Name

Ralph Vaughan Williams
He had the face of a stoic philosopher and the mind of an enchanting artist. In the annals of classical music, the name Ralph Vaughan Williams has long been synonymous with the dramatic and, more to the point, the cinematic. Inasmuch as his image seems to contradict this fact, a look at his career only confirms it. A member of an esteemed and moneyed family, Vaughan Williams enjoyed a privileged...
1876 engraving Witchcraft at Salem Village
After more than three centuries, the Salem witch trials still fascinate and, in many ways, horrify us. The reign of terror that descended on this small Massachusetts hamlet in 1692 was a sad chapter in human history. But as unbelievable as it may seem, it really happened. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff explores how in her new book, The Witches: Salem, 1692 (Little, Brown, and Company...
WWI trench warfare
Today, the name Arthur Guy Empey means nothing to most people. But in 1917, there was nary a man or woman in America whose face didn’t brighten at the slightest mention of him. His recently published war memoir Over the Top was a runaway hit. Full of gory, gritty details about life and death in the trenches of the Western Front, Empey’s book introduced American readers to the horrors...
microbeads
Every day, tiny plastic particles known as microbeads flow down sink drains into the world’s sewer systems. Made of plastic, most microbeads are between one and five millimeters in size, but some are even smaller. They are not biodegradable and they are too small to be filtered out at wastewater treatment facilities so they ultimately find their way into rivers, lakes, and seas. There,...
Ray and Betty Whipps
Ray Whipps remembers the moment he first set foot on Utah Beach as though it were yesterday. A week had passed since the initial wave of Allied troops stormed the Normandy coastline in the bloody D-Day invasion. On June 6, 1944, the air bristled with the thunder of artillery and the crackle of the Wehrmacht’s dreaded MG42 machine guns. Yet when Whipps landed, a strange quiet prevailed. Yes...
They are seemingly ordinary places in our everyday lives: a Rite Aid drugstore in downtown Baltimore; a Hilton Hotel in the middle of Manhattan; a Jersey City station stop on the Port Authority Trans-Hudson commuter line. Most passersby wouldn’t have given these places a second thought if Andrew Carroll hadn’t come along. For years, the writer and historian has been traveling the country in...
Clara Schumann
Only a handful of women joined the ranks of nineteenth-century Romantic composers, and Clara Schumann was foremost among them. To this day, her works are favorites with keyboard enthusiasts and staples on the playlists of classical music radio. From the very beginning, she was destined for artistic greatness. Clara Josephine Wieck was born in Leipzig on September 13, 1819, and music was in her...
Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st. Lt. Shaye Haver
History was made on August 21, 2015, when, for the first time, the graduating class of the U.S. Army Ranger School at Ft. Benning, Ga., included two women soldiers. Of the 381 men and 19 women who started Ranger school, only 94 men and 2 women made it through to graduation. (At press time, a third woman was close to completing the requirements for Ranger school.) Those women, 1st Lt. Shaye Haver...
sugar
Every few years, there seems to be a new food villain. The American consumer has witnessed a war on artificial colors, a quick but mean battle over “pink slime” meat, and an all-out attack on trans fat. More recently, a number of health-related organizations have put sugar—particularly “added sugar”—in their crosshairs. Twelve teaspoons per day It’s an...