The cover at left appeared on June 19, 1944, depicting General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the D-Day landings, which had commenced a week and a half before. Eight years later, Eisenhower would be elected the 34th President of the United States.
Collapsing as a newsweekly in 1972, Life turned up only as occasional “special” issues until 2000.
Marrakech, or Marrakesh, the second-largest city in Morocco, has a long and respected history as an imperial metropolis. Alfred Hitchcock shot the opening scenes of “The Man Who Knew Too Much” with Doris Day and James Stewart in Marrakech. Crosby, Stills and Nash recorded a song called “Marrakesh Express,” composed by Graham Nash, for their first album. Yossarian’s “low-level mission” over a WAC would, in view of the dose of clap that resulted, have been a sexual one.
Atabrine is the trade name for quinocrine, which is used to fight infections by parasitic diseases. It is related to the anti-malarial drug mefloquine. In the 1930s and 1940s Atabrine was used to treat malaria and the intestinal parasite giardia.
In proper German, the Fallschirm-Panzer Division 1 Hermann Göring was an elite armored tank division that saw action in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and, after October 1944, the Soviet front. Created and named after Reichsmarshall Hermann Göring, one of Hitler’s top leaders and Commander-in-Chief of the German Luftwaffe (Air Force) from 1935 to the end of the war, the division was accused of several incidents of mass executions of and reprisals against civilians in Italy and Poland.
The phrase “all men were created equal” is a slight paraphrase of the most famous sentence of the Declaration of Independence. In typical Catch-22 fashion, it is immediately turned on its head: because he believes all men are created equal, Colonel Cathcart spurns all men outside General Headquarters with equal fervor.
This is a fictitious medical condition, apparently devised by Yossarian, that appears only in this novel.
The Philistines were a people who lived on the southern coast of Canaan during the period of the Iron Age, about 1175 BCE. According to the Bible, they were the worst enemies of the people of Israel: Samson famously fights them in the Book of Judges.
Though not normally capitalized, the word has in recent years come to be applied to anyone who lacks cultural graces, intellectual drive, or aesthetic refinement -- persons with dull and commonplace ideas and taste.
This is likely an indirect reference to the style of painting best characterized by the Cubist works of Pablo Picasso or Georges Braque.
The bust of Aristotle shown here, from the collection of the National Museum of Rome, is a marble Roman copy of the original bronze done about 330 BCE by Lysippos, and a modern alabaster mantle added below.
The Santa Ana Army Air Base (SAAAB) lasted only as long as the Second World War. Established on the first day of 1942, it served as the setting for basic training of air cadets, but did not include runways, hangars, or planes. Placed on inactive status in November, 1945, and decommissioned in the following year, it has since become the site of the Orange County Fairgrounds, Orange Coast College, and the Pacific Amphitheatre.
This painting of “King Lear in the Storm” was executed by Benjamin West (1738-1820), a native of the American colonies who was active during the Revolution and would eventually become the second president of the Royal Academy in London. West did this painting in 1788 for the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery.
The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a college-based program for training commissioned officers for service in all branches of the U.S. military except the Coast Guard. Launched in 1862, today ROTC programs train between 11 percent of U.S. Marine Corps officers and as much as 56 percent of those in the U.S. Army.
The Wharton School is the name of the business school that awards B.S., M.B.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. Founded in 1881, it was the first business school in the United States and is one of the most competitive in the world.
This is an indirect, numerical way of saying Lieutenant Scheisskopf’s wife could not keep track of her own fertility cycle. Most people believe the average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, but various studies have established a length between 28.1 and 29.1 days, often with variations of several days in either direction.
Whether Lieutenant Scheisskopf’s wife only thinks she’s perpetually pregnant or has to obtain multiple abortions is not clear from the narrative. That a “crazy mathematics major” who graduated from the prestigious Wharton School could not count to 28 is another typical Catch-22 paradox.
Lieutenant Scheisskopf has a similar reaction to Clevinger because he “had a mind, and … people with minds tended to get pretty smart at times.”
Psychopathia Sexualis was one of the first books to discuss alternative sexual practices and conditions such as homosexuality and transsexualism, and to address so-called clitoral orgasm and the sexual pleasure of women, in those days known as “jouissance.” The book became so infamous that whenever someone refers to “Krafft-Ebing,” as in this passing mention in Catch-22, he or she is typically speaking of the book and not its author.
The two images here are probably the most famous. On the left, Vitruvian Man, and on the right, Leonardo's studies of human embryos. Both of these photographs of Leonardo's notebooks were shot by Luc Viatour.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates owns Leonardo’s 72-page collection of scientific writings, which Gates named the Codex Leicester after he bought it in a 1994 auction for $30.8 million, making it the most expensive book ever sold. Gates has allowed it to be placed on public display once a year around the world.
William Michael Petrolle (1910-1983), a contender for the world lightweight boxing title, was known as “The Fargo Express” and fought an estimated total of 255 bouts. He met the World Lightweight Title holder, Tony Canzoneri, in Madison Square Garden in 1932 and lost by a decision. A native of Schenectady, New York, Petrolle retired to Duluth, Minnesota with $200,000 at the height of the Depression.