In a time when suicide bombers were unthinkable, a young journalist analyzed America’s chances of being attacked.... More
World War II Blog
What did the war look like to Americans in 1939? What were they thinking as they watched the spreading conflict in Europe and Asia grow ever closer to the U.S.?
Nearly a half-million books have been written about World War II, but they view the events in hindsight. Few histories give a sense of what Americans were experiencing in those uncertain times. With the outcome unknown, the war years were filled with doubts, challenges, fears, and hopes.
Wanting to recover the world they knew, I am starting this weekly blog coinciding with the war’s 75th anniversary. My goal will be to give a personal, real-time account of events, drawing on articles from each week’s issue as they appeared at the time in The Saturday Evening Post. By adding illustrations, advertising, and the occasional cartoon, I hope to give fresh insights into the challenges, and achievements, those Americans knew.
How U.S. sympathy for China triggered America’s economic sanctions on Japan.... More
With all the concerns about Christmas — or at least Christmas shopping — intruding on Thanksgiving, maybe it’s time to keep Thanksgiving in its traditional... More
Upon hearing rumors of alliances and confrontations between Italy and other European nations, a Post reporter leaves Paris for Rome to speak with the dictator... More
In 1944, a war correspondent wrote of a near-death experience on board a PV-1 Ventura bomber. Thanks to the son of one of the crew,... More
A Post journalist wishes America could follow the Swiss model, but it probably never would have worked.... More
European war dominated national front-page headlines in 1939. But on the local front, a vanishing murderer, duck hunting season, and menacing grass fires trumped war-torn... More
Great Britain welcomes a war hero who lost English favor after the First World War.... More
How an agreement between two dictators caused people to lose faith in Communism.... More
Milton Mayer, whose outspoken editorials would spur contention for the Post, was one of many students who believed the U.S. should stay out of Europe.... More
An off-color and offhanded remark about Japanese immigrants from a World War I veteran foreshadowed the internment of thousands of U.S. citizens.... More
A science fiction writer lays out a suspiciously accurate plan of how the Navy would fight Japan two years before the Attack on Pearl Harbor.... More
Why the U.S. turned down 20,000 immigrant children and how a senseless prejudice became a political tool in the hands of Japan and Italy in... More
Bavarians, bicycles, and beer. The real reasons Hitler and the National Socialist Movement weren’t scaring anyone.... More
With one-sixth the population of China, did Japan really think it could conquer 450 million people and control over 4 million square miles? ... More
Experience the takeover of Czechoslovakia, the first nation conquered by Hitler, through the eyes of 1939 reporters.... More
When I’m interviewed as the Post’s archives director, I often find myself addressing the misconception that the magazine was a newsmagazine. Actually, it was more... More