Some will complain that the New Republic has too much of a bias. Well, maybe you don't understand, but that's WHY you read opinion! The New Republic sometimes is unfair, but that's what makes this such a great magazine, it's real opinions, and they don't dumb it down. Plus, they often put counterarguments side by side, so you can see both sides of the issue. If you really have a problem with bias, then watch TV (heck, it's boring, stale, and all they give you are the facts with very little bias). If you want to see someone getting flamed, knocked down, or praised, then read The New Republic. This is why I love this magazine, it's real news and opinions for people who can handle it. Other benefits: Few advertisements and VERY little pictures and color. This may detract you at first, but remember: The New Republic is for serious people, so don't buy this magazine if all you do is flip through pictures; THERE ARE NO PICTURES!! It's well worth the price, great little magazine. I personally don't read the cultural section or book reviews usually, so that's my only qualm.
The New Republic is a weekly magazine that has well-written, well-researched articles.
And the "regulars" are looked forward every week.
Stanley Kauffmann is still reviewing films as he has for more than 50 years. His insights
and perspective are always most interesting.
Leon Wieseltier's "Washington Diartist" is a gem...every time. His one-page articles
provoke thought and discussion, partly because he is such a wonderful writer.
If you want to go beyond the watered-down political discourse you'll find in Time or Newsweek, then the New Republic is a good place to start. The writing is concise and thorough (at the risk of sounding like a contradiction), and you don't need to be qualified for the McLaughlin Group to understand it all.
The editors have changed a bit over the past couple of years, but everyone reports to Martin Peretz who is the owner and publisher, and who happens to have had Al Gore as a student at Harvard. This explains the magazine's heavy pro-Al coverage; Charles Lane was fired as editor (allegedly) because he was running too many articles about Gore's shady campaigning methods.
The magazine is left-of-center, liberal without being knee-jerk and screeching like stuff you'd find in the Nation or the Village Voice. Most would find the articles well handled, even if you don't agree with their conclusions.
The front of the book has some brief, one-paragraph pieces, including some media criticism. A usual item is a reprinting of contrasting headlines for the same story from different newspapers on the same day (a Clinton speech will be declared pro-union in the NY Times but anti-union in the Boston Herald, for instance). The arts section of the magazine is almost another magazine entirely. Stanley Kaufmann, who must be 107 years old by now, still writes respectable film reviews, although he can be a little crotchety. There are columns on dance and architecture that I don't read, but the books section is probably my favorite. The critic often reviews several books about the same subject or by the same author in one article and provides a long, scholarly analysis of a body of work. My favorite reviews are the unfavorable ones, such as Lee Siegel's tearing apart of the bestseller The Poisonwood Bible or the deconstruction of Susan Faludi's Stiffed.
The magazine is a no-nonsense, text-heavy, reader's magazine, not for people who buy news magazines to look at the pretty pictures and charts. But I'd say, again, that it's very easy to read and a good way to take that first step beyond your local newspaper or the big weekly magazines to get an idea of what's going on in the world.
Here's my breakdown of the current events magazines: "Newsweek" and "Time" are good introductions to issues but don't go into enough detail. The purely political magazines are ideological spin, for the most part: "National Review", "Weekly Standard", "The Nation", "American Prospect". The exception to this rule is "The New Republic".
"TNR" does not offer reporting claiming to be balanced and devoid of particular opinion. Rather, it is a forum that allows people of varying political worldviews to have their ideas expressed in the same publication. There are limits, this is not a random sampling of all sides of the ideological marketplace. Radical socialists and religious fundamentalists are not welcome in the magazine. Although a few moderate conservatives occassionally appear, the magazine is generally pro-Democrats. They aren't afraid to deviate from the party line often (which is part of what makes a strong, independent magazine), but generally they don't like most Republicans (especially now that Republicans have moved so far to the Right).
One complaint I have is the art and film reviews. It's a sad sight to turn the page from a pragmatic criticism of current public policy to an inaccessible essay on abstract modern art. I do enjoy the book reviews when they focus on non-fiction works that have political implications.
"TNR" allows for more diversity of opinion in its pages than most political magazines, as I previously indicated. However, there are some biases, and they are often the typical ones found among East Coast journalism majors. Generally they are pro free trade, wary of religion, wary of labor unions, skeptical of President Bush's intelligence, and virulently pro-Israel. But as far as in-depth and insightful analyses of American politics go, this is your best bet.
Describe the magazine's political views: It is moderate.
Primary Reason for Buying: News/Current Events
The New Republic has always been a bastion of liberal intellectual political thought. Over the past few years it has undergone some clear philosophical editorial changes, and now varies its commentaries from liberal to conservative, and the views are not always consistent. It still offers some of the best writing, and certainly makes the reader think, but it does not approach the days of Richard Strout/TRB. A strong supporter of Israel and Al Gore, The New Republic remains an important journal. Unfortunately, its recent makeover has cheapened the look (do we really need all those black lines?).
Describe the magazine's political views: It is liberal
Primary Reason for Buying: Editorials/Social commentary
I recently subscribed to the New Republic because I wanted more analysis of the news. You get about 4 pages of that, albeit in a very snarky and snide manner. The rest of the magazine is all about the staff patting themselves on their back for being so "good." I'll get to the political slant later on, but my main problem with this publication is that it seems like it's written by a bunch of college kids (or people who wish they're still in college) who subscribe to only one way of thinking and all others be damned. It's written as if assuming that you agree entirely with their opinion and if you (as the reader) do not agree with them, then you're too stupid for their magazine.
Furthermore, the back pages of this magazine are even dumber. Their music reviews basically review music that nobody will listen to just to show how hip they are. It is all very self indulgent. In fact, this whole magazine is very self indulgent.
Now, on to the political slant. This is the saddest part. This magazines liberal bias has made me LESS of a liberal than before I got the subscription. Their smug attitude just completely turns me off on their viewpoint and I find myself disagreeing with them just because I don't like their tone.
Stick with something classier like the Economist or something.
Describe the magazine's political views: It is liberal.
Primary Reason for Buying: Articles