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THE NATION (TN) Printer Friendly Page

A Nation of Fools
By Ryan O'Donnell
August 15, 2003

A Question for the Millenium
By David Horowitz
December 28, 1999

"The Nation" Has a Little Lie...
By David Horowitz
March 31, 2006

The Nation Magazine Pays Tribute to a Despot
By David Horowitz
November 10, 2009

Liberal Editor Suggests Making the Recession ‘Worse’
By Edwin Mora
October 15, 2009

Naomi Klein's Heart of Darkness
By Ronald Radosh
January 14, 2009

The Disgrace of “The Nation”
By Ronald Radosh
January 2, 2009

The Nation's Anti-Human Agenda
By Don Feder
February 27, 2008

Fellow Travelers
By David Horowitz
July 18, 2006

My Date with NOW and CUNY
By Phyllis Chesler
October 19, 2005

Watching the Pro-Terror Left
By Ben Johnson
July 19, 2005

The Nation Magazine Serves UN-Soros Axis
By Richard Poe
May 5, 2005

A New Low for The Nation: The Left and the Mid-East Crisis
By Ronald Radosh
April 19, 2002

 


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  • The oldest and most leftwing of all popular American weekly magazines
  • Supported the Russian Revolution and was first U.S. magazine to publish the Soviet Constitution
  • Opposed America’s Cold War policies after World War II and generally supported the Communist bloc



Founded in 1865 by politically radical abolitionists, The Nation is the oldest weekly magazine in the United States and the farthest Left of all popular American magazines.

This periodical today is overseen by Victor Navasky, a former Columbia University journalism professor and editor at the New York Times Magazine who assembled a handful of investors in 1995 to buy the magazine from investment banker Arthur Carter.

At the time, The Nation was losing $500,000 per year. Experts advised Navasky to close the magazine and sell its mailing list of 100,000 readers, which alone was worth an estimated $2 million to direct marketers. Unless it changed its far-Left views, business advisors agreed, the magazine was unlikely to become profitable. In fact it had lost money every year for more than 125 years.

Navasky decided instead to seek investors willing to subsidize its leftist views. The investors he gathered included, among others, novelist E.L. Doctorow; the present Editor, Katrina vanden Heuvel, multi-millionaire granddaughter of Jules Stein; actor Paul Newman; Peter Norton, computer software creator of Norton Utilities; and former Corporation for Public Broadcasting Chairman Alan Sagner.

The magazine's first major backer, who helped it launch in 1865 with $100,000, was the Boston lead pipe manufacturer who had supplied John Brown with munitions for his raid on Harper's Ferry in 1859. Its first literary editor was the son of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison.

By 1881 The Nation had shrunk to little more than a book review insert in Henry Villard's New York Evening Post newspaper, as it wallowed through a succession of editors. In 1918 Henry's son Oscar Garrison Villard (who helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) took over The Nation and shifted it politically far to the Left, where it remains today. The Russian Revolution was underway, and the magazine was the first in America to publish the Soviet Constitution.

Villard retired in 1932. He was succeeded by Freda Kirchwey, a Stalinist who moved the magazine to the far left on issues of birth control and sexual freedom, and supported the Communists in the Spanish Civil War. She became a target of radical wrath, however, when she refused to endorse the pro-Soviet Progressive Party campaign of Henry Wallace in 1948, which was launched to oppose the Cold War.

Carey McWilliams replaced Kirchwey as The Nation's Editor in 1955. The magazine took the Soviet side in challenging America's Cold War policies, attacking the U.S. defense program and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It also provided a platform for pro-Soviet Marxists like Gabriel Kolko and Howard Zinn, and for a young consumer advocate named Ralph Nader. (In 2004, however, the Editors of The Nation would ridicule Nader and his presidential campaign, favoring instead Democratic candidate John Kerry.)

In 1977 The Nation was purchased by a group of investors brought together by Hamilton Fish V. Fish and his investors sold The Nation in 1995 to former Wall Street investment banker Arthur Carter, who in turn sold it to Navasky, vanden Heuvel and their group. 

Arthur Carter is now a member of the Board of Trustees of The Nation Institute, a tax-exempt non-profit entity closely linked to The Nation magazine and designed to increase the profits of the periodical. The Institute's book-publishing affiliate features titles like The Bush-Hater's Handbook: A Guide to the Most Appalling Presidency of the Past 100 Years; the I Hate George W. Bush Reader; and the I Hate Republicans Reader. Fish is President of its Board of Trustees.

Marc Cooper, the former host of the syndicated radio program RadioNation, is a Contributing Editor for The Nation.

 

 

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