About this Issue

One summer day in his 80th year, ex-President John Adams wrote to his old friend and former rival, Thomas Jefferson. "Who shall write the history of the American Revolution?" Adams asked. "Who will ever be able to write it?" Answered Jefferson: "Nobody; except merely its external facts ... The life and soul of history must for ever be unknown ..."

historians cannot quite accept that judgment, and neither can journalists. This issue is an attempt to reconstruct, with the tools of both history and journalism, and in...

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