The Atlantic Monthly

The Atlantic Monthly

Infobox Magazine
title = The Atlantic

image_size = 200px
image_caption = December 2007 issue of "The Atlantic".
publisher = Atlantic Media Company
circulation = 400,000
frequency = 10 per year
language = American English
category = literature, political science, foreign affairs
editor = James Bennet
editor_title = Editor
firstdate = 1857
country = flagcountry|United States
website = []
issn = 1072-7825

"The Atlantic" (formerly known as "The Atlantic Monthly") is an American magazine founded in Boston in 1857. Originally created as a literary and cultural commentary magazine, its current format is of a general editorial magazine. Written from a center-right perspective with content focusing on "foreign affairs, politics, and the economy [as well as] cultural trends", it is primarily aimed at a target audience of "thought leaders". [ Amazon listing] [ Atlantic advertising site]

The magazine's founders were a group of writers that included Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., and James Russell Lowell (who would become its first editor). The current CEO and group publisher is John Fox Sullivan. [ Atlantic masthead]

Format and periodicalism

Originally a monthly publication, the magazine, subscribed to by 400,000 readers, now publishes ten times a year and features articles in the fields of political science and foreign affairs, as well as book reviews. In 2005, "The Atlantic" announced that it would cease including short stories in its regular issues, but rather put them in a single annual special edition.

Literary history

"The Atlantic" was the first to publish Julia Ward Howe's "Battle Hymn of the Republic" (on February 1, 1862), and William Parker's "The Freedman's Story" (in February and March 1866). It published Charles W. Eliot's "The New Education" (a call for practical reform) that resulted in his appointment to Presidency of Harvard University in 1869. It also published some of Charles Chesnutt's tales before they were collected for The Conjure Woman. The associative vision As We May Think by Vannevar Bush appeared in July 1945. The magazine published Martin Luther King, Jr.'s defense of civil disobedience in "Letter from Birmingham Jail" in August 1963. The magazine was a point of connection between Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson; having read an article in the "Atlantic" by Higginson, Dickinson asked him to become her mentor. It has also published many of the works of Mark Twain, including one that managed to escape publication until 2001. Its best known current writers are James Fallows, Mark Bowden, Christopher Hitchens, Andrew Sullivan, Corby Kummer, Jeffrey Goldberg, and Caitlin Flanagan.

The magazine has also published speculative articles that inspired the development of whole new technologies. The classic example is the publication of Vannevar Bush's essay "As We May Think" in July 1945, which inspired Douglas Engelbart and later Ted Nelson to develop the modern workstation and hypertext technology.

In April, 2005, the editors of "The Atlantic" decided to cease publishing fiction in regular issues in favor of a newsstand-only annual fiction issue edited by longtime staffer C. Michael Curtis.

On January 22, 2008, "The Atlantic" dropped its subscriber wall and allowed users to freely browse its site, including all past archives (see


For all but its recent existence, "The Atlantic" has been known as a distinctively New England literary magazine (as opposed to "Harper's" and later "The New Yorker", both from New York), and by its third year was published by the famous Boston publishing house of Ticknor and Fields (later to become part of Houghton Mifflin). The magazine was purchased by its then editor, Ellery Sedgwick, during World War I, but remained in Boston.

In 1980, the magazine was acquired by Mortimer Zuckerman, property magnate and founder of Boston Properties, who became its Chairman.

On September 27, 1999, ownership of the magazine was transferred from Zuckerman to David G. Bradley, owner of the beltway news-focused National Journal Group. Although Bradley had promised that no major changes were in store, the magazine's publishers announced in April 2005, that the editorial offices would leave their long-time home at 77 North Washington St. in Boston to join the company's advertising and circulation divisions in Washington, D.C. apparently due to the high cost of Boston real estate. ["Atlantic, 148-year institution, leaving city magazine of Twain, James, Howells heads to capital, "Boston Globe", April 15, 2005 [] ] Later, in August, Bradley told the "New York Observer", cost cutting from the move would amount to a minor $200,000–$300,000 and those savings would be swallowed by severance related spending. The reason, then, was to create a hub in Washington where the top minds from all of Bradley's publications could collaborate. Few of the Boston staff agreed to relocate, allowing Bradley to embark on an open search for a new editorial staff. ["Atlantic owner scours country for cinder-editor", "New York Observer", August 29–September 5, 2005]

The Art Department is comprised of Jason Treat, Art Director; Melissa Bluey, Assistant Art Director and Katie Mathy, Art and Photography Coordinator.

List of editors

*James Russell Lowell, 1857–1861
*James Thomas Fields, 1861–1871
*William Dean Howells, 1871–1881
*Thomas Bailey Aldrich, 1881–1890
*Horace Elisha Scudder, 1890–1898
*Walter Hines Page, 1898–1899
*Bliss Perry, 1899–1909
*Ellery Sedgwick, 1909–1938
*Edward A. Weeks, 1938–1966
*Robert Manning, 1966–1980
*William Whitworth, 1980–1999
*Michael Kelly, 1999–2003
*Cullen Murphy, interim editor, never named editor-in-chief, 2003–2006
*James Bennet, 2006—


External links

* [ Official website]
* [ Atlantic archival writings by topic]
* [ The American Idea: The Best of "The Atlantic Monthly"]
* [ Online archive of "Atlantic"] (earliest issues up to December 1901)
* [ "The Atlantic"] issues at Project Gutenberg
* [ A History of "The Atlantic"]
* [ "The Hive" (an Atlantic article about Wikipedia)]
* [ The Atlantic drops pay wall]

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