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Everything except print
There’s an enormous amount of shouting in the wild west of conservative media. That has its place, and is often a sign of the energy on the right. But amidst the cacophony there’s a special need for serious, considered, and compelling argument, presented in the hope of persuading, not just punishing. This is where COMMENTARY has always shined, perhaps more now than ever before. It aims to tackle the best arguments of its intellectual opponents, not just the easiest targets. It’s a journal I’ve read for nearly 30 years and I can’t think of a time when I’ve valued it more.

Jonah Goldberg

In a time of passion, COMMENTARY champions reason. Against lies, COMMENTARY speaks for truth. Confronting those who would doom to death the Jewish people, COMMENTARY is a magnificent continuing achievement of American Jewish life.

David Frum

COMMENTARY has long been an unmissable landmark on the American intellectual landscape. These days it shapes debate, propels argument, and explains society with renewed vigor and force. It is one of the small group of essential reads for anybody engaged in politics, Judaism, foreign policy, national manners, and morals.

David Brooks

For decades, COMMENTARY has opened its pages to the most serious uncompromising defense of the American creed—exemplar of ordered liberty at home, pillar of the free world abroad—in an era when it has been most under attack. From the exceptionally influential manifestoes of Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Jeane Kirkpatrick to today’s counterattack against the empowered advocates of the entitlement state and of American decline, COMMENTARY remains what it has been for more than a generation: fearless, informative, indispensable.

Charles Krauthammer

It’s notorious, and true, that government officials hardly read anything. Memos, sure; nowadays, emails and tweets as well. But magazines? People barely have time to eat lunch or see their kids, so how can an intellectual monthly affect public affairs? The question is a good one. How did COMMENTARY do it? The answer is that officials, like all citizens following American foreign policy, need a way to understand the world around them. When prevailing theories fail, when conventional wisdom is clearly at variance with what they see before their eyes, the outcome for senators and congressmen and White House officials is what the shrinks call cognitive dissonance. They may say one thing but believe another, or simply be unable to square previous beliefs and policies with the clear effects of U.S. conduct. They’ve lost the ability to explain the world. And then came COMMENTARY, offering month after month of piercing, bracing analysis—and value judgments of right and wrong, and clear writing about American gains and losses. Here was an insistence on looking reality in the face. Here was plain argument, seeking no quarter intellectually and giving none. And it mattered. It shamed some people, and emboldened others; COMMENTARY demanded that we conform policy to the opportunities and dangers that really faced America. In years of confusion and obfuscation, that striking clarity changed policies, and changed American conduct, because it changed the way we understood the world.

Elliott Abrams

I first subscribed to COMMENTARY in 1973, as a recovering liberal who had invested four years of my young life in writing speeches for a constellation of McGovernite candidates and office-holders. Living in Berkeley at the time, I relished COMMENTARY as a guilty pleasure, feeling grateful that the magazine arrived each month discreetly disguised in a plain, brown wrapper that concealed its suspiciously neo-conservative content. In the militantly leftist community in which I functioned forty years ago, receiving regular monthly installments of the most degrading porn would have produced far less embarrassment than my growing devotion to the persuasive prose of Norman Podhoretz and Co. Yes, my personal journey from left to right-center involved the usual biographical factors, including the three P’s: paychecks, parenthood, and prayer. Paychecks, because they arrived with shocking subtractions in the form of onerous and incomprehensible taxes; parenthood, because responsibility for a new generation forced a longer-term perspective; and prayer, because my own growing Jewish observance led to the conclusion that my “idealistic” ’60s generation, with all its narcissism and preening self-regard, might not provide life’s ultimate answers after all. Fortunately for me, reading COMMENTARY with near-religious regularity helped to organize my onrushing insights and experience into a more coherent world view. In a dark time in our nation’s history, while surviving (temporarily) in the most unhinged corner of the continent, this incomparable publication persuaded me that I wasn’t alone.

Michael Medved

Irving Kristol once called COMMENTARY the most influential magazine in Jewish history. Certainly, no publication had a greater influence on me as I evolved from adolescent reader (arguing over its articles with my father and older brother) into a “frequent contributor” who made it my intellectual home. The magazine did not exploit American freedom to escape from civilizing duty but rather activated the intertwined responsibilities of citizens and members of a group. American Jewry can boast of many contributions to the welfare of this country and the Jewish people, but few as fortifying as COMMENTARY.

Ruth R. Wisse

In the midst of today’s political rancor, COMMENTARY Magazine provides a rare venue for thoughtful discussion. COMMENTARY’s talented writers provide insightful analysis of foreign affairs, domestic policy, and the politics of the day. COMMENTARY is a treasure not only for conservatives, but for anyone looking for in-depth exploration of the issues that influence America’s public dialogue and shape the nation’s future.

Karl Rove

Edward Shils noted that there are four means of education in the modern world: the classroom, bookstores (especially used-bookstores), the conversation of intelligent friends, and intellectual magazines. For me intellectual magazines were more important than any of the other three, and no magazine among them more so than COMMENTARY. I first happened on COMMENTARY as a student browsing in the University of Chicago Bookstore in 1957. I have not missed an issue since. The magazine spoke to my intellectual interests and passions, and still does. As a reader and as a writer, I should be lost without it.

Joseph Epstein

Why does COMMENTARY matter? Since 1945, no other monthly magazine has so consistently published serious, provocative argument and analysis. No other monthly magazine has viewed America and the world through such a wide angle, encompassing economics, politics, society, culture, religion, and diplomacy. No other monthly magazine has published such a celebrated and wide-ranging list of editors and contributors. Cerebral, critical, and committed, the point of view found in its pages is as unique as it is formidable. And in a world of Iranian nukes, rising anti-Semitism, radical Islam, American disarmament, bipartisan neo-isolationism, and disintegrating institutions, reading COMMENTARY is more than a pleasure. It is a necessity.

Matthew Continetti

COMMENTARY isn’t just an important magazine. It’s an indispensable one. It’s been indispensable for half a century, and it is today. It’s indispensable for understanding the moment we live in, and it’s indispensable for laying out a path forward. The challenges we confront are great, but COMMENTARY is used to facing grave challenges without fearful cowering or wishful thinking. So we need COMMENTARY today as much as we ever have, and we need it to be as strong as it’s ever been.

William Kristol

There is more commentary in the world than ever before—whether in print, on the air, or on the Internet. But there is still a dearth of serious, informed commentary that reports, analyzes, and argues without ever stooping to name-calling or vitriol. If you further narrow down the segment of the commentariat that looks at the world from a conservative and Jewish perspective—well, you’re left with only one choice. The magazine you are now reading. COMMENTARY has changed over the years—for instance, it now publishes this blog—but one thing that has not changed is its steadfast commitment to providing the best analysis from the most informed writers of the most important ideas in the world, all written in clear prose that appeals to a general audience. There is nothing else like it. Never has been, never will be.

Max Boot

Every month in print, and every day online, COMMENTARY somehow manages to pull off a dazzling balancing act: intellectual but unpretentious, serious but never boring, timely but not fleeting. On the leading questions of the day, it offers fresh and unfamiliar insights. And on the emerging questions that will dominate the years to come, it often sees things first and clearest. It is simply indispensable.

Yuval Levin

COMMENTARY is America’s most important monthly journal of ideas, period. For nearly seven decades it has published the best and most exciting writing from the most important thinkers: Saul Bellow and Lionel Trilling; Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Jeane Kirkpatrick; Paul Johnson and Ruth Wisse; Cynthia Ozick and—of course—Norman Podhoretz and Midge Decter. Is there anything remotely like it? No. It is the lamp by which America, and Israel, and the Jewish people, may find their way to safety. I’m proud to be published in its pages.

Bret Stephens

In 1975 the Economist said of COMMENTARY: “The world’s best magazine?” Take away the question mark and that statement still stands, thirty-eight years later. It’s still the magazine America’s liberals dread most, and the one America’s enemies can’t afford to ignore. It’s the point of the conservative spear in the never-ending fight against the insanity of the left, whether it’s in foreign policy or economic policy, social and cultural issues, or the arts—and no one does a better job standing up for Western culture and America’s interests and those of its allies, including Israel. In fact, surviving the next three years—the Obama administration home stretch—and building the foundations for an American resurgence afterward will be impossible without reading COMMENTARY in print and online.

Arthur Herman

COMMENTARY is an indispensable read on the Arab Spring, the Afghan war, the future of American conservatism, and all the other crazy stuff out there. But you already knew that. What I really love about it is that it’s a full-service operation, and its back-of-the-book guys—the fellows who write about music, literature, and all the things that make life worth living as the world goes to hell—are the best in the business. There is an observation in a Terry Teachout piece on the wonderful singer Nancy LaMott about “Moon River” that has stayed with me for almost two decades. I fished it out from the back of my mind to impress a gal at a Goldwater Institute reception only the other day, and it worked a treat. So thank you, COMMENTARY! Likewise, my differences with the arts’n’culture crew unsettle me far more than the geopolitical ones: reasonable people can disagree on how large a nuclear arsenal those wacky mullahs should be permitted to own, but I’m still agog at the great Andrew Ferguson’s mystifying praise for the New York Times obituaries page a couple of issues back. That’s COMMENTARY for you—provocative to the end, on matters large and small. In these turbulent and dismaying times, we can all use a huckleberry friend waiting round the bend, in the mailbox each month and on the computer screen every morning. For any journal of opinion, as “Moon River” teaches us, there’s such a lot of world to see. COMMENTARY sees most of it with piercing clarity: it can’t know all the answers, but it asks all the right questions, and with great farsightedness. It deserves your wholehearted support.

Mark Steyn

COMMENTARY has played an invaluable role in American political discourse for decades, offering thoughtful analysis on issues rather than sound bites or bumper stickers. Especially when it comes to U.S. foreign and defense policy, COMMENTARY has time and time again been ahead of the crowd, anticipating trends and developments that others react to only after the fact. I can’t imagine not being a COMMENTARY subscriber.

John Bolton

For more than 60 years, COMMENTARY has been a go-to source on matters of the greatest importance to our nation and our civilization. Today, its full-throated defense of the United States and freedom is as eloquent as it was a half-century ago, and no less urgent. Issues of the day will change, news cycles come and go, but COMMENTARY remains an indispensable authority in the battle of ideas that help to shape our world. Its continued success is both an indication, and source, of the country’s intellectual health.

Donald Rumsfeld

COMMENTARY has become my new go-to website for news analysis because it is measured, substantive, thoughtful, and written for news consumers of all shapes and sizes. When juggling all the issues of the day and thinking them through, I find myself going back to COMMENTARY again and again to see if there’s anything more that can help me add the ingredients needed to finalize an argument. I like the mix of foreign policy and national political news, as well as the discussions about America’s place in the world and what it should be. I’m a print subscriber and a frequent website visitor, and I follow all of the writers on Twitter. Thank you, COMMENTARY, for providing such consistently helpful content.

Dana Perino

Anyone looking for a definitive exposition of a significant historical moment—whether UC Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement, say, or the battles over “general education” at Harvard—has at his fingertips an inestimable gift: COMMENTARY’s archives, which contain countless gems of reporting and analysis. Today’s generation of COMMENTARY writers is building an equally invaluable store of knowledge for future researchers and scholars.

Heather Mac Donald

Just as one begins to despair of hearing the strong voice of sanity and courage, leavened with charm and good humor, in our modern polity, COMMENTARY arrives, and once a month one can be reminded that there are indeed some clear-sighted and articulate people who seem actively to enjoy the battle for truth.

Andrew Roberts

Join the intellectual club, today. You’ll be in good company.

 

 

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