“The Stories Never Die”


Liberty’s material is so relevant today it makes me feel, at age 84, that I am at the beginning,” says Robert Whiteman, who has devoted the last several years of his life to getting people interested in the old weekly.

Liberty Magazine ran from the 1920s to the 1950s, and it featured writing by everyone from Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald to Amelia Earhart to Groucho Marx to Einstein to Mussolini to Trotsky. Whiteman, in an effort to ensure the great writing in the magazine doesn’t die, is optioning film rights and has created a web page to post some of the old articles that are relevant to current events. (Some of my favorites are below the fold).

What’s great about his project isn’t so much that he’s trying to restart a new magazine under an old name (he isn’t), but that it’s giving us constant reminders that, all claims of progress aside, the past is a helluva lot like the present. It’s why you gotta love primary sources.

For example, the web site has republished an article by Frank Lloyd Wright about building earthquake-proof buildings, a report on how Woodrow Wilson’s wife Edith Wilson actually ran the country for eight months, an op-ed by Joe Dimaggio arguing for his right to negotiate for a higher salary, a short mystery story by FDR, and Gandhi’s frank discussion of his sex life.

Also be sure to check out their art.

This might be the best thing I’ve found on the Internet yet. And I spend a lot of time on the Internet.

Seth Fischer's writing has appeared in Best Sex Writing 2013, Buzzfeed, PankGuernica, Lunch Ticket, Gertrude, and elsewhere. His Rumpus piece "Notes from a Unicorn" was listed as a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2013. He will be a 2014 Lambda Literary Emerging Voicing Fellow and was a 2013 Jentel Arts Residency Program Fellow. He also teaches at Antioch University Los Angeles and Writing Workshops Los Angeles. Find more writing of his writing at www.seth-fischer.com, or reach him @sethfischer. More from this author →