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The Wunderkind: Orson Welles (Direction Magazine, 1941)

his brief notice is from a much admired American magazine containing many sweet words regarding the unstoppable Orson Welles (1915 - 1985) and his appearance in the Archibald McLeish (1892 – 1982) play, Panic (directed by John Houseman, 1902 — 1988).

The year 1941, Ano Domini, was another great year for the "boy genius" who seemed to effortlessly triumph with all his theatrical and film ventures. At the time this appeared in print, Welles was filming The Magnificent Ambersons, having recently pocketed an Oscar for his collaborative writing efforts in Citizen Cane. Highly accomplished and multi-married, no study of American entertainment is complete without mention of his name. The anonymous scribe who penned the attached article remarked:

"No pretentiously shy Saroyan courtship of an audience about Welles! He really loves his relation to the public. He doesn't flirt with it."

48 Hours With Winston Churchill (Collier's Magazine, 1941)

"It is not an interview with the Prime Minister. He is too busy to give interviews and his sense of fairness long ago forced him to make the rule of 'no interviews'. If he couldn't give an interview to all, he wouldn't give an interview to one. But I spent two days with him and this story is of the Winston Churchill I got to know well in forty-eight hours."

Click here to read about Churchill's December 13, 1941 visit to the White House.



JOURNEY'S END by R.C. Sheriff (Theatre Arts Magazine, 1929)

Robert Littell reviewed the first New York production of Journey's End by former infantry officer, R.C. Sherriff (1896 – 1975: 9th East Surrey Regiment, 1915 - 1918). We have also included a paragraph from a British critic named W.A. Darlington who had once fought in the trenches and approaches the drama from the angle of a veteran:

Click here if you would like to read another article about the WW I play Journey's End.

MoMA Purchased Paintings from the Degenerate Art Exhibit
(Art Digest, 1939)


"The art that Hitler has exiled as 'degenerate' is finding ready homes in other lands that have not yet been culturally crushed beneath the heel of Europe's twin tyrannies: Fascism and Communism. Because Hitler has embraced the calendar decoration as the supreme art form, the Museum of Modern Art in New York has been able to acquire five works that formerly were housed in prominent museums.

The article lists the purchased works.

Click here to read about the Nazi "Art Battalions"...



Hitler Gets a Bad Review (Atlantic Monthly, 1933)

With Hitler's rise to power in 1933, the German-speaking Alice Hamilton (1869 - 1970; sister to the classics scholar, Edith) was assigned the task of reviewing Mein Kampf (1925) for The Atlantic Monthly. She didn't like it.

"He loves rough, red-blooded words - 'relentless', 'steely', 'iron-hearted', 'brutal'; his favorite phrase is 'ruthless brutality'. His confidence in himself is unbounded."
The royalties generated by the sales of Mein Kampf made Adolf Hitler a very rich man. To read about this wealth and Hitler's financial adviser, click here.

Read another review of "Mein Kampf".

Although Hitler didn't mention it his book, German-Americans drove him crazy.

The Great War and It's Influence on Feminine Fashion (Vanity Fair, 1918)

The military influence on feminine fashion predates the conflict of 1914-1918 by a long shot and the evidence of this is undeniable. These 1918 fashion illustrations show the influence that the war was having on American designers during the final year of W.W. I.

Click here to read about the fashion legacy of W.W. I...

To read about one of the fashion legacies of W.W. II, click here...

Click here to read about the origins of the T-shirt.



The British Aristocracy and the Great War (Vanity Fair, 1916)

The 1914 social register for London did not go to press until 1915, so great was the task of assessing the butcher's bill paid by that tribe. The letters written from camp and the front by those privileged young men all seemed to give thanks that their youth had been matched "with this hour" and that they might be able to show to one and all that they were worthy.

"...For not even in the Great Rebellion against Charles I did the nobility lose so many of its members as the list of casualties of the present war displays. In the first sixteen months of operations no less than eight hundred men of title were killed in action, or died of their wounds, and over a thousand more were serving with the land or sea forces."

A similar article can be read here...

Click here to read about the W.W. I efforts of Prince Edward, the future Duke of Windsor.

Click here to read another article about the old European order.

The KKK Fall from Fashion (The Literary Digest, 1928)

In 1928 the presiding übermensch of the KKK, Hiram Evans (1881 - 1966), saw fit to make a sartorial change in his terrorist organization by declaring that there would be no need in the future for any face-covering to be worn by any member. The article is primarily about the rapid "disintegration" that the Klan was experiencing and the tremendous loss in it's over all social appeal throughout the country.

"It was a success, temporarily, because it appealed to the playboy instinct of grown-ups and offered burning phrases of patriotism as the excuse for gallivanting about... It failed because its 'patriotism' was not real, but ancient bigotry in new a guise... It failed finally, because the genuine American sense of humor finally asserted itself and laughed at the Klan out of court."

In Defense of President Hoover (Pathfinder Magazine, 1948)

Attached is a small excerpt from the Pathfinder review of Eugene Lyons' book, Our Unknown Ex-President (1948). The author outlined the various measures taken by the Hoover administration during the earliest years of the Great Depression in hopes that the flood waters would subside:

"He fought for banking reform laws, appropriations for public works, home-loan banks to protect farms and residences. He asked for millions for relief to be administered by state and local organizations... A Democratic Congress refused to heed his suggestions."

Yet, regardless of the various missteps made by Hoover and FDR, the United States remailed an enormously wealthy nation...



William Jennings Byan on Evolution (Reader's Digest, 1923)

William Jennings Bryan (1860 – 1925) is best remembered today as the Christian who advocated for creationism in the famous 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925. In this 1923 essay he picks away at Darwin's evolution theory using many of the arguments that he would (victoriously) deploy two years later.

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