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Michael Tomasky to Become Editor of Democracy

Michael Tomasky, a highly respected writer and editor with more than 20 years’ experience covering American politics and helping to define and update progressive ideas, will join Democracy: A Journal of Ideas as its Editor.

By The Editors

Washington D.C. – Michael Tomasky, a highly respected writer and editor with more than 20 years’ experience covering American politics and helping to define and update progressive ideas, will join Democracy: A Journal of Ideas as its Editor effective March 3, announced Democracy President and Co-Founder Andrei Cherny. Awarded Best New Publication of 2007 by the Independent Press Awards, Democracy has established itself as a source of cutting-edge progressive thinking with its ideas and writers poised to shape the Obama era.

“I’m just thrilled to be joining Democracy,” Tomasky said. “What the journal has accomplished in this very short time is most impressive. And now, with a progressive administration, the journal is absolutely poised to play an even more influential role in this new Washington. I hope I can live up to the high standards readers have come to expect from Democracy and produce a journal that’s open to broad range of points of view, even healthily conflicting ones; that’s innovative and forward-looking; that’s lively; and most of all that has an impact on policy makers and other leaders.”

Tomasky has been at the forefront of defining the contours of 21st century progressivism for many years, first as a journalist in New York and, since 2003, in Washington. In 2006, while editor of The American Prospect magazine, Tomasky wrote the much-discussed essay “Party in Search of a Notion,” which argued that the Democratic Party should de-emphasize its claims on behalf of particular interest groups and become a party of “the common good.” Such was the attention the essay garnered that it received front-page treatment in the New York Times – a rare feat for a piece of intellectual journalism.

Tomasky has formerly worked for the New York Observer and the Village Voice. In 1995, he joined New York magazine, where he wrote a political column for the next eight years. He is the author of Left for Dead, on the rebirth of civic liberalism, and Hillary’s Turn, about the 2000 New York Senate race. Tomasky is currently with the Guardian (UK), where he will assume the title American editor-at-large and will continue to write a blog and monthly print column and do videos for the paper’s Web site. “I’m really fortunate to have this combination of a great writing platform through the Guardian and an opportunity to edit long-form pieces in an important journal,” Tomasky said. He will also continue to contribute to the New York Review of Books, where he writes regularly on national affairs.

Founded in the wake of the 2004 campaign by Cherny and Kenneth Baer (who recently left the enterprise to become an Associate Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget), Democracy is a quarterly journal of progressive thought that serves as a place where ideas can be developed and important debates can be spurred. Democracy is the progressive analogue of conservative journals such as Commentary, the Public Interest, and the National Interest, offering innovative domestic and foreign policy commentary and ideas. Today, Democracy has over 30,000 readers – online and in print – in every state and over 150 countries around the world, and has generated ideas that have made their way into the center of policymaking.

Indeed, the Washington Post recently wrote that Democracy is “widely read” in the Obama administration, the Philadelphia Inquirer has noted that “one way to guess what Obama might do” is to look to Democracy, and the Christian Science Monitor called Democracy the place where “the Democratic Party is being reimagined.”

“For Ken Baer and myself, Democracy has been ‘our baby’ since we founded it four years ago,” said Andrei Cherny. “There was no one I could think of better suited to take over the editorship than Michael Tomasky and was honored when he accepted. As I step into the long-term strategy role of Democracy‘s president, Michael will bring to the task of running our day-to-day operations a professionalism and seriousness of purpose that – combined with his willingness to think big, break with comfortable assumptions, and shatter conventional wisdom – makes him an ideal person to continue this journal’s remarkable growth. Democracy‘s stellar staff, Editorial Committee, and Board of Advisors joins me in offering Michael a warm welcome. Our leadership may be changing but our mission of offering path-breaking new ideas to respond to the huge transformations facing America remains the same as it was when we began this journey.”

Tomasky’s appointment follows on the heels of the announcement last December that Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, Jr. had joined Democracy as chair of the Editorial Committee providing broad editorial guidance. The committee also includes Les Gelb, Isabel Sawhill, William Galston, Christopher Edley, Robert Reich, Susan Rice, Sean Wilentz, Theda Skocpol, and Elaine Kamarck (Louis Caldera and Anne-Marie Slaughter have recently stepped down to join the administration).

Democracy: A Journal of Ideas

The Editors of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas are Michael Tomasky (Editor), Jack Meserve (Managing Editor), and Sophia Crabbe-Field (Associate Editor).

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