With Gratitude

By Lagerfeld, Steven | The Wilson Quarterly, Winter 2014 | Go to article overview

With Gratitude


Lagerfeld, Steven, The Wilson Quarterly


The Wilson Quarterly, my predecessor, Jay Tolson, once wrote in this space, is a magazine that moves forward by looking backward, like a rower in a scull. It is especially appropriate to look back now because following this issue, after 36 years in print and two as a tablet magazine, the WQ will assume a new form with different leadership. (See our Web site, www.wilsonquarterly.com.)

In this issue we have reached back to present some of the classic essays we have published since the magazine's founding by Peter Braestrup in 1976, touching on many of the themes that have animated the WQ, from American civic life to global affairs. This has always been a magazine for intellectually curious readers, and reading one past issue after another, I have been struck by the enormous range and depth of our offerings, covering an array of subjects that would have impressed even the great encyclopedist Denis Diderot. I am also struck by the enormous effort required by our small, dedicated staff to produce each quarter a volume of superior writing equivalent to a book.

We have been fortunate to present the work of some of the leading writers and thinkers of our time--including Daniel Bell, Carlos Fuentes, Richard Rorty, and E.O. Wilson--and to have brought to readers' attention a number of rising intellectuals, such as And rew Bacevich and Amy Chua. In "The Second Coming of the American Small Town" (Winter 1992) by Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, we introduced New Urbanist ideas about the making of neighborhoods and cities--ideas that have since reshaped the American landscape and become conventional wisdom. That essay could not be included in this issue, but as part of the WQ's transition the magazine's complete archives are now open to all through the Web site.

For all its concern with the big questions of our time, the WQ has taken a practical, even workmanlike approach to ideas. …

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