Last week The Nation published its first installment of “Back Issues: Guided tours through the archive of America’s oldest weekly,” a new blog to be written by Richard Kreitner (Twitter: @richardkreitner).
The blog’s goal is to use the magazine’s historic archives (dating back to 1850) to cast light on news of the day. The inaugural post, “Come Explore the Treasure Chest That is Our 1950 ‘Spring Books’ Issue,” was published to coincide with publication of The Nation’s biannual books issue.
Here’s how Kreitner introduces the new blog:
From 1948 to 1951, The Nation ran a regular feature titled “Looking Backward,” which quoted, without comment, articles from fifty and seventy-five years earlier, when The Nation had often been, well, not quite as liberal as it later became. One week in 1948 the magazine stone-facedly quoted itself from 1873: “The Economist, which is rarely led astray, has a severe article on ‘commercial morality in America.’”
It is in a similar humor that we today launch the “Back Issues” blog at TheNation.com, which will highlight articles from our past either relevant to topics and events of the day or irrelevant, but nonetheless interesting. From the Johnson impeachment to the Clinton impeachment, from the Paris Commune to Occupy Wall Street, from the old Jim Crow to the new, The Nation has been there, America’s oldest weekly magazine. The possibilities for exploration are practically endless.
If you are curious how we covered anything at all—a war, a book, a speech, an invention, a subtle, barely perceptible change—write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will see what we have.
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. Nation Publisher Emeritus Victor Navasky has called the magazine, which is based in New York, “a dissenting, independent, trouble-making, idea-launching journal of critical opinion.”