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The Progressive

October 2002 cover
Editor Matthew Rothschild
Categories Politics, culture
Frequency Monthly
First issue 1909
Company The Progressive Magazine
Country  United States
Based in Madison, Wisconsin
Language English
ISSN 0033-0736

The Progressive is an American monthly magazine of politics, culture and progressivism with a pronounced liberal perspective on some issues. Known for its pacifism, it has strongly opposed military interventions, such as the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. The magazine also devotes much coverage to civil rights, civil liberties, and environmentalism. It has opposed nuclear weapons from August 1945 to the present.



The Progressive was founded in January 9, 1909, by U.S. Senator Robert M. La Follette, Sr. of Wisconsin. First called La Follette's Weekly, its name was changed to The Progressive in 1929.[1]

The campaigns The Progressive has led include the fight to stay out of World War I, opposition to the Palmer Raids in the early 1920s, calling for action against unemployment during the Depression, exposing McCarthyism in the 1950s, and denouncing U.S. involvement in Indochina.

In the 1960s, it was a leading voice in the American civil rights movement, publishing the writing of Martin Luther King Jr. five times, and publishing James Baldwin's open letter "My Dungeon Shook - Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of Emancipation," the first section of The Fire Next Time. In the 1970s, the magazine devoted attention to the emerging environmentalist movement, beginning with a special Earth Day issue in 1970 entitled "The Crisis of Survival".

In 1979 , The Progressive won national attention for its article by Howard Morland, "The H-bomb Secret: How we got it and why we're telling it," which the U.S. government suppressed for six months because it contained classified information. The magazine prevailed in a landmark First Amendment case of prior restraint, United States v. The Progressive.

In the 1980s, it published stories about U.S. support for death squads in Central America. During the 1990s, The Progressive campaigned on behalf of immigrants, women on welfare, LGBT social movements, and prisoners. In recent years, has it advocated the end of economic sanctions on Iraq, the end of U.S. involvement in the Colombian civil war, adopting a more liberal policy toward drugs, and instituting public funding of political campaigns.

WXXM-FM in Madison, Wisconsin, an Air America Radio affiliate, features a "Progressive Radio" show with Matthew Rothschild. The half-hour show is broadcast on terrestrial and Internet radio stations across the country, as is a daily audio editorial, The Progressive Point of View, which features Rothschild.



Although circulation had fallen to the level of 27,000 subscribers in 1999, by April 2004, circulation reached 66,000.[2]


Throughout the years, The Progressive has published leading social critics such as Jane Addams, Helen Keller, Jack London, Clarence Darrow, Upton Sinclair, Lincoln Steffens, Carl Sandburg, George Orwell, Mike Males, A.J. Muste, James Baldwin, I.F. Stone, June Jordan, Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, Nat Hentoff, Milton Mayer, and Molly Ivins. It has also published liberal politicians such as Adlai Stevenson, J. William Fulbright, George McGovern, Russ Feingold, Paul Wellstone, Dennis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders.[3]

The magazine's regular contributors include David Barsamian, Kate Clinton, Susan Douglas, Will Durst, Barbara Ehrenreich, Eduardo Galeano, Fred McKissack, John Nichols, Adolph L. Reed, Jr., and Howard Zinn.

The editor of The Progressive is Matthew Rothschild. Its editorial offices are in Madison, Wisconsin.


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