The Nation

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The Nation is a liberal magazine, founded in 1865 by E.L. Godkin, to "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."[1]

The Nation is the oldest weekly journal of opinion in existence.[2]

As of 2019, The Nation self-describes with the following statement: "We argue that dissent is patriotic and we hold the powerful to account, no matter their political persuasion. We raise up the promise of a radical tomorrow while we agitate for meaningful change today. Above all, we aspire to galvanize a more informed public—one equipped with a more profound understanding of events, ideas, and history."[3]

Estimated Reach


Some articles have discussed the inversely proportional relationship between the electoral success of Democratic presidents and the commercial success of left-wing publications.[4][5] Under George W. Bush's presidency in 2006, The Nation reached an all-time high of around 187,000 subscribers, but under Barack Obama's presidency in 2010, the number had decreased to around 145,000.[4] Under Donald Trump's presidency between 2016 and 2017, the magazine experienced a 19.45% surge in circulation from 121,914 to 145,624 subscribers, the 4th largest percentage gain of any U.S. Magazine during this period.[6]


As of September 2019, The Nation's website received an estimated 1.2 million unique visitors per month.[7] As of this same time, the publication's Twitter account had over 1.24 million followers[8] and its Facebook page had over 626,000 followers.[9]

News and Controversy

Co-Founding of Coordinated Effort to Increase Climate Coverage

In April 2019 The Nation teamed up with Columbia Journalism Review, "assembling some of the world’s top journalists, scientists, and climate experts to devise a new playbook for journalism that’s compatible with the 1.5-degree future that scientists say must be achieved." The assembly ended with a speech by Bill Moyers[10] and resulted in the creation of Covering Climate Now, a "global journalism initiative committed to bringing more and better coverage to the defining story of our time."[11] The Guardian became Covering Climate Now's lead media partner[12] and by September 2019, over 300 news outlets with a combined audience of over a billion[11][13] had "committed to running one week of focused climate coverage to begin September 16 and culminate September 23, the day of the landmark international Climate Action Summit hosted by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York."[13] On September 23, 2019, several outlets highlighted climate activist Greta Thunberg's speech to world leaders at the Climate Action Summit.[14][15][16]

Katrina vanden Heuvel Steps Down

In 2019, Katrina vanden Heuvel stepped down after 25 years of serving as editor-in-chief, becoming editorial director. She was succeeded by D.D. Guttenplan.[17]

Poetry Editors and Poet Apologize for Poem in African-American Vernacular

In July 2018, The Nation published a 14-line poem[18] written in African-American Vernacular English. This poem drew backlash, accusations of racism and ableism and sparked a debate about who gets to use what language.[19] Author Stephen King defended the poet, saying "The Nation apologised for publishing a poem by a white man that used black vernacular. What next? Apologies for women who write from the male point of view, or vice versa?”[20] Essayist Roxane Gay disagreed with King, saying "“It is not that a white man used black vernacular. It’s that he did it badly and inconsistently and that is a problem. It demonstrates a lack of nuance or understanding about blackness and now more than anything we need nuance and understanding Mr King.”[21]

The Nation's poetry editors and the poem's author Anders Carlson-Wee all apologized, but others affiliated with the magazine disregarded offense taken at the poem. Nation columnist Katha Pollitt said "I can’t believe The Nation's poetry editors published that craven apology for a poem they thought was good enough to publish... [it] looks like a letter from re-education camp."[19] Former Nation poetry editor claimed poems under her tenure at the magazine "enraged our readers and drove them to drop their subscriptions. But never did we apologise… We saw it as part of our job to provoke our readers – a mission we took especially seriously in serving the magazine’s absolute devotion to a free press."[22]

The Nation Institute

The Nation has been affiliated with The Nation Institute (now called Type Media Center) since the Institute's founding in 1966. Type Media Center includes the Bold Type Books publishing company (formerly known as Nation Books), a fund supporting investigative journalists, a prize program, and other support for journalism, activism and advocacy work. [23]


In 2008 Louis Proyect described the magazine by saying: "It has always been funded by "enlightened" members of the capitalist class like Henry Villard or the current crop of investors who feel the need to point out its shortcomings but who can't conceive of alternatives to the system that has blessed them with riches beyond imagination." [24]


  • 2015: then-editor-in-chief Katrina vanden Heuvel and The Nation received the "Freedom from Fear" Award from the Roosevelt Insitute's Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Awards.[25]


Unlike similar publications aligned to left-wing causes, the Nation is a for-profit venture. As of 2010, its business model relied on about 11% of funds from advertising revenue, 60% from subscriptions and 25% from fundraising.[4]

Other sources of revenue come from The Nation.Travel, where readers and supporters can tour countries across the world such as Iran, Russia, Colombia, Vietnam, India, Jordan and South Africa or learn more about Native American and Civil Rights history within the United States.[26] These trips range in price from around $4200 to around $8000 and all proceeds support The Nation.[27]

Another source of funding is the annual Nation cruise to the Western Caribbean, which enables guests to "enjoy informative seminars and extensive interaction with our guest speakers" as well as "numerous social events [and] dining with like minded fellow cruisers as well as guest speakers..."[28] Along with The Nation staff, the 2019 guest speakers on this cruise included Ai-jen Poo, Ben Jealous, and Zephyr Teachout[29] Editorial director Katrina vanden Heuvel said in 2010 that the fundraising cruise idea, which she borrowed from National Review, brought in about $200,000 per year.[4] In 2019, the price for cabins on this cruise ranged from around $1600 to $8800 per person.[30]


As of September 13, 2019.[31]


  • Editor-in-chief: D.D. Guttenplan
  • President: Erin O’Mara
  • Executive Digital Editor: Anna Hiatt
  • Literary Editor: David Marcus
  • Senior Editors: Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, Roane Carey, Emily Douglas, Lizzy Ratner, Christopher Shay
  • Managing Editor: Rose D’Amora
  • Multimedia Editor: Francis Reynolds
  • Engagement Editor: Annie Shields
  • Assistant Literary Editor: Kevin Lozano
  • Assistant Copy Editors: Lisa Vandepaer, Haesun Kim
  • Web Copy Editor/Producer: Sandy McCroskey
  • Assistant to the Editor: Ricky D’Ambrose
  • Associate Washington Editor: Zoë Carpenter
  • Editors at Large: Chris Hayes

Editorial Board

  • Deepak Bhargava
  • Kai Bird
  • Barbara Ehrenreich
  • Richard Falk
  • Frances FitzGerald
  • Eric Foner
  • Greg Grandin
  • Philip Green
  • Lani Guinier
  • Richard Kim
  • Tony Kushner
  • Elinor Langer
  • Malia Lazu
  • Richard Lingeman
  • Deborah W. Meier
  • Toni Morrison
  • Walter Mosley
  • Khalil Gibran Muhammad
  • Victor Navasky
  • Pedro Antonio Noguera
  • Richard Parker
  • Michael Pertschuk
  • Elizabeth Pochoda
  • Andrea Batista Schlesinger
  • Rinku Sen
  • Zephyr Teachout
  • Dorian T. Warren
  • David Weir



Eric Alterman, Laila Lalami, Katha Pollitt, Patricia J. Williams, Kai Wright, Gary Younge

Contributing Editors

Robert L. Borosage, Stephen F. Cohen, Marc Cooper, Mike Davis, Slavenka Drakulic, Bob Dreyfuss, Susan Faludi, Thomas Ferguson, Melissa Harris-Perry, Doug Henwood, Max Holland, Naomi Klein, Sarah Leonard, Michael Moore, Christian Parenti, Eyal Press, Joel Rogers, Karen Rothmyer, Robert Scheer, Herman Schwartz, Bruce Shapiro, Edward Sorel, Jessica Valenti, Jon Wiener, Amy Wilentz, Art Winslow

Contributing Writers

James Carden (foreign affairs), Michelle Chen, Bryce Covert, Liza Featherstone, Laura Flanders, Julianne Hing, Joshua Holland, Greg Kaufmann, Richard Kreitner, Dani McClain, Collier Meyerson, Scott Sherman, Mychal Denzel Smith

National Affairs Correspondents

Jeet Heer, John Nichols, Joan Walsh


  • Architecture: Michael Sorkin
  • Art: Barry Schwabsky
  • Civil Rights: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II
  • Deadline Poet: Calvin Trillin
  • Defense: Michael T. Klare
  • Environment: Mark Hertsgaard
  • Films: Stuart Klawans
  • Legal Affairs: David Cole
  • Music: David Hajdu, Bijan Stephen
  • Poetry: Steph Burt, Carmen Giménez Smith
  • Sex: JoAnn Wypijewski
  • Sports: Dave Zirin
  • Strikes: Jane McAlevey
  • United Nations: Barbara Crossette

Publishers and Misc. Administrative

  • London Bureau: Maria Margaronis
  • Associate Publisher, Special Projects: Peter Rothberg
  • Vice President, Communications: Caitlin Graf
  • Associate Publisher, Consumer Marketing: Katelyn Belyus
  • Consumer Marketing Manager: Olga Nasalskaya
  • Circulation Fulfillment Manager: Vivian Gómez-Morillo
  • Associate Publisher, Development: Sarah Burke
  • Development Associate: Guia Marie Del Prado
  • Development Assistant: Yubei Tang
  • Associate Publisher, Advertising: Suzette Cabildo
  • Advertising Assistant: Kit Gross
  • Digital Products Manager: Joshua Leeman
  • IT/Production Manager: John Myers
  • Production Coordinator: Duane Stapp
  • Director of Finance: Denise Heller
  • Assistant Manager, Accounting: Alexandra Climciuc
  • Human Resources Administrator: Lana Gilbert
  • Business Adviser: Teresa Stack
  • Publisher Emeritus: Victor Navasky
  • Creative Director: Robert Best
  • Copy Director: Jose Fidelino
  • Research Director: Miguel Salazar
  • Copy Editor: Rick Szykowny
  • Interns: Mary Akdemir, Spencer Green, Alice Markham-Cantor, Molly Minta, Shirley Ngozi Nwangwa, Teddy Ostrow, Sophia Kwan (Design), Acacia Handel (Business)

Contact information

The Nation Magazine
33 Irving Place
New York, New York 10003

Web contact: Contact Form
Facebook: @thenationdaily
Twitter: @thenation
Youtube: Video Nation

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch

External links


  1. E. L. Godkin, Founding Prospectus, The Nation, March 23, 2015 (original June 6, 1865) accessed September 13, 2019. (free newsletter subscription needed to access more than three articles; paid subscription needed to access over five articles per month).
  2. Adam Augustyn, The Nation, Encyclopaedia Brittanica, accessed September 13, 2019.
  3. The Nation, About Us and Contact, organizational website, accessed September 25, 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Jeremy W. Peters, Bad News for Liberals May Be Good News for a Liberal Magazine, November 8, 2010, accessed September 13, 2019.
  5. Keith Gessen, Sarah Leonard and Bhaskar Sunkara, ‘What’s bad for the nation is good for The Nation’, Columbia Journalism Review YouTube channel, December 12, 2016, accessed September 13, 2019.
  6. Susan Kantor, The Top 10 U.S. Magazines with Circulation Gains for 2H 2017, Alliance for Audited Media, March 14, 2018, accessed September 25, 2019.
  7. SiteWorthTraffic,, organizational website, accessed September 25, 2019.
  8. Twitter, The Nation, organizational website, accessed September 25, 2019.
  9. Facebook, The Nation Magazine, organizational website, accessed September 25, 2019.
  10. Bill Moyers, "What if reporters covered the climate crisis like Edward R. Murrow covered the start of World War II?", Columbia Journalism Review, May 22, 2019, accessed September 25, 2019.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Covering Climate Now, Covering Climate Now, organizational website, accessed September 25, 2019.
  12. Covering Climate Now, Partners, organizational website, accessed September 25, 2019.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope, "A New Commitment to Covering the Climate Story", Nation, September 23, 2019, accessed September 25, 2019 (subscription needed after five free monthly articles).
  14. Mark Hertsgaard, "‘How Dare You!’ Greta Thunberg Rebukes World Leaders", Nation, September 23, 2019, accessed September 25, 2019 (subscription needed after five free monthly articles).
  15. Oliver Milman, "Greta Thunberg condemns world leaders in emotional speech at UN", Guardian, September 23, 2019, accessed September 25, 2019.
  16. Democracy Now!, "How Dare You! Greta Thunberg Slams World’s Focus on Economic “Fairy Tales” While Ecosystems Collapse", Democracy Now!, September 24, 2019, accessed September 25, 2019.
  17. Keith J. Kelly, The Nation, The New Republic appoint new editors-in-chief, New York Post, April 9, 2019, accessed September 13, 2019.
  18. Anders Carlson-Wee, "How To", The Nation, July 5, 2018, accessed September 13, 2019.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Alison Flood, Backlash after the Nation apologises for publishing controversial poem, Guardian, August 8, 2018, accessed September 13, 2019.
  20. Stephen King, 1026867727661780994, Twitter, August 7, 2018, accessed September 13, 2019.
  21. Roxane Gay, 1026873656608153601,August 7, 2018, accessed September 13, 2019.
  22. Jennifer Schuessler, A Poem in The Nation Spurs a Backlash and an Apology, New York Times, August 1, 2018, accessed September 13, 2019 (subscription needed to view over five articles per month).
  23. Type Media Center, About, organizational website, accessed September 13, 2019.
  24. Louis Proyect, "The Early Days Of The Nation Magazine", Swans Commentary, November, 17, 2008.
  25. Roosevelt Institute, Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Awards, organizational website, accessed September 13, 2019.
  26. The Nation Travel, About, organizational website, accessed September 13, 2019.
  27. The Nation Travel, All Destinations, organizational website, accessed September 13, 2019.
  28. Nation Cruise, Event Highlights, organizational website, accessed September 13, 2019.
  29. Nation Cruise, Speakers, organizational website, accessed September 13, 2019.
  30. Nation Cruise, Pricing, organizational website, accessed September 13, 2019.
  31. The Nation, Masthead, organizational website, accessed September 13, 2019.