The Nation is a weekly leftist periodical devoted to politics and culture. Founded on July 6, 1865 as a classical liberal publication, it is the oldest weekly in the United States. It is published by the Nation Company, L.P. at 33 Irving Place, New York City. The Nation has bureaus in Budapest, London, and Southern Africa and departments covering Architecture, Art, Corporations, Defense, Environment, Films, Legal Affairs, Music, Peace and Disarmament, Poetry, and the United Nations. The circulation of The Nation is rising and was last placed at 184,296 (2004), surpassing the neoliberal The New Republic, the neoconservative The Weekly Standard, and the conservative National Review (circulation 155,584). The Nation magazine has lost money in all but three or four years of operation and is sustained by a group of over 25,000 donors called the Nation Associates who donate funds to the periodical above and beyond their annual subscription fees.
The publisher and editor of The Nation is Katrina vanden Heuvel. Former editors include Victor Navasky, Carey McWilliams, and Freda Kirchwey. Notable contributors to The Nation have included Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Gore Vidal, Hunter S. Thompson, Ralph Nader, James Baldwin, I.F. Stone, and French intellectual Jean-Paul Sartre.
- "Beat the Devil" by Alexander Cockburn
- "The Liberal Media" by Eric Alterman
- "Diary of a Mad Law Professor" by Patricia J. Williams
- "Subject to Debate" by Katha Pollitt
- "Look Out" by Naomi Klein
- "Deadline Poet" by Calvin Trillin
- The Nation cryptic crossword by Frank W. Lewis
Notable recent events
The Nation Washington Editor, David Corn broke the Valerie Plame leak scandal in the summer of 2003 in the pages of The Nation after noting that journalist Robert Novak's blowing of the spy's cover in a newspaper column could be a possible felony.
In a widely publicized and vocal break with the magazine, former columnist Christopher Hitchens left The Nation when it published a large number of letters from readers, who, Hitchens claimed, blamed America for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
In 1997, MacArthur Foundation money was contributed to the media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting through a MacArthur "genius grant" program, which was then headed by Catharine Stimpson, a member of The Nation magazine's Nation Institute Board.
Abolitionists founded The Nation in July 1865 on "Newspaper Row" at 130 Nassau Street in Manhattan. At the time, Joseph H. Richards was the publisher and E.L. Godkin was the editor. The magazine would stay at Newspaper Row for the next ninety years.
In 1881, newspaperman-turned-railroad-baron Henry Villard acquired The Nation and converted it into a weekly literary supplement for his daily newspaper the New York Evening Post. The offices of the magazine were moved to the Evening Post's headquarters at 210 Broadway. Ironically, the New York Evening Post would later morph into the Rupert Murdoch-owned conservative tabloid the New York Post, while The Nation is known for its liberal politics.
In 1918, Henry's Villard's son, Oswald Garrison Villard, took over as editor of the magazine and sold the Evening Post. He remade The Nation into a current affairs publication and gave it a liberal orientation.
New Nation publisher Hamilton Fish and then-editor Victor Navasky moved the weekly to 72 Fifth Avenue in June 1979. In June 1998, the periodical had to move to make way for condominium development. The offices of The Nation are now at 33 Irving Place.
According to "The Nation's" founding prospectus of 1865, "The Nation will not be the organ of any party, sect, or body. It will, on the contrary, make an earnest effort to bring to the discussion of political and social questions a really critical spirit, and to wage war upon the vices of violence, exaggeration, and misrepresentation by which so much of the political writing of the day is marred, our own exaggerations and misrepresentations notwithstanding."
Norman Birnbaum, Richard Falk, Frances FitzGerald, Eric Foner, Philip Green, Lani Guinier, Tom Hayden, Randall Kennedy, Tony Kushner, Elinor Langer, Deborah Meier, Toni Morrison, Richard Parker, Michael Pertschuk, Elizabeth Pochoda, Marcus G. Raskin, David Weir, and Roger Wilkins.
The Nation is also the name of daily newspapers in Pakistan and Thailand.