The Nation is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the
United States, and the most widely read weekly journal of progressive
political and cultural news, opinion, and analysis. It was founded on
July 6, 1865, as a successor to William Lloyd Garrison's The
Liberator, with the stated mission to make an earnest effort to
bring to the discussion of political and social questions a really
critical spirit, and to wage war upon the vices of violence,
exaggeration, and misrepresentation by which so much of the political
writing of the day is marred. It is published by The Nation
Company, L.P., at 33 Irving Place, New York City. and associated
The Nation Institute.
The Nation has news bureaus in Washington, D.C., London, and South
Africa, with departments covering architecture, art, corporations,
defense, environment, films, legal affairs, music, peace and
disarmament, poetry, and the United Nations. Circulation peaked at
187,000 in 2006 but by 2010 had dropped to 145,000 in print, although
digital subscriptions had risen to over 15,000.
3 Advertising policy
5 Regular columns
6 See also
8 Further reading
9 External links
The Nation was established in July 1865 on "Newspaper Row", at 130
Nassau Street in Manhattan. Its founding publisher was Joseph H.
Richards, and the editor was Edwin Lawrence Godkin, an immigrant from
Ireland who had formerly worked as a correspondent of the London Daily
News and The New York Times. Godkin, a classical liberal, sought
to establish what one sympathetic commentator later characterized as
"an organ of opinion characterized in its utterance by breadth and
deliberation, an organ which should identify itself with causes, and
which should give its support to parties primarily as representative
of these causes."
In the first year of publication, one of the magazine's regular
features was The South As It Is, dispatches from a tour of the
war-torn region by John Richard Dennett, a recent Harvard graduate and
a veteran of the Port Royal Experiment. Dennett interviewed
Confederate veterans, freed slaves, agents of the Freedmen's Bureau,
and ordinary people he met by the side of the road. The articles,
since collected as a book, have been praised by
The New York Times
The New York Times as
"examples of masterly journalism."
Among the causes supported by the publication in its earliest days was
civil service reform—moving the basis of government employment from
a political patronage system to a professional bureaucracy based upon
The Nation also was preoccupied with the
reestablishment of a sound national currency in the years after the
American Civil War, arguing that a stable currency was necessary to
restore the economic stability of the nation. Closely related to
this was the publication's advocacy of the elimination of protective
tariffs in favor of lower prices of consumer goods associated with a
free trade system.
The Evening Post and The Nation, 210 Broadway, Manhattan, New York
Wendell Phillips Garrison, son of William Lloyd Garrison, was Literary
Editor from 1865 to 1906. The magazine would stay at Newspaper Row for
In 1881, newspaperman-turned-railroad-baron
Henry Villard acquired The
Nation and converted it into a weekly literary supplement for his
daily newspaper the New York Evening Post. The offices of the magazine
were moved to the Evening Post's headquarters at 210 Broadway. The New
York Evening Post would later morph into a tabloid, the New York Post,
a left-leaning afternoon tabloid, under owner
Dorothy Schiff from 1939
to 1976. Since then, it has been a conservative tabloid owned by
Rupert Murdoch, while
The Nation became known for its markedly leftist
In 1900, Henry Villard's son, Oswald Garrison Villard, inherited the
magazine and the Evening Post, and sold off the latter in 1918.
Thereafter, he remade
The Nation into a current affairs publication
and gave it an anti-classical liberal orientation. Oswald Villard
New Deal and supported the nationalization of
industries – thus reversing the meaning of "liberalism" as the
The Nation would have understood the term, from a belief
in a smaller and more restricted government to a belief in a larger
and less restricted government. Villard's takeover
prompted the FBI to monitor the magazine for roughly 50 years. The FBI
had a file on Villard from 1915.
Villard sold the magazine in 1935. Maurice Wertheim, the new owner,
sold it in 1937 to Freda Kirchwey, who served as editor from 1933 to
1955. The magazine became a nonprofit in 1943.
Almost every editor of
The Nation from Villard's time to the 1970s was
looked at for "subversive" activities and ties. When Albert Jay
Nock, not long afterward, published a column criticizing Samuel
Gompers and trade unions for being complicit in the war machine of the
First World War,
The Nation was briefly suspended from the U.S.
During the 1930s,
The Nation showed enthusiastic support for Franklin
D. Roosevelt and the New Deal.
The magazine's financial problems in early 1940s prompted Kirchwey to
sell her individual ownership of the magazine in 1943, creating a
nonprofit organization, Nation Associates, formed out of the money
generated from a recruiting drive of sponsors. This organization was
also responsible for academic responsibilities, including conducting
research and organizing conferences, that had been a part of the early
history of the magazine. Nation Associates became responsible for the
operation and publication of the magazine on a nonprofit basis, with
Kirchwey as both president of Nation Associates and editor of The
Before the attack on Pearl Harbor,
The Nation repeatedly called on the
United States to enter World War II to resist fascism, and after the
US entered the war, the publication supported the American war
effort. It also supported the use of the atomic bomb on
During the late 1940s and again in the early 1950s, a merger was
discussed by The Nation's
Freda Kirchwey (later Carey McWilliams) and
The New Republic's Michael Straight. The two magazines were very
similar at that time—both were left of center,
The Nation further
left than TNR; both had circulations around 100,000, although TNR's
was slightly higher; and both lost money—and it was thought that the
two magazines could unite and make the most powerful journal of
opinion. The new publication would have been called
The Nation and New
Republic. Kirchwey was the most hesitant, and both attempts to merge
failed. The two magazines would later take very different paths; The
Nation achieved a higher circulation, and
The New Republic
The New Republic moved more
to the right.
In the 1950s,
The Nation was attacked as "pro-communist" because of
its advocacy of friendship with the Soviet Union, and its
criticism of McCarthyism. One of the magazine's writers, Louis
Fischer, resigned from the magazine afterwards, claiming The Nation's
foreign coverage was too pro-Soviet. Despite this, Diana Trilling
pointed out that Kirchwey did allow anti-Soviet writers, such as
herself, to contribute material critical of Russia to the magazine's
McCarthyism (the Second Red Scare),
The Nation was banned
from several school libraries in
New York City
New York City and Newark, and an
Bartlesville, Oklahoma librarian, Ruth Brown, was fired from her job
in 1950, after a citizens committee complained she had given shelf
space to The Nation.
During the 1950s, Paul Blanshard, a former Associate Editor, served as
The Nation's special correspondent in Uzbekistan. His most famous
writing was a series of articles attacking the Roman Catholic Church
in America as a dangerous, powerful, and undemocratic institution.
In June 1979, The Nation's publisher Hamilton Fish and then-editor
Victor Navasky moved the weekly to 72 Fifth Avenue, in Manhattan. In
June 1998, the periodical had to move to make way for condominium
development. The offices of
The Nation are now at 33 Irving Place, in
Manhattan's Gramercy neighborhood.
Hamilton Fish V bought the magazine and. In 1985, he sold it
to Arthur L. Carter, who had made a fortune as a founding partner of
Carter, Berlind, Potoma & Weill.
The Nation sued the Department of Defense for restricting
free speech by limiting
Gulf War coverage to press pools. However, the
issue was found moot in Nation Magazine v.
United States Department of
Defense, because the war ended before the case was heard.
Victor Navasky bought the magazine and, in 1996, became
publisher. In 1995,
Katrina vanden Heuvel
Katrina vanden Heuvel succeeded Navasky as editor
of The Nation, and in 2005, as publisher.
The Nation celebrated its 150th anniversary with a
documentary film by Academy Award-winning director Barbara Kopple; a
268-page special issue featuring pieces of art and writing from
the archives, and new essays by frequent contributors like Eric Foner,
Noam Chomsky, E. L. Doctorow, Toni Morrison, Rebecca Solnit, and
Vivian Gornick; a book-length history of the magazine by D. D.
Guttenplan (which the
Times Literary Supplement called "an
affectionate and celebratory affair"); events across the country; and
a relaunched website. In a tribute to The Nation, published in the
anniversary issue, President
Barack Obama said:
In an era of instant, 140-character news cycles and reflexive toeing
of the party line, it's incredible to think of the 150-year history of
The Nation. It's more than a magazine — it's a crucible of
ideas forged in the time of Emancipation, tempered through depression
and war and the civil-rights movement, and honed as sharp and relevant
as ever in an age of breathtaking technological and economic change.
Through it all,
The Nation has exhibited that great American tradition
of expanding our moral imaginations, stoking vigorous dissent, and
simply taking the time to think through our country's challenges anew.
If I agreed with everything written in any given issue of the
magazine, it would only mean that you are not doing your jobs. But
whether it is your commitment to a fair shot for working Americans, or
equality for all Americans, it is heartening to know that an American
institution dedicated to provocative, reasoned debate and reflection
in pursuit of those ideals can continue to thrive.
On January 14, 2016,
The Nation endorsed
Vermont Senator Bernie
Sanders for President. In their reasoning, the editors of The Nation
professed that "
Bernie Sanders and his supporters are bending the arc
of history toward justice. Theirs is an insurgency, a possibility, and
a dream that we proudly endorse."
Print ad pages declined by 5% from 2009 to 2010, while digital
advertising rose 32.8% from 2009 to 2010. Advertising accounts for
10% of total revenue for the magazine, while circulation totals
The Nation has lost money in all but three or four years of
operation and is sustained in part by a group of more than 30,000
donors called Nation Associates, who donate funds to the periodical
above and beyond their annual subscription fees. This program accounts
for 30% of the total revenue for the magazine. An annual cruise also
generates $200,000 for the magazine. Since late 2012, the Nation
Associates program has been called Nation Builders.
In 2004 the
Anti-Defamation League criticized the journal for allowing
advertisements from the Institute for Historical Review, which
promotes Holocaust denial;
The Nation vowed to not let it happen
The appearance in
The Nation of advertisements from the organization
Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME) was criticized by the
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. In response, The Nation
stated: "From our point of view, [the ad] purveys one of the most
destructive myths of Israel's right wing, namely, that Palestinians
have no legitimate national rights.... We run it because The Nation's
ad policy starts with the presumption that "we will accept advertising
even if the views expressed are repugnant to those of the editors"
.... Ads that present a political point of view are considered to fall
under our editorial commitment to freedom of speech and, perforce, we
grant them the same latitude we claim for our own views. But we do
reserve the right to denounce the content of such ads".
The publisher and editor is Katrina vanden Heuvel. Former editors
include Victor Saul Navasky, Carey McWilliams, and Freda Kirchwey.
The magazine runs a number of regular columns.
"Beneath the Radar" by Gary Younge
"Deadline Poet" by Calvin Trillin
"Diary of a Mad
Law Professor" by Patricia J. Williams
"The Liberal Media" by Eric Alterman
"Subject to Debate" by Katha Pollitt
"Between the Lines" by Laila Lalami
The Nation cryptic crossword" by Joshua Kosman and Henri Picciotto
Frank W. Lewis from 1947 to 2009)
Regular columns in the past have included:
"Look Out" by Naomi Klein
"Sister Citizen" by Melissa Harris-Perry
"Beat the Devil" (1984–2012) by Alexander Cockburn
"Dispatches" (1984–87) by
Max Holland and Kai Bird
"Minority Report" (1982–2002) by Christopher Hitchens
New York City
New York City portal
Harper & Row v. Nation Enterprises
Nation Magazine v.
United States Department of Defense
The American Prospect
The New Republic
^ "eCirc for Consumer Magazines". Audit Bureau of Circulations.
December 31, 2015. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
^ The Anti-Slavery Reporter, August 1, 1865, p. 187.
The Nation (March 23, 2015). "Founding Prospectus". The
^ "About and Contact". The Nation. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
Mailing Address: 33 Irving Place, New York, New York 10003
^ a b c Peters, Jeremy W. Peters (November 8, 2010). "Bad News for
Liberals May be Good News for a Liberal Magazine". The New York
^ Moore, John Bassett (April 27, 1917). "Proceedings at the
Semi-Centennial Dinner: The Biltmore, April 19, 1917". The Nation. 104
(2704). section 2, pp. 502–503.
^ a b c Aucoin, James (2008). "The Nation". In Vaughn, Stephen L.
Encyclopedia of American Journalism. New York: Routledge.
pp. 317–8. ISBN 978-0-415-96950-5.
^ a b Moore, "Proceedings at the Semi-Centennial Dinner," p. 503.
^ Moore, "Proceedings at the Semi-Centennial Dinner," pp. 503–504.
^ Moore, "Proceedings at the Semi-Centennial Dinner," p. 504.
^ Kimball, Penn (22 March 1986). "The History of
The Nation According
to the FBI". The Nation: 399–426. ISSN 0027-8378.
^ Wreszin, Michael (1969). "
Albert Jay Nock
Albert Jay Nock and the Anarchist Elitist
Tradition in America". American Quarterly. The Johns Hopkins
University Press. 21 (2): 173. doi:10.2307/2711573.
JSTOR 2711573. It was probably the only time any publication was
suppressed in America for attacking a labor leader, but the suspension
seemed to document Nock's charges.
^ Alpern, Sara (1987). Freda Kirchwey: A Woman of the Nation.
President and Fellows of Harvard College. pp. 156–161.
^ a b Boller, Paul F. (c. 1992). "Hiroshima and the American Left".
Memoirs of An Obscure Professor and Other Essays. Fort Worth: Texas
Christian University Press. ISBN 0-87565-097-X.
^ Navasky, Victor S. (January 1, 1990). "The Merger that Wasn't". The
Nation. ISSN 0027-8378.
^ a b Alpern, Sara (1987). Freda Kirchwey, a Woman of the Nation.
Boston: Harvard University Press. pp. 162–5.
^ Seaton, James (1996). Cultural Conservatism, Political Liberalism:
From Criticism to Cultural Studies. University of Michigan Press.
p. 71. ISBN 0-472-10645-7.
^ a b Caute, David (1978). The Great Fear: the Anti-Communist purge
under Truman and Eisenhower. London: Secker and Warburg. p. 454.
^ "The Nation". Encyclopædia Britannica.
^ "150th Anniversary
Special Issue". The Nation.
Bernie Sanders for President". The Nation. ISSN 0027-8378.
^ Steve Cohn. "min Correction:
The Nation Only Down Slightly in Print
Ad Sales, Up in Web". MinOnline. Retrieved 2011-12-03.
Katrina vanden Heuvel
Katrina vanden Heuvel (December 28, 2012). "Introducing The Nation
Builders". The Nation.
^ Foxman, Abraham H., ADL Letter to The Nation, April 21, 2004.
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee website. Retrieved
October 14, 2012.
^ Melissa Harris-Perry. "Sister Citizen". The Nation. Retrieved
^ Hiar, Corbin (April 24, 2009). "Kai Bird: The Nation's Foreign
Editor". Hiar learning. Wordpress. Retrieved April 24, 2010.
Pollak, Gustav (1915). Fifty years of American idealism: The New York
Nation, 1865-1915. Brief history plus numerous essays.
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