The Real-Life Adventuress Who Turned Nancy Drew Into a Modern Heroine

Mildred Wirt Benson Helped Invent the Fictional Teen Sleuth Who Became a Generational Role Model

Nancy Drew struggled this way and that. She twisted and squirmed. She kicked and clawed. But she was powerless in the grip of the man.

‘Little wildcat! You won’t do any more scratching when I get through with you!’

‘Let me go!’ Nancy cried, struggling harder. The man half-carried, half-dragged her across the room. Opening the closet door, he flung her roughly inside. Nancy heard a key turn in the lock. The sliding of a bolt into place followed.

‘Now you can starve for all I care!’ the man laughed …

What’s More American Than Skydiving?

Encounters with Freedom, Optimism, and Exploration at 10,000 Feet

When I quit my first real job, I didn’t have a plan. I just walked out with the recklessness of a Harvard graduate who had come of age during the …

Is America Still the Home of the Brave?

Tracing a National Tradition from the American Revolutionaries and Amelia Earhart to Graffiti Artists and Venture Capitalists

On January 14, 2015, the world waited with bated breath as Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson came over the rim of a notoriously steep section of the rock known as …

I Climbed the Golden Gate Bridge

Those ‘No Trespassing’ Signs Are an Invitation to Urban Explorers

Minutes after my plane landed in San Francisco, I took out my phone and texted my friend Andres: “Let’s try the bridge tonight.”

I was back in the Bay Area for …