The Press: Prophets and Losses

This is the biggest fool thing we have ever done. The atomic bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert in explosives. —Admiral William D. Leahy in 1945

Such are the hazards of prophecy. Yet at the start of every decade, magazines and newspapers march into print with predictions.* Sometimes, as James E. Bylin demonstrated in the Wall Street Journal last week, they make better reading at the end of the decade. Some forecasts for the '60s exhumed by Bylin:

> Historian Crane Brinton, in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, predicted by 1970—decidedly prematurely —the start of "plain,...

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