching of history to the next generation of Americans with innovative new educational resources,
• make millions of fascinating artifacts and images hidden in museums visible for the first time at the National Portal to Historic Collections (see www.NationalPortal.org), and
• increase awareness of the catastrophic reduction in funding for the most important Federal programs supporting history and preservation, including total elimination of Save America’s Treasures, Preserve America, Teaching American History, and the National Heritage Areas and Scenic Byways programs.
We, and the history community, ask for your support in these challenging times.
Edwin S. Grosvenor, Editor-in-Chief