The New Republic

This page is about the magazine; for the fictional government in Star Wars, see New Republic (Star Wars).

The New Republic is an American journal of opinion published weekly and with a circulation of around 100,000. The current owner and editor-in-chief is Martin Peretz. The magazine's current editor is Peter Beinart; its longtime literary editor, Leon Wieseltier, has a very strong influence over the magazine's political content as well as its literary content.



The New Republic was founded by Herbert Croly and Walter Lippmann, who published the magazine's first issue on November 7, 1914. The magazine's politics were progressive, and as such concerned with coping with the great changes brought about by America's late-19th century industrialization. Among the most important of these was the emergence of the U.S. as a Great Power on the international scene, and in 1917 TNR urged America's entry into World War I on the side of the Allies.

An important by-product of World War I was the Russian Revolution, and during the inter-war years the magazine was generally positive in its assessment of the Soviet Union and its communist government. This changed with the start of the Cold War, though, as TNR moved towards positions more typical of mainstream American liberalism. During the 1950s it was critical of both Soviet foreign policy and domestic anti-communism, particularly McCarthyism. During the 1960s the magazine opposed the Vietnam War, but was also often critical of the New Left.

In 1975 the magazine was bought by Harvard lecturer Martin Peretz, who transformed TNR into its current incarnation. Peretz was a veteran of the New Left who had broken with that movement over its support of various Third World liberationist movements, particularly the Palestine Liberation Organization. Under Peretz TNR has advocated both strong U.S. support for Israel and a muscular U.S. foreign policy. During the 1980s the magazine generally supported President Reagan's anti-Communist foreign policy, including provision of aid to the Contras. It has also supported both Gulf Wars and, reflecting its belief in the moral efficacy of American power, intervention in "humanitarian" crises, such as those in Bosnia and Kosovo during the Yugoslav wars.

In addition to being editor-in-chief and co-owner of The New Republic, Peretz is a contributor to the strongly pro-Israel Jewish World Review.

Domestically, TNR supports policies first associated with the Democratic Leadership Council and such "New Democrats" as former-President Bill Clinton. These policies, while seeking to achieve the ends of traditional social welfare programs, often use market solutions as their means, and so are often called "business-friendly". Typical of some of the policies supported by both TNR and the DLC during the 1990s were increased funding for the Earned Income Tax Credit program and reform of the Federal welfare system.

Unsigned editorials prior to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq expressed strong support for military action, citing the threat of WMD as well as humanitarian concerns. Since the end of major military operations, unsigned editorials, while critical of the handling of the war, have continued to justify the invasion on humanitarian grounds, but no longer maintain that Iraq's nuclear weapons facilities posed any threat to the United States.

While the New Republic is often considered a liberal, or neo-liberal, publication with a strong intellectual streak, some American progressives disagree with characterizing it as "liberal". They would instead use that term for magazines like The Nation and The Progressive.

Comparable conservative publications include National Review, Policy Review, and The Weekly Standard, which publish the intellectual writings of the American right.


Famous contributors

Ordered by period and within period by name:





  • Lisa Simpson is portrayed as a subscriber to The New Republic for Kids. This is understandable as Matt Groening, the Simpson's creator, wrote for TNR.

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