Monday, April 03, 2006

The American Prospect is Growing on Me

For many years after its founding in 1990, the American Prospect magazine--established by a trio of unabashedly liberal academics as a counterbalance to growing influence of right-wing think tanks--was utterly lost on the newstands. It couldn't compete with the name recognition that competitors like the The Nation or Harpers had earned over a century and a half. It didn't have the writing talent to compete with The New Republic, nor the investigative grit of Mother Jones. And in journalism, it had developed a reputation for suffering from rapid turnover, the result of periodic palace intrigues caused by a dysfunctional senior editor.

But in recent years, the craziness seems to have dissipated, and the magazine has been doing an increasingly good job in its niche. Like many, I imagine, I first got in the habit of checking it out through its excellent blog, Tapped. But that led me to the print/web magazine companion. I think the current April issue just might be the best ever. It contains this great cover story on Al Gore, plus this thoughtful, well-reported piece by the LA Weekly's Harold Meyerson, on Detroit's auto-manufacturing woes, which manages to paint a much broader picture about the place of manufacturing in America's future.

Just don't confuse it with the British magazine, Prospect, which is also excellent.


At 12:22 AM, Blogger Ezra said...

Sounds like you should join in our subscription drive...

And thanks for the kind words on the Gore piece, they're appreciated.


At 12:46 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

You are no doubt Ezra Klein, author of the wonderful Gore cover story to which I linked (and a constant contributor to the mag's companion Tapped blog). Take a bow. It was a splendid piece of work. I look forward to many more to follow. And glad to see that things have apparently calmed down enough internally at the American Prospect so that people like you can flourish. I'll be watching for your byline.


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