Detail from TIME's December 24, 1945, cover

Nearly seven decades ago, Whittaker Chambers wrote TIME‘s cover story “Christmas 1945.”

Back then, it was “the first Christmas without war” for seven years: for Christmas 2012, Americans remain fighting in Afghanistan after more than a decade. Back then, Chambers was concerned about “the Bomb”: sadly, that fear remains more widely distributed and entrenched.

Read more about then (and now) in “Christmas 1945.”

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