The first new digital issue of American Heritage appeared on July 4, 2017, our Nation’s birthday, several years after the magazine was forced to suspend print publication during the recession.
The Summer 2017 issue contains ten major essays plus departmental items such as History News and a Letter from the Editor.
The issue’s centerpiece is an article by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough, a former editor at American Heritage, entitled “Hail Liberty!” on the enduring legacy of the famed gift from France that has stood as a beacon of freedom in New York Harbor since its dedication October 28, 1886. As McCullough writes, “The statue is still there, unrivaled at the gateway. She isn’t a warrior. She isn’t bombastic or threatening. She isn’t a symbol of power. The Statue of Liberty is an act of faith.”
The Summer 2017 issue also contains important reflections on British Prime Minister Winston Churchill by the late historian John Eisenhower, perhaps the last individual who could remember participating in senior levels level meetings among his father, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Churchill, and other leaders during World War II.
Other articles cover such topics as the little-known successes of the destroyer escort USS Mason during World War II manned by an all-African-American crew; an amusing look at Thomas Jefferson’s response to the criticism voiced by European scientists of North America’s climate and fauna; a piece on baseball pioneer Bill Veeck who helped to integrate the American League in 1949; Civil War Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s strategy of splitting the South in half; and a reappraisal of FDR’s assistant Missy LeHand.
In the new issue, Publisher Edwin Grosvenor describes the challenges that faced American Heritage after it ceased print publication in 2012 and the efforts to move forward.
“Since then, a few volunteers have struggled to keep American Heritage alive, often paying for web hosting and other expenses out of their own pocket,” writes Grosvenor. “Our publishing partner, New Word City, has done a terrific job digitizing, updating, and helping to promote older books we published in our first 70 years.” These new eBooks provide a modest income to help keep the magazine alive.
Grosvenor noted that the relaunch was made possible by more than 600 donors who contributed amounts from $9 to $1,000 to revamp the decade-old website, AmericanHeritage.com, and create the technology to track subscribers.
The magazine’s new website was built by Valuebound, a Drupal services company in West New York, NJ, specializing in developing publication websites. The subscription management system was built by AGH Strategies of Washington, D.C. using CiviCRM, an Open Source system designed for non-profits.
American Heritage was initially published under the auspices of the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), starting in 1949. But it was not until a talented quartet of writers and editors – Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Bruce Catton, James Parton, Oliver Jenson and Joseph J. Thorndike Jr. – launched their own version of the publication in December 1954, that the magazine went on to become a beloved household institution.
Grosvenor noted that in its long and illustrious life, American Heritage has published 1,300 writers including some of the nation’s most respected historians such as Stephen Ambrose, Ed Ayres, Douglas Brinkley, Malcolm Cowley, John Dos Passos, Joseph Ellis, Eric Foner, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., John F. Kennedy, Pauline Maier, David McCullough, Samuel Eliot Morrison, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Barbara Tuchman.
Plans are underway to revive American Heritage’s sister publication, Invention & Technology, and the editors are also creating www.4score.org, a website that will be used by educators at all levels to teach U. S. History and Government.
For more information, please contact Edwin Grosvenor, Publisher, at editor [at] americanheritage.com, 301-706-4179.