This article is part of The Nation’s 150th Anniversary Special Issue. Download a free PDF of the issue, with articles by James Baldwin, Barbara Ehrenreich, Toni Morrison, Howard Zinn and many more, here.
In an era of instant, 140-character news cycles and reflexive toeing of the party line, it’s incredible to think of the 150-year history of The Nation. It’s more than a magazine—it’s a crucible of ideas forged in the time of Emancipation, tempered through depression and war and the civil-rights movement, and honed as sharp and relevant as ever in an age of breathtaking technological and economic change. Through it all, The Nation has exhibited that great American tradition of expanding our moral imaginations, stoking vigorous dissent, and simply taking the time to think through our country’s challenges anew.
If I agreed with everything written in any given issue of the magazine, it would only mean that you are not doing your jobs. But whether it is your commitment to a fair shot for working Americans, or equality for all Americans, it is heartening to know that an American institution dedicated to provocative, reasoned debate and reflection in pursuit of those ideals can continue to thrive.
The Nation has been a fixture in our household for over thirty years. Throughout that time, and for more than a century before that, it has prodded, challenged and informed readers. It has demanded that we act on the progressive values that will make our communities, our nation, and the world fairer and more just for everyone. It is an indispensable voice in our political dialogue. I look forward to reading it for many years to come.
Despite The Nation’s long and distinguished history, this magazine has never played a more important role than it does today. At a time when a handful of huge media conglomerates own and control what we see, hear and read, The Nation has filled the information void by focusing attention on the major issues that the corporate media downplays or ignores. The Nation has been in the forefront analyzing the collapse of the middle class, exposing the obscene level of wealth and income inequality in this country, and opposing Supreme Court decisions that allow billionaires to buy elections and subvert American democracy. The Nation has been loud and clear about the need to reverse the planetary crisis of global warming and make sure our children live on an Earth that is habitable. What I love about The Nation is that, decade after decade, it continues the fight for a vibrant democracy, and social, economic and environmental justice for all.