What could be more anachronistic—in the media culture and political climate of 2006—than the founding of a quarterly journal of ideas?” So wrote our founders in our inaugural issue. Allow us to echo them now: What could be more anachronistic—in 2015—than starting a blog?
For that is what “The Alcove” is—technically anyway. But let’s not get hung up on labels. As part of our long overdue redesign, we wanted to revise and expand our idea of what Democracy is. And one thing we decided we needed to do was to go beyond the printed pages that roll off the presses every quarter. We want to do more. What this means, broadly speaking, is that we’ll be publishing more pieces and different kinds of pieces—800-word blog posts, 2,000-word book reviews, 3,000-word Q&As, what have you.
“The Alcove” will be the clearinghouse for one kind of piece that we really want to see: posts that engage, debate with, assail, or applaud pieces that appear in the pages of so-called “little magazines” like ours. One thing that we have noticed these last few years is that while magazines like National Affairs, Dissent, Jacobin, The National Interest, The American Prospect, The Baffler, and many of our other peers have valuable things to say, we often end up talking past one another.
“The Alcove” is our effort to correct that. It will be a place where Democracy’s writers and editors flip through those pages, find an argument that riles us up or brings us down, and really wrestle with it. We’ll aspire to be timely, but we also want to make room for arguments that take a longer time to gestate. Was there something in Boston Review from six months ago that’s worthy of response? Have at it! The point is “The Alcove” will focus on this world that we dearly love—the world of little magazines—and elevate it in our modest way.
So please check back the first week of January when we begin this project in earnest. Thank you for reading and enjoy the holidays.