New Republic email list subscribers received a communiqu from erstwhile Editor-in-Chief (but no longer owner!) Martin Peretz, Mr. Blogsy McBlogsalot himself, this afternoon, informing them of the mag's new publication schedule and thickness (80 pages instead of 40, blah blah blah). All this, and more, can be yours for a mere $9.97 per year, which—even to our non-print-media eyes—seems rather, shall we say, cheap. Also, he says that "this week is a week of interregnum for The New Republic," which seems like a bit of an overstatement, even for a notorious malapropist.
But then he really goes for the hard sell (bolds ours, of course):
The occasion for the relaunch is that we, too, need to deal with the fact that our readers cannot wait a week for commentary on the day's news. I don't know about you but I've read today's Times last night. This means that TNR and its own dispatches and analyses should be available on a daily basis. So we are deepening and expanding our real-time activity on TNR.com. We will have more ... and more sizzling writing on the Web.
Our blog, "The Plank," is by now a necessity for people who care about politics, especially about domestic politics and in the presidential season most especially about presidential politics. Obama, Hillary, McCain, Giuliani, Edwards, Romney. Gore, maybe. If you subscribe, you can be in the written discussion, very much in. We also feature a most unusual site, " Open University," in which some two dozen academics and intellectuals talk among themselves, and their readers (TNR subscribers) talk back.
I've got my own blog, "The Spine." It's about my obsessions. I can tell that some people agree with it. Other people detest it, as I can see for from the published "Talkbacks" myself.
The website is, of course, not just about politics. Like the printed magazine, it has wonderfully lively and sometimes irritatingly correct book criticism and opinion on the arts. For sure, James Wood is the deepest and most feared literary critic under 50. Our art critic, Jed Perl, whose book New Art City hit the charts last year, published just a month ago a devastating and hilarious essay about the insanities and inanities of the contemporary art market. Art people are still reeling from his recent article on MoMA.
The print edition now goes fortnightly. It will have more pages than our present weekly, many more. This means deeper writing on truly significant matters. Again, on politics, with penetrating thinking in very literate prose. Domestic affairs and foreign relations, confronting the deep breaches in our own society. Culture is not a step-child. The magazine will sport an elegant new design, with visual echoes of TNR's own modernist past. Its font is vivid. Its cover and paper stock has heft.
If you subscribe now for only $9.97, you'll still be able to read in TNR's last old issue our legal affairs editor, Jeffrey Rosen, intellectual descendant of Felix Frankfurter who was the first such editor, writing on his trip to Gitmo. And David Greenberg on a liberal's critique of the prosecution of Scooter Libby. Also David Bell on a book called Why the French Don't Like Headscarves .
Frank Foer as editor and Leon Wieseltier as literary editor will continue their stewardship of the magazine's political weight, intellectual depth, and beautiful style in words.
I'll be around, as well.
The New Republic
P.S. The first new New Republic will feature a long and deep article on Barack Obama by our own Ryan Lizza, the brilliant young journalist who The New York Times and The Washington Post and Time tried to hire away. What I really mean is "lure away." He stayed. That tells you a lot.