Editor's Note

Editor’s Note

Michael Tomasky introduces Issue #41.

By Michael Tomasky

It was strange thing to do, just as the Internet age was roaring to life, to start a quarterly print journal. But that’s just what Kenneth Baer and Andrei Cherny decided the broad political left needed, as they explain in their essay in the closing pages of this, our Tenth Anniversary issue. And here we are, a decade later, going, really, stronger than ever.

We run excerpts from nearly 40 of our pieces over the years, from the memorable ones like Elizabeth Warren’s article on the need for a consumer financial protection bureau (which of course now exists) to smaller gems like Martin Kettle’s sharp-eyed piece on Christopher Hitchens.

Elsewhere, we offer up a symposium on the accomplishments—and shortcomings—of the Obama Administration in the economic realm. Our friend and board member E.J. Dionne Jr. writes the introduction to that collection. Another friend and board member, Nick Hanauer, explains why the right needs people to believe that jobs go down as wages go up—it’s how they keep people from demanding their share. Suzanne Nossel, the executive director of PEN American Center, tackles the issue of the disturbing increase in autocrats cracking down on civil-society groups working in their countries and outlines a response. And we have what we think is a really interesting roundtable discussion featuring four progressive Muslim Americans—Representative Keith Ellison among them—offering their thoughts on the liberal roots of Islam and the situation the religion faces today in America

Diana Coyle reviews Branko Milanovic’s new book on global inequality. Rob Stein, the founder of the Democracy Alliance, takes on Jane Mayer’s important new Koch brothers book. Brook Wilensky-Lanford considers the history of American utopian movements, and Richard Just responds to Joseph S. Nye’s essay from the last issue on America, the election, and the world.

Finally we note with sadness the departure of our long-time managing editor, Elbert Ventura, who recently took another job. It’s just impossible to thank Elbert enough for all he’s done for Democracy, and I’d be scared of what we’d do without him if Jack Meserve, our longtime associate editor, weren’t stepping in to take his seat. And a warm welcome to Sophia Crabbe-Field, who just joined us as our new associate editor. Here’s to all of them, and to the next ten years.

Michael Tomasky is the editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and a special correspondent for The Daily Beast.

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