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Nation in the News

Nation in the News

TV and radio appearances by Nation writers and editors, big Nation announcements.

Stephen Cohen: The Alternative to Minsk II Is War

Protest in Kiev's Independence Square

Anti-government protesters clash with riot police in Kiev's Independence Square, Ukraine, on February 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

What will be the repercussions if Minsk II fails? In this segment of The John Batchelor Show, The Nation’s Stephen Cohen discusses the potential violence and growing humanitarian crisis that will ensue if the ceasefire does not hold. According to Cohen, the dissolution of the ceasefire would “almost certainly” lead Obama to, despite his reluctance, send billions of dollars of weapons to Kiev, spurring Russia’s further involvement in the Ukrainian civil war in the east.

“If Minsk fails, events will logically follow that will cross everyone’s red line—Putin’s, the West,” Cohen said. “And we’ll be in a situation much closer to actual war with Russia.”

Nadia Kanji

Read Next: Stephen Cohen on how the New York Times gets Putin and the EU wrong

Katrina vanden Heuvel: ‘The Nation’ Is Where I Learned About America

Katrina vanden Heuvel and Charlie Rose

Katrina vanden Heuvel appeared on Charlie Rose this Wednesday to reflect on The Nation’s legacy on the occasion of the magazine’s 150th anniversary. Rose, a longtime host to many Nation writers, opened the conversation with a recap of the publication’s history. “It was founded by a group of young abolitionists in 1865,” he said. “Its focus on issues such as civil rights, income inequality, and corporate power has made it a thought leader of the American left.”

When asked what significance The Nation held for her, vanden Heuvel, who started at the magazine as an intern when she was nineteen, revealed that “The Nation was where I learned about journalism and where I learned about America. It was a school. It was what you don’t learn in university.” The conversation ranged from the personal to political, mentioning Nation contributors like James Baldwin, Martin Luther King Jr. and others who advocated for equality in its pages. Vanden Heuvel ended the discussion by reaffirming the magazine’s commitment to justice, not popularity. “One of the great animating impulses and principles of The Nation has been anti-imperialism—the opposition to reckless wars like the Spanish-American War, Vietnam War, Iraq,” she said. “What is heretical at some time is now common sense.”

Cole Delbyck

Read Next: Katrina vanden Heuvel on The Nation’s commitment to independence

Stephen Cohen: ‘The New York Times’ Has It Wrong On Putin and the EU

Russian President Putin and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the Kremlin in Moscow, April 8, 2015.(Reuters/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

The New York Times ran a front-page article on Tuesday accusing Putin of currying favor with Cyprus and Greece in an effort to secure their votes against renewing sanctions. Later that day, The Nation’s Stephen Cohen said on The John Batchelor Show that while it’s true that Putin hopes to find support in Europe’s “soft spots,” the tone of the Times’s headline—”Waving Cash, Putin Sows E.U. Divisions in an Effort to Break Sanctions“—misleadingly places the blame on Russia for the current disunity in Europe. “It’s not Putin who split Europe. It’s American policy,” Cohen said, adding that Europe needs Russia for its own economic prosperity. He also discussed the continuing efforts of US leaders to undermine the Minsk II negotiations, which, he said, are crucial to lasting peace in the region.
—Abigail Savitch-Lew


Read Next: Stephen Cohen on the way we represent Putin’s motives

Stephen Cohen: This Is the Last Thing Putin Wanted

Stephen Cohen on The Thom Hartmann Program

Is a US war with Russia possible? The Nation’s Stephen Cohen joined The Thom Hartmann Program to discuss the politics underpinning the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Cohen expressed concern over the narrative in the West that Putin sought to destabilize Ukraine as part of a wider campaign to take back former Soviet territories in Eastern Europe. “It doesn’t correspond to the facts and above all it has no logic. This is the last thing Putin wanted,” said Cohen.

Cohen also maintained that the United States is closer to the possibility of war with Russia than it has been since the Cuban missile crisis. “American national security still runs through Moscow. We will never have real sensible national security without the Kremlin as partner,” Cohen said.

James F. Kelly


Read Next: Stephen Cohen on Ukraine's last best chance

Can Democracy Survive Without Independent Media?

Tucson Festival of Books

“Welcome to The Nation magazine’s 150th birthday party,” John Nichols said to the crowd at the Tucson Festival of Books this past month in Arizona. In this panel conversation, which aired on CSPAN2’s BookTV, Nichols joined The Nation’s Katha Pollitt, Lee Fang of The Intercept, and Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona) to honor what Nichols characterized as “150 years of rabblerousing, agitating and objecting and calling out the ugly abuses of corporate power and embracing the beauty of movements for social and economic justice.”

Discussing the ever-changing media landscape Congressman Grijalva praised The Nation for adding a "broader depth" to the political discourse, which is "so important for our democracy."

James F. Kelly

Katrina vanden Heuvel: A Commitment to Independence Keeps ‘The Nation’ Strong

Katrina vanden Heuvel on Democracy Now

“In an age where a magazine is lucky to survive ten years or count themselves among the big ones if it survives twenty or thirty, how has The Nation managed to survive for 150 years?"

Democracy Now host Juan Gonzalez posed this question to Katrina vanden Heuvel in an interview this week discussing the publication of the The Nation's 150th anniversary issue. During the conversation, vanden Heuvel spoke about the magazine’s unwavering commitment to independence, open debate, and freedom of the press.

“It’s a magazine for voices which might otherwise be marginalized. It’s for rebellious voices, for dissident voices, for writer’s voices... It's about it being a cause, a community, as much as a publication... Fighting for independence, and never giving up on a fight, is part of why The Nation has survived."

—Hilary Weaver


Read Next: Katrina vanden Heuvel on 150 years of telling the truth

Stephen Cohen: Ukraine’s Last Best Chance

Shelled bus station in Donetsk

An armed separatist fighter stands guard at a bus station destroyed by shelling in Donetsk in February, 2015. (Reuters/Maxim Shemetov)

The Nation's Stephen Cohen visited The John Batchelor Show on Tuesday to discuss the seemingly unopposed efforts of the American “war party” to undermine a political solution to the Ukraine conflict.

The "misinformation coming out of many Western and NATO capitals about some new Russian escalation of which there is no evidence,” Cohen said, is an “all-out campaign by the people who want a showdown with Russia.” This effort to sabotage the Minsk II agreement, which Cohen called “the last best chance to avert wider war," seems to be working: thanks to the war party's influence in Washington, American tanks are now “rolling across Europe."

Khadija Elgarguri


Read Next: Stephen F. Cohen on why the Ukrainian people deserve better than the Kiev government

Chris Hayes: Why We Need ‘The Nation’ Today

Chris Hayes

The Nation's Chris Hayes rang in the magazine's 150th birthday on his MSNBC show All In with Chris Hayes. He opened the hour with a powerful statement about The Nation's staying power in the tumultuous media landscape. "If you took a political journalist from 1865 and put him in a time machine to cover the current election cycle," he said, "they would be more or less baffled by everything they encountered, but for a small handful of institutions that have somehow managed to endure." The Nation is one of those institutions. 

In its 150 years, the magazine has challenged the status quo, often anticipating the consequences of major political moments like the Iraq War, global warming, and the 2008 housing crisis before they happened. "The Nation is a reminder of how not liberal the mainstream is," Hayes said, "exposed in high relief during particular moments in our nation’s history." He ended the segment with a reminder of why The Nation is needed more than ever—"to criticize the cozy consensus of mainstream and power elite."

Cole Delbyck


Read Next: Stephen Cohen on why the Ukranian people deserve a better government

Stephen Cohen: The Ukrainian People Deserve Better Than the Kiev Government

Ukraine Shoes

A man walks his child past the shoes of a civilian fatality, victim of a Ukrainian army shelling in Donetsk, Ukraine. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Stephen Cohen, contributing editor at The Nation, visited The Jon Batchelor Show on Tuesday to discuss the latest developments in the Ukrainian conflict. While discussing the nature of the Kiev government, Cohen remarked, “According to Washington…this is a democratic government that represents the Western, democratic, capitalist aspirations of the Ukranian people…In my judgement that is a false characterization of this regime. This regime is corrupt, it is bent on war with Russia, possibly because it knows that only if it can bring the United States and NATO into the war does this regime have a chance at surviving.”

Cole Delbyck

Read Next: Why arming the Ukrainian government would be disastrous

‘The Nation’ Celebrates 150 Years With a Blockbuster Commemorative Issue, Out Today

The Nation 150th Anniversary Issue Cover

CONTACT: Caitlin Graf, The Nation, press [at] thenation.com, 212-209-5400

The Nation, America’s Oldest Weekly Magazine, Celebrates 150 Years 

At Forefront of Politics, Arts, Culture, and Conversation

Blockbuster Commemorative Issue Out Today,

Free Download For All Readers

New York, NY — March 23, 2015 — The Nation, America’s oldest weekly magazine, celebrates its 150th anniversary with a quintuple-length, blockbuster edition of the magazine featuring the best and brightest of its past and present—out today. Co-edited by Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel and long-time correspondent D.D. Guttenplan, the contents are a ‘who’s who’ of the greatest American writers, thinkers, politicos, personalities and activists of the past two centuries, and a gathering of the journalists and rabble-rousers committed to instigating progress today.

“150 years as America’s oldest continuously published news weekly is a thrilling, if daunting, accomplishment,” says vanden Heuvel. "Change is inevitable, but the one constant in The Nation’s history has been faith—not in political parties or policies, but in what can happen when you tell people the truth. It is this notion that has sustained The Nation since its founding: that and the idea that there are always alternatives—in history, in politics, in life—that would make our country and the world a more humane, just and secure place. This special issue signals our enduring commitment to that philosophy."

Founded by abolitionists in 1865, The Nation has chronicled the breadth and depth of American political and cultural life from the debut of the telegraph to the rise of Twitter. This 268-page special issue revels in the magazine’s rich history, yet the issue, like The Nation, leans forward, weaving together both celebrated and surprising voices from the archives with those of friends and contributors commissioned especially for the 150th. And, while an indelible print experience, The Nation is offering the issue freely as a downloadable PDF for the first time ever. A select number of print copies are also available upon request.

In a fascinating conversation that spans generations, contemporary writers offer their own reflections on some of the most engaging articles from the archives. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio takes on a radical remedy for homelessness from 1920; MSNBC host Touré engages with Langston Hughes’s landmark commentary on black culture; historian Greg Grandin discusses William Appleman Williams and America-sans-empire; Vivan Gornick responds to Emma Goldman’s exploration of statelessness; and Paula Giddings reflects on Howard Zinn and the civil-rights movement.

Archival excerpts from every decade of the magazine’s existence feature some of the best that was thought and said in its pages—much of it inspiring and eerily prescient, some of it shocking, all of it fascinating to read. James Baldwin, Ralph Nader and Hunter S. Thompson—all of whom published their first pieces in The Nation—are featured, as are Martin Luther King, Jr., Albert Einstein, Henry James, Frederick Law Olmsted, Hannah Arendt, John Steinbeck, IF Stone, Jean-Paul Sartre, Stephen F. Cohen, Ray Bradbury, W.E.B. DuBois, Gore Vidal, Barbara Ehrenreich, Christopher Hitchens, Melissa Harris-Perry, John Leonard, Alexander Cockburn, Alice Walker, Edward Miliband, Tony Kushner, Molly Ivins, Jonathan Schell, Patricia J. Williams and Christopher Hayes, among others. Taken together, these excerpts comprise a history of the last 150 years in what The Nation called, in its very first issue, “the conflict of ages, the great strife between the few and the many, between privilege and equality, between law and power, between opinion and the sword.”

At the heart of the issue are three groups of original essays specially commissioned for this occasion, which demonstrate deep correspondences between past and present ideas about what it would mean to imagine a radically better future. In “The Nation and the Nation,” writers including Eric Foner, JoAnn Wypijewski, Rick Perlstein, Katha Pollitt, Betsy Pochoda, Peter Kornbluh and David Corn explore the magazine’s surprising influence on everything from poetry to feminism, radicalism to right-wing conservatism, Cuba to coverage of the arts. 

Fierce Urgencies” features contributors including Marilynne Robinson, Victor Navasky, Kai Bird and Michael Moore, who consider topics as pressing today as at any time in the last 150 years, including the politics of fear, from anticommunism in the 1950s to Islamophobia today, and the relationship of the left to power—in movements, in electoral politics and in government. 

And with “Radical Futures,” great intellects and activists such as Toni Morrison, Rebecca Solnit, Jack O’Dell, Noam Chomsky, Stuart Klawans, EL Doctorow, Dave Zirin and Kshama Sawant map out new ideas and strategies for radicals, progressives and liberals seeking to expand the terms of public discussion and look beyond the present moment. 

Throughout the special issue, The Nation also celebrates the magazine’s role as a cultural pioneer and provocateur, part of the lifeblood of American literature, by republishing a selection of the most dazzling poetry and art that has appeared in its pages, as well as newly commissioned work by some of the most exciting artists working today. There is also a selection of poetry which includes work by Robert Frost, Sylvia Plath, Amiri Baraka, W.H. Auden, Allen Ginsberg, Anne Sexton and William Carlos Williams.

Finally, preview excerpts from D.D. Guttenplan’s spirited new book, The Nation: A Biography (out in April) anchor the special issue with historical context, while selections from the transcript of a recent Nation-sponsored conversation at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture point the way toward a revival of the abolitionist project that launched The Nation in 1865, exploring what it might mean to actually finish the work of Reconstruction.


Throughout the year, The Nation is celebrating its 150th with an ongoing series of nationwide celebrations fostering dialogue, debate, reflection, and action. The magazine is also producing a variety of new print and digital products—including a masterfully revamped website in July—and a feature-length documentary, Hot Type, by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple.


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Founded in 1865, The Nation is America’s oldest weekly magazine, serving as a critical, independent voice in American journalism and a platform for investigative reporting and spirited debate on issues of import to the progressive community. Through changing times and fashions, The Nation and TheNation.com offer consistently informed and inspired reporting and analysis of breaking news, politics, social issues and the arts—never faltering in our editorial commitment to what Nation Publisher Emeritus Victor Navasky has called “a dissenting, independent, trouble-making, idea-launching journal of critical opinion.”

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