Eclectic appeared in a monthly edition along with the weekly issue of Living Age.
In 1919, after the Atlantic Monthly Company purchased Living Age, Atlantic's president, Ellery Sedgwick, edited the magazine for one year, and then was succeeded by Victor S. Clark. During Clark's editorship from 1920 to 1928, the journal extended its field to include translations from periodical sources in more European countries, South America, and the Far East. The 1920 edition of Living Age lists contributions from Action française, Deutsche Allgemeine, Giornale d'Italia, Heraldo de Madrid, Internationale communiste, Japan Advertiser, Moscow Pravda, and Statist, among many others. In 1926, the magazine became a semimonthly.
An independent corporation in New York, the World Topics Corporation, purchased the magazine in 1928, and that year, Living Age appeared in a new and enlarged format as an illustrated monthly edited by John Bakeless, a former assistant of Clark's. In 1929, the magazine was changed again to a semimonthly and a smaller format without illustrations, with Quincy Howe as editor. Throughout the 1930s, the magazine continued to broaden its scope of sources and selection of news and authors. A cosmopolitan outlook on world affairs was featured through such departments as War and Peace, The World Over, and As Others See Us. Articles by and about celebrated writers and artists were highlighted: Thomas Mann, Walter De la Mare, Pio Baroja, Hilaire Belloc, Luigi Pirandello, Pablo Picasso, and J. B. Priestley. In 1938, Joseph Hilton Smyth, a journalist and free-lance writer, bought the Living Age, and published and edited the magazine until its abrupt demise in 1941. In 1942, Smyth, along with Irvine Harvey Williams, who had acted as president of the Living Age Corporation, and Walter G. Matheson, a staff writer, were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. All three were charged with being propaganda agents for Japan when investigations revealed that the Japanese government had provided the money for Smyth's purchase of Living Age in 1938, and had underwritten publication losses each month in consideration for propaganda articles to be featured in each month's issue. It was an ignominious and ironic ending for a publication that its founder, Littell, had envisioned as a bulwark against "what is bad in taste and vicious in morals." 4