The Full Wiki

More info on The Nation (U.S. periodical)

The Nation (U.S. periodical): Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


(Redirected to The Nation article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the U.S publication. For other newspapers, magazines, and alternate uses by the same name, see The Nation (disambiguation).
The Nation

The Nation, cover dated 22 November 2004
Editor Katrina vanden Heuvel
Former editors Victor Navasky
Norman Thomas (associate editor)
Carey McWilliams
Freda Kirchwey
Categories Political, Progressive, Liberalism
Frequency Weekly
Circulation 179,160[1]
Publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel
First issue 6 July 1865
Company The Nation Company, L.P.
Country  United States
Based in New York City, New York
ISSN 0027-8378

The Nation is a weekly[2] nonprofit United States periodical devoted to politics and culture, self-described as "the flagship of the left."[3] Founded on July 6, 1865 at the start of Reconstruction as a supporter of the victorious North in the American Civil War, it is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the US. It is published by the Nation Company, L.P. at 33 Irving Place, New York City.

The Nation has bureaus in London and Southern Africa, with departments covering Architecture, Art, Corporations, Defense, Environment, Films, Legal Affairs, Music, Peace and Disarmament, Poetry, and the United Nations. The circulation of The Nation was rising and measured 184,296 in 2004 more than double that of The New Republic and higher than conservative papers The Weekly Standard and National Review. 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 The Nation Associates who donate funds to the periodical above and beyond their annual subscription fees.

The publisher and editor is Katrina vanden Heuvel. Former editors include Victor Navasky, Norman Thomas (associate editor), Carey McWilliams, and Freda Kirchwey. Notable contributors have included Albert Einstein, Franz Boas, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bertrand Russell, Barbara Garson, H. L. Mencken, Gore Vidal, Edward Said, Christopher Hitchens, Hunter S. Thompson, Langston Hughes, Ralph Nader, James Baldwin, Clement Greenberg, Tom Hayden, Daniel Singer, I.F. Stone, Leon Trotsky, George Orwell, Henry Miller, Franklin D. Roosevelt, James K. Galbraith, John Steinbeck, Barbara Tuchman, T. S. Eliot, Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Frost, Frank Lloyd Wright, Hannah Arendt, Ezra Pound, Henry James, Charles Sanders Peirce[4], Jean-Paul Sartre and John Beecher.


Regular columns

In 2008, the journal ran a number of regular columns. The longest-running of these contributors had written their columns for over 20 years.


Abolitionists founded The Nation in July 1865 on "Newspaper Row" at 130 Nassau Street in Manhattan. The publisher was Joseph H. Richards, and the editor was E.L. Godkin, a classical liberal critic of nationalism, imperialism, and socialism.[5] The magazine would stay at Newspaper Row for 90 years. Wendell Phillips Garrison, son of William Lloyd Garrison, was literary editor of the periodical from 1865 to 1906.

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 was a left-leaning afternoon tabloid under owner Dorothy Schiff from 1939 to 1976, and since then has been a conservative tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch, while The Nation became known for its left-liberal politics.

In 1918, the editor of the magazine became Henry Villard's son, Oswald Garrison Villard, and he sold the Evening Post. He remade The Nation into a current affairs publication and gave it a liberal orientation. Villard's takeover prompted the FBI to monitor the magazine for roughly 50 years. The FBI had a file on Villard since 1915. Villard sold the magazine in 1935. It 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.[6] When Albert Jay Nock, not long later, 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. mail.[7]

During the late 1940s and again in the early 1950s, a merger was discussed among Kirchwey - on The Nation's side (later McWilliams when he took over) - and Michael Straight of The New Republic. 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 (TNR had a slightly higher circulation); and both lost money - and it was thought that the two magazines could unite and make the most powerful journal of opinion.

During this period, Paul Blanshard was an associate editor of the The Nation and served during the 1950s as that magazine'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.

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, with The Nation having a higher circulation and The New Republic moving more to the right.[8]

New Nation publisher Hamilton Fish and then-editor Victor Navasky moved the weekly to 72 Fifth Avenue in June 1979. 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 the Gramercy neighborhood.

Important articles

  • Civil War veteran and novelist John William De Forest contributed an article titled "The Great American Novel" (9 January 1868), calling for a uniquely American realist approach to literature. The idealization of capturing the national zeitgeist has since become a staple of American Literature, with many authors stating that their ultimate goal is to write the Great American Novel.
  • In the December 20th, 1919 edition, The Nation published a letter from famed anthropologist Franz Boas in which he criticized four then-unnamed anthropologists for their actions acting as spies in South America for the US government. This action was highly significant in the anthropological community, as it was the first public act in opposition to this type of activity by anthropologists. The composition and subsequent publication of this letter resulted in the censure of Mr. Boas by the American Anthropological Association, and his removal from the AAA's governing council. (Boas, Franz. "Scientists as Spies." The Nation. 20 December 1919. Pg. 797.)
  • The Nation uncovered evidence of "torture and massacres" during the United States occupation of Haiti. The article led to a Congressional investigation and the end to the occupation of Haiti. (Seligmann, Herbert J. "The Conquest of Haiti." The Nation. 10 July 1920.)
  • The October 18, 1958, issue was dedicated entirely to Fred J. Cook's exposé of the FBI. (Cook, Fred J. "The FBI." The Nation. 18 October 1958. Pg. 222-280.)
  • The June 24, 1961, issue was also dedicated to an article by Cook about the CIA. (Cook, Fred J. "The CIA." The Nation. 24 June 1961. Pg. 529-572.)
  • The Nation was the first US publication to report on what would later become the Bay of Pigs invasion. (Editors. "Are We Training Cuban Guerrillas?" The Nation. 19 November 1960. Pg. 378-379.)
  • An article by Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven presented a blueprint (now known as the Cloward-Piven strategy) to guarantee a national minimum income by increasing claims to underutilized entitlements (Cloward, Richard A. and Piven, Frances Fox. "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty." The Nation. 2 May, 1966. Pg. 510-516.)
  • A special report by Jamie Lincoln Kitman in the March 20, 2000, issue reported on efforts by Standard Oil (now Exxon), GM and DuPont to cover up the dangers of lead additives (used for anti-knock purposes) in gas. (Lincoln Kitman, Jamie. "The Secret History of Lead." The Nation. 20 March 2000. Pg. 11-44.)
  • A series of articles by Bill Mesler revealed that a projectile made of depleted uranium used in the first Iraq war was more radioactive, deadlier and affected more soldiers than the Pentagon admitted. (Mesler, Bill. "The Pentagon's Radioactive Bullet." The Nation. 21 October 1996. Pg. 11-14.; "Pentagon Poison: The Great Radioactive Ammo Cover-Up." The Nation. 26 May 1997. Pg. 17-22.; "The Gulf War's New Casualties." The Nation. 14 July 1997. Pg. 19-20.)
  • The Nation has revealed relationships between Nazi Germany and several corporations - including Bertelsmann, Ford Motor Company, and Kodak. (Silverstein, Ken. "Ford and the Führer." The Nation. 24 January 2000. Pg. 11-16.; Fischler, Hersch. Friedman, John. "Bertelsmann's Nazi Past." The Nation. 28 December 1998. Pg. 6-7.; Friedman, John S. "Kodak's Nazi Connection." The Nation. 26 March 2001. Pg. 7, 23.)
  • The Nation printed several articles about the Whitewater investigation against Bill Clinton, including an article revealing a conflict of interest involving Kenneth Starr and the Resolution Trust Corporation. (Conason, Joe. Waas, Murray. "Troubled Whitewater." The Nation. 18 March 1996. Pg. 13-18. Graves, Florence. "Starr and Willey: The Untold Story." The Nation. 17 May 1999. Pg. 11-23. Dreyfuss, Roberts. "Collateral Damage: The Personal Costs of Starr's Investigation." The Nation. 27 July/3 August 1998. Pg. 11-18.)
  • Columnist Naomi Klein wrote an article that revealed a conflict of interest concerning James A. Baker III, who was appointed envoy to Iraq and was also in charge of handling Iraq's national debt. (Klein, Naomi. "The Double Life of James Baker." The Nation. 1 November 2004. Pg. 13-20.)
  • Freelance reporter Joshua Kors conducted a six-month investigation into the discharging of soldiers from the military by misdiagnosing them with "personality disorder." Because personality disorder is a pre-existing condition, these soldiers are given no benefits or future health coverage through the military, and, in some cases, forced to give back their enlistment bonus. (Kors, Joshua. "How Specialist Town Lost His Benefits." The Nation. 9 April 2007. Pg. 11-18.)
  • David Corn, The Nation's Washington Editor, broke the Valerie Plame leak scandal in the summer of 2003 in the pages of the magazine after noting that Robert Novak's blowing of the CIA operative's cover in a newspaper column might be a felony.


According to The Nation's founding prospectus of 1865, "The Nation will not be the organ of any party, sect, or body. It will, on the contrary, 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."

Editorial board

In 2008, The Nation editorial board included Deepak Bhargava, Norman Birnbaum, Barbara Ehrenreich, Richard Falk, Frances FitzGerald, Eric Foner, Philip Green, Lani Guinier, Tom Hayden, Randall Kennedy, Tony Kushner, Elinor Langer, Deborah Meier, Toni Morrison, Victor Navasky, Pedro Antonio Noguera, Richard Parker, Michael Pertschuk, Elizabeth Pochoda, Marcus G. Raskin, Andrea Batista Schlesinger, David Weir, and Roger Wilkins.

The Nation Associates

The Nation Associates helps fund The Nation magazine. About 30,000 Nation readers contribute money (beyond what they pay for their subscription) to The Nation Associates.

The Nation Associates has four levels of contribution: Associate (any amount); Activist ($75); Mentor ($250); and Loyalist ($500). There is no maximum or minimum to contributions. Activists help fund "ActNow," a "web-based action page". Mentors help fund the Nation Classroom Program and subscriptions to The Nation Digital Archive for high school libraries. Loyalists receive a subscription and free selection of books by The Nation writers.

All contributors receive The Nation Associates' bi-annual newsletter called The Nation Associate. The Nation Associate features information about the magazine including events and information about its writers. Contributors also receive discount offers on books and other merchandise, get information on upcoming events, and are notified about Nation discussion groups.

Each year in December, the names of the contributors (of all levels) for that year are printed in the magazine. The list of names takes up 12 pages.


  1. ^ eCirc
  2. ^ The magazine is published weekly, except for the second week in January, and biweekly the third week of July through the second week of September.
  3. ^ Publisher's description on page about The Nation. Accessed 27 June 2006.
  4. ^ Over 300 of Peirce's reviews and pieces published in 1869–1908 in The Nation were reprinted together in Charles Sanders Peirce: Contributions to The Nation, v. 1–4, Kenneth Laine Ketner and James Edward Cook, eds., Texas Technological University Press, Lubbock, TX, 1975–87. Out of print except online via InteLex.
  5. ^ Godkin, Edwin L. (1900-09-09). "The Eclipse of Liberalism" (Reprint by the Molinari Institute). The Nation (New York, New York: The Nation Company L.P.). ISSN 0027-8378. Retrieved 2008-12-15.  
  6. ^ Kimball, Penn (1986-03-22). "The History of The Nation According to the FBI". The Nation (New York, New York: The Nation Company L.P.): 399–426. ISSN 0027-8378.  
  7. ^ Wreszin, Michael (1969). "Albert Jay Nock and the Anarchist Elitist Tradition in America". American Quarterly 21 (2): 165–189. doi:10.2307/2711573.   p. 173. Wreszin remarks, "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."
  8. ^ Navasky, Victor S. (1990-01-01). "The Merger that Wasn't". The Nation (New York, New York: The Nation Company L.P.). ISSN 0027-8378.  

External links



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address