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